St. Mary Orthodox Church

Cambridge, MA

Update for the week Friday, June 11, through Thursday, June 17, 2010


SPECIAL PARISH MEETINGThis  Sunday, June 13, 2010, there will be a meeting in the Church following Liturgy to discuss financing for Church and Parish Home restoration projects.  It is important that all members of St. Mary Church attend this meeting.


PATRIARCHAL ENCYCLICAL REGARDING THE GULF OIL SPILL – The Ecumenical Patriarch, Bartholomew of Constantinople, has issued an encyclical in response to the ongoing problems in the Gulf of Mexico. Patriarch Bartholomew, nicknamed “the Green Patriarch,” is an internationally respected ecologist and environmentalist. Read his message here:

VACATION CHURCH SCHOOL - St. Xenia Orthodox Church, 107 N. Lowell St., Methuen, MA, will be having Vacation Church School the week of July 12 – 16, 2010 from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm.   Cost: $20/child or $40/family

Children ages 5 – 12:  The Twelve Great Feasts:  Vol. I:  Feasts of the Theotokos

Teens ages 13 – 18:  The Teenage 10 Commandments

For more information, call Laryssa Doohovskoy  978-841-5960.  Please register by June 25, 2010. 


PARISH LIFE CONFERENCE - The 72nd Annual Parish Life Conference of the diocese will be hosted by St. George Cathedral Worcester next weekend,  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 

Note: There will be no services at St. Mary next weekend.

MUSEUM OF RUSSIAN ICONS – St. George Church, West Roxbury, is sponsoring a trip to the Museum of Russian Icons on Saturday,  June 26, 2010.  The cost of trip, $20 per person, includes transportation by van leaving St. George Church, West Roxbury at 10:00 am and leaving the Museum at 3:00 pm.  Lunch not included.  Call Evelyn Easa by Friday, June 18 at 617-266-0065 for reservations.

GRECIAN FESTIVAL Ss. Constantine & Helen Church, Cambridge, will have their annual Grecian Festival  June 18 – 20, 2010,  from 11:0 am to 11:00 pm.  Admission is free. Proceeds will benefit the Church Building Fund.  For more information, call 617-876-3601.

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

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.

PARISH COUNCIL – The next regular meeting of the Parish Council will be Wednesday, June 30, at 8:30 pm.

SUMMER HOURS – Starting Sunday, July 4, St. Mary will change to summer hours – Orthros 8:15 am, Divine Liturgy 9:30 am.

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.

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.

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 through the end of June (except for June 20), and at 9:30 during the summer.

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 – Epistle: Bob Kowalik

COFFEE HOUR – The family of  Dolores Tabet


Saturday, June 12:  Great Vespers

Sunday, June 13: Orthros 8:45 am; Divine Liturgy 10:00 am


Epistle:  St. Paul's Letter to the Romans 5:1-10

Brethren, since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in our hope of sharing the glory of God.  …  God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit which has been given to us.

Gospel:  Matthew 6:22-33

You cannot serve God and mammon. Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you shall eat or what you shall drink, nor about your body, what you shall put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? … But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things shall be yours as well."


Friday – Sunday, June  18-20:  Parish Life Conference in Sturbridge, MA –  Church offices closed; no services at St. Mary

Saturday, June 19:  NO Vespers at St. Mary

Sunday, June 20:  NO Liturgy 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;  Apostles’ Fast ends

Saturday, July 3:  No Vespers at St. Mary

Sunday, July 4:  Summer Hours Begin – Orthros  8:15 am,  Divine Liturgy  9:30 am


Grace is … more than a relation of God to man; far from being an action or an effect produced by God in the soul, it is God Himself, communicating Himself and entering into ineffable union with man.

   - Vladimir Lossky, In the Image and Likeness of God

Theosis means so relying on divine grace that we live in God and he in us. Orthodoxy affirms the indwelling of the triune Godhead within Christians in an intensely realistic fashion: in the divine energies, God himself – Father, Son and Holy Spirit (John 14:16-17, 23) – dwells and works within humans, enabling them to become increasingly like him. This indwelling occupies the entire person, body and soul. As God created humans to participate in both realms, and as he made them his image-bearers in both body and soul, so he intended that his likeness pervade both the immaterial and the material components if human beings.

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

When God revealed himself, he united himself with our mortal nature in order to deify humanity through this close relation with deity. Since this is so, through his flesh, constituted by bread and wine, he implants himself in all believers.

   - St. Gregory of Nyssa, Catechetical Oration

Those who travel by sea, when overtaken by a storm, do not worry about their merchandise but throw it into the waters with their own hands, considering their property less important than their life. Why, then, do we not follow their example, and for the sake of the higher life despise whatever drags our soul down to the depths? Why is fear of God less powerful than fear of the sea? In their desire not to be deprived of this transitory life, they judge the loss of their goods no great disaster; but we, who claim to be seeking eternal life, do not look with detachment on even the most insignificant object, but prefer to perish with the cargo rather than be saved without it.

   - St. Neilos the Ascetic,  The Philokalia, volume 1