Memories of Matt and wishes for his family

This is a place to leave reminisces, prayers, poems, or other memories or blessings. (scroll down to the comment box below) If you have a photo you would like to be included in the gallery on the home page, you can email it to


  1. Pam Brady says:

    I remember Matt so fondly, even from back at Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary! Some years ago, I was delighted to have both he and Christine over for a meal. Christine, may the Lord hold your heart in the palm of His hand. My thanks to both of you for your devotion to Christ, for your faithfulness and ministry, and for your wonderful demonstration of covenant love to your husband.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Bob Carter says:

    Sandy and I offer up prayers of love and support to Chris and family. I have always held Matt in the highest regard. His heart for the men he ministered to humbled me. God bless him.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Irina says:

    I remember Matt from His Mansion Ministries. He taught bible class every week. He was always so kind and always so caring. To Chris and the family you are in my prayers. 🙏🏽🙏🏽

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Kim Burke McClellan says:

    Our hearts go out to you during this sacred passage. We trust Matt is in the arms of the Angels that are bringing him home after fulfilling God’s calling in this world. May you find deep comfort in the great love you shared in your circle of family and friends.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Leigh Fahel says:

    My biggest memory of Matt Kantrowitz occured while he was the Pastor of South Main Church in Manchester New Hampshire. Matt and I did not see eye to eye many times and often clashed. However Matt did one thing that in all rights he did not have to do after he left South Main that gained my respect. In 2010 I had ended up in ICU with a bad medical incident where the doctors had given me a 35% chance of survival and had me in ICU for 15 day. After the first surgery, when I came to I looked up and Matt was sitting there praying next to my bed. He asked if I minded him praying over me, I wrote out yes please and he did pray. He really didn’t have to be there
    . He was no longer my Pastor but he did it because he was a dedicated Christian. I thanked him for that and since have respected him. My prayers are with Christine, David and Jessica for comfort at this time of loss.

    Leigh Fahel

    Liked by 2 people

  6. This is an excerpt of the eulogy that Matt’s good friend Brian Vanden Brink wrote for the members of Chestnut Street Baptist Church in Maine.

    “Earlier this week, a faithful minister of the gospel and longtime friend of some of us here at CSBC went home to be with the Lord. Matt Kantrowitz died Wednesday morning after years of suffering with medical problems. Matt was the Protestant chaplain at the Maine State Prison for almost 20 years and interim pastor at CSBC for some time when we were between ministers. He and his wife Chris moved to New Hampshire several years ago where he continued to minister to inmates in the county jail near where they lived. When his physical problems began to restrict his mobility, he faithfully wrote letters to men he had ministered to for years and encouraged them to stay close to the Lord. He never stopped his ministry until he died. Matt loved the Lord and it showed in how he cared for his flock, primarily the prison inmate.

    “I remember the first time I met Matt. It happened to be his first day on the job at Maine State Prison in Thomaston. Must have been in the early 1980’s. I was a religious volunteer and was at the prison for the communion service on the first Sunday of the month. CSBC has had a long history of ministry at the prison and I was one of three volunteers from our church that day. From that first day, he came with a passion to build a Christian community in the prison and he never lost that commitment. A former drug addict himself, miraculously saved and brought into freedom, Matt had a passion to reach those bound in the slavery of addiction. He knew what it was like to be on the bottom, and he had a heart for those who were still there. He loved to tell the Biblical story of the prodigal son, and share with his men that he himself was just like that son, but the Father welcomed him home after years of prodigal living and lovingly brought him back into His family.

    “Matt was a model for me in how to stay faithful in the ministry, and I’m going to miss him very much. In reflecting on his life this passage in 2 Timothy 4: 6-7 comes to mind:

    “For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time has come for my departure. I have fought the good fight. I have finished the race, I have kept the faith…”


    Liked by 2 people

  7. Randy Kalfus says:

    So sorry for your loss. Matthew was a classmate of mine in both Jr. High School and Andrew Warde H. S. In Fairfield. In fact he was in my home room all 4 years. We had some great times together. I remember Matt as a very funny, satirical, intelligent guy. May he Rest In Peace.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Jerry Milbauer says:

      I knew Matt all the way back to grammar school, and we were particularly close in high school and in the years of young adulthood when we were both floundering and trying to find our way. We certainly had our share of misadventures as well as good times. One night during the summer after high school while we were sitting in my car in Matt’s driveway engaged in one of our long meandering conversations we decided on a whim to drive to Boston. Matt was the impetuous one, but as often happened, I encouraged him. In Boston we went to a Beatles movie, and afterwards we pranced and danced around Boston Commons as if we were members of the Fab Four ourselves. Ah, youth.
      I distinctly remember the conversation we had when he proudly and excitedly announced, “I’m a Jesus freak.” He invited me to visit him at His Mansion, at which time he renounced his Doors albums, so I knew he was serious. And, although the misadventures continued for some years afterwards, he really was serious. I think one would have had to have known Matt back to then to appreciate the change that took place in him once his religion took hold. Maybe it wasn’t a change so much as the emergence of a calmer, stabler, more rooted Matt. Thankfully, enough of the old Matt remained to enable he and I to continue our friendship and ability to communicate right up to the present.
      I have many many memories of Matt, good and not-so-good, but for some reason this one comes to mind. We must have been in Junior High School. Several of us were standing around the schoolyard, while Matt tried to convince us that if a person jumped up in the air, despite all previous evidence to the contrary, there was always the possibility that this time he might not come down. Matt was earnest and at our urging, he jumped up several times and- of course- each time he came back down. (As I’m sure he knew he would.) But as usual, his philosophy was sound; you can’t always count on previous experience.
      Rest in peace dear friend. You have my undying love and admiration.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Bob Schwartz says:

        Jerry’s reminiscences of a trip to Boston reminded me of a similar trip during Matt’s years at Brown. I have no idea why, but it was shortly after midnight that Matt decided we absolutely had to find an all-night deli in Manhattan where we could get pastrami sandwiches on rye bread. We somehow prevailed on our classmate Paul Meyers (a roommate of mine as well as my own high school friend) to drive us to NYC in his VW Beetle, and off we went. Easy enough. No one else on I-95, so we made it down to New York, bought sandwiches, ate them in the car, and made it back to Providence in time for morning classes. I don’t remember what we talked about in the car but I do remember that we had a jolly time. The most surprising thing about all of it was that Paul agreed to do it at all, as he and Matt were not particularly close and Paul especially was not one to entertain spontaneous half-baked ideas.

        And now I’m remembering all the Saturday nights when Matt began the evening without a date and went out to find one. The practice was known as “street meeting” (or “street meating” to be crude) and Matt was the best there was. He always managed to get some young lady to come hang out with him for the evening. I don’t know if it was his infectious smile or his gift of gab, but Matt was a veritable genius at it. Is it okay in this #MeToo era to call him a chick magnet?

        I also mentioned in an earlier post how ferocious Matt was at intramural sports. I saw this when a big Providence snowfall became an excuse to organize a tackle football game on the College Green. No one was going to get hurt falling on the ground with all that snow, but Matt was an unstoppable fullback charging ahead and gaining ground simply by crashing with abandon into everyone in his way. No subtle attempt to tackle him was successful, and none of us intramural touch football players were really aware of how hard-hitting it was necessary to be to tackle anyone who was large, strong, and determined. So, there was Matt, completely delighted with himself and laughing the whole time. How could you not love the guy?

        I did see Matt freak out one time. He and I and Larry Weissman (another roommate) met in Manhattan one evening for dinner during a school vacation. Larry came from Brooklyn on the subway and I took a train to the City from my Westchester County hometown, but Matt drove to the city in the family car. After dinner, as we were driving around, Larry spied a police car and yelled out the window something about PIGS!! It was loud enough that Matt thought they might have heard us, and for a moment Matt appeared to be actually frightened. I believe if he had not been driving he might have tossed Larry out of the car right then and there.

        Liked by 2 people

  8. Julie Engle says:

    Dear Christine, we grieve with you in hearing that Matt went to be with the Lord. We rejoice with you knowing he is now in the arms of his savior Jesus, running, walking and dancing in Heaven.
    We first met the 2 of you,, Jessica and David in Beverly MA in the early 80’s. Then again in NH at His Mansion with Robin and Jim Heimburger when we lived in Peterborough.
    The next time we met you yet again was in Maine at the Baptist Church in Camden where we were vacationing. It seemed like we kept bumping into you two.
    Matt had a compassionate heart to minister to the prisoners even in his wheelchair. And Chris you have been his faithful wife through his horrible illness. We have always admired the beautiful ministry team you two were.
    May you continue your ministry Chris, wherever the Lord leads you. May we bump into each other again someday unless it’s at the great reunion with the Lord. May the Lord richly bless you, Fondly John and Julie Engle

    Liked by 2 people

  9. – Bob Schwartz, Atlanta GA (Brown University, Class of 1970) says:

    Matthew Michael Kantrowitz was born on July 4, 1949. He entered Brown University at age 17, in August of 1966. The practice then was to put first-year students together in dormitories based on something they had in common. As far as I know, every Jewish freshman was paired with a Jewish roommate, prospective varsity athletes were paired with another athlete in their sport, and so on. Our hall was certainly like that, for example:

    420 Poland House — two hockey players
    418 Poland House — two Jews (I was one)
    416 Poland House — two football players
    414 Poland House — two Jews (Matt was one)

    Matt’s life and career path were not what anyone might have expected. His father and brother were lawyers, but Matt was confused as to his direction (as was I). Matt had lots of energy for intramural sports but less for academics. He got heavily into marijuana and other drugs while we were at Brown and eventually left school. He and I were roommates one summer after he had dropped out, and he had his druggie friends over all the time. I know they were shooting up something, because I once stepped on a discarded needle in the living room while walking around the place barefoot. Matt got busted for (I believe) attempting to shoplift narcotics from behind the counter of a pharmacy (while a confederate distracted the pharmacist). He made his one phone call to his cousin Richard, who at that time happened to be the Rhode Island attorney general, and as a first offender he was diverted into drug rehab instead of being incarcerated.

    The program was in Connecticut at a place called HIS Mansion. It was there that Matt came into relationship with Jesus Christ and became a Christian. This was not welcomed by his family, but it was the right thing for Matt. Matt got clean, returned to Brown, and graduated. He met his wife, Chris, and they were married. Two children were born, Jessica first and then David. Matt, and later Chris, enrolled in Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and became ministers. Matt felt a special calling to minister to others who had been involved in drugs, including men who had been incarcerated. This ministry brought him first to Walpole State Prison in Massachusetts, and then to the State of Maine, where he became the Protestant chaplain at the State Prison in Warren while living with his family in neighboring Thomaston. After 18 years there, he retired from the State Prison. He and Chris moved to New Hampshire, where Matt continued his ministry visiting prisoners in local jails and helping prisoners discover a new path, including a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. He continued his ministry right up to the end of his life, even when he was no longer able to walk and had to be transported to the jails in a wheelchair.

    Matt was committed to life as a Christian, while I remained Jewish and in fact was part of a group of LGBTQ folks who founded a new synagogue in Atlanta in 1985. Matt and Chris, and their children, became very supportive of LGBTQ people as Christians. Matt began his private ministry while living in New Hampshire. It was called Isaiah 61 Ministries. (Note that there are other ministries with the same name, both around the United States and around the world.) Matt continued his ministry right up until the end of his life, even when he was living in a wheelchair, and even during the pandemic, when his ability to visit the prisons and prisoners was curtailed.

    Matt was full of life when I met him, and he was full of life right up to the end. He had been an athlete in high school and he was ferocious in intramural sports at Brown. He never lost his great sense of humor, and it’s hard for me to think of him without a grin on his face and a laugh coming from his mouth. He never stopped being a huge fan of Bob Dylan’s music, often quoting Dylan lyrics when we spoke on the phone. In particular, he always seemed to be telling me that I sure had a lot of gall to be so useless and all, muttering small talk at the wall while he was in the hall (Visions of Johanna). We’re all going to die some day, but it was tragic that Matt had to live the last years of his life without the physical vigor he had always possessed. It brings tears to my eyes to think that I’ll never hear his voice again.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Rick and Maureen Madden says:

    We remember when Matt came to His Mansion from Project Renaissance and received Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior. Matt and Robbie Mirkin were two of Rick’s favorite students. We both loved watching them grow in their faith and become servants of God. We have fond memories of meeting Christine and hearing about their ministry over the years. We look forward to our reunion in Heaven. Prayers and blessings to all the family. Rick and Maureen Madden

    Liked by 1 person

  11. David James Petriel says:

    I remember Matt, and for a while, I was his driver to and from the prison. He was always kind, straightforward, and gentle, even when I was obtuse. We enjoyed listening to sermons on the way and listening to Bob Dylan on the way back. It was a good time, and I am happy to have known him. Christine, if you need a friend or a shoulder to cry on, I’m always here.

    Soli Deo Gloria

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Rich Wellman says:

    Matt is a remarkable man who understood his depravity and his salvation like none I have known. His heart for God and His heart for the Lord are an incredible legacy left for us all. I will miss his newsletters. He has left an impact on this world like few leave when they go Home.


    Liked by 1 person

  13. Some memories folks have left on Facebook:
    Bo Twitty:
    “He was an amazing man! I met him almost 10 years ago when I was in darkest place and his love for the lord was the light that brought me out of the darkness. I will always be grateful for his impact on my life.”
    Jan Misarski:
    “So sorry to hear. He was an amazing man. My brother Robbie who went home to Jesus is August led him and your mom to Jesus. I met your dad at His Mansion when my family visited and brought meals there I was a teenager at the time. Give your mom a hug.”
    Spencer Hill:
    “I will never forget my time with he and Christine at His Mansion. Matt truly loved his fellow man and lived earnestly for Christ. Rest In Peace, brother”
    Jay S. Marks:
    “I was privileged to be related to your Dad – your grandparents Beatrice and Ralph Kantrowitz were my great aunt and uncle. I very much admired your Dad’s mission to bring hope to the forgotten. May his memory be a blessing.”
    Irina Faith:
    “I am so sorry for your loss all my prayers are with you and your family. He was a kind hearted man and a gentle soul full of wisdom. RIP Matt”
    Ken Mitchell”
    “Sorry for your loss. Matt was an amazing man of God. He served as an interm pastor of my church while he was still the chaplain at the Maine State Prison. He is the one who initially peaked my interest in prison ministry which I got involved with several years later. He would share how God would change the lives of men, which society had written off, after their encounter with Jesus, the Messiah. I know that many men that would not have been there will be standing with him in heaven because of his dedication to the cause of Christ. It was a privilege to know him. Now he is no longer suffering but is with Jesus.”
    Laurie Sharon Hambleton Hunt:
    “I am so very sorry for your loss. A truly fine man with a heart for God.”
    Fay Murphy:
    “Oh Jessica & Chris 💕 I am so sorry for your loss. Matt was a wonderful man of God and it was a privilege to do church services at Supermax in Warren with him back in the years. Matt’s Communion services in there were the most amazing ones I have ever seen. And the baptisms. God bless your family”
    Ellen Esposito:
    “I’m sorry for your loss. I haven’t seen Matt in at least 50 years, since high school. We reconnected on Facebook. I didn’t know he was Ill. He did tell me how he became a Christian. I followed his work here. It seemed as if he was a true Christian, unlike so many who claim to be. I’m so sorry. A loss for many.”
    Jay Hardy:
    “Sorry for your families loss. Matt was the pastor at South Main St. Church when I started going to church and walked me to a relationship with Jesus. So thankful for that. i haven’t seen him since he left South Main St. Look forward to seeing him in heaven”
    Joyce Stein:
    “Well done good and faithful servant! he will be so missed touched so many lives inclueding mine.”
    William Delgado
    “Oh wow so sorry for your lost .I was such in dark dark place at one time in my life .And he was such a bright light and he gave me comfort and guidance. wish I connected with him more .may he rest in peace”

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Jim Spence says:

    I had the honor of being Matt’s Ministry Supervisor when he was a student at Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary. Matt was sure of his salvation through the shed blood of his Savior and Lord Jesus Christ. He was also sure of his calling to be a Prison Chaplain. He remembered God’s grace to him in lifting him out of the mirery clay and placing him on the Rock, Christ Jesus. He was excited to join me at MCI Walpole to experience sharing the Gospel with prisoners young and old, isolated or in general population.
    Throughout his post graduate years, his ordination, his chaplaincy and his difficult years of painful, determined service as a disabled volunteer, both in and out of prison, Matt gave his all in fulfilling his calling.
    I know that he was welcomed Home by his Savior to the words we would all want to hear: ” Well done good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of your Lord.”

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Michelle Arnold Paine says:

    Dave, I am sorry to hear of the loss of your father, and sorry that you are not able to gather together at this time to celebrate his life. I did not know your father but am very blessed to read here of his powerful ministry and love for those in prison. Blessings to your family,

    Liked by 2 people

  16. Susan Goulet says:

    When I think of Matt, I will always remember how moved he was by the promises of scripture, and how palpable his love was for Jesus, our Great God and Savior. Matt is now fully healed and rejoicing in His presence.

    Liked by 2 people

  17. Susan Goulet says:

    When I think of Matt, I will always remember how moved he was by the promises of scripture, and how palpable his love was for Jesus, our Great God and Savior. Matt is now fully healed and rejoicing in His presence. May God’s comfort be with you, Chris, and your children.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Grant Winnes says:

    I met Matt when he came to speak at Haystack Fellowship, a monthly gathering at our church that focused on Missions, Worship, and Prayer. The thing that stood out to me that night, and every encounter I’ve had with him since then (including his newsletters!), is his total saturation with the Bible and his love for the men he ministered to in prison. He discipled one of the men in our own church, who continues to carry on the legacy of prison ministry by simply bringing a Bible study, and allowing the Word of God do the work of ministry.

    Liked by 2 people

  19. Larry Marshall says:

    When I first met Matt at my church, I was so inspired by his love for God’s word. He spoke that night about his prison ministry, and his talk was peppered with Scripture. God bless for his wonderful example-truly a man of God!

    Liked by 2 people

  20. Seth Kantrowitz says:

    Dear cousin, Many are the happy days we spent together as children and into young adulthood. I worried about you, but when you introduced me to Chris, I new you would be well. Look for Danny.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Ed Kalish says:

    Dear Chris and Family, I am so sorry to hear about Matt’s passing. I first met him in the 90s at the Thomaston State Prison. We had a lot of contact back then. I came to your home there, Chris, in town. Matt introduced me to several prisoners, especially Richard, who remained a friend for many years. Richard was sentenced for life. I was able to visit him periodically, and his wife always called me in response. Matt’s mailings regarding prisoners in NH were very informative. I also miss him greatly. Chris, Linda and I will be praying for you. Yours always in Christ our Lord, Ed Kalish.

    Liked by 1 person

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