Christian filmmaker Jim Wahlberg says Mother Teresa ‘led me’ to God and to sobriety in prison – 24 Global News | Latest International Breaking News Today

Christian filmmaker Jim Wahlberg says Mother Teresa ‘led me’ to God and to sobriety in prison – Latest International Breaking News Today

Christian filmmaker Jim Wahlberg was a Boston street hustler and alcoholic serving hard time when Christ walked into his life. 

His Savior came in the form of Mother Teresa herself. 

The future Saint Teresa of Calcutta attended Mass at his Massachusetts prison one day during a tour of the United States in 1988, he said.

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“There was a certain point in that Mass when I thought I was looking at God,” Wahlberg told Fox News Digital this week in an interview about his journey to Jesus Christ and to sobriety.

“I thought she was God. That’s my understanding of who she was at that moment. Once I had this experience — that the missing element for me to try to live a different life was a relationship with Christ — other things made sense to me.”

Jim Wahlberg

Jim Wahlberg attends the Mark Wahlberg Youth Foundation Celebrity Invitational Gala at The Chelsea at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, Dec. 2, 2023.  (Gabe Ginsberg/Getty Images )

Among those other things: “It made sense to me that I could be sober and live a different way when I got out of prison.”

Mother Teresa that day, June 3, 1988, said as she arrived in Boston, “People are hungry for love, much more than hungry for bread.” 

She had plans to visit three Bay State prisons the following day, according to media reports at the time. 

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“I think you and I must take the trouble to be that sign of compassion, that presence of Christ to them,” she also said.

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Wahlberg, who lives in Florida today and runs Wahl St. Productions, told his story in the 2020 book, “The Big Hustle: A Boston Street Kid’s Story of Addiction and Redemption.”

He shared more details of his journey with his personal “Surrender Story” on the Hallow app in February. 

Locked up while brothers soared

Wahlberg’s little brother Donnie shot to stardom in the late 1980s as a member of the global music sensation “New Kids on the Block.” 

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Another younger brother, Mark, became a solo rap star as Marky Mark a few years later — and is one of the biggest celebrities in entertainment today. 

The star of the new Hollywood flick “Arthur the King” is also a Hallow app partner and spokesperson. 

Mother Teresa surrounded by children in Calcutta

Mother Teresa is shown accompanied by children at her mission in Calcutta, India. She was canonized by Pope Francis on Sept. 4, 2016. (Tim Graham/Getty Images)

Big Brother Jim was in prison while “Wahlberg” was on its way to becoming one of the biggest names in show business. 

Yet redemption found him, and loved him, despite a life spent devoted to crime and not to Christ. 

The pivotal moment came when the Boston street hustler got out-hustled by a prison priest, Fr. James Freitas.

“I thought she was God. That’s my understanding of who she was at that moment.” — Jim Wahlberg about Mother Teresa

“The first thing I asked for, and he said yes — I asked him to bring a cassette tape of my brother, who I told him was in that singing group, the New Kids on the Block,” said Wahlberg. 

“They have their first cassette tape in the stores and I asked him to bring me one. He did. And I didn’t think, ‘Oh, what a great, generous man.’ I thought, ‘What am I gonna have him bring me next?'”

“I wasn’t thinking about getting to the foot of the cross. I wasn’t thinking about any of that,” he told Fox News Digital. 

“I was thinking about how I was going to manipulate the situation and how I was going to smoke all the cigarettes and drink all this coffee and get access to his phone and, you know — that was the plan.” 

‘Need to know more’

Plans changed when Fr. Freitas invited Wahlberg to clean the prison chapel, essentially forcing him to attend Mass.

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The inmate agreed, hoping the good behavior would earn him early release from a nine-year sentence. 

It was at one of those services that Jesus Christ walked into his life, Wahlberg believes, in the form of Mother Teresa.

Mother Teresa in a November 1960 photo.

Mother Teresa (1910-1997), shown in a Nov. 1960 photo. The Albanian nun dedicated her life to the poor, the destitute and the sick of Calcutta, earning the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979.  (Keystone Features/Getty Images)

“After having this experience with Mother Teresa, I ran back to the priest and said, ‘I need to know more about this Jesus she’s talking about,’” said Wahlberg.

“‘It’s not what I grew up with. I want to — I need to know more about this Jesus who died for me and who loves me in spite of all the things I’ve done wrong,'” he said.

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Wahlberg has remained sober since leaving prison nearly 40 years ago.

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His movie and production business today is devoted to proselytizing the message of Christ delivered to him by Saint Teresa of Calcutta.

“Mother Teresa: No Greater Love” was “a soaring tribute to a spiritual icon,” as described on the film’s website, and one of the most successful documentaries of 2022.

Mother Theresa and James Wahlberg

James Wahlberg said that Mother Teresa put him on the path to Christ when she visited the Massachusetts prison where he was incarcerated.  (Tim Graham/Getty Images; Gabe Ginsberg/Getty Images )

“Jesus Thirst: The Miracle of the Eucharist,” to be released in June, “unwraps the mysteries of the Eucharist in the Catholic Church and dips into the Eucharistic revival,” Wahlberg said. 

He’s also producing “Roadmap to Heaven.” 

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The film tells the story of Blessed Carlo Acutis, who died of leukemia at age 15 in 2006, but only after documenting numerous miracles. 

Acutis was beatified in 2020. 

For more Lifestyle articles, visit www.foxnews.com/lifestyle.

-24 Global News | Latest International Breaking News Today
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