St. Mary Orthodox Church

Cambridge, MA

Update for the week Friday, May 14, through Thursday, May 20, 2010


SCHOLARSHIPS AVAILABLE – 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 officeApplication deadline is Friday,  May 14, 2010.

CHURCH SCHOOL GRADUATION AND CLOSING – Church School Graduation, with awards and gifts for the students,  will take place this Sunday after Liturgy, in the Church.

Then come celebrate with the Church School in the Church Hall 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  are FREE; for Adults it’s your Good-Will Donation.    Thanks to the Church School parents for planning this event.


WOMEN’S CLUB – The next meeting of the Women’s Club has been rescheduled – instead of

Tuesday, May 18,  it will be Tuesday, May 25, at 7:30 pm  Please note the new date.

FASTING RESUMES – The Feast of the Ascension was May 13, so now once again we fast on Wednesday and  Friday.

CONGRATULATIONS - We are pleased to announce the birth of Veronica Catherine Decerbo on April 22, 2010, weighing  6 lbs 1 oz and measuring 19.5 inches long. She is the beautiful daughter of Michael Decerbo and his  wife, Chia-lin Kao.  Veronica Catherine was Churched at St. Mary’s  on Sunday, May 2, 2010.  Congratulations may be sent to 4 Aldersey St.  Apt. 4, Somerville, MA  02143.

FOUND – If you recently lost  a cross (with no chain), contact the Church Office 617-547-1234.


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

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.

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

SCHOLARSHIP AVAILABLE – 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.

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!

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

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:  Bob Kowalik

COFFEE HOUR – Church School Closing Festivities


Saturday, May 15: Great Vespers 5:00 pm

Sunday, May 16, Sunday of the Holy Fathers of the First Council of Nicea : Orthros 8:45 am; Divine Liturgy 10:00 am;   Church School Graduation and Closing


Epistle:  Acts of the Apostles 20:16-18, 28-36   And now I commend you to God and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified. … In all things I have shown you that by so toiling one must help the weak, remembering the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, 'it is more blessed to give than to receive.' "

Gospel:  John 17:1-13   At that time, Jesus lifted up his eyes to heaven and said, "Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you, since you have given him power over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. … Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one. … But now I am coming to you; and these things I speak in the world, that they may have my joy fulfilled in themselves."


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

Sunday, May 30: Orthros 8:45 am; Divine Liturgy 10:00 am

Monday, May 31 – June 28:  Apostles’ Fast

Friday – Sunday, June  18-20:  Parish Life Conference in Sturbridge, MA; church offices closed

Sunday, June 20:  NO services at St. Mary;  Hierarchical Divine Liturgy at Parish Life Conference, Sturbridge Host Hotel 10:00 am


Christ forms Himself by grace and faith in the souls of all who love Him, and at the same time He draws them all together in Himself to make them One in Him. … And the Holy Ghost, Who is the life of this One Body dwells in the whole Body and in every one of the members so that the whole Christ is Christ and each individual is Christ.

   - Thomas Merton, New Seeds of Contemplation

Thus, as has been said, the holy Church of God is an image of God because it realizes the same union of the faithful with God. As different as they are by language, places, and customs, they are made one by it through faith. God realizes this union among the natures of things without confusing them but in lessening and bringing together their distinction in a relationship and union with Himself as Cause, Principle and end.

   - St. Maximus the Confessor, Selected Writings (On the Church's Mystagogy)

It is impossible for someone to acquire a catholic knowledge of the spirit except by being incorporated into the life of the Church. The entire significance of the perseverance of Orthodoxy through the centuries lies exactly in the numerical identity of the Church, in her uniquely catholic, universal, and continuous existence, with an uninterrupted and continuous hierarchical succession, with the performance of the mysteries, with the communion of the faith, and by the action of the One Spirit and one grace in all of these. This is none other than the unity of the Body of Christ, the unity of the house of God …

   - St. Justin Popovich, Orthodox Faith and Life in Christ