A day filled with love, inspiration, and caring!
Sandy took us through the Bible introducing us to the men and women who “knew” God in various ways and made a difference in this world. Her magnificent illustrations gave us faces to go with the familiar names we’ve heard about since childhood. Sandy has such a beautiful way of making everyone feel special.
What I learned is that I have much more to learn. Your presentation was terrific and for me, pointed out a different way of viewing spirituality. The following day the homily’s message was that love is what it is all about. However, that is not usually what we hear. Love is what I heard from you as being most important, and I believe it is. Thank you for a very stimulating day. Your drawings were wonderful…you are a multi-talented person.
Thank you for presenting a storytelling retreat based on characters in the Bible. God’s light shone in you as did your love of the Scriptures. The day was beautiful…I felt love in action. The program renewed my hope and commitment to trying to live with strength, and love in all situations. Thank you so much for an enjoyable and enriching experience. May you continue in this good work so that many more have the experience of hearing these stories.
WAS ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC!
You put so much life into your story-telling and with such a profound sensitivity to all traditions. I can’t thank you enough for organizing, promoting and presenting a very, very good day—visiting the Old Testament and walking us through the New Testament. Be aware of Christ’s love for you. You were Her Body & Spirit today.
Speaking of “inspiring”——–thank you for a day of inspiration, of joy, a new way of seeing/knowing some of the Biblical figures. It was a wonderful day of laughing & sharing with new “sisters,” I hated to see our time together end! Thank you for sharing the gift that you are. You brought the Bible to life & people therein. But most importantly, you reminded us of how much God LOVES us, all of us, all the time!!!
I was broken and now am feeling alive with the grace of GOD’s unconditional love…
From the moment that we began the day in prayer to its powerful closing, I felt embraced by the God who loves me. An overwhelming sense of awe and wonder was experienced by the women who were present as Sandy wove together an inspiring tapestry of her art and her story telling skills in bringing to life our Biblical ancestors. Many of the women from the Scriptures are nameless, but their lives were lived to the fullest. Each of us who accepted the invitation to “come” and to “listen” sat spell bound. We tread the sacred ground that our ancestors walked and we are encouraged to celebrate the “gifts” that each of us is. Thank you Sandy for sharing your passion for the “love story” with us…A truly Holy experience.
–Alberta Surowiec, fssj
Sandy is a storyteller who mesmerizes listeners from toddlers to seniors. She not only broke open the scriptures in new ways for us, she broke us open to the scriptures and to one another. Under her gentle leading we moved toward becoming a beloved community. She is a real belssing to our congegation and we eagerly await her return next month.
For the past four years, Sandy has transported my 7th grade Theology classes to times gone by, both in Hebrew and Christian Scripture. My classes are mesmerized not only by her sketches, but the way in which she breaks open the stories of the named and nameless. Sandy engages her audience with the use of props and storytelling…encouraging those present to take the “journey” with her as she continues to remind those present of the unconditional love our God has for all of us. She is able to capture the attention of the very young and the very old alike…a feat that isn’t always easy to do. I celebrate Sandy’s gifts and talents and thank God she is sharing those with us.
Waves of Spring air, ushering in new life, wafted through the gathering room at Mt. Marie in Holyoke, in the person of Sandra Mattucci, presenter at their annual Women’s Spirituality Day. For over thirty years, over one hundred women from the New England region have gathered at Mt. Marie to be stretched spiritually. The word is out that THIS year’s day was one of the best! As one of its participants, I can understand why! The ambiance Sandy created in the room itself was, indeed, a breath of Spring! With her warm, vibrant personality, she “led from the heart,” bringing Old and New Testament figures to life, utilizing, as well, her wonderful drawings projected onto a large screen for all to enjoy. Story-teller par excellence, Sandy literally held her audience in the palm of her hand, reminding us, toward the end of the day, that we, ourselves, are an extension of the Great Story, as we live out our own lives today. And what woman, care-giver to others by nature, doesn’t need reminding how totally she, herself, is held in the vast embrace of her God’s immeasurable esteem and love. And that, we all, as women, need to do our part to ensure that THAT message is written indelibly on the hearts of EVERY young girl/woman! I am sure each participant left at day’s end, ever so glad that she had gifted herself with this wonderfully nourishing day! Bravo, Sandy!
–Nancy Welsh, Sr. of St. Joseph
Blessed be God. Blessed be His story book, the Bible, which reveals for us the ageless journey through life. And blessed be Sandy Mattucci, His storyteller! On Sunday, March 10th, Sandy offered us a day of reflection at the Capuchin Retreat in Washington, Michigan. Sandy is a dear friend of Macomb CTA member Grace Hill, who arranged for Sandy’s visit to Michigan from Connecticut.
It has been said that each generation has to be converted anew. We know so well that just because someone in our family has accepted the faith, it does not always mean the children or grandchildren will keep that faith automatically. We have sat through enough prepackaged, uninspired, non-inclusive messages in our church and have seen and felt the lack that has disheartened us and failed to give life to our children. The Gospel has to ever be preached in new contexts in ways that are good news to the people of the day. Sandy has found a way to preach and teach the Scriptures, both old and new testament, that appeals to us today and that stirs us on our journey toward God, toward Love, toward truth. She uses her gift of storytelling and her gift of drawing to spotlight the relationship between words and images. With deft interpretation and artistic ability, Sandy walked us into the text with the power of her images to allow us to experience the energy of the story as a moral reference point for today’s contemporary shortcomings. In feeling the pain, confusion, doubt, anguish, jealousy and insecurities that our biblical ancestors felt, Sandy then led us to the hope and transformation that God always has in store for us through converting the stories into spiritual guidance and hope-filled food for our lives.
The group that was assembled on Sunday shared experiences by retelling some of their story, revealing personal and sincere insights that were surfaced through the hearing of Sandy’s telling the accounts of the Scriptures. Sandy reexamined the Bible and its stories though a lens with which this group of seekers could find significance and meaning for their families and communities. Rather than focusing on absolutes regarding salvation and conduct, we explored the concepts of stories and narratives where images and inspiration replace the dogmatic! We certainly cannot control our lives and the world we live in to suit our every whim, but we can give witness to a vision and a life lived in faith.
It is usually my burden to have an experience which radiates hope, which exemplified the mission of the church (rather than the maintenance of it) and which recognizes the movement of the Holy Spirit in our midst (rather than just bemoaning the institutional failures) and feel the disappointment of not having more brothers and sisters in attendance. Despite attendance, it is important to realize it is never about numbers. It is about the nature of modern Christian community. It seems Sandy has reminded me that the circles I find myself attracted to know what they don’t like, but I question whether we are able to make room for and time for and commit ourselves to what can lead us to a more foundational walk with Jesus? Our disillusionment with the organized and institutional church and our desire to imitate the life of Jesus, to welcome outsiders, to be generous and creative, and lead without control (to mention just a few favorable characteristics) must be fueled by the Scriptures stories laid out for us. Like wise, it is important for us to share our own stories with respect and reverence so that we are not simply people of unrest or people who only know how to dream…we are always both. Thank you, Sandy, for putting us in touch with the unrest and the dream. Oh, and by the way, I write this at the very moment that Cardinal Bergoglio is named Pope Francis the first…a cardinal noted for solidarity with the poor, a Jesuit, a Latin American who took public transportation as opposed to a limousine, cooked his own meals, lived in an apartment, and as his first action, prayed the Lord’s Prayer with us. It is no coincidence that Sandy had for each of us a polished rock with the inscription “Behold I make all things NEW” (Rev. 21:5). The Spirit of God falls afresh on us.