St. Mary Orthodox Church

Cambridge, MA

Update for the week Friday, February 19, through Thursday, February 25, 2010



AKATHIST AND LECTURE – This Friday, February 19, there will be an Akathist service at 7:00, followed by the second in a series of Learning in Lent lectures ("Orthodoxy 102") presented by David Vermette and sponsored by the Fellowship of St. John the Divine. This week’s topic will be  "The Problem of Evil" and the Orthodox Tradition.


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, this  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

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, this  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  this  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. 

WOMEN’S CLUB NOT BAKING - Because of conflict with the other events listed above,   the Women’s Club will NOT be baking Spinach Triangles this Saturday, February 20,  as previously announced. Revised baking date  is  Saturday, April 24,  at 9:30 am; pickup will be Sunday, April 25.

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


SUNDAY OF ORTHODOXY– Bring an icon for the Procession of the Icons following Liturgy.

SUPPORT THEOLOGICAL STUDENTS - An Archdiocese Collection will be taken following services for those undertaking theological studies.

PAN ORTHODOX VESPERS – In celebration of the Sunday of Orthodoxy, a Pan Orthodox Vespers will be held at St. Andrew the First Called Apostle Ukrainian Orthodox Church,  24 Orchardhill Rd., Jamaica Plain, MA, at 5:00 pm.  Lenten desserts will be served after the Vespers Service.


PLEASE UPDATE YOUR PROFILE – Sometimes we need to send information (such as snow closings, for example) only to people in the local area who attend St. Mary – without clogging the inbox of others, such as friends and alums of St. Mary, who aren’t affected.  Please take a moment to click the “Update your profile” link at the very bottom of this email and type “yes” or “no” in the new “Currently attend St. Mary?” box. And while you’re there, please make sure your name is shown correctly as well.  Thank you!

SOMETHING YOU CAN DO FOR HAITI – Juliet Burch has a co-worker who lost several family members in the earthquake.  She is helping him collect over-the-counter medical supplies for an upcoming Health Mission Trip to Haiti, sponsored by Boston Haiti Health Support Team and led by Dr. Arielle Adrien and The Association of Haitian Women of Boston (see )  If you would like to help, a box has been set up on the table in the hallway downstairs for your donations. The following items are needed:   masks, gloves, gauze, stethoscopes, blood pressure kits, hand sanitizers, wound cleaner, Bacitracin, iodine, Neosporin, pain killer (over-the-counter), vitamins (adults’ & children's), nutritional bars.  Please bring your donations by this Sunday, February 21, as the first mission trip will be February 28 through March 7.

FAMILY VESPERS – Attention Church School families and children: There will be a Family Vesper on Saturday, February 27, at 5:00 pm, including Confessions with Fr. Antony and pizza afterwards in the Church Hall.

ST. VLAD’S CHOIR AT THE CATHEDRAL – The St. Vladimir’s Seminary Men’s Choir will sing responses at the services at St. George Cathedral, 30 Anna St. , Worcester  on Saturday, February 27 at Great Vespers, 5:00 pm, and on Sunday, February 28 at the Divine Liturgy, 10:00 am.  There will be a Potluck Supper to greet the Seminarians after Vespers on the 27th, and a Coffee Hour after Divine Liturgy on the 28th..  SVS Press books will be available for sale, too.  Everyone is welcome.

WOMEN’S CLUB – The next meeting of the Women’s Club will be Tuesday, March 2.

LENTEN RETREAT - Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church in Newburyport ( is hosting a Lenten retreat on Saturday, March 20, with our own Father Antony. The theme will be  Imitating the Mother of God: The Lives of Mary of Bethany, Mary of Egypt and Maria (Skobtsova) of Paris.  To RSVP or to obtain more information, please email or call Joanna Tsiantas at 978-465-1405.


PRESANCTIFIED LITURGY and LENTEN POTLUCKS – Every Wednesday during Lent there will be a Presanctified Liturgy at 6:30 pm, followed by a Potluck Supper sponsored by the FSJD.  Do plan to come and bring something to share.  Any Lenten fare is welcome:  main courses, sides, salads, desserts, as well as beverages and snacks.  This is a wonderful opportunity for fellowship during Lent, plus we get to sample each other's Lenten recipes.  Please stay for supper even if you can't bring food--there's room at the table for everyone. 

AKATHIST and LEARNING IN LENT – Every Friday during Lent, through March 19, there will be an Akathist service at 7:00, followed by the FSJD’s annual lecture series, Learning in Lent, in the Church hall.  The speaker for this year’s series is David Vermette, who leads the Inquirers’ class at St. Mary.  Some people who attended that class in the past have asked for a “102” level of the class, and others have wanted something that is not only for inquirers.  This series is intended to meet those needs. 

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.

PARISH COUNCIL – The next meeting of the Parish Council (rescheduled) will be Tuesday, March 9, at 7:30

LENTEN RETREAT – St. Michael Church in Cotuit invites all adults to a Lenten Retreat on Saturday, March 13, with Fr. Kyriakos (Kerry) V. Saravelas, Orthodox priest, radio host and popular lecturer.  His topic will be  “Calling All Cradles & Converts! Our Wonderful Journey to Pascha With A Forgiving Jesus.”  Registration  8:30 am;  Liturgy 9:00 am;  Coffee 10:15 am; Presentation #1  10:45 am; Lunch  at noon;  Presentation #2  12:45 pm; closing 2:30 – 3:00 pm.  Cost for Retreat & Lunch: $20  Pre-registration is encouraged.  For more information, contact Lorraine Reiley 508-240-2412.  Registration forms are available on the Bulletin Board downstairs.

FOOD FOR HUNGRY PEOPLE –You are urged during this season of prayer, self-discipline and fasting, to be very generous in your contribution to the Food for Hungry People program of our Archdiocese . Money Boxes for collecting alms at home are on the Bengarri; please pick one or two up and place them throughout your home. Our Church School Students will also be given their own boxes to fill. Please be generous – He that feeds the hungry also feeds God.

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 home 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. 

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.  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.

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



Saturday, February 20:  Eric Ayoub and Mitrophan and Michelle Chin and family.


Sunday, February 21:   Epistle: Bob Kowalik;  Left Cloth: Rose Njuguna and TBD;  Center Cloth: Melissa Nassiff and TBD;  Right Cloth: Maggie Arnold and Jonathan Hill;  Left Bread: Sarah Jabbour;   Right Bread: Sarah Gosselin


Sunday, February 21:  Lynn Nanos and Peter Nelson


Friday, February 19:  Akathist (Madayeh) Service 7:00 pm,  followed by Learning in Lent ("Orthodoxy 102")  -  "The Problem of Evil" and the Orthodox Tradition with David Vermette

Saturday, February 20:  NO Vespers at St. Mary

Sunday, February 21,  Sunday of  Orthodoxy:  Orthros 8:45 am; Divine Liturgy 10:00 am, followed by Procession of Icons;   Church School music lesson downstairs


Epistle:  St. Paul's Letter to the Hebrews 11:24-26, 32-40

Brethren, by faith Moses, when he was grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter, choosing rather to share ill-treatment with the people of God than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin.

Gospel:  John 1:43-51

At that time, Jesus decided to go to Galilee. And he found Philip and said to him, "Follow me." … Philip found Nathanael, and he said to him, "We have found him of whom Moses in the law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph." Nathanael said to him, "Can anything good come out of Nazareth?" Philip said to him, "Come and see."

Monday, February 22:  Diocesan Lenten Compline service at St. George, Lawrence  7:00 pm

Wednesday, February 24:  Presanctified Liturgy 6:30 pm,  followed by Potluck Supper


Friday, Friday, February 26:  Akathist (Madayeh) Service 7:00 pm,  followed by Learning in Lent ("Orthodoxy 102")  - In Preparation for St. Gregory Palamas Sunday.

Saturday, February 27:  Church School Family Vespers 5:00 pm with Confessions and pizza

Sunday, February 28:  Orthros 8:45 am; Divine Liturgy 10:00 am;   Church School lesson 14

Monday, March 1: Diocesan Lenten Compline service at St. George, Worcester  7:00 pm

Wednesday, March 3:  Presanctified Liturgy 6:30 pm,  followed by Potluck Supper

Friday, March 5:  Akathist (Madayeh) Service 7:00 pm,  followed by Learning in Lent ("Orthodoxy 102")  with David Vermette

Monday, March 8:  Diocesan Lenten Compline service at St. George, Norwood  7:00 pm

Monday, March 15:  Diocesan Lenten Compline service at St. George, Lawrence  7:00 pm

Monday, March 22:  Diocesan Lenten Compline service at St. George, Worcester 7:00 pm

Sunday, April 4:  Pascha


Fasting is the change of every part of our life, because the sacrifice of the fast is not the abstinence but the distancing from sins. Therefore, whoever limits the fast to the deprivation of food, he is the one who, in reality, abhors and ridicules the fast. Are you fasting? Show me your fast with your works. Which works? If you see someone who is poor, show him mercy. If you see an enemy, reconcile with him. If you see a friend who is becoming successful, do not be jealous of him! If you see a beautiful woman on the street, pass her by.

In other words, not only should the mouth fast, but the eyes and the legs and the arms and all the other parts of the body should fast as well. Let the hands fast, remaining clean from stealing and greediness. Let the legs fast, avoiding roads which lead to sinful sights. Let the eyes fast by not fixing themselves on beautiful faces and by not observing the beauty of others. You are not eating meat, are you? You should not eat debauchery with your eyes as well. Let your hearing also fast. The fast of hearing is not to accept bad talk against others and sly defamations.

Let the mouth fast from disgraceful and abusive words, because, what gain is there when, on the one hand we avoid eating chicken and fish and, on the other, we chew-up and consume our brothers? He who condemns and blasphemes is as if he has eaten brotherly meat, as if he has bitten into the flesh of his fellow man. It is because of this that Paul frightened us, saying: "If you chew up and consume one another be careful that you do not annihilate yourselves."  You did not thrust your teeth into the flesh (of your neighbor) but you thrusted bad talk in his soul; you wounded it by spreading defamation, causing inestimable damage to yourself, to him, and to many others.

If we regulated our life with a sober mind and directed all of our interest toward spiritual things, and if we ate as much as we needed to satisfy our necessary needs and offered our entire lives to good works, we would not have any need of the help rendered by the fast. But because human nature is indifferent and gives itself over mostly to comforts and gratifications, for this reason the philanthropic Lord, like a loving and caring father, devised the therapy of the fast for us, so that our gratifications would be completely stopped and that our worldly cares be transferred to spiritual works.

   - St. John Chrysostom