St. Mary Orthodox Church

Cambridge, MA

Update for the week Friday, January 22, through Thursday, January 28, 2010



YOUTH DAY - The first ever Diocesan Youth Day,  Call of Duty - Plan from God,  is this 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


HELP FOR HAITI - Another Archdiocese Collection will be taken for Haitian Relief this Sunday. Please be generous, and make all checks payable to  St. Mary Church and ear-marked “Haitian Relief.”  Also,  you can contribute electronically through St. Mary’s using your eGive account.  Just put “Haiti” under the gift breakdown.  For instructions on how to set up an eGive account, e-mail Charlie Marge (

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, this  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: 


NO FASTING:  There is NO Fasting or Abstinence from meats and dairy products during this week (the week after reading of the Pharisee and the Publican).

PARISH COUNCIL – The officers of the Parish Council for 2010, elected this week, are Ray Sayeg, President; Andrew Bargoot, Vice President; Nick Bezreh, Treasurer;  Melissa Nassiff, Recording Secretary; and Renay DiFiore, Corresponding Secretary.  The 2010 Parish Council will be sworn in this Sunday, January 22, during Liturgy.

OCF REAL BREAK – This spring break, change lives! Orthodox Christian Fellowship sponsors projects in many countries during college spring break – see

FSJD RETREAT - The Diocese of Worcester Fellowship of St. John the Divine announces a one-day retreat featuring Fr. Michael Nasser, on Saturday, February 20, at St. Mary Pawtucket. The schedule will include worship, lunch and fellowship. A donation of $10 is requested for attendance.  For details see  or contact Joe Samra at

OFFICE CLOSED – Marilyn is out of the office January 22 through 29. 

MEMORY ETERNAL - Michael Clampitt, father of Holly Clampitt and Ashley Purpura, fell asleep in the Lord on Thursday, January 14.  Funeral Services were held on Monday, January 18,  at St. Catherine Greek Orthodox Church  in Melbourne, FL.  Donations may be made in his memory to St. Thekla's Monastery at Antiochian Village.    Notes of condolence can be sent to Ashley Purpura, 2532 Bathgate Avenue 1-D, Bronx, NY 10458 or to Holly Clampitt, 16 Wait St. 1F, Boston, MA 02120


PRAY FOR JAMIL  SAMARA- To keep up with the progress of Jamil’s recovery from 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:

PRE-LENTEN RETREAT – The Antiochian Women of the Diocese of Worcester and New England will sponsor a pre-Lenten retreat next  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 next Sunday, January 31, after Liturgy to approve the Year 2010 Budget, review expenses for 2009 and hear committee reports and updates.  The meeting is expected to be brief, and it is important that all members  attend.  Snow date is Sunday, February 14.

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 . 

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.

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.

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).  If you can help with any food donations or if you can help serving, contact Mitrophan.   RSVP to Nelson Mitrophan Chin at by Wednesday, February  10.

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 ( If you are signing up for e-Giving, please return your unused 2010 envelopes. 

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 23


Sunday, January 24:   Epistle:   ;  Left Cloth: Teva Regule and Linda Arnold;  Right Cloth:   and    ;  Left Bread: Maggie Arnold;  Right Bread: Melissa Nassiff


Sunday, December 24:  The Medwar Family


Saturday, January 23:  NO Vespers at St. Mary

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


Epistle:  St. Paul's Second Letter to Timothy 3:10-15

Timothy, my son, you have observed my teaching, my conduct, my aim in life, my faith, my patience, my love, my steadfastness, my persecutions, my sufferings …; yet from them all the Lord rescued me.

Gospel:  Luke 18:10-14

The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, "God, I thank you that I am not like other men, … "  But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, "God, be merciful to me a sinner!"


Saturday, January 30:  Great Vespers 5:00 pm

Sunday, January 31:  Orthros 8:45 am; Divine Liturgy 10:00 am; Church School lesson 12; Annual Parish Meeting

Sunday, February 7:  Meatfare Sunday

Sunday, February 14,  Cheesefare Sunday:   Chinese New Year Breakfast;  no Church School; Forgiveness Vespers

Monday, February 15:  Great Lent begins


Do not judge one another, for you transgress the evangelical law, and "every transgression and disobedience received a just retribution" (Heb. 2:2). "Who are you to pass judgment on the servant of another?" (Rom. 14:4). Do you not know that the one who passes judgment goes astray through pride, and that everyone who exalts himself will be humbled (Luke 14:11) by the Lord, when temptation seizes him?

   - Elder Ephraim of Philotheou Mount Athos, "Counsels from the Holy Mountain"

Repentance is the renewal of baptism. Repentance is a contract with God for a second life. A penitent is a buyer of humility. Repentance is constant distrust of bodily comfort. Repentance is self-condemning reflection, and carefree self-care. Repentance is the daughter of hope and the renunciation of despair. A penitent is an undisgraced convict. Repentance is reconciliation with the Lord by the practice of good deeds contrary to the sins. Repentance is purification of conscience. Repentance is the voluntary endurance of all afflictions. A penitent is the inflicter of his own punishments. Repentance is a mighty persecution of the stomach, and a striking of the soul into vigorous awareness.

   - St. John Climacus, Ladder of Divine Ascent, Step 5

There are certain kinds of trees which never bear any fruit as long as their branches stay up straight, but if stones are hung on the branches to bend them down they begin to bear fruit. So it is with the soul. When it is humbled it begins to bear fruit, and the more fruit it bears the lowlier it becomes. So also the saints; the nearer they get to God, the more they see themselves as sinners.

   - St. Dorotheos of Gaza, Discourses and Sayings

The Holy Spirit gives true humility. Even the most intelligent people, if they do not possess the Holy Spirit, cannot know themselves well enough, because their internal illness and spiritual poverty are hidden from them. When they do something good or act honestly, they become haughty, look down on others, and even judge those who in their opinion are inferior to them. Through their own blindness, many self-satisfied falsely righteous ones did not ask the Holy Spirit for guidance and strengthening, and consequently, perished. The Holy Spirit always comes to those who ask for enlightenment and help. As a bright ray of sun penetrates the darkness, enhancing the smallest details found within, so does the Holy Spirit, having descended upon people, disclose to them all the weakness and wretchedness of their soul. Enlightened by the Heavenly light, Christians can no longer boast about their good works, because they realize their soul needs healing and complete renewal. This realization makes them more humble, and they begin to repent and decide to live more carefully. They stop relying on themselves and ask God for guidance and help.

   - St. Innocent of Irkutsk, Indication of the Way Into the Kingdom of Heaven

… Yea, O Lord and King, grant me to see my own errors and not to judge my brother; For Thou art blessed unto ages of ages. Amen.

   - St. Ephrem the Syrian