St. Mary Orthodox Church

Cambridge, MA

Update for the week Friday, May 21, through Thursday, May 27, 2010


NO VESPERS – There will be no Vespers at St. Mary this Saturday, May 22, or next Saturday, May 29.

IOCC COOKOUT – The IOCC Boston Metropolitan Committee invites you to a Spring Cookout this 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

PENTECOST – This Sunday we will be celebrating The Feast of Pentecost with Festal Orthros and Divine Liturgy  followed by the Kneeling Prayers.


NO FASTING - The week following the Sunday of Pentecost is fast-free.

CHILDREN’S CLINIC IN HAITI  - In her  presentation a couple of weeks ago, Dr. Arielle Adrian from the Boston-Haiti Health Support Team, described the Sante Timoun child wellness program in rural Petite-Riviere, Leogane.  This program provides nutritional, medical and psychological support to malnourished children who have lost parents in the earthquake as well as children who are at risk for malnutrition.  The program will also provide their families with training to grow healthy vegetables to combat malnutrition.

     A list of specific things they need is posted in the hallway downstairs.  Monetary donations for the purchase of large items may be made to the Rasin Foundation;  all donations are tax deductible.  Please contact Dr. Adrian by email at or by telephone at 857-234-1670.   In addition, they need items such as powdered milk, peanut butter, Legos, coloring books,  and arts and crafts items  - these can be given to Juliet Burch.  Feel free to contact Juliet for an expanded project summary and additional info about The Rasin Foundation, at or by phone at 617-797-8036.

VACATION CHURCH SCHOOL - St. George Church, West Roxbury announces Vacation Church School -  2010, Monday, June 29 through Thursday, July 2,  8:45 am-1 pm. Theme: "Growing up with the Saints".  Registration is open to preschoolers (at least 3 yrs old and potty trained) through 4th grade.  Contact St. Mary Church Office for registration form;  Please submit ASAP.   Contact Elisabeth Lourie ( if you have any questions or would like to help.

CONGRATULATIONS (with correction) - 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 4B Chester St, Cambridge, 02140 (not the Somerville address shown last week!).


WOMEN’S CLUB – The next meeting of the Women’s Club will be this Tuesday, May 25, at 7:30 pm.  Please note the new date.

AXIOS! BISHOP ANTOUN - Next weekend,  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.

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

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 Cheriton 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 eight 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: Charlie Marge;  Left Cloth: Maggie and Linda Arnold;  Center Cloth: Teva Regule and TBD;  Right Cloth: Nichole Selim and Melissa Nassiff;  Left Bread: Sarah Jabbour;  Right Bread: Larisa Patacchiola 



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


Epistle:  Acts of the Apostles 2:1-11  

When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly a sound came from heaven like the rush of a mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them tongues as of fire, distributed and resting on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

Gospel:  John 7:37-52; 8:12

On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and proclaimed, "If any one thirst, let him come to me and drink. He who believes in me, as the scripture has said, 'Out of his heart shall flow rivers of living water.'" Now this he said about the Spirit, which those who believed in him were to receive; for as yet the Spirit had not been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.


Saturday, May 29:  NO Vespers at St. Mary

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

Monday, May 31:  Blessing of Graves at Fairview Cemetery in Hyde Park, MA,  9:00 am

Monday, May 31 – June 28:  Apostles’ Fast

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

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

Monday, June 28:  Evening Liturgy for Ss. Peter & Paul 6:30 p.m.


Deification is the work of the third person of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit. He was poured out on the Day of Pentecost and now works with and within the followers of Christ to effect their divinization.

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

The Son has become like us by the incarnation; we become like Him by deification, by partaking of the divinity of the Holy Spirit.

   - Vladimir Lossky, In the Image and Likeness of God

The glory that shone from the face of Moses was a prefiguring of the true glory of the Holy Spirit. Just as it was impossible then for anyone to gaze at it, so now the darkness of the passions cannot bear the same glory shining in the souls of Christians, but is put to flight, repulsed by its brilliance.

   - St. Macarios of Egypt, Philokalia, Vol. 3

The Holy Spirit comes when we are receptive. He does not compel. He approaches so meekly that we may not even notice. If we would know the Holy Spirit we need to examine ourselves in the light of the Gospel teaching, to detect any other presence which may prevent the Holy Spirit from entering into our souls. We must not wait for God to force Himself on us without our consent. God respects and does not constrain man. It is amazing how God humbles Himself before us. He loves us with a tender love, not haughtily, not with condescension. And when we open our hearts to Him we are overwhelmed by the conviction that He is indeed our Father. The soul then worships in love."

   - Archimandrite Sophrony, His Life is Mine, Chapter 6

The Holy Spirit can be received through prayer. Prayer is the simplest, surest, and most available means to receive the Holy Spirit. … Pray even though at first your prayer may be weak and imperfect because of your sinfulness and estrangement from God. Pray with diligence and fervor; train yourself to be sincere in your conversation with God. Thus, little by little you will learn to pray and will start to feel a sweet comfort. The Holy Spirit will have mercy on you and will come and reside in you if you show faithfulness in your efforts at prayer.

    - St. Innocent of Irkutsk, The Way Into the Kingdom of Heaven