St. Mary Orthodox Church

Cambridge, MA

Update for the week Friday, May 28, through Thursday, June 3, 2010


FR. ANTONY AWAY – Fr. Antony will be out of town this weekend, so there will be no Vespers this Saturday, May 29.  On Sunday we welcome V. Rev. Joseph Purpura, who will celebrate the Liturgy.

AXIOS! BISHOP ANTOUN – This 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


CHECK OUT THE WORD – This month’s issue of The Word magazine (published by the Archdiocese) includes a photo showing many of our teens, with an article about the SOYO Lenten Retreat; and an article about Scott Hakim, “our” marine, who was injured in Afghanistan and received a Purple Heart! He has recovered, and is now back with his unit. Please contribute to another care package for him (see Reminders, below) and write him a note.

COFFEE HOUR VOLUNTEERS NEEDED – Many Sundays are available in the next few months. To sign up, 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 or ask Marilyn at or 617-547-1234.

APOSTLES FAST - The Fast of the Holy Apostles begins on the day after All Saints' Sunday, which this year is this Sunday, May 30,  and continues until the Feast of Saints Peter and Paul, which is always on June 29.


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 this Tuesday, June 1, 2010.

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

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.

SEEKING VIDEO STREAMING VOLUNTEERS – The video streaming ministry has been a GREAT success!  A special THANK YOU to Erick Straghalis,  Marc Patacchiola, and Nadia Abuelezam who have been instrumental in making this possible.  Marc and Erick are looking for more 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 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!

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, Lego’s, 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.

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

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 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 – Rose Njuguna,  Melissa Nassiff, Maggie Arnold, Linda Arnold and others

COFFEE HOUR – Linda Arnold


Saturday, May 29:  NO Vespers at St. Mary

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


Epistle:  St. Paul's Letter to the Hebrews 11:33-40; 12:1-2

… Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfection of our faith.

Gospel:  Matthew 10:32-33; 37-38; 19:27-30

The Lord said to his disciples, "Everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven; but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny him before my Father who is in heaven. … And every one who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands, for my name's sake, will receive a hundredfold, and inherit eternal life. But many that are first will be last, and the last first."

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

Monday, May 31 – June 28:  Apostles’ Fast


Saturday, June 5:  Great Vespers

Sunday, June 6: Orthros 8:45 am; Divine Liturgy 10:00 am

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 pm

Saturday, July 3:  No Vespers at St. Mary

Sunday, July 5:  Summer Hours Begin – Orthros  8:15 am,  Divine Liturgy  9:30 am


And you should venerate icons of the saints, for the saints have been crucified with the Lord; and you should make the sign of the cross upon your person before doing so, bringing to mind their communion in the sufferings of Christ. In the same way you should venerate their holy shrines and any relic of their bones; for God's grace is not sundered from these things, even as the divinity was not sundered from Christ's venerable body at the time of His life-quickening death. By doing this and by glorifying those who glorified God --for through their actions they showed themselves to be perfect in their love for God-- you too will be glorified together with them by God, and with David you will chant: 'I have held Thy friends in high honor, O Lord' (Ps 139.17 LXX).

   - St. Gregory Palamas, On Holy Icons

There are certain kinds of trees which never bear any fruit as long as their branches stay up straight, but if stones are hung on the branches to bend them down they begin to bear fruit. So it is with the soul. When it is humbled it begins to bear fruit, and the more fruit it bears the lowlier it becomes. So also the saints; the nearer they get to God, the more they see themselves as sinners.

   - St. Dorotheos of Gaza, Discourses and Sayings

Surely, then, the worshippers and friends and sons of God are to be held in honor? for the honor shown to the most thoughtful of fellow-servants is a proof of good feeling towards the common Master. These are made treasuries and pure habitations of God: "For I will dwell in them, " said God, "and walk in them and I will be their God. " The divine Scripture likewise says that the souls of the just are in God's hand and death cannot lay hold of them. For death is rather the sleep of the saints than their death. "For they travailed in this life and shall to the end, " and "Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints. " What then, is more precious than to be in the hand of God. For God is Life and Light, and those who are in God's hand are in life and light.

   - St. John of Damascus, Exposition of the Orthodox Faith

The greatest saints have always shown the perfect combination of nearness to our Lord on the one hand, and a deep sense of their own unworthiness and weakness on the other. 

   - Abbe de Tourville, Letters of Direction

Some might object, saying, how can we who are sinful and weak be like Jesus Christ or the saints! We live in the secular world and have families and many responsibilities. Oh, brethren! This is a cunning excuse and an insult to our Creator. To justify our carelessness by such reasoning means to accuse our Maker of being unable to create us properly. After all, the saints, like us, were not sinless at first but participated in worldly affairs, labored and had various obligations and families to care about. Surely they were not perfect in everything. They had their share of temptations and low moments. Notwithstanding this, living in circumstances similar to ours and having their ups and downs, they steered toward the main objective of their life: the Kingdom of Heaven. Undoubtedly, we also, if we truly desire to, can be good citizens, faithful spouses, loving parents, and simultaneously good Christians. Our faith will not be an obstacle but, on the contrary, will aid all our good undertakings. The essence of Christianity is pure and selfless love, which is inspired by the Holy Spirit.

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