Memorial Mass & Reception
The Mattie J.T. Stepanek Guild invites people of all faiths to join in a celebration of Mattie’s life and spiritual legacy as we commemorate the late poet and peacemaker’s 15 year anniversary.
A memorial Mass will be celebrated on Saturday, June 22 (11 am) at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church (6701 Muncaster Mill Road, Derwood, MD 20855). Msgr. Charles Pope will be the homilist.
Immediately following the Mass, the Guild will host a reception. All are invited to attend, and meet the Guild directors and also share reflections of Mattie’s life and legacy, and how he continues to touch lives and our world.
During September 2019, Mattie’s Guild will also host a Mattie Symposium, with the 1st Annual Mattie Lecture, keynote speaker, VIP guests, and sessions for sharing and recording “Mattie Reflections” to support his Cause of Canonization (view information on sharing Statements of Support here…)
Matthew “Mattie” Joseph Thaddeus Stepanek was born on July 17, 1990, and died just weeks before his 14th birthday on June 22, 2004.
Mattie lived with a rare and fatal neuromuscular disease, and relied on a ventilator, oxygen, wheelchair, and numerous medicines and procedures for medical support. He spent much of his early and later life in intensive care units.
The condition also impacted his three siblings (Katie, Stevie, and Jamie — who died during early childhood) and later impacted his mother, Jeni (who did not know she carried the genetic condition until after giving birth to all four children). Jeni, who now also relies on a ventilator and wheelchair, carries on Mattie’s peace mission as a director for the Mattie J.T. Stepanek Guild (#Mattie4Sainthood organization) and as the CEO of the Mattie J.T. Stepanek Foundation (#MakePeaceTheNews organization).
During his brief life, he penned seven New York Times bestselling books of Heartsongs poetry and Just Peace essays, and he share messages of hope for our world as a frequent guest on shows like Oprah, Good Morning America, and Larry King Live. He also served as an ambassador for peace and disability organizations, and as a lecture and CCD (Sunday School) teacher in his church parish.
He wanted to be remembered as “a poet, a peacemaker, and a philosopher who played.”
Mattie has been gone from this world longer than he was here, but the depth of his living and essence continues to be a powerful source of inspiration and hope for children and adults around the world. During May 2019, Chris Cuomo selected Mattie as his “Champion of Change” for CNN’s special feature by that name.
Mattie’s Guild exists to gather and organize information that may further Mattie’s Cause of Canonization (sainthood) in the Catholic Church. The directors believe that Mattie lived a lived a live exemplifying virtues — including faith, hope, love, and peace.
The Guild directors invite and encourage people of all faiths to share their “Mattie reflections” to support this effort and to celebrate the truth that “Mattie still matters” — because faith adn hope and love and peace will always matter.
Reflections can be personal stories and memories from Mattie’s time on earth. Or, they can be about how children and adults are just now learning about Mattie, and the difference his is making today.
The 15 year anniversary Mass and reception events are free.
All are welcome to attend.
Donations are encouraged
to support the Guild in their mission
of gathering and organizing information
for Mattie’s possible Cause of Canonization.