St. Mary Orthodox Church

Cambridge, MA

Update for the week Friday, January 15, through Thursday, January 21, 2010



PRAYER MEETING FOR JAMIL SAMARA - There will be a gathering of people to pray for Jamil at St. Mary’s Church this Friday, January 15, from 6:30 till 8:00 pm.  We will pray for his continued healing, for the strength of his family, and for the wisdom of his doctors, nurses and multiple caregivers attending to him.  Drop in any time between 6:30 and 8:00 pm,  or stay for the whole time.

To keep up with the progress of Jamil’s fight against Necrotizing Fasciitis, you can visit the Facebook page that has been created for this purpose and is being updated regularly. You do not need to have a Facebook account to view it:


TEEN SOYO DANCEThe  Diocesan TEEN SOYO is sponsoring a Winter Wonderland Sock Hop (Dance) this  Saturday, January 16, 2010 at St. Mary Church Hall, Cambridge.  Vespers at 5:00 pm with the Dance 6:00–9:00 pm.  Ages:  7th – 12th Grades.  Refreshments will be served.  Donation:  $3 per teen AND one pair of new, packaged socks to be donated to the City of Cambridge Sock Drive for the Homeless.  Bring your friends!  A special DJ will be on hand to mix some great tunes!  Parents should plan to arrive at 9:00 pm for pick-up.  Your Host:  St. Mary, Cambridge  Teen SOYO.


HAITI EARTHQUAKE - For those interested in helping immediately, simply text "HAITI" to "90999" and a donation of $10 will be given automatically to the Red Cross to help with relief efforts, charged to your cell phone bill. See

Also,  International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC) has mobilized its disaster response team and is coordinating with its Orthodox and ecumenical partners to monitor and respond to the emerging needs in Haiti. You can help the victims of disasters around the world, like the Haiti Earthquake, by making a financial gift to the IOCC International Emergency Response Fund, which will provide immediate relief as well as long-term support through the provision of emergency aid, recovery assistance and other support to help those in need. To make a gift, please visit, call toll free at 1-877-803-IOCC (4622), or mail a check or money order payable to IOCC, P.O. Box 630225, Baltimore, Md. 21263-0225. 

PARISH COUNCIL – The next meeting of the Parish Council will be Wednesday, January 20, at 7:30 pm.

FR. ANTONY AWAY - Fr. Antony will be away from Monday, January 18 through Wednesday, January 20.  In case of emergency, contact Fr. Timothy Ferguson at St. George Church, West Roxbury:  617-323-0323.

OFFICE CLOSED – Marilyn will be out of the office January 22 through 29.  Early deadline for the Sunday Bulletins for January 24 and January 31 will be Wednesday, January 20, at noon.

TALK ON THE MIDDLE EAST - St. Paul Church, Harvard Square, Cambridge, presents Rev. Raymond G. Helmick S.J., Professor of Conflict Resolution at Boston College, on Sunday, January 24, from 3:30 – 5:00 pm. His topic will be “Policy & Attitudes of the Church on the Middle East.” Q & A Session and Reception to follow.  This event will be held at St. Paul ’s DiGiovanni Hall, 29 Mt. Auburn, St., Cambridge.  For directions: 

TEEN SOYO PARTY - St. George Teen SOYO is hosting a Souper Bowl Party on February 7th at 6:00 pm. The teens at St. John's Church in Dedham as well as St. Mary's in Cambridge are welcome!  Please bring  a canned good to donate to IOCC's Souper Bowl of Caring and a snack to share, we will provide sandwiches, drinks and the football game!  Once all the canned goods are collected, the teens of St. George will deliver them to a local food bank.


ORDER OF ST. IGNATIUS - St. Ignatius Holiday Gathering will be on Sunday January 31, 2010  from 2:00 to 6:00 pm at Four Points Sheraton Hotel, Norwood .  Please join us in welcoming Mother Alexandra, Abbess of the Convent of St. Thekla at the Antiochian Village , who  will be our special guest. Cost is $50 (checks payable to St. Ignatius)  Please RSVP by January 18, 2010 to Debbie Laham, 16 Kilronan Rd. , Westwood , MA  02090  781-326-1648

YOUTH DAY - The first ever Diocesan Youth Day,  Call of Duty - Plan from God,  is next Saturday, January 23, at Saint George Cathedral in Worcester .  Discover what a difference YOU can make in the life of the Church.  There will be workshops, speakers (Archdeacon Seraphim and Deacon Nick), food, fun, basketball and more. It is for guys and gals from fourth grade through high school. The day begins at 9:30 am and runs through 3:30 pm.  Check with your Teen SOYO advisor for details or contact Greg Abdalah at

PRE-LENTEN RETREAT – The Antiochian Women of the Diocese of Worcester and New England will sponsor a pre-Lenten retreat on Saturday, January 30, at St. George Church, Norwood. Featured speaker will be  Mother Alexandra, Abbess of the Convent of Saint Thekla at Antiochian Village .  Topic:  “BACK TO THE FUTURE with St. Ignatius:  Then IS Now!”

Registration:  $15.00 per person.    Make checks payable to: “Antiochian Women – DOWNE” and mail registration form (from the Bulletin) and check to Erin Kimmett, 17 Austin St. , Norwood , MA  02062, by January 20.  Men, Women & Teens are welcome!

PARISH MEETING – The Annual Meeting of the Parish will be held Sunday, January 31, after Liturgy.  The meeting is expected to be brief, and it is important that all members  attend.  Snow date is Sunday, February 14.

LENTEN FOOD SALE - The Women's Club is now taking orders for Hoomos (hummus), Mjadara (lentils with rice), and Spinach Triangles.  Please use the order form in the Sunday bulletin. Order deadline is Sunday, February 7.   Hoomos and Mjadara will be ready for pickup on Sunday, February 14.  Spinach Triangles will be ready on Sunday, February 21.  If you would like to help cook, join us on Saturday, February 20,  at 9:30 a.m.

MEATFARE SUNDAY BREAKFAST - The annual Meatfare Sunday Breakfast sponsored by  the Fellowship of St. John the Divine will be  Sunday, February 7. Suggested Donation:  $7 per person, $14 per family. Proceeds will help support the many activities of the Fellowship at St. Mary's, including the annual Lessons and Carols and potluck supper; Learning in Lent lecture series; Wednesday evening potluck suppers after Pre-Sanctified Liturgies during Lent; the annual Father John vonHolzhausen lecture; Coffee House ministry; coffee hours and special meals;  this weekly St. Mary Update e-mail newsletter; and much more.

CHINESE NEW YEAR BREAKFAST – The annual Chinese New Year Missions Breakfast, sponsored by the Fellowship of St. John the Divine,  will be Sunday, February 14, 2010 (Cheesefare Sunday).  Watch for further details.

SUMMER CAMP AT ANTIOCHIAN VILLAGE - Registration has begun. Camp serves young people ages 9 – 17.  Take advantage of Early-Bird Registration by paying in full before March 1.   Camp Dates :  Session 1: June 20 – July 2 or June 20 – 27 (one week);  Session 2: July 4 – 16; Session 3: July 18 – 30; and Session 4: Aug. 1 – 13.  See for details.

CROSSROADS - CrossRoad Summer Institute is an exciting summer vocation exploration program designed to help students  (high school Juniors & Seniors) discern their life callings and match their God-given gifts with the needs of the world.  Applications are now being accepted for two sessions – due to space limitations, apply by March 1 for first consideration.  Download application and  view video clip at:

BLESSING OF HOMES – Fr. Antony will be blessing homes after Epiphany (January 6)  and between Pascha (April 4) and Pentecost (May 23).  We bless homes to reveal the home as what God created it to be, a way to heaven; to rid the home of every evil;  to show that the family is a small church unit in Christ; to consecrate the home and all activity in it to God; and to fill the home and all who live in it with the fullness of God.  To schedule the blessing of your home, please use the form in the weekly Bulletin or call the church office at 617 547-1234.

WELCOME TO  E-GIVING! - St. Mary’s is pleased to announce that in 2010, parishioners will have the option to fulfill their pledge through electronic funds transfer (EFT).  No more envelopes, remembering to write checks, etc.   If you are interested in learning more about this program, please e-mail Charlie Marge (

ENVELOPES AND CALENDARS - 2010 Offering Envelopes are ready for pickup outside the Church Office.  Look for your names carefully in alphabetical order.  Remember:  if you have chosen to pay periodically, you have not been assigned weekly envelopes.  If you wish to change your payment arrangements, call Marilyn Robbat in the Church Office at 617-547-1234 Tuesday - Friday.   Church Calendars are also available for pickup – one per family, please.

CHURCH RESTORATION PROJECT - We are about to embark on another phase of restoration of the church.  This next phase, which will focus on the exterior of the church including work on the foundation,  roofing, siding, and exterior trim, will begin in Spring 2010.  More details to follow – please see Raymond Sayeg or Mary Winstanley O’Connor about contributing to this restoration project.

FIRST IN, LAST OUT – Please do not park in the small lot behind the church unless you intend to stay through the end of coffee hour. The only way out is the single lane driveway, which is sometimes blocked by other cars.  Please pull all the way in to the parking space, and please do not block the driveway – if the lot is full, please park on the street or in the lot at the corner of Prospect Street and Bishop Allen Drive.


There are a number of ways you can help the Church, your fellow worshippers and those in need.  Consider serving in one of these ways:


Liturgical Service - Each Sunday, members of the congregation are needed to read the Epistle and assist during Communion by holding the Communion Cloths and Holy Bread Baskets.  All Orthodox Christians in the Parish are welcome and encouraged to participate. We usually need one Epistle reader and six people to hold cloths and baskets.  If you would like to read the Epistle or assist during Communion, please contact Jeff Wasilko, 781-820-0882,

Coffee Hour – People are needed every week to provide coffee, juice and cookies, or more if desired, and set it up Sunday morning. To sign up for an available Sunday, please put your name on the signup sheet on the bulletin board outside the Hall or call Marilyn Robbat in the Parish Office and she will write your name in. If you need any help with figuring out what to bring or do, check the list below the signup sheet (also printed in the Bulletin), or ask Marilyn at or 617-547-1234.


Holy Resurrection Open Doors - The Holy Resurrection Open Door Meal Ministry in Allston needs volunteers every Monday evening (there is a special need in the summer).  The official hours of the project are 4:30 pm-7:30 pm, but it is fine to come anytime and leave any time.  Best times would be 5:30-5:45 to 7:15-7:30 pm.  You can serve meals, coffee and tea to the people who arrive for dinner (6-7 pm) or just stay behind the scenes doing set-up and clean-up.  It is a very rewarding, hands-on, face-to-face way to serve the community with (mostly) other Orthodox Christians—we even chant the Our Father together before the meal begins. Church info can be found at    Questions? Please contact Liz Straghalis at  phone 617-974-5005,  or Tiffany Conroy at

St Paul’s Food Pantry - Two to four volunteers help each week in the food pantry at St Paul 's Roman Catholic Church in Harvard Square , Saturday mornings from 9:30-11:45.  If you are interested in helping, please contact Christian Alcala at, or (617) 876-5684.


Food and Clothing – The Food for Hungry People canned food drive continues through December 27, 2009 – see Reminders, above.  Bring  in canned goods to the Church and place them in the large, blue plastic containers outside the Church Office. 

- Holy Resurrection in Allston takes donations of non-perishable food items and clothing to distribute at the Open Door Ministry on Monday evenings.  You can bring your donations by on Monday nights between 4:30 pm and 7:30 pm or contact Tiffany Conroy,, for more information.

- St. Paul ’s Food Pantry in Harvard Square , where volunteers from St. Mary help every Saturday, depends upon regular donations of canned and packaged foods.  To help, contact Christian Alcala at, or (617) 876-5684.

Monetary Contributions – The Agape Canister Program is an Orthodox non-profit development program of the Orthodox Christian Mission Center .  It is dedicated to meeting the needs of children, families, and communities throughout the world, regardless of race, color, or creed. All funds collected by the Agape Canister Program are earmarked for medical care and clinics, water wells, agricultural development, food and clothing, support personnel (e.g. doctors, nurses, teachers), the construction of schools, and the education of indigenous people in their own communities.  Please contribute each Sunday — A clear plastic box is on the Bengarri.

"As you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me," says our Lord.



January 16:  John Rodriguez, Maggie Arnold, and Eric Ayoub


Sunday, January 17:   Epistle: Anthony Marge;  Left Cloth: Maggie Arnold and Rose Njuguna;  Right Cloth: Melissa Nassiff and    ;  Left Bread: Linda Arnold;  Right Bread: Anthony Mabardy


Sunday, December 17:  The Marge Family


Saturday, January 16:  Great Vespers 5:00 pm

Sunday, January 17:  Orthros 8:45 am; Divine Liturgy 10:00 am;  Church School Lesson 10


Epistle:  St. Paul's Letter to the Hebrews 13:17-21

Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great Shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, equip you with everything good that you may do His will, working in you that which is pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

Gospel:  Luke 19:1-10

… And Jesus said to him, "Today salvation has come to this house, since he also is a son of Abraham. For the Son of man came to seek and to save the lost."


Saturday, January 23:  NO Vespers at St. Mary

Sunday, January 24:  Orthros 8:45 am; Divine Liturgy 10:00 am; Church School lesson 11

Sunday, February 7:  Meatfare Sunday

Sunday, February 14:  Cheesefare Sunday – Chinese New Year Breakfast;  Forgiveness Vespers

Monday, February 15:  Great Lent begins


Everyone is in the Lord's power, and Christ is all things to us. If you desire to heal your wounds, he is your doctor; if you are on fire with fever, he is your fountain; if you are burdened with iniquity, he is your justification; if you need help, he is your strength; if you fear death, he is your life; if you desire heaven, he is your way; if you are fleeing from darkness, he is your light; if you are seeking food, he is your nourishment: Taste and see that the Lord is good. Happy is the man who takes refuge in him.

   - St. Ambrose of Milan

Prayer is a harbor in the storms of life, an anchor for those who are storm-tossed, the treasure of the poor, the security of the rich, the healing of the sick, the preservation of health. Prayer banishes evil things, and preserves the good.

   - St. John Chrysostom

O Lord Jesus Christ our God, who didst heal the leper, give sight to the blind, cause the deaf to hear, cease the hemorrhage of the faithful woman, sent away the fever of the son of the centurion, cast out demons, give speech to the mute, restore the man with the withered hand, and taught the lame to walk; through the intercessions of the Theotokos and all Thy saints do now pour out Thy loving mercy on Thy servant Jamil. Protect him with Thy holy angels from every adverse power, and raise him up from pain and sickness so that he may once again sing to Thee with his tongue, praise Thee with his whole heart, and with his entire being glorify Thee, together with Thy Father who is from ever-lasting, and Thine all-good and life-giving Spirit, now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen.

O holy Father, heavenly Physician of our souls and bodies, who hast sent thine Only-begotten Son Our Lord Jesus Christ to heal all our ailments and deliver us from death: do thou visit and heal thy suffering servants in Haiti, granting them release from pain and restoration to health and vigor, that they may give thanks unto thee and bless thy holy Name, Amen.