February 2019 Message from the Guild

February 2019 Reflection
Valentine’s Day

“I have a song deep in my heart,
and only I can hear it…

Everyone in the whole, wide world
has their own special song ….”

Mattie J.T. Stepanek

Celebrating Heartsongs
Remembering Mattie
1990 – 2004

Today, we remember and celebrate love in honor of a saint named Valentine – a Roman who lived during the 3rdcentury. He was known for sending handwritten notes of kindness to people in need of hope and peace. What is remarkable is that Valentine penned and sent these messages of the heart while he was imprisoned and condemned for his faith.

Today, we also have the opportunity to remember and reflect on a 20th century saint-in-the- making named Mattie – an American teen who lived his almost 14 years on earth celebrating life despite challenges related to a life-threatening disability. Mattie, like Valentine, cherished family and friends, and penned and shared poetry and messages of hope and peace, and shared these passages with his neighbors around the world.

Mattie called his messages Heartsongs, and he left us with seven books filled with his poetry and peace essays. In them, he reminds us to realize our Heartsongs– or our purpose in life, to celebrate that hope is real and peace is possible and life is worthy, and to joyfully “Remember to play after every storm!”

Mattie’s life of purpose would not be overshadowed by his life of challenges from disability, chronic health problems, financial difficulties, bullying, or other obstacles. His messages, and his way of living, inspired by his deep connection with God, can be summed up with his last spoken word, “Yes!”

On this St. Valentine’s Day, let us each pause and reflect on our Heartsong– our purpose from God – and share that with others. Let us choose kindness, and embrace hope, and practice peacemaking, and celebrate life and humanity.
And, let us pray for Mattie’s cause for sainthood.

Margaret Kolm
, The Mattie J.T. Stepanek Guild

Download the PDF version of the
February Guild Reflection here…


View and download our
February Guild 
Message & Activity
(poetry & RRR) pages here… 



Mattie Remembered in Parish Times

Mattie J.T. Stepanek was on earth fewer than 14 years and he died nearly 15 years ago. But his life and legacy continue to inspire children and adults today because he lived with depth and purpose, and with a passion for sharing messages of hope and peace.

During January, Mattie was remembered in The Parish Times newspaper in an article reminding readers that Mattie’s presence on earth was a blessing, despite dismal pre-natal prognoses for his health and developmental outcomes and recommendations that the pregnancy be terminated.

Mattie’s mother, Dr. Jeni Stepanek, said that Mattie was neither an accident nor a mistake, but instead, “a spirit meant to be.”

Mattie did face many medical and developmental challenges during his brief life. However, he also penned seven New York Times bestselling books of “Heartsongs” poetry and “Just Peace” essays and he was a well-respected and award-winning spokesperson for disability and peace organizations. From the age of seven, he served as a lector in his home parish, and at age nine, he began teaching CCD classes.

Thousands of people of diverse faiths and nationalities and walks of life attended his funeral, where Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter eulogized him as “the most extraordinary person” he has ever known. The article in the recent Parish Times edition refers to Mattie as someone who reminds us of the truth that all life is worthy.

To view the full issue of the January 2019 Parish Times — CLICK HERE… 

To view the “Remember Mattie” article — CLICK HERE…