St. Mary Orthodox Church

Cambridge, MA

Update for the week Friday, May 7, through Thursday, May 13, 2010


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 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 - 


WOMEN’S CLUB – The next meeting of the Women’s Club will be Wednesday, May 18, at 7:30 pm

BLESSING OF GRAVES - On Memorial Day, Monday, May 31, 2010, Fr. Antony will be blessing graves at Fairview Cemetery in Hyde Park, MA, starting at 9:00 am.  If you would like him to bless the graves of loved ones in other cemeteries, please let him know by calling the Church Office at 617-547-1234 or e-mail him at


NO FASTING – There is no fasting on Wednesday or Friday, not only during Bright Week, but until the Feast of the Ascension, May 13.  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.)

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 and his fellow Marines. Thanks to the generosity of St. Mary parishioners, the Fellowship has been able to send  two care packages already. We hope to send a box every month or so, so please continue to donate the items he needs.  He has especially asked for:

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.


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.

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.

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 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.

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.


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:  Melissa Nassiff;  Left Cloth: TBD;  Center Cloth: Maggie and Linda Arnold;  Right Cloth: Nichole Selim and TBD;  Left Bread: Bob Kowalik;  Right Bread: Sarah Jabbour

COFFEE HOUR – Hamwey Family


Saturday, May 8: Great Vespers 5:00 pm

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


Epistle:  Acts of the Apostles 16:16-34

In those days, as we apostles were going to the place of prayer, we were met by a slave girl who had a spirit of divination and brought her owners much gain by soothsaying. She followed Paul and us, crying, "These men are servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to you the way of salvation." …  [The jailer] fell down before Paul and Silas, and brought them out and said, "Men, what must I do to be saved?" And they said, "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household."

Gospel:  John 9:1-38

At that time, as Jesus passed by, he saw a man blind from his birth. And his disciples asked him, "Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?" Jesus answered, "It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, … "

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


Saturday, May 15: Great Vespers 5:00 pm

Sunday, May 16: Orthros 8:45 am; Divine Liturgy 10:00 am;   Church School Graduation and Closing

Saturday, May 22:  NO Vespers at St. Mary

Sunday, May 23, Feast of Pentecost:  Orthros 8:45 am; Divine Liturgy 10:00 am, followed by  Kneeling Prayers

Saturday, May 29:  NO Vespers at St. Mary

Monday, May 31 – June 28:  Apostles’ Fast

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


Truly foolish, therefore, and lacking all understanding and mind is he who says there is no God. Alongside him no less in this madness is he who says that God is the cause of evils. I consider their sins to be of equal gravity because each one similarly denies the good; the former denies that He exists at all, while the latter defines Him as not being good; for if he is the cause of evils, He is clearly not good; so from both sides there is a denial of God.

   - St. Basil the Great

According to Orthodoxy, the human race does not share in or inherit the guilt of Adam’s sin, although it unquestionably suffers the effects of that sin. There is, thus, no imputation of Adam’s sin to his descendents. … In Eastern Christian teaching, guilt before God depends on one’s own sin; put another way, no one can be guilty of another’s sin.

   - James R. Payton Jr., Light from the Christian East                   

Come, men of discernment, and be filled with wonder! Whose mind is sufficiently wise and marvelous to wonder worthily at the bounty of our Creator? His recompense of sinners is, that instead of a just recompense, He rewards them with resurrection, and instead of those bodies with which they trampled upon His law, He enrobes them with perfect glory and incorruption. That grace whereby we are resurrected after we have sinned is greater than the grace which brought us into being when we were not. Glory be to Thine immeasurable grace, O Lord!

   - St. Isaac the Syrian, Homily 60

In times of despondency, never fail to bear in mind the Lord’s commandment to Peter, to forgive a person who sins seventy times seven. For He who gave this command to another will Himself do far more.

   - St. John Climacus, Ladder of Divine Ascent, Step 26