Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown Community Remembers Matteo Sachman at Memorial Mass

The Georgetown University community honored the life of Matthew “Matteo” Sachman in a memorial mass at the Dahlgren Chapel of the Sacred Heart Feb. 27, remembering him as “lighthearted,” “goofy” and “larger-than-life.”

Sachman, a first-year in the College of Arts and Sciences, died in an accident in the New York City subway system Jan. 1. At the memorial, Sachman’s father Stephen Sachman and godfather Sebastian Stubbe read passages from the Book of Isaiah and the Book of John, respectively, before Fr. Mark Bosco, S.J., the university’s vice president of mission and ministry, delivered a homily paying tribute to Sachman’s faith, friendly nature and curiosity.

Ansel Scholl (CAS ’27), Sachman’s roommate, who spoke at the memorial alongside other of Sachman’s close friends, described Sachman as a generous, empathetic friend. 

“No matter the situation, Matteo did everything within his power to help you out and solve your struggle,” Scholl said at the memorial. “Whether it was sharing his time, energy, even his food, he would do so without a second thought.” 

Scholl said Sachman was enthusiastic and spontaneous, traits reflected in his tendency to collect and treasure random items he found around campus. He said Sachman brought items like a stop sign, a table from the Healey Family Student Center (HFSC), a seven-by-five-foot whiteboard and a fake tree into their shared dorm for fun. 

“While his fun-loving and gregarious nature is summed up in our somewhat eccentric furnishings, the feeling of home Matteo imbued on all of those around him extended far beyond these physical manifestations,” Scholl said. “Every day, Matteo committed himself to making sure those he met, no matter how long you might have known him for, felt like they belonged.” 

In his homily, Bosco said Sachman was a person of deep faith and a frequent attendee at Sunday Masses in Dahlgren Chapel.

“It’s right that we honor Matteo’s life here on the Hilltop, in this sacred place, Dahlgren Chapel, a place where Matteo felt spiritual nourishment while he was at Georgetown,” Bosco said at the memorial. “We honor him at this mass, placing our affection for Matteo within a larger cosmic kind of celebration of the triumph, of faith, of hope — the triumph, especially, of love.”

Bosco said he will treasure his memories of Sachman. 

“I remember meeting with him shortly after his arrival,” Bosco said. “I remember the short hellos outside of Leo’s, his curiosity about our Magis immersion trips, his quick wave of the hand after a Sunday Mass.”

Members of the Georgetown community gathered at Dahlgren Chapel Feb. 27 to remember and honor Matteo Sachman. (Paulina Inglima/The Hoya)

“Indeed, when I remember those, and what I want to always remember, is his curiosity that he had about life, especially about life here on campus,” Bosco added.

Liam Painter (SFS ’27), one of Sachman’s close friends, said Sachman was an energetic friend whose sense of humor and devotion to his friends deeply touched him.

“Matteo was a very special person—someone who stays in your life long, long after they’re gone,” Painter said at the memorial. “He brought so much joy to Georgetown, but also to everywhere he went. His presence was all-encompassing, his laughter and his smile contagious.”

“He was a figure that really felt larger than life and will live on in my memories, my laughter and my tears,” Painter added.

Painter said Matteo’s loving personality was contagious. 

“Matteo was someone with a large and open heart,” Painter said. “He loved unconditionally and effortlessly. When you were with him, it was impossible not to bask in his warmth, in his joy and in his spirit.”

Sam Perlman (CAS ’27), another of Sachman’s close friends, said Sachman would always comfort his friends when they felt sad or overwhelmed by saying, “But you’re just a little guy!”

“To this day when I’m feeling overwhelmed or I find myself overthinking, I can hear Matteo’s voice reminding me that I’m just a little guy,” Perlman said at the memorial. “And then, next thing I know, I’m smiling at whatever had been on my mind. A friend like that, who still lightens my mood even as he’s not here, isn’t an everyday thing.” 

Bosco said he first met Sachman after Sachman, then in high school in New York, emailed him and asked to meet for coffee. 

“I was most impressed that a high schooler would have the boldness to email a Jesuit, get together with him out of the blue, meet up with him and spend an hour in a very deep conversation,” Bosco said. 

Bosco said the sadness he feels at Sachman’s death strengthens his feelings of joy at remembering Sachman’s life.

“Our joy in knowing Matteo, our joy of living with Matteo is carved out of human sorrow,” Bosco said. “We all have places in our hearts which did not exist yet. And sorrow has entered there, making our hearts bigger now, making our hearts stronger, and that’s making us more compassionate.” 

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About the Contributor
Evie Steele
Evie Steele, Executive Editor
Evie Steele is a sophomore in the SFS from New York, N.Y., studying international politics with minors in international development and Chinese. She has been on TV twice and has been quoted in Deadline once. [email protected]
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