The first missionary religious congregation for women in the history of the Church and the world is the Institute of the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary founded in 1877 by BL. Mary of the Passion, now in the 139th year of its course.

Franciscan in its essence.
Missionary in its services
Mary - like in its approach.

» Dedicated to universal mission

» Seek strength from the Eucharist

» And offer ourselves in challenging services


A child's reflection


A Child's Profound Reflections on 9/11


Mattie Stepanek, age 11, also watched the events unfold on September 11, 2001. You may remember Mattie—his inspiring story has been told on countless television shows and news broadcasts. Mattie, who died in 2004, suffered from a rare disease called dysautonomic mitochondrial myopathy; but that didn’t stop him from becoming a best-selling author, a poet, and an ambassador for peace. If you’ve heard Mattie’s story, if you’ve read any of the profound poems and essays by this youngest of writers, you’ll understand why on September 12, 2012, the Feast of St. Matthew the Apostle and the International Day of Peace, a guild was founded to gather information and investigate Mattie's life and virtues for the possible Cause of Canonization.

On September 11, 2001, Mattie watched as some of his personal friends perished in the terrorist attacks. Struggling to comprehend such violence, yet steeped in hope for the future, Mattie penned a poem “For Our World.” Mattie’s mother, Jeni Stepanek, has expressed her hope that Mattie’s words will serve as a catalyst for changing mottos of “revenge” into credos of “rebuild.” Together, she asks that we rebuild the mosaic of humanity.

For more information about Mattie’s story and to hear Mattie deliver his message of peace, visit the Mattie Stepanek website. And here (below) is the meditation which Mattie penned that day.


We need to stop.
Just stop.
Stop for a moment…
Before anybody
Says or does anything
That may hurt anyone else.

We need to be silent.
Just silent.
Silent for a moment…
Before we forever lose
The blessing of songs
That grow in our hearts.

We need to notice.
Just notice.
Notice for a moment…
Before the future slips away
Into ashes and dust of humility.
Stop, be silent, and notice…
In so many ways, we are the same.

Our differences are unique treasures.
We have, we are, a mosaic of gifts
To nurture, to offer, to accept.

We need to be.
Just be.
Be for a moment…
Kind and gentle, innocent and trusting,
Like children and lambs,
Never judging or vengeful
Like the judging and vengeful.
And now, let us pray,
Differently, yet together,
Before there is no earth, no life,
No chance for peace.

                                                                                         Mattie J.T. Stepanek ©
                                                                                           September 11, 2001

                                                                                          Hope Through Heartsongs,
                                                                                           Hyperion, 2002

                      Read more:

                                         We all see the same thing but some see differently!