His melodic voice has filled concert halls and cathedrals world wide. He has sung inspirational hymns for luminaries such as Pope John Paul II and Mother Theresa. His soothing Broadway melodies have entertained award-winning performers including Charlton Heston and Maureen O'Hara.
Although this international Irish tenor has performed for some of the leading orators of our time, Mark Forrest is not beckoning audiences to himself, rather he hopes his listeners will hear a deeper call and attune their ears to his heartfelt message - a message that has been shaped by what many would call the tragedies in his life.
Mark Forrest's "song" is The Faith and Family Foundation, an organization he and his wife Muriel, founded in 1999 to support and encourage individuals and families with special needs. His "lyrics" are the sanctity of human life, at every stage and age.
Mark and Muriel's efforts to establish The Faith and Family Foundation were born out of the sorrowful death of their third baby boy - Francesco - who was diagnosed in utero with a severely compromised heart. He lived only five days, "touching more people than I ever will in a lifetime," Mark says. Their second son, John Patrick, was also born with special needs and is battling a rare nerve condition that has left him blind and confined to a wheelchair.
Yet Mark and his wife turned their tragedies into triumphs and resurrected joy from the ashes of their sorrows. They embraced their pas personal despair and are now conveying hope to thousands around the globe through the Foundation.
The Foundation offers annual awards recognizing outstanding persons with disabilities, or individuals who work with or care for persons with disabilities, as well as awards to those who best exemplify the ethos of Faith and Family in a public setting.
Born in Dublin, Ireland, awarded full scholarships to study music, and educated at the Royal College of Music, Mark could allow his exceptional talent to take him world wide with Broadway touring companies. But he is committed to his own family and to his life's work sharing his music through The Faith and Family Foundation.
Mark uses his music, whether Broadway's best inspirational tunes, traditional Irish songs, or classic hymns to inspire people everywhere to appreciate the importance of their faith and their family life in today's changing society. All proceeds from Mark's concerts and the sale of his CDs and tapes go to benefit the Foundation. The Foundation is also publishing a book on the life of Francesco Forrest, to bring support and encouragement to parents and siblings of babies born with chronic or fatal illnesses. An inspirational children's book series is also planned.
Mark Forrest is an International Irish Tenor. He has captivated audiences from the White House and Carnegie Hall to Cathedrals and Stages Worldwide. Mark is the father of eight boys and currently resides in Northern Virginia. Mark and his wife Muriel are founders of the Faith and Family Foundation which helps special needs children. Mark also takes tour groups to Ireland and Italy. There will be a Body, Mind, and Soul Cruise in February 2011.