St. Mary Orthodox Church

Cambridge, MA

Update for the TWO weeks Friday, July 30, through Thursday, August 12, 2010


FR. ANTONY AWAY; NO SERVICES – Because of a family emergency, Fr. Antony will be in Tennessee this week, leaving after church this Sunday.  All services scheduled for the week (Paraklesis, Transfiguration Liturgy, and Vespers) are cancelled

In case of emergency, call Fr. Timothy Ferguson at St. George Church in West Roxbury, 617-323-0323.

The Liturgy for the Feast of the Transfiguration with Blessing of Fruit will be celebrated at St. George, West Roxbury, on Thursday, August 5 at 6:30 pm.

NO ST. MARY UPDATE NEXT WEEK– Because of vacation scheduling this newsletter covers the next two weeks; no Update will be issued for August 6.  However, special notices will be issued if necessary.

HELP NEEDED: FOOD PANTRY COORDINATORTwo to four volunteers from St. Mary are scheduled to 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 volunteer to be the new coordinator - contact outgoing coordinator Christian Alcala at, or (617) 876-5684. Our grateful thanks to Christian for serving in this capacity for the past several years.

WOMEN’S CLUB SUMMER READING -  This summer Women's Club members (and anyone else who'd like to join us) will be reading The Help by Kathryn Stockett. Read the book over the summer, and join us in the fall, on a date to be announced, for an enjoyable evening of discussion,  refreshments and fellowship!

BIBLE BOWL OUTCOME– Although our team did not win (the winning team, from Yonkers, NY,  scored an incredible 104 out of 105!), they did even better than last year, and again this year they were the youngest team. We congratulate Thomas Marge, Theo Smith, and GabrielSmith on their hard work and thank Violet Robbat for all the time she spent preparing them.

DEFIBRILLATOR TRAINING- Due to a generous donation, the church is about to install a new Automated External Defibrillator (AED) machine downstairs in the church hall, and plans on hosting a professional training session for the AED machine in the fall for our parishioners.  This training would be at no cost to parishioners and would last approximately 30-45 minutes.

In the alternative, the Parish council is requesting feedback from parishioners about interest in a combination CPR and AED class wherein attendees could receive their certification in these areas.  This class would carry a small cost, would be sanctioned by the Red Cross or other entity, and would last about 4-6 hours. We need to know how many parishioners are interested in order to schedule the training.
Please see Raymond Sayeg ( or Eric Straghalis ( if you are interested in these classes.  


BLOOD DRIVE IN HONOR OF JAMIL – There will be a blood drive this  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 is being held July 28 – August 1, and will include a 25th anniversary concert this Saturday, July31,  featuring the Sacred Music Chamber Choir and our own Boston Byzantine Choir.

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 next  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 this weekend (7/30-8/1) to help with the clean-up on that Saturday.  Some plan to join the St. Mary group at Tanglewood 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  several  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, 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 volunteer to be the new coordinator -  contact outgoing coordinator 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.

"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; Communion cloth and bread: Maggie Arnold,  Rose Njuguna, and others.

If you would like to read the Epistle or assist during Communion through the rest of the summer, please contact Jeff Wasilko,   If you have held the bread or communion cloth before, and see an empty space, feel free to step in and help.

COFFEE HOUR – Ascolu Eritrean Food (Diace)


Saturday, July 31:  Great Vespers 5:00 pm

Sunday, August 1:  Orthros  8:15 am,  Divine Liturgy  9:30 am  (Summer hours);   Dormition Fast begins

Epistle:  St. Paul's First Letter to the Corinthians 4:9-16
Brethren, God has exhibited us apostles as last of all, like men sentenced to death; because we have become a spectacle to the world, to angels and to men. We are fools for Christ's sake, but you are wise in Christ. We are weak, but you are strong. You are held in honor, but we in disrepute.

Gospel:  Matthew 17:14-23
…  Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, "Why could we not cast it out?"  He said to them, "Because you have no faith.  For truly, I say to you, if you have faith, even as a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you.  But this kind never comes out except by prayer and fasting."

Wednesday, August 4:  NO Paraclesis Service at St. Mary

Thursday, August 5:  NO Evening Liturgy for the Feast of the Holy Transfiguration at St. Mary

Saturday, August 7:  NO Vespers at St. Mary

Sunday, August 8:  Orthros  8:15 am,  Divine Liturgy  9:30 am  (Summer hours)
Epistle:  St. Paul's First Letter to the Corinthians 9:2-12
Who serves as a soldier at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard without eating any of its fruit? Who tends a flock without getting some of the milk? Do I say this on human authority? Does not the law say the same? For it is written in the law of Moses, "You shall not muzzle an ox when it is treading out the grain." Is it for oxen that God is concerned? Does he not speak entirely for our sake? It was written for our sake, because the plowman should plow in hope and the thresher thresh in hope of a share in the crop.

Gospel:  Matthew 18:23-35
The Lord said this parable: "The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his servants. When he began the reckoning, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents; and as he could not pay, his lord ordered him to be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had, and payment to be made. So the servant fell on his knees, imploring him, 'Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay you everything.' And out of pity for him the lord of that servant released him and forgave him the debt. …  'You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you besought me; and should not you have had mercy on your fellow servant, as I had mercy on you?' "

Wednesday, August 11:  Paraclesis Service 6:30 pm


August 1 – August 14:  Dormition Fast

Saturday, August 14:  Great Vespers 5:00 pm

Sunday, August 15, Our Patronal Feast Day:  Orthros 8:15 am,  Lamentations 9:30 am,  followed by Festal Divine Liturgy for the  Feast of the Dormition of the Blessed Theotokos; followed by a celebratory coffee hour

Saturday, August 21:  No Vespers at St. Mary
Sunday, September 5:  Regular hours resume:  Orthros 8:45 am,  Divine Liturgy 10:00  am

Sunday, September 12:  Church School registration

Sunday, September 19:  Church School classes start


Through the fall our nature was stripped of divine illumination and resplendence. But the Logos of God had pity upon our disfigurement and in His compassion He took our nature upon Himself, and on Tabor He manifested it to His elect disciples clothed once again most brilliantly. He shows what we once were and what we shall become through Him in the age to come, if we choose to live our present life as far as possible in accordance with His ways.
   - St. Gregory Palamas

According to Orthodox teaching, the promise about seeing the Son of Man coming in his kingdom [Mt 16:28] must be understood as fulfilled in what transpired in the transfiguration. … [T]he transfiguration is a tremendously important event: it shows who Christ is, what he will achieve in salvation, what he will be like when he appears and what his people will ultimately become. … [O]n Mount Tabor divine glory shone through Christ’s humanity. His humanity, without ceasing to be humanity, was transformed by and suffused with divine glory: Christ’s humanity was deified. This showed forth his deity as the Son of God incarnate, in confirmation of St. Peter’s confession a few days earlier (Mt. 16:16). However, the glory manifested was not simply the glory he had from eternity as the Son of God; rather, as the last Adam, he had so acquired likeness to God  that divine light shone forth through his humanity itself.
   - James R. Payton, Jr., Light from the Christian East

Our Lord saves us by becoming what we are, by sharing totally in our humanity, thereby enabling us to share in what he is. Thus through a reciprocal exchange of gifts he takes our humanity and communicates to us his divine life, reestablishing that communion between Creator and creation which sin has destroyed.
   - Timothy Ware (Bishop Kallistos), How are we Saved?

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 (Jn 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 of human beings.
   - James R. Payton, Jr., Light from the Christian East