Mattie’s Spirituality & Message

Posted on: April 23rd, 2012 by jeni No Comments



National Shrine, Winter 2003


Baptized in the Catholic church as an infant, Mattie studied for and received the sacrament of Confirmation at 8 years of age. At the age of 9,  he began serving as a Minister of the Word (Lector), reading from the Bible during weekday and Sunday Masses. A year later, he began teaching CCD (Sunday School) to 2nd graders. At age 11, he began teaching the 6th grade CCD class.


Many of Mattie’s poems and essays reflect his friendship with God.  Mattie embraced Catholicism and said that his life and spirit were strengthened by the Saints and Holy Eucharist. He also respected and studied the diverse faiths of  people around the world, believing that God creates and loves all people, and that a message of hope and peace is a gift to be offered to everyone.





“Peace is possible!” -Mattie J.T. Stepanek


Mattie believed that we are each born with a “Heartsong” — or a reason for being and a purpose in life. He shared and celebrated that “Hope is real, peace is possible, and life is worthy!” — if we each choose to embrace such truths in attitude and action, for ourselves and for our world.


Mattie envisioned a world at peace, and saw humanity as a “mosaic of gifts, to nurture, to offer, to accept.” He said “peace is possible” and that while ending war matters, “peace begins within each person when we have our basic needs met.” He said that when we have access to what we need to survive — food, water, shelter, healthcare… — and also access to what we need to thrive — education, trust in others, hope for some next moment… — then we are able to choose to be “okay with who and how we are as a person.” When we are able to be okay with who and how we are, we can then choose gratitude, and turn our thoughts and attention and resources outward, and tend to the needs of others – “our neighbors around the block and around the world” — so that despite differences, they, too, can be okay with who and how they are as people.


In 2002, he shared what he called the “Three Choices for Peace” — a blueprint for how to move forthward in life, with personal peace that grows into world peace.


Mattie’s philosophy for life was“Remember to play after every storm!” and his motto was “Think gently, speak gently, live gently.” 


Mattie wanted to be remembered as “a poet, a peacemaker, and a philosopher who played.”




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January Spotlight

May 5 at Botanero

Cinco de Mayo Partnership Fiesta - FREE ENTRY - All Day Happy Hour & food specials, Music by DJ Genius, ZamDance performances -- join us for a fundraising party that celebrates peace and acceptance! Read more...

June 2 at Dawson's

Mosaics & Music: Make Peace the News -- join us for wine & apps, music & mosaic unveiling, conversation & celebration at a fundraising gathering to promote peace! Early Bird Tickets $25 ($30 at the door). Read more...

June 21 and 22

Celebrating Mattie’s life & legacy – 15-year anniversary Mass on June 22 (11 am) at St. Francis of Assisi Church in Derwood, MD, followed by a reception hosted by Mattie's Guild - ALL ARE WELCOME. Read more...

July 13 in King Farm

2019 Peace Day Celebration – join us for a FREE street fair (1-5 pm), all day food & drink specials (1-8 pm), and a Happy Hour Dance Party (5-8 pm) – arts, crafts, music, performers, cake, moon bounce… Read more...

- Mattie J.T. Stepanek