St. Mary Orthodox Church

Cambridge, MA

Update for the week Friday, April 30, through Thursday, May 6, 2010


ANTIOCHIAN WOMEN SPRING FLING – The Women’s Club of the Diocese is sponsoring an outing to the Boston Museum of Science on Saturday, May 1, at 11:00 am, to see ARABIA in the  I-Max Theater. Travel to this exotic and fascinating land, discover an extraordinary culture, and experience modern day Arabia in the midst of monumental change.  Tickets:  $8/Adults and $7/Seniors & Children 3 to 11, for the movie only.  Lunch can be purchased at the Museum Food Court following the 50-minute movie.  For more info, contact Cindy Lee Hayes, 401-722-5297 or  

THEOPHANY SCHOOL BENEFIT -  The Theophany School’s 10th annual Benefit Evening will be held on Saturday, May 1 at the Apollo Restaurant in Norwood, MA.  Thanks to the support of many, last year's event was a great success.  For this Event we need sponsors and/or items to offer as prizes for our raffles/auction.  Please visit for a copy of the 2010 Event form, or call the school for more details. 

SPEAKER ON HAITI – There will be a Coffee Hour presentation this Sunday, May 2, by Juneau Guerrier from the Boston-Haiti Health Support Team on the recent medical mission trips to Haiti.  Juliet Burch, Liz Straghalis and Mr. Guerrier will host an informal talk about the work of the Medical Support Team and conditions in Haiti since the earthquake.  The talk will begin promptly at 11:45, so  grab some coffee and join us in the front corner of the hall for conversation and photos of the work.  See what’s become of all those medical supplies you so generously donated! (See Reminders, below, for more information on supplies still being collected.)


MEMORY ETERNAL - Cecelia (Maloof) Connolly,  sister of Mary Teebagy and her husband, Tony of Somerville and Ft. Lauderdale , fell asleep in the Lord on Saturday, April 24, 2010.  Funeral services were held at St. John of Damascus Church , Dedham on Tuesday, April 27 with interment following at Fairview Cemetery .  Expressions of sympathy can be made to St. John of Damascus Church , 300 West St. , Dedham , MA  02026, or the VNA of Eastern Mass. , 259 Lowell St. , Somerville , MA  02144 .  Notes of condolence may be sent to Mary & Tony Teebagy, 5587 Lakeshore Drive , Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33312.  May her memory be eternal.

CARE PACKAGE  SENT -  Thanks to the generosity of St. Mary parishioners, the Fellowship has been able to send to Scott, "our" Marine in Afghanistan,  a collection of paperback books, plus socks, tuna, Gatorade, crackers, cold packs and candy.  We hope to send a box every month or so, so please continue to donate the items he needs, other than books (we have received plenty of those, thanks!)  –  see Reminders, below, for more information.

THANKS FROM THE WOMEN’S CLUB - A special “Thank You” to all those who helped with the Spinach Triangles last Saturday, April 24.   We finished in record time!!  Hope you all enjoyed the triangles!

CHURCH SCHOOL GRADUATION AND CLOSING – Come celebrate with the Church School on Sunday, May 16,  after Liturgy.  The menu will include   Pizza, Salad, and Brownies with Ice Cream.  Share in the fun of Arts & Crafts, Tie-Dye and Balloon-Making!  Cost: Church School Students  FREE; Adults: Good-Will Donation.  If you can help, please call Jen Nahass at 617-547-9065.

AXIOS! BISHOP ANTOUN - The weekend of May 29 and 30, St. George Boston will welcome His Grace, Bishop ANTOUN for a return visit in honor of his Ordination to the Holy Priesthood by Metropolitan ANTONY Bashir 50 years ago, on May 29, 1960.  Bishop ANTOUN will celebrate Great Vespers there on Saturday, May 29th at 6:00 pm and the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy on Sunday, May 30th at 10:00 am, followed by a Special Parish Family Coffee Hour.  The people and friends of St. George look forward to his visit and are honored that Sayidna will be with them to celebrate where it all began. May God grant him Many Years.

ABBA BOARD OPENING -  The American Arabic Benevolent Association (AABA) currently has an opening on its Board. The Board meets on the third Tuesday of the month at Chertion Grove, Cheriton Road, West Roxbury. AABA is currently undergoing a major building campaign with the future construction of Cheriton Heights. If anyone is interested in becoming a Board Member, please contact Marilyn Ganame at 781-910-3729.


YOUTH EQUIPPED TO SERVE – The  Youth Equipped to Serve (YES) Program of FOCUS North America provides opportunities for junior high and high school students to participate in formative weekends of service, with the ultimate purpose being to raise up a generation of Orthodox Christians who lead others in living out the true mission of the church--to love and serve our most needy neighbors.  We are blessed to have YES coming to Boston next weekend, May 7-9, 2010! Spend the weekend learning, experiencing, growing and helping others. Don't miss this chance;   register online now:   Space is limited!  For more information, please contact Elisabeth Lourie:, (617) 323-0323. 

Also, check out YES on YouTube - 

SEEKING VIDEO STREAMING VOLUNTEERS – The video streaming ministry has been a GREAT success!  A special THANK YOU to Erick Straghalis and Marc Patacchiola who have been instrumental in making this possible.  Marc and Erick are looking for 3 - 4 volunteers who can help set up the streaming service prior to Liturgy on Sunday mornings and potentially during other events (speakers, vespers, etc.).  Volunteers would rotate weekly, taking turns setting up the camera, computer and microphones each week.  Some technical expertise may be required, but training will be provided. If you are interested, please contact Erick Straghalis (   Thank you!

CARE PACKAGES FOR “OUR” MARINE – Fr. Antony's "spiritual son" Scott is still in the Marines,  and has recently been deployed to Afghanistan.  The Fellowship of St. John the Divine is once more helping collect items for care packages for him. Scott will share what he receives with his fellow Marines, and has sent a list of things he would especially like to receive. The Fellowship is purchasing some of those items, but would be happy to receive contributions of the following: 

Gatorade powder (dark blue kind if possible), Tuna, Beef jerky, Sunflower seeds, Sour skittles, Protein bars, Non perishable food,  and  Long white socks.

A box has been set up outside the church offices for your donations, and we would also welcome monetary contributions to help with postage, shopping, etc.  - make checks payable to Fellowship of St. John the Divine or to St. Mary Church (earmarked FSJD), and give them to any member of the FSJD Steering Committee (Tiffany Conroy, Mike Decerbo, Melissa or Peter Nassiff, Socrates Deligeorges or Steve Walker), or mail them to the Church. Thank you for your caring concern and prayers for Scott and his fellow Marines!

MEDICAL SUPPLY COLLECTION FOR HAITI – FSJD of St. Mary is sponsoring a collection of inexpensive, over-the-counter medical supplies for Haiti .  This project is co-sponsored by the Boston-Haiti Health Support Team and the Association of Haitian Women of Boston.  A Boston-based medical team will make a series of one-week medical mission trips to Haiti in the coming several months to assist in providing medical treatment to earthquake victims.  There will be a labeled collection bin in the hall outside the Church Office.  Please consider donating even one of the following items:  Masks, Gloves, Gauze, Stethoscopes, Blood Pressure Kits, Hand Sanitizers, Wound Cleaner, Bacitracin, Iodine, Neosporin, Pain Killer (over-the-counter-e.g. Tylenol),  Vitamins (adults’ & children's) and Nutritional bars. If you would like to contribute other kinds of supplies or cash, or would like more information about this project, please see Juliet Burch or contact her at; phone 617-797-8036.

NO FASTING – There is no fasting on Wednesday or Friday, not only during Bright Week, but until the Feast of the Ascension (May 13), for the whole forty days.  This is the decision of the Holy Synod of the Church of Antioch. (This cessation of fasting, however, is purely voluntary; you may fast if you wish.)


Antiochian Women’s Scholarship – 2010 scholarships are available from the North American Board of Antiochian Women to women who are 25 years old or older, in good standing and actively involved in their parish, applying for or registered in an academic or trade program of study and in financial need.  Applications can be obtained in the Church office.  Deadline:  May 14, 2010.

2010 N.G.  Beram Scholarship Awards – The N.G. Beram Veterans Association is pleased to announce the continuation of its Scholarship Achievement Awards program for the 44th year. The program is established to encourage, promote and support the education of students of Arabic speaking backgrounds.  High school seniors can obtain the application along with the instruction by visiting the web page at:  or copies are on the Bengarri.  All applications must be postmarked no later than June 1, 2010.

Fellowship of St. John the Divine – 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

IOCC COOKOUT – The IOCC Boston Metropolitan Committee invites you to a Spring Cookout Saturday, May 22 from 4-7 pm on the Halki Lawn of Hellenic College.  The cost is $10 for adults and $5 for children 12 and under.  For more information, please  e-mail

PARISH LIFE CONFERENCE - The 72nd Annual Parish Life Conference of the diocese will be hosted by St. George Cathedral Worcester, the weekend of June 18-20 at the  Sturbridge Host Hotel (   Rooms start at only $98 - call 508-347-7393  to book yours today.  Conference registration, schedules, and other information can be found at


ORATORICAL FESTIVAL – Teen volunteers/participants  are still needed for the upcoming Oratorical Festival at the Parish Life Conference in Sturbridge, June  18-20, 2010.  Contact Liz and Erick Straghalis for more information.

STREAMING VIDEO - Divine Liturgy at St. Mary is broadcast live every week!  Do come to church…  but if you can’t, then join us on your computer. To see live broadcasts go to  Divine Liturgy starts at 10:00 am every Sunday.

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, you can 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 – 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.


LITURGICAL SERVICE – Epistle: Trish Orlovsky;  Cloth and Bread: Nichole Selim, Elias & Trish Orlovsky, and others

COFFEE HOUR – Nadia Abuelezam & Danielle Kayal


Saturday, May 1: Great Vespers 5:00 pm

Sunday, May 2, Sunday of the Samaritan Woman:  Orthros 8:45 am; Divine Liturgy 10:00 am;   Church School lesson 20


Epistle:  St. Paul's Letter to the Hebrews 13:7-16  ... Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name. Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.

Gospel:  John 4:5-42  … Jesus answered her, "… But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for such the Father seeks to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth."


Saturday, May 8:  Great Vespers 5:00 pm

Sunday, May 9:  Orthros 8:45 am; Divine Liturgy 10:00 am;   Church School lesson 21

Wednesday, May 12: Evening Liturgy for the Feast of the Ascension 6:30 pm

Sunday, May 16: Church School Graduation and Closing

Saturday, May 22:  NO Vespers at St. Mary

Sunday, May 23:  Pentecost

Monday, May 31 – June 28:  Apostles’ Fast

Friday – Sunday, June  18-20:  Parish Life Conference in Sturbridge, MA


When men search for God with their bodily eyes they find Him nowhere, for He is invisible. But for those who ponder in the Spirit He is present everywhere. He is in all, yet beyond all.

   - St. Symeon,  Practical & Theological Discourses

The mystery of prayer is not consummated at a certain specific time or place; for if you restrict prayer to particular times or places, you will waste the rest of your time in vain pursuits. Prayer may be defined as the intellect’s unceasing intercourse with God. Its task is to engage the soul totally in things divine, its fulfillment—to adapt the words of St. Paul (I Corinthians 6:17)—lies in so wedding the mind to God that it becomes one spirit with Him.

   - St. Nikitas Stithatos,  On the Inner Nature of Things and on the Purification of the Intellect

If you wish to pray as you ought, you have need of God, Who gives prayer to him who prays.  So call to Him in prayer, saying, "Hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come" (Mt. 6:9-10), that is, the Holy Spirit and Thine only-begotten Son. For thus did the Lord Himself teach us, saying, "God is  Spirit: and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth" (Jn. 4:24).

   - St. Nilus of Sinai in Early Fathers From the Philokalia

The spiritual life is, first of all, a life. It is not merely something to be known and studied, it is to be lived. Like all life, it grows sick and dies when it is uprooted from its proper element. Grace is engrafted on our nature and the whole man is sanctified by the presence and action of the Holy Spirit.
- Thomas Merton, Thoughts in Solitude

True spirituality is not a search for perfection, a way into the "next world" or power to control; it is a search for union with God in this present moment.

   - Fr. Antony Hughes