The actor Mark Wahlberg has praised the priests he has known, and said he is praying for new vocations to the priesthood in America.

In a Facebook video message to the National Conference of Diocesan Vocation Directors, which met last week, the twice Oscar-nominated star said: “I want you to know of my support for your work to foster vocations to the priesthood, because I want my children and future generations to have good priests in their lives, just like I had.”

Mr Wahlberg said the Catholic faith was “the anchor that supports everything I do in life”, in his “vocation” as an actor, husband and father. (He is married to the model Rhea Durham, with whom he has four children.)

Mr Wahlberg welcomed the vocations directors to his home town of Boston, where last week’s conference took place. The actor paid tribute to the priests who had helped him when he was growing up, who had baptised his children and accompanied dying family members.

“My sins have been forgiven when I go to Confession to a priest,” Mr Wahlberg said. “Every time I go to Mass, [it] is through a priest’s hands that I receive the body and blood of Jesus Christ, which strengthens me to share my Catholic faith with others.”

Mr Wahlberg said that he and all Catholics “are counting on you to bring us good and holy priests.” He told the vocations directors: “I am praying for you.”

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