St. Mary Orthodox Church

Cambridge, MA

Update for the week Friday, July 9, through Thursday, July 15, 2010


SUMMER MEETINGS AT THE VILLAGE – The North American Board of the Antiochian Women and the North American Councils of the Fellowship of St. John the Divine and Teen SOYO will hold their annual Summer Meetings at the Antiochian Village the weekend of Friday through Sunday, July 23-25. (This is when the St. Mary Bible Bowl team will represent our Diocese in the Bible Bowl at the national level - see Reminders, below.)

MEMORY ETERNAL - We regret to advise of  the falling asleep in the Lord of  Charles H. Andrews, husband of the late Lilly (Homsy) Andrews, father of the late Stephen Andrews and brother-in-law of Mary H. Homsy and the late Leo & Sally Homsy, on Friday, July 2, 2010.  Wake was held on Tuesday, July 6, at Kfoury Keefe Funeral Home, West Roxbury, with a Funeral Mass held at St. Agatha Church in Milton and interment at Cedar Grove Cemetery, Dorchester.  Contributions may be made to St. Mary Orthodox Church or Carmelite Monastery, 61 Mt. Pleasant Av., Roxbury, MA  02119.

Also, we regret to advise of the falling asleep in the Lord  of Angelica “Jenny” Gonchar,  mother of Peter and Susan (Winstanley) Gonchar and grandmother of Peter and Nicholas Gonchar of Somerville, on Sunday, July 4, 2010.  Calling hours were held at the George L. Doherty Funeral Home in Somerville on Thursday, with interment at Woodlawn Cemetery, Everett.  Contributions may be made to Home for Little Wanderers, 271 Huntington Av., Boston, MA  02115.


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!

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.

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).

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.

     In years past, a number of us have gone out for the weekend to help the Chapel Community with the "leg-work" for the day.  They are hoping a number of us will do so again this year.  Let Teva Regule ( know if you are interested as she will be arranging housing for all the Boston helpers.  For those wishing to stay the weekend, there is a parish picnic on that Sunday afternoon to which we are all invited.   

     In addition, a few of us will be trekking out there the weekend before (7/30-8/1) to help with the clean-up on that Saturday.  At present, some plan to join the St. Mary group at Tanglewood that Sunday afternoon on the return trip home.  Let Teva know if you can help for the cleanup weekend as well.

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 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: David Vermette;  Cloth: Linda Arnold and Melissa Nassiff; 

Left Bread:  Nadia Abuelezam;  Right Bread: Maggie Arnold

COFFEE HOUR – Mary Woldemichael


Saturday, July 10:  Great Vespers 5:00 pm

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


Epistle:  St. Paul's Second Letter to the Corinthians 6:1-10

We put no obstacle in any one's way, so that no fault may be found with our ministry, but as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: through great endurance … ; by purity, knowledge, forbearance, kindness, the Holy Spirit, genuine love, truthful speech, and the power of God; with the weapons of righteousness for the right hand and for the left; …

Gospel:  Matthew 9:27-35

… And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every disease and every infirmity among the people.


Saturday, July 17:  Great Vespers 5:00 pm

Sunday, July 18:  Summer Hours – Orthros  8:15 am,  Divine Liturgy  9:30 am

Saturday, July 24:  No Vespers at St. Mary


Through anointing with thine oil, and the touch of thy priests, O Lover of mankind, sanctify thy servants from on high. Free them from infirmities. Cleanse their spiritual defilements. Wash them, O Savior, and deliver them from scandals manifold. Assuage their maladies, banish their hindrances and destroy their afflictions; forasmuch as thou art Bountiful and Compassionate.

   - The Praises (Tone 4) from Wednesday of Holy Week

Hear me, you earthly men, who in your sins bring forth drunken thoughts: I have found a Physician. He dwells in Heaven and distributes His healing on earth. He alone can heal my pains Who Himself has none. He alone Who knows what is hidden, can take away the grief of my heart, the fear of my soul — Jesus Christ. Christ is grace, Christ is life, Christ is Resurrection! Amen.

   - St. Ambrose, Bishop of Milan

Usually the devil, knowing how good it is for us to recognize our moral illness, uses all his wiles to prevent us from doing so and tells us that all is well and there is no need to worry. But when he sees that we are really serious about becoming true Christians and with God’s help are on the way to restoring our spiritual health, then the devil uses craftier means: he presents to us our internal illnesses in such a hopeless condition that we become bewildered and despair of our salvation. If the Lord permitted the devil to use this trick on all of us, few of us would find the strength to continue the struggle. However, the Lord, as a knowledgeable physician, protects as from despair. He heals our spiritual ulcers and encourages us as we heal.

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

Do not fall into despair because of your stumblings. I do not mean that you should not feel pain because of them, but that you should not consider them incurable. For it is better to be wounded than dead…Christ came on behalf of sinners, to heal the broken-hearted and to bind up their wounds.

   - St. Isaac the Syrian, Ascetical Homilies

Prayer is a harbor in the storms of life, an anchor for those who are storm-tossed, the treasure of the poor, the security of the rich, the healing of the sick, the preservation of health. Prayer banishes evil things, and preserves the good.

   - St. John Chrysostom