St. Mary Orthodox Church

Cambridge, MA

Update for the week Friday, July 2, through Thursday, July 8, 2010


FR. ANTONY AWAY - Fr. Antony will be away Friday through Monday, July 2–5. In case of emergency, contact Fr. John Teebagy at St. John Church, Dedham at 781-326-3046.

There will be no Vespers on Saturday.  On Sunday we are pleased to welcome back Rev. Fr. Ephraim Peters of St. George Cathedral, Worcester, who will be celebrating Orthros and the Divine Liturgy in Fr. Antony’s absence. 

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


NEW SKETE PILGRIMAGE  - The Monastic Communities and Chapel Community members of New Skete Monastery in Cambridge, New York, invite you to join them for a day of prayer and reflection celebrating their feast day on Saturday, August 7, 2010 (rain or shine).  The theme of the pilgrimage is "Hidden Holiness."  As is the rule of monastic life, the day will begin and end with prayer--Matins at 8:30 am, followed by the celebration of the Divine Liturgy at 9:30 am and end with Vigil at 5:00 pm.  In addition, a special Healing Service with Anointing will be held at 3:30 pm.  Fr. Michael Plekon, Professor of Sociology and Religious Studies at Baruch College and an Associate Priest at Saint Gregory the Theologian Orthodox Church, Wappinger Falls, NY, will deliver the feature presentation, "Living the Holy Life in Our Time," in the afternoon.  This theme has been very much on Father's mind for several years prompting him to write the book with the title, *Hidden Holiness."  Dr. Olga Solovieva, Visiting Assistant Professor of Religion at Skidmore College, will moderate the discussion.  In addition, the day will include tours of the monastery churches, a demonstration of the monks' dog training program, as well as time for hiking, conversation, reflection and quite.  Activities for children and teens are also planned.  Traditional ethnic and American style food will be available for purchase.

FOUND BABY DOLL - Iliana is happy to have Genevieve back.   Thanks to the anonymous person who put her on a shelf in the coat room.

BLOOD DRIVE IN HONOR OF JAMIL – There will be a blood drive on Saturday, July 31, at  St. George Church, West Roxbury from 9:00 am. – 2:30 pm, in honor of both Jamil Samara and his father, George. Schedule an appointment by calling the St. George Church Office 617-323-0323 or Sean Santry at 617-517-4866

SACRED MUSIC INSTITUTE AND CONCERT– The annual Sacred Music Institute  at Antiochian Village will be held July 28 – August 1, and will include a 25th anniversary concert on July 31,  featuring the Sacred Music Chamber Choir and our own Boston Byzantine Choir.


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. 

BIBLE BOWL CHAMPS - Congratulations to our own Thomas Marge, Theo Smith, and Gabriel Smith,  winners of the 2010 Bible Bowl for the Diocese of Worcester & New England, and their coach, Violet Robbat!  Our Bible Bowl team will compete as the New England representatives at the North American Council - Fellowship of St. John the Divine Bible Bowl at Antiochian Village at the Summer Meetings on Saturday, July 24, 2010!

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).

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

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!

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: Jonathan Hill;  Center Cloth: Trish and Elias Orlovsky;  Right Cloth: Maggie Arnold and Nadia Abuelezam;  Left Bread: Melissa Nassiff;  Right Bread: Jeanne Brickman

COFFEE HOUR – Mary Woldemichael


Saturday, July 3:  NO Vespers at St. Mary

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


Epistle:  St. Paul's Letter to the Romans 12:6-14

Brethren, having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them… .

Gospel:  Matthew 8:28-34; 9:1

…  But Jesus, knowing their thoughts, said, "Why do you think evil in your hearts? For which is easier, to say 'Your sins are forgiven,' or to say 'Rise and walk?' But that you may know that the Son of man has authority on earth to forgive sins" he then said to the paralytic -- "Rise, take up your bed and go home." And he rose and went home. When the crowds saw it, they were afraid, and they glorified God, who had given such authority to men.


Saturday, July 10:  Great Vespers 5:00 pm

Sunday, July 11:  Summer Hours – Orthros  8:15 am,  Divine Liturgy  9:30 am

Saturday, July 24:  No Vespers at St. Mary


...we ought to learn the virtues through practicing them, not merely through talking about them, so that by acquiring the habit of them we do not forget what is of benefit to us. 'The kingdom of God', St. Paul says, 'resides not in words but in power' (I Cor. 4:20). For he who tries to discover things through actual practice will come to understand what gain or loss lies in any activity that he pursues...

   - St. Peter of Damascus

Although fasting is more difficult than this, nothing is so strong and powerful to extinguish the fire of our sins as almsgiving. It is greater than all other virtues. I places its lovers by the side of the King Himself, and justly. For the effect of fasting is confined to those who fast, and no other is saved thereby. But almsgiving extends to all, embracing the members of Christ, and actions that extend their effects to many are far greater than those which are confined to one.

   - St. John Chrysostom

If you give something to one in need, let the cheerfulness of your face precede your gift, and comfort his sorrow with kind words. When you do this, by your gift the gladness of his mind surpasses even the needs of his body.

   - St. Isaac the Syrian,  The Ascetical Homilies

The first and unique effect of the divine gift of genuine spiritual knowledge is to produce within us by faith the resurrection of God. Faith needs to be accompanied by the right ordering of our will and purpose - that is to say, by discrimination - which makes it possible for us bravely to withstand the spate of trials and temptations, sought or unsought. Thus faith, rightfully expressing itself through the fulfillment of the commandments, is the first resurrection within us of the God whom we have slain through our ignorance.

   - St. Maximus the Confessor