St. Mary Orthodox Church

Cambridge, MA

Update for the week Thursday, June 17, through Thursday, June 24, 2010


PARISH LIFE CONFERENCE - The 72nd Annual Parish Life Conference of the diocese will be hosted by St. George Cathedral Worcester this weekend,  June 18-20 at the  Sturbridge Host Hotel ( in Sturbridge, MA.    Conference registration, schedules, and other information can be found at 

Note: The church offices will be closed Friday through Sunday, and there will be no services at St. Mary this weekend.

Diocesan meetings for Clergy families, Women’s Club, Fellowship of St. John the Divine, and Teen SOYO will be held on Friday, with the Bible Bowl Friday evening at 8:00 pm.  Our Bible Bowl Team consists of Theo & Gabe Smith and Thomas Marge, with coach Violet Robbat.  Good luck!!

Please join us Friday afternoon at 2:30 for the first address to be given by His Grace, Bishop Thomas. His topic will be 1 Peter 2:9 - "But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God's own people, that you may declare the wonderful deeds of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light."  What does it mean for the Clergy and Laity to be a part of the royal priesthood?

Sayidna's second address will be at the end of Vespers on Friday, about 6:00 pm.   His topic will be "Life as Sacrament."  On Saturday, during a Picnic in the Park, he will participate in an "Ask Sayidna" session with the teens.  The Oratorical Festival will be Saturday morning, and there will be a Hafli Saturday evening at 8:00 pm.

On Sunday there will be  NO Liturgy at St. Mary;  come to the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy at the Conference in the Exhibit Hall of the Sturbridge Host Hotel, at 10:00 am. This will be followed by brunch, Choir Festival, and awards.

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.


COFFEE HOUR VOLUNTEERS NEEDED – Please sign up to provide a coffee hour – it can be as simple as coffee, juice, and cookies, and it’s easier now when summer attendance is lighter.  Plenty of help is available! Signup sheets are on the bulletin board downstairs outside the Hall, or call Marilyn in the office at 617-547-1234 or

TANGLEWOOD OUTING – Join your music-loving friends from St. Mary’s as we carpool out to Tanglewood after Liturgy on  Sunday, August 1. We’ll picnic on the lawn and listen to music by Sibelius, Elgar, and Mussorgsky,  with cellist Yo-Yo Ma.  (For more information see  The concert starts at 2:30; lawn tickets are $24.50 (pay at the door). Bring lawn chairs if you want them, and picnic food for yourself and to share.  For more information and to let us know you're coming, especially if you'll need a ride (or can provide one), contact Melissa Nassiff by email ( or phone (508-877-7483).


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.

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.

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.

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. 

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  three  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!

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:

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 – No Liturgy at St. Mary

COFFEE HOUR – No services at St. Mary


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


Epistle:  St. Paul's Letter to the Romans 6:18-23

But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the return you get is sanctification and its end, eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Gospel:  Matthew 8:5-13

But the centurion answered him, "Lord, I am not worthy to have you come under my roof; but only say the word, and my servant will be healed. For I am a man under authority, with soldiers under me; and I say to one, 'Go,' and he goes…


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


If any here is a slave of sin, let him promptly prepare himself through faith for the new birth into freedom and adoption; and having put off the miserable bondage of his sins, and taken on him the most blessed bondage of the Lord, so may he be counted worthy to inherit the kingdom of heaven.

   - St. Cyril of Jerusalem

Creation is a slave; the Spirit sets free. Creation stands in need of life; the Spirit is the Life-Giver. Creation needs instruction; the Spirit is the Teacher. Creation is sanctified; the Spirit is the Sanctifier.

   - St. Basil the Great

To serve the God of Love one must be free, one must face the terrible responsibility of the decision to love in spite of all unworthiness, whether in oneself or in one's neighbor.

   - Thomas Merton, New seeds of Contemplation

...if a man seeks God with obedience, questioning and wise humility, he will always be protected from harm by the grace of Christ, Who desires all men to be saved.

   - St. Gregory of Sinai,  Instructions to Hesychasts