St. Mary Orthodox Church

Cambridge, MA

Update for the week Friday, July 16, through Thursday, July 22, 2010


FAREWELL TO DEACON MILAD– This Sunday will be Dn. Milad’s last Sunday with us at St. Mary; he will spend his final year of seminary serving at  St. John, Dedham.  A special “pot luck” coffee hour will be offered by the parish for his continued good health and well-being, and that of his wife Nichole, in appreciation of  their service here.  If you would like to contribute something for the coffee hour, we suggest last names A-E please bring beverages; F-S, please bring savory items and dishes; T-Z, please bring desserts and fruits.


FR. ANTONY AWAY- Fr. Antony will be at the annual Clergy Symposium at Antiochian Village  Monday through Friday of this week, July 19–23In case of emergency Monday through Saturday, contact Ray Sayeg at 617-872-9774. 

EARLY BULLETIN DEADLINE– Marilyn Robbat, our Parish Secretary, will be attending the  Summer Meetings t the Village next weekend, so the Church offices will be closed Thursday and Friday, July 22-23.  Early Deadline for the July 25 Sunday Bulletin will be Wednesday, July 21 at 10:00 am.


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.)

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 INSTITUTEAND 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, and Non perishable food.
     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 Communionby 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 secretary@stmaryorthodoxchurch.orgor 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  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: Teva Regule;  Cloth: Maggie Arnold and Melissa Nassiff;  Left Bread: Nadia Abuelezam;  Right Bread: Teva Regule

COFFEE HOUR – The Parish of St. Mary


Saturday, July 17:  Great Vespers 5:00 pm

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

Epistle:  St. Paul's Letter to Titus 3:8-15
… I desire you to insist on these things, so that those who have believed in God may be careful to apply themselves to good deeds; these are excellent and profitable to men. But avoid stupid controversies, genealogies, dissensions, and quarrels over the law, for they are unprofitable and futile. As for a man who is factious, after admonishing him once or twice, have nothing more to do with him, knowing that such a person is perverted and sinful; he is self-condemned.

Gospel:  Matthew 5:14-19
The Lord said to his disciples, "You are the light of the world. … Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. "


Saturday, July 24:  No Vespers at St. Mary

Sunday, July 25:  Summer Hours – Orthros  8:15 am,  Divine Liturgy  9:30 am


Faith reaches the intellect not simply through the senses but in a light directly infused by God. Since this light does not pass through the eye of the imagination or reason, its certitude becomes our own without any vesture of created appearance, without any likeness that can be visualized or described.
   - Thomas Merton, New Seeds of Contemplation

So, when the saints contemplate this divine light within themselves, seeing it by the divinizing communion of the Spirit, through the mysterious visitations of perfecting illuminations - then they behold the garment of their deification, their mind being glorified and filled by the grace of the Word, beautiful beyond measure in His splendor; just as the divinity of the Word on the mountain glorified with divine light the body conjoined to it. For  'the glory which the Father gave Him,' He Himself has given to those obedient to Him, as the Gospel says, and 'He willed that they should be with Him and contemplate His glory…'
   - St. Gregory Palamas, The Triads

The final coming of Christ will be the judgment of all men. His very presence will be the judgment. For those who love the Lord, His Presence will be infinite joy, paradise and eternal life. For those who hate the Lord, the same Presence will be infinite torture, hell and eternal death.  According to the saints, the 'fire' that will consume sinners at the coming of the Kingdom is the same 'fire' that will shine with splendor in the saints.  It is the fire of God’s love; the 'fire' of God Himself, who is Love.  …  Thus it is the Church’s spiritual teaching that God does not punish man by some material fire or physical torment. God simply reveals Himself in the risen Lord Jesus in such a glorious way that no man can fail to behold His glory.  It is the presence of God’s splendid glory and love that is the scourge of those who reject His radiant power and light.
   -  Thomas Hopko

Know to what extent the Creator has honored you above all creation. The sky is not an image of God, nor is the moon, nor the sun, nor the beauty of the stars, nor anything of what can be seen in creation. You alone have been made the image of the Reality that transcends all understanding, the likeness of imperishable beauty, the imprint of true divinity, the recipient of beatitude, the seal of the true light. When you turn to him you become that which he is himself...There is nothing so great among beings that it can be compared with your greatness. God is able to measure the whole heaven with his span. The earth and the sea are enclosed in the hollow of his hand. And although he is so great and holds all creation in the palm of his hand, you are able to hold him, he dwells in you and moves within you without constraint, for he has said, 'I will live and move among them' (2 Corinthians 6.16).
   - Gregory of Nyssa