Mark Wahlberg as Thomas Merton?

Several years ago, while I was on retreat at Thomas Merton’s old monastery in Kentucky, his former secretary Br. Patrick Hart mentioned to me that some movie people were going to be dropping by for a visit.  He was bemused and thought they might be wanting to discuss a movie version of “The Seven Storey Mountain.” The idea resurfaces every few years, he said, but nothing ever comes of it.

Well.  If anyone is still mulling that idea, and looking for a man to play a young Merton, he’s right here.  See below. (He might even want to produce it.  Mark Wahlberg produced and starred in “Contraband,”the #1 movie in America last weekend.)

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  1. deacon john m. bresnahan says:

    Mark Wahlberg may or may not play Thomas Merton, but the newspaper and media here in the Boston area are achurn with a story that claims the notorious gangster Whitey Bulger has invited Wahlberg to visit him in jail– possibly to ask him to make a movie about Bulger. They both have Irish South Boston roots.
    It will be interesting to see how all this plays out. Christ said we should visit those in prison. And both Pope John XXIII and Pope John Paul II made famous visits to prisons to set an example. In fact JPII visied the man who tried to assasinate him.

  2. ron chandonia says:

    This clip is certainly impressive. How many Catholic laymen can speak as movingly and intelligently about the role of our faith in their lives as the former Marky-Mark does? But a short snippet like this makes it sound as if his transformation from street punk to daily communicant happened overnight. Instead, I have read that Wahlberg only gradually came to accept some of the more restrictive aspects of a Christian lifestyle. In particular, it was only a couple years ago that he actually married the mother of his four beautiful kids. Apparently, though, the priest who is his longtime advisor and friend respected his need to take the journey one step at a time. That perhaps holds a lesson for those of us who get impatient at the sometimes-public imperfections of our fellow Catholics.

  3. naturgesetz says:

    Well said, ron.

    And thanks for posting this, Deacon Greg. I never knew that Mark Wahlberg had become so devout. May he continue in God’s grace and may his witness open many other hearts.

  4. Irish Spectre says:

    “Marky Mark’s” story is compelling, to say the least. It has to be extraordinarily challenging to be a practicing Catholic in Hollywood; may God continue to lift him up to do so.

    Wahlberg actually hails from Dorchester, not Southie, but the culture of his upbringing is the same.

    The Whitey flap is understandable, great fear on the part of the families of many of his victims that Wahlberg will glamorize the life of an unreformed thug.

  5. friscoeddie says:

    He is a producer of Boardwalk Empire with Scorsese another ‘Catholic’ before you guys canonize these guys, watch their porno and violence flics they produce ‘going to a new low level’ .. .then go back to what you do so often…. condemning Catholic Politicians.

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