St. Mary Orthodox Church

Cambridge, MA

Update for the week Friday, February 26, through Thursday, March 4, 2010



AKATHIST AND LECTURE – This Friday, February 26, there will be an Akathist service at 7:00, followed by the third 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  In Preparation for St. Gregory Palamas Sunday.


FAMILY VESPERS – It was so much fun the first time, we’re doing it again!  All Church School children and teachers are invited to come to Family Vespers at 5:00 pm this Saturday, February 27.  Confessions, fellowship and pizza to follow!  For more info, contact Arlene Marge (

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


SUPPORT THEOLOGICAL STUDENTS - An Archdiocese Collection will be taken following services this week for those undertaking theological studies (originally scheduled for last week).

ST. VLAD’S CHOIR AT THE CATHEDRAL II – The St. Vladimir’s Seminary Men’s Choir will sing responses at the services at St. George Cathedral in Worcester on Sunday, February 28 at the Divine Liturgy, 10:00 am.  There will be a Coffee Hour after Divine Liturgy.  SVS Press books will be available for sale, too.  Everyone is welcome.


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!

DIOCESAN MEETINGS – The Spring Delegates Meeting for FSJD, Antiochian Women, and Teen SOYO will be held at St. Mary, Pawtucket RI  on Saturday, March 6, at 10:00  am.

TEEN SOYO OUTING - Following lunch at the Spring Delegates Meeting in RI on Saturday, March 6, we will be going to North Smithfield Laser Tag in N. Smithfield, RI   Please RSVP to Greg Abdullah at

DIOCESAN SOYO RETREAT – On Friday - Sunday, March 19-21, Archdeacon Seraphim Solof will lead a retreat  for teens. This year's theme is "Lord I believe - help my unbelief: Our Personal Journey to Christ."   RSVP to Erick and Liz ASAP (by March 8th at the absolute latest) 

SCHOLARSHIPS AVAILABLE – Any high school senior graduating in the spring of 2010  may apply for a scholarship offered by the Diocesan Fellowship of St. John the Divine.   Inquiries and application requests may be addressed to Mary Winstanley O’Connor at 617- 523-1010  or

Also, the Syrian-Lebanese Women’s Club of Greater Boston is offering $1,000 Scholarships to young women of Syrian and Lebanese origin, living in Massachusetts within a 50-miles radius of Boston , who plan to pursue a 4-year college education.  Awards are based on outstanding academic achievement, charitable and civic involvement and good character.  Each applicant must be in good academic standing in her school and possess those personal attributes which best serve the community.  Applications are available through our Church Office or call Mary Winstanley O’Connor at 617-523-1010 or e-mail at her  Completed application must be postmarked by April 7, 2010. 

FOOD SALE EXTENDED – The Women’s Club’s sale of Spinach Triangles has been extended. You can still order them until Sunday, April 11 – please use the order form in the Sunday  Bulletin.  Baking will be Saturday, April 24; orders may be picked up  Sunday, April 25.

CHINESE NEW YEAR BREAKFAST THANKS -  The Fellowship of St John the Divine at St Mary's is pleased to report that proceeds of $694 from the 2010 Chinese New Year Mission Breakfast held on Cheesefare Sunday have been forwarded to the Chinese Translation Project, via the Orthodox Fellowship of All Saints of China. Special thanks are due to the Parish Council, which donated $100; to the members of the FSJD for organizing the breakfast with setup, decorations, serving, cooking, and cleanup; to parishioners and friends who attended and donated generously; and to those who brought in dishes, drinks and desserts, such as cheese and broccoli quiche, juice, milk, fruit, cookies and other goodies. This event brought the parish and wider community together for Chinese New Year festivities with a wide selection of Chinese delicacies, such as crab rangoon, pan-fried dumplings, scallion pancake, steamed buns, fried rice and noodles.  At the same time, the celebration benefited a worthy cause, demonstrating the missionary zeal of the parish, from the grassroots to the administrative levels. For those who were not able to attend, but would like to make a tax deductible donation please visit


ANTIOCHIAN WOMEN'S MONTH – March is Antiochian Women's Month throughout the Archdiocese. Women of the parish will be reading the Epistle, holding the Communion cloths and bread baskets, taking the collection, and delivering the homily.  If you would be willing to give a short homily after the Divine Liturgy on a  Sunday in March, please speak to  Fr. Antony or Mary Ellen Mabardy.

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:

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

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. 

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.

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.

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 27:  John Rodriguez and Maggie Arnold


Sunday, February 28:   Epistle:  Mary Long;  Left Cloth: Linda Arnold and Rose Njuguna;  Center Cloth: Maggie Arnold and Sarah Gosselin;  Right Cloth: Melissa Nassiff and Brooke Wilcox;  Left Bread:  Sarah Jabbour;  Right Bread:  Marc Patacchiola


Sunday, February 28:  FSJD – food contributions welcome!


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

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

Sunday, February 28,  Sunday of  St. Gregory of Palamas:  Orthros 8:45 am; Divine Liturgy 10:00 am;   Church School lesson 14


Epistle:  St. Paul's Letter to the Hebrews 1:10-14; 2:1-3  But to what angel has he ever said, "Sit at my right hand, till I make thy enemies a stool for thy feet?" Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to serve, for the sake of those who are to obtain salvation?

Gospel:  Mark 2:1-12  And they came, bringing to him a paralytic carried by four men. And when they could not get near him because of the crowd, they removed the roof above him; and when they had made an opening, they let down the pallet on which the paralytic lay. And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, "My son, your sins are forgiven." … he said to the paralytic - "I say to you, rise, take up your pallet and go home." And he rose, and immediately took up the pallet and went out before them all; so that they were all amazed and glorified God, saying, "We never saw anything like this!"

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:  "Why Do We Keep Doing Things We Know to Be Wrong?"

Saturday, March 6  Great Vespers 5:00 pm

Sunday, March 7:  Orthros 8:45 am; Divine Liturgy 10:00 am;   Church School lesson 15

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

Wednesday, March 10:  Presanctified Liturgy 6:30 pm,  followed by Potluck Supper

Friday, March 12:  Akathist (Madayeh) Service 7:00 pm,  followed by Learning in Lent ("Orthodoxy 102")  with David Vermette

Saturday, March 13:  NO Vespers at St. Mary

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

Wednesday, March 24: Evening Liturgy for the  feast of the Annunciation of the Theotokos 6:30 pm

Saturday, March 27, Lazarus SaturdayMatins 8:00 am, Divine Liturgy 9:00 am, Communion Breakfast 10:15 am, followed by Church Cleanup (no choir rehearsal) ; Great Vespers 5:00 pm.

Sunday, March 28, Palm Sunday:  Orthros 8:45 am;  Divine Liturgy 10:00 am with

Procession; followed by FSJD annual Fish Dinner.

Sunday, April 4:  Pascha


Would you like me to list also the paths of repentance? They are numerous and quite varied, and all lead to heaven.

A first path of repentance is the condemnation of your own sins: "Be the first to admit your sins and you will be justified." For this reason, too, the prophet wrote: "I said, I will accuse myself of my sins to the Lord, and You forgave the wickedness of my heart." Therefore, you too should condemn your own sins; that will be enough reason for the Lord to forgive you, for a man who condemns his own sins is slower to commit them again. Rouse your conscience to accuse yourself within your own house, lest it become your accuser before the judgment seat of the Lord.

That, then, is one very good path of repentance. Another and no less valuable one is to put out of our minds the harm done us by our enemies, in order to master our anger, and to forgive our fellow servants' sins against us. Then our own sins against the Lord will be forgiven us. Thus you have another way to atone for sin: "For if you forgive your debtors, your heavenly Father will forgive you."

Do you want to know of a third path? It consists of prayer that is fervent and careful and comes from the heart.

If you want to hear of a fourth, I will mention almsgiving, whose power is great and far-reaching.

If, moreover, a man lives a modest, humble life, that, no less than the other things I have mentioned, takes sin away. Proof of this is the tax-collector who had no good deeds to mention, but offered his humility instead and was relieved of a heavy burden of sins.

Thus I have shown you five paths of repentance: condemnation of your own sins, forgiveness of our neighbor's sins against us, prayer, almsgiving, and humility.

Do not be idle, then, but walk daily in all these paths; they are easy, and you cannot plead your poverty. For, though you live out your life amid great need, you can always set aside your wrath, be humble, pray diligently, and condemn your own sins; poverty is no hindrance. Poverty is not an obstacle to our carrying out the Lord's bidding, even when it comes to that path of repentance which involves giving money (almsgiving, I mean). The widow proved that when she put her two mites into the box!

Now that we have learned how to heal those wounds of ours, let us apply the cures. Then, when we have regained genuine health, we can approach the Holy Table with confidence, go gloriously to meet Christ, the King of Glory, and attain the eternal blessings through the grace, mercy, and kindness of Jesus Christ, our Lord.

   - St. John Chrysostom,  Five Paths of Repentance