Holy Week Reflections from Mattie

We must do more than pray. We must meditate on being faithful. 
And we must share our faithfulness with others.”

                – Mattie J.T. Stepanek

Reflections for Holy Week 
“Ponder, Praise, and Prayer”

Excerpts from the
1999 Lenten meditation
booklet offered by
Mattie J.T. Stepanek
1990 – 2004

What you are about to read are the private reflections of a boy, age 7 and 8, speaking to God as a friend.  

Mattie’s life had many challenges – constant health issues, daily struggles with his rare form of muscular dystrophy, financial burdens and more – but his Catholic faith, nurtured by his mother, Jeni, and enriched at Holy Rosary Church in Rosaryville, Maryland, kept him rooted in the Lord.  

He accomplished a great deal in his “almost 14 years” on earth.  He published six bestselling books of poetry and one bestselling book on peacemaking. During his many television, radio, and print media interviews, Mattie spoke with authority and conviction, championing what he learned as a Catholic.

Through his writings and speeches and his everyday conversations and interactions, Mattie reminded youth and adults, and families and leaders, 
that hope is realpeace is possiblelife is worthy, and prayer is powerful.  

Mattie’s lasting gift to us is his belief that we all have what he called a Heartsong – a special purpose and “reason for being” given to us by God. His life especially inspires children and teens to accept their personal challenges as they uncover their own Heartsong in their daily walk with God.

To download a PDF version
of this introduction — CLICK HERE…

To read excerpts from Mattie’s Lenten
meditations in ENGLISH — CLICK HERE…

To read excerpts from Mattie’s Lenten meditations

Mattie J.T. Stepanek Guild

16 Year Anniversary Mass

Join us in a celebration of Mattie’s
life and legacy of hope and peace,
as we gather (virtually) to commemorate
the 16th anniversary of his passing.

MORNING MASS (virtual)
Monday, June 22, 2020 at 9 am EST

Facebook Live — CUA Campus Ministry page
LINK: https://bit.ly/2UkFOfa

Fr. Jude DeAngelo, OFM Conv
University Chaplain & Director of Campus Ministry
The Catholic University of America

Mattie J.T. Stepanek Guild

Evening “Toast2Peace”
Monday, June 22 at 7-8 pm EST

Evening “Toast2Peace”
Monday, June 22 at 7-8 pm EST

Join members of Mattie’s Guild (spiritual legacy)
& Mattie’s Foundation (peace legacy)
as we “raise a glass or grateful hands
and connect with purpose — for peace!”

and engage in conversation about Mattie’s
message of hope and peace, and specifically,
his “For Our World” poem, penned 9/11/2001 —
highlighting Mattie’s “mosaic of humanity” message
which is rooted in St. Paul’s “many parts, one body.”

Zoom & Facebook Live links to be posted soon.

Monthly Prayer & Conversation Gatherings with Mattie’s Guild

Join members of the Mattie J.T. Stepanek Guild and Dr. Jeni Stepanek (Mattie’s mom) as they gather each month at different churches for a morning of service, prayer, and conversation in the community.

Each month, members of the Guild and Mattie’s mom visit a different church, and following the service, they invite others to engage in conversation about the inspirational life and lessons and legacy of the late teen poet and peace ambassador, Mattie J.T. Stepanek.

From as young as the age of 3 years, Mattie said that God placed messages in his heart — “messages of hope and peace and Heartsongs and purpose, to shape with words and share with the world.”

Mattie died in 2004, just a few weeks before his 14th birthday, but left behind seven NY Times Bestselling books that continue to impact global youth and adults in powerful and prayerful ways today.

Mattie’s Guild is a non-profit organization committed to gathering information about Mattie’s life and spiritual legacy to support his possible Cause of Canonization / sainthood in the Catholic Church.

Dates and locations may change,
so please re-check this page
for the most current schedule.


  • Friday, March 20, 2020 
    Mass 7a / conversation follows
    St. Elizabeth’s Catholic Church
    917 Montrose Road
    Rockville, MD 20852
  • Monday, April 6, 2020 
    Time TBA (Mass & school visit)
    Shrine of the Sacred Heart
    3211 Sacred Heart Way
    Washington, DC 20010
  • Friday, May 1, 2020 
    Mass 7a / conversation follows
    St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church 
    11701 Clopper Road
    Gaithersburg, MD 20878
  • Monday, June 22, 2020 
    Mattie’s 16 year anniversary celebration

    Mass 9a / conversation follows
    St. Francis of Assisi 
    6701 Muncaster Mill Road
    Rockville, MD 20855
  • Friday, July 17, 2020 
    Mattie’s 30
    th birthday celebration
    Mass 7:30a / conversation follows
    St. Patrick’s Catholic Church
    4101 Norbeck Road
    Rockville, MD 20853
  • August – St. Catherine Laboure
    Date & Time TBA
  • September – date, time, location TBA
  • October – date, time, location TBA
  • November – date, time, location TBA
  • December – date, time, location TBA

If you or your place of worship
would like to host a gathering
with Mattie’s Guild 
– prayer, conversation, book/poetry discussion – 
please e-mail INFO@MattieMatters.org

Learn more about Mattie’s spiritual legacy:

Learn more about Mattie’s peace legacy:

Jeni Stepanek to Speak at Lenten Simple Supper Series

Dr. Jeni Stepanek will be the guest presenter for the Friday, March 13 “Lenten Simple Supper & Speaker Series” at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Rockville, MD. She is the author of the NY Times Bestseller, “Messenger: The Legacy of Mattie J.T. Stepanek and Heartsongs.” 

Her remarks – titled, “I Am… We Are… A Mosaic of Gifts: Created in God’s Image” – will explore St. Paul’s message of “many parts, one body” and her son, Mattie’s, inspirational message of embracing humanity as a “mosaic of gifts.”

Mattie, who died just before his 14th birthday, began saying at the age of 3 that God was placing messages in his heart that were meant to be “shaped with words and shared with the world.” He penned 7 NY Times bestselling books expressing his purpose as a messenger, each filled with “Heartsongs” and lessons about hope and peace.

Today, the Mattie J.T. Stepanek Guild is gathering information about Mattie’s life and spiritual legacy for his possible Cause of Canonization. 


Learn more about Mattie’s peace legacy: www.MattieOnline.com
Learn more about Mattie’s spiritual legacy: www.MattieMatters.org

Mattie Matters News

January, 2020
From Kathy Dempsey,
President – Mattie J.T. Stepanek Guild

Click here to view this issue of
Mattie Matters News in your browser…

After Christmas, we sometimes think of January as a lull month, but what a faith-filled month we see!

We have World Day of Peace and Solemnity of Mary, the Holy Mother of God on January 1.  Both offer so much meaning to Mattie and to us.

January 6 gave us the Feast Day of André Bessette.  Mattie had a very special connection to St. André, praying to him to “finish my reason for being.”  Mattie’s prayers were answered and a dangerous medical crisis came to an end, giving us several more years of Mattie on earth.

Next week we celebrate Catholic Schools Week.  We look to Mattie who demonstrated that young people can move mountains and do matter.

 This week we honor Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and also witness to the right to life.  Below in the next section are some thoughts from Mattie’s Mom, Jeni Stepanek, on Mattie and Martin Luther King, Jr.

In advance of this week’s March for Life, we ask “What is a life worth?” Mattie had quite a life and left his mark.  But before he was born, Mattie was in danger, like others diagnosed with a disability in the womb. What the world would have missed if Mattie had never been born.

 “Mattie was not an accident.  He was not a mistake.  He was a spirit meant to be,” said Jeni.

In 2001, when Mattie was 11, he spoke to young teens in Southern Maryland at a prolife rally, explaining that the building blocks of life were hope, peace, courage, forgiveness and kindness. These building blocks, he explained, lead to the understanding that 
life is a gift, not a choice.

Please join us:

Offer prayers – for Mattie and for all children, for Mattie’s mission of peace and for the Guild as we begin the most active year we have endeavored

Give reflections and statements of support – for Mattie’s cause of sainthood

Share Mattie Matters News & information about the Guild

Follow us on social media – FacebookTwitterInstagram

Donate  to the Mattie J.T. Stepanek Guild.  Your financial gift supports the mission and work of the Guild to advance Mattie’s possible Cause of Canonization in the Catholic Church.

The Mattie J.T. Stepanek Guild
is an all-volunteer, 501(c)3
non-profit, tax-exempt organization.

All material in this e-letter is
owned and copyrighted by
Mattie J.T. Stepanek and/or
Jeni Smith Stepanek, Ph.D.,
and may not be used
without written permission.