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Trivia About Mark


What kind of guitar do you play?

A handmade McGillivray—absolutely love the sound (click the pic to go to their site!)


Did you attend college or university?

I took three years of mechanical engineering a.k.a. "hell", and then switched into T.V., graduating from the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology with a diploma in Radio and Television Arts.

How can a guy as young as you have eight children?

Become a practicing Catholic! I love them to bits, and feel so privileged that God has seen fit to entrust these precious little eternal souls to us!

What is your favorite hobby?

Barbequing. songwriting. gazing at sunsets... Of course, now I'm blind.... color blind, that is.

Who is your favorite author?

Catherine de Hueck Doherty & Michael D. O'Brien

What is your favorite book?

I highly recommend "Poustinia" by Catherine Doherty or "The Gospel Without Compromise." As far as novels, my favorite is "Fr. Elijah" by Michael D. O'Brien. "Practice the Presence of God" by Brother Lawrence, "Imitation of Christ" by Thomas Kémpis, and "The Way of the Pilgrim".

What are your movie recommendations?

It's hard to find movies today that aren't offensive in some respects. But there's some gems out there!

"The Passion of Christ" will change you if you let it.

"Iron Will" is an incredible family movie.

"Seabiscuit" is not for children, but is exhilarating.

"The Pianist" is difficult, and moving historical movie.

"The Truman Show" is clever.

"The Count of Monte Criste" is a fun adventure (Jim Caviezel)

"Frequency" is a beautfiul, intense thriller. (Jim Caviezel)

"The Princess Bride" is classic, clean, and funny.

"Jesus of Nazareth" is a long, older version of Christ's life. But it has a penetrating grace about it.

"Life of Pi" is a great story.

"The Exorcism of Emily Rose" is a powerful, prophetic movie (not for kids).

"Braveheart" is pretty violent (not for children) but rouses the spirits.... Freedom!

What are your favorite shows?

We don't watch TV—refuse to pay for garbage. But I listen occasionally on the radio to The Vinyl Café (CBC Radio). Love any Saskatchewan Roughrider football game.

What's your favorite kind of music?

Russian Sacred Music… as close to Heaven as it gets. But my absolute favourite music is… silence.

Who is your favorite saint?

I feel very connected to St. Faustina. Padre Pio is my second spiritual director. and St. Thérèse is also near. Of course, Blessed Pope John Paul II is very near and dear. I love it when he comes to me in my dreams! I also love Avila's honesty. My Baba and mother aren't canonized yet, but they're right up there. Blessed Mother Theresa's words are also a beacon for my soul.

What is your favorite food?

I love good Thai food or barbecued chicken. My dad makes incredible barbequed chicken. My wife makes amazing soups!

Who is your favorite recording artist today?

Though I don't listen to much music, John Michael Talbot is timeless—music born from prayer. Billy Dean and Steve Warner really helped shape my own style. I have to admit, Dean Martin, Bing Crosby, Nat King Cole, Harry Connick Jr. and Michael Bublé get some airtime once in awhile.

Who has influenced your life most?

My mom. She used to call me in the middle of the day with tidbits of wisdom that cut through the chaos of life. She loved me unconditionally. My dad showed us how to love a wife with utmost dignity and respect. And he loved us kids very tenderly while being a true spiritual leader in our home. My spiritual directors have been priceless vessels of grace.

What do you like to do when you have nothing to do?

I can't remember the last time I didn't have anything to do. 

How do you pray?

I pray using the Liturgy of the Hours or Magnificat, the Rosary, and if Mass is not available, the daily readings. Other times I just speak to the Lord from the heart, pray in tongues, or just say little prayers of love throughout the day. Nowadays, in the kind of ministry I have, the Lord is speaking to me constantly through every circumstance—He does for all of us, if we are listening. I used to find prayer so hard. Now I absolutely suffer without it… without my dear Jesus.

What is your greatest fear?

Not using my gifts for the Kingdom to their maximum potential.

Who is your favorite professional sports team?

The Saskatchewan Roughriders (cut me open and my blood's green). In hockey, it's the underdog (though I was a big Oilers fan until they cut Gretzky and my naive world was shattered. "You mean it's all about money, mom??") If Saskatchewan had a hockey team, they'd be my favourite.

What is your favorite place on earth?

Before any Eucharistic tabernacle. I also used to love to stop at Hardy Falls in the Okanagan Valley, B.C. to pray, write, or risk my life climbing the side of the falls in my Sunday clothes. Hope my wife doesn't read this.

What is your take on the "signs of the times"?

You have to be in denial if you cannot see that the world is unraveling on a weekly basis. I believe we are in a time of great mercy. That God is reaching out to us sinners with extraordinary love and patience. But I don't believe the world can sustain its spirit of decadence and disdain for human life much longer. I believe we will see an unprecedented intervention from God very soon. Already, the Church is being purified, the goats from the sheep. This is clear as what appears to be a great apostasy is rapidly unfolding. Those who are lukewarm and compromising the truth are being sucked into moral relativism and a self-made religion called "Tolerance" (which is another word for "compromise"). But those who are humbling themselves and seeking the Truth are finding it. They are small in number, but are being intensely purified. Seemingly insignificant now, they will be beacons of light when the sun finally goes down.

I believe it is the end of an age, not the end of the world. Certainly seems that we are living in a shadow of those times predicted by Jesus.

What's your philosophy about music?

I love all kinds of music, secular and Christian. I don't think it's healthy to turn off the radio simply because someone's not "Christian" or the station is secular. Isn't it God who's given the gift of music to a secular artist? If you listen closely, you will hear God singing all over the place. He sings about love, about life, about pain, about joy, about the things He created us to experience and that He Himself experienced in the person of Jesus Christ.

This might scandalize to some people, but I think James Horner's song "My Heart Will Go On" from Titanic (sung by Céline Dion) is a very "anointed" song. Why? Because it sings about everything you and I can identify with: pain, grief, love, loss, faithfulness, fortitude. Aren't these the things Christ personified all at once on the Cross? Besides, the melody is beautiful.

Secular music often sings about reality, and reality is a form of truth, and Jesus IS the Truth. So no wonder people are moved to tears by a love song on the radio, because it is God in disguise, speaking to their hearts, stirring their hunger for Him. It is really God singing: "It is my plan for you to be loved by Me and by others, to be happy, to be at peace... and to return that love to them and to Me." When secular music crosses the line is when it glorifies lust and sex, hatred and crime, envy, greed and deception. Then music loses it's ability to build up the heart. Then it's not even worth the plastic shrinkwrap it came in.

Several years ago, Blessed John Paul II shared the stage with Bob Dylan, and even quoted one of his songs. I think the Pope's openness made a marvelous statement about how we should view the world around us. We are all made in the image of God. When anyone reflects this image in what they do or say -- Hindu, Muslim, atheist, Jew, Christian, country or rock star -- we should never be afraid to look at them, because God may be looking back. (Don't worry, I'm not an indifferentist.)


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