St. Mary Orthodox Church

Cambridge, MA

Update for the week Friday, February 5, through Thursday, February 11, 2010



ORTHODOXY IN CHINA -  Our own Mitrophan Chin will be the featured speaker at a presentation this evening, February 4, at Holy Resurrection Orthodox Church, 62 Harvard Ave., Allston, MA.  His talk, entitled   "Orthodoxy in China: Past, Present and Future, "  is co-sponsored by Holy Resurrection (  and the Orthodox Fellowship of All Saints in China (   Note:  this is the group we support with the proceeds from our Chinese New Year breakfast;  see below).   Vespers at 6:00 pm will be followed by the talk at 7:00 pm. 

OFFICE CLOSED - Marilyn will be out of the office on Thursday and Friday, February 4 & 5, 2010.  The office will reopen Tuesday, February 9.


FR. ANTONY AWAY - Fr. Antony is out of town from Friday through Sunday, February 5 – 7, 2010.  In case of emergency, please contact Fr. Timothy Ferguson at St. George Church, West Roxbury 617-323-0323.


HELP NEEDED - The Fellowship needs  your help with prep work for the Meatfare Sunday breakfast.   Some of our regulars are out of town, so more volunteers than usual are needed. Please come help on Saturday, February 6, starting at 2:00 pm.

NO VESPERS – There will be NO Vespers at St. Mary this Saturday.


GUEST PRIEST - We are pleased to welcome Fr. Evangelos Thiani of Kenya , a student at Holy Cross Theological School , who will be celebrating the Divine Liturgy this Sunday in Fr. Antony’s absence.

MEATFARE SUNDAY BREAKFAST - The annual Meatfare Sunday Breakfast sponsored by  the Fellowship of St. John the Divine will be  this 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.

HELP NEEDED - The Fellowship could use your help with setting up, cooking, and serving the breakfast on Sunday morning starting at 9:00 am.

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 this 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.


WOMEN’S CLUB – The next meeting of the Women’s Club will be next Tuesday, February 9, at 7:30, in the kitchen. All women are welcome.

PARISH COUNCIL The next meeting of the Parish Council will be next Wednesday, February 10, at 7:30, in the small hall next to the kitchen.

PARAKLESIS AND LECTURE – On Friday, February 12, there will be a Paraklesis service at 7:00, followed by the first in a series of lectures ("Orthodoxy 102") presented by David Vermette on "The Problem of Evil" and the Orthodox Tradition.  Future talks in this Learning in Lent series will be on Fridays, February 19 through March 19, after the weekly Akathist service.

FORGIVENESS VESPERS The last thing we do before beginning the Lenten fast is forgive each other, and ask everyone to forgive us.  Join us next Sunday evening, February 14, at 6:00 pm for Forgiveness Vespers.  Lent begins Monday, February 15.

BLOOD DRIVE TO HONOR JAMIL – There will be a blood drive in honor of Jamil Samara at St. George Church, 55 Emmonsdale Road, West Roxbury, on Saturday, February 20, from 9:00 to 3:00.  The blood drive will support transfusion needs at Brigham & Women’s Hospital and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute  All donors must be scheduled ahead of time - call the church office at  617-323-0323 or Sean Santry  617-517-4866 For eligibility and donation questions, please contact  Dylan MacDonagh 617-732-6286  or e-mail

CONGRATULATIONS – Our own Gabrielle Popa, age 8,  has a supporting role in the new Mel Gibson  movie, Edge of Darkness.  Last week she was in Los Angeles for the premier at Grauman's Chinese Theatre – see  Congratulations to Gabi and her parents, Cris and Andrea!


CHINESE NEW YEAR BREAKFAST – The annual Chinese New Year Missions Breakfast, sponsored by the Fellowship of St. John the Divine,  will be next Sunday, February 14, 2010 (Cheesefare Sunday).  If you can help with any food donations or if you can help serving, and to RSVP, please contact Nelson Mitrophan Chin at by Wednesday, February  10.

KEEPING YOUR FAITH IN A CHAOTIC WORLD - 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’s Church, 1 St. Mary Way,  Pawtucket, RI. The schedule will include worship, lunch and fellowship:  9:00 am Matins, 9:45 coffee, 10:00 Session 1, 11:45 lunch, 12:45 Session 2, 2:30 closing. A donation of $10 is requested for attendance, and includes lunch.  For further information contact Joe Samra at

RUSSIAN ICON MUSEUM  - Join a Pilgrimage to the Russian Icon Museum in Clinton, MA  on Saturday February 20 (1st Saturday of Lent).  Meet at St. Mary Russian Orthodox Church, 8 Addison St, Chelsea by 10:00 am (or plan to be at Museum by 11:00 am if you want to go on your own).  Contact Anthony Bernardi for info, and to RSVP, at 617-595-1165.   If you need a ride or can drive others, please let Anthony know how many.  

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:

LENTEN RETREAT AT NEW SKETE – New Skete Monastery is offering a one-day Lenten retreat on Saturday, March 6, entitled, "Lent as Healing."  The day will consist of presentations on the healing potential of the lenten period and include time for discussions, meditation, and reflection.  An opportunity for spiritual direction and sacramental confession will also be available.  A donation of $15 is asked to help cover the expenses for the day.  The number of retreatants is limited and available on a first come, first served basis.  To register for the retreat, contact Robin Hetko at  In addition, the monastery will celebrate the Liturgy of St. James (the ancient rite of Jerusalem) on  that Sunday (March 7).  Those wishing to visit the monastery for the weekend (to take advantage of both opportunities), please contact Teva Regule ( for housing arrangements.

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.

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

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:  Cards and notes can be sent to his house at 34 Bradwood Street, Apt 2; Roslindale MA 02131.

WELCOME TO  E-GIVING! - St. Mary’s is pleased to announce that in 2010, parishioners 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 – Please pick up your 2010  Offering Envelopes, which are  in alphabetical order  on a table outside the Church Office.  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.



Saturday, February 6:  Volunteers are needed each week in the food pantry at St Paul 's Roman Catholic Church in Harvard Square , Saturday mornings from 9:30-11:45. 


Sunday, February 7:   Epistle: Bob Kowalik;  Left Cloth: Meg Butler and Martin Scrivener;  Center Cloth: Linda Arnold and     ;  (no Right Cloth this week)  Left Bread: Sarah Jabbour;  Right Bread:


Sunday, February 7:  FSJD Meatfare Sunday breakfast


Saturday, February 6:  NO Vespers

Sunday, February 7,  Judgment Sunday (Meatfare Sunday):   Orthros 8:45 am; Divine Liturgy 10:00 am; Church School lesson 13;  FSJD Meatfare Breakfast


Epistle:  St. Paul's First Letter to the Corinthians 8:8-13; 9:1-2

Brethren, food will not commend us to God. We are no worse off if we do not eat, and no better off if we do. Only take care lest this liberty of yours somehow become a stumbling block to the weak. … sinning against your brethren and wounding their conscience when it is weak, you sin against Christ. Therefore, if food is a cause of my brother's falling, I will never eat meat, lest I cause my brother to fall.

Gospel:  Matthew 25:31-46

… Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate them one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, and he will place the sheep at his right hand, but the goats at the left. Then the king will say to those at his right hand, 'Come, O blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.' … And the King will answer them, 'Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me.'


Friday, February 12:  Paraklesis 7:00 pm,  followed by Learning in Lent: "Orthodoxy 102" -  "The Problem of Evil" and the Orthodox Tradition with David Vermette

Saturday, February 13:  Great Vespers 5:00 pm

Sunday, February 14,  Cheesefare Sunday:   Orthros 8:45 am; Divine Liturgy 10:00 am; no Church School; Chinese New Year Breakfast;  Forgiveness Vespers 6:0 pm

Monday, February 15:  Great Lent begins;  Great Canon of St. Andrew 7:00 pm

Tuesday, February 16:  Great Canon of St. Andrew 7:00 pm

Wednesday, February 17:  Presanctified Liturgy 6:30 pm,  followed by Potluck Supper

Thursday, February 18:  Great Canon of St. Andrew 7:00 pm

Friday, February 19:  Akathist (Madayeh) Service 7:00 pm,  followed by Learning in Lent: "Orthodoxy 102" with David Vermette

Sunday, April 4:  Pascha


When you see a poor person, remember the words of our Lord Jesus Christ by which He declared that it is He, Himself who is fed. For though that which appears be not Christ, yet in that person’s form, it is Christ Himself who receives and begs.

   - Saint John Chrysostom

You who are strong, help the weak. You who are rich, help the poor. You who stand upright, help the fallen and the crushed. You who are joyful, comfort those in sadness. You who enjoy all good fortune, help those who have met with disaster. Give something in thanksgiving to God, that you are of those who can give help, and not of those who stand and wait for it.

   - St. Gregory of Nazianzus

Help me, Lord, to be vigilant so that I may not neglect thy life!

    Why do you [my soul] spend its numbered days in dissipation? Can it be that you do not know that you will be called in a moment? What will you do there, after leading a careless life here? With what response will you justify yourself when you stand before the throne of the terrible Judge? The enemy deceives you and day by day he steals away your inheritance, but you fail to comprehend this.

   - St. Ephraim

We are all hastening to the Judgment, but those who remember it, and are anxious about what is to follow after it, are very few.

   - St. Basil the Great

The final coming of Christ will be the judgment of all men. His very presence will be the judgment. For those who love the Lord, His Presence will be infinite joy, paradise and eternal life. For those who hate the Lord, the same Presence will be infinite torture, hell and eternal death.  According to the saints, the "fire" that will consume sinners at the coming of the Kingdom is the same "fire" that will shine with splendor in the saints.  It is the fire of God’s love; the "fire" of God Himself, who is Love.  … Thus it is the Church's spiritual teaching that God does not punish man by some material fire or physical torment. God simply reveals Himself in the risen Lord Jesus in such a glorious way that no man can fail to behold His glory.  It is the presence of God’s splendid glory and love that is the scourge of those who reject His radiant power and light.

   - Fr. Thomas Hopko