St. Mary Orthodox Church

Cambridge, MA

Update for the week Friday, September 3, through Thursday, September 9, 2010


REGULAR HOURS RESUME – This Sunday, September 5, we return to our regular hours for Sunday services:  Orthros 8:45 am,  Divine Liturgy 10:00  am


YOUNG ADULT RETREAT – The 2010 Inter-Orthodox Young Adult Retreat, sponsored by the diocesan Fellowship of St. John the Divine,  will be held  September 10 – 12.  Topic:  “A New Commandment I give to you, that you love one another as I have loved you.”  The schedule:

Friday:  Vespers & Welcome Reception at the Holiday Inn Legacy Place

Saturday:  Keynote address by  Alex Younes and two workshops, with Mr. Younes and our own David Vermette, here at St. Mary Church, Cambridge

Saturday Night:  Dinner & Moonlight Cruise down the Charles River

Sunday: Divine Liturgy at St. Mary Church, followed by Brunch at the Church

Room Rate: $95 at Holiday Inn Legacy Place.  Call 781-329-1000 for reservations and mention “Young Adult Retreat.”  Register before September 6 and receive an $80 Early Bird Registration Package. Register on line at or on Facebook:  2010 Young Adult Retreat.

ANTIOCHIAN WOMEN – The diocesan Antiochian Women will hold a Celebration honoring Spiritual Advisor V. Rev. Fr. Ed Hughes at St. George, West Roxbury  on Sunday, September 19, from 4:00 – 7:00 pm.  Everyone is welcome!

WOMEN’S CLUB– The next meeting of the St. Mary Women’s Club will be  Tuesday, September 21, at 7:30, in the small hall next to the kitchen. Feel free to join us!

The Book Discussion of The Helpby Kathryn Stockett  (see Reminders, below) will be Tuesday, October 5, at 8:00 pm, following a brief business meeting to begin at 7:30 pm.

DOCUMENTARY SNEAK PREVIEW– On Wednesday, September 15 at 7:00 pm, St. George West Roxbury will host a  “Special Sneak Preview” of  Little Town of Bethlehem, an acclaimed documentary film which follows the story of three men of three different faiths and their lives in Israel and Palestine. The story explores each man’s choice of nonviolent action amidst a culture of overwhelming violence.  The film will then have an Exclusive Engagement  September 21 from 7-10 p.m.  at Boston College, Cabaret Room, Vanderslice Building.


SONIA’S RUN – The second annual 5k road race to benefit the Theophany School, in honor of  beloved friend Sonia Belcher, will be held on Saturday,  September 18 , at St. George Church, West  Roxbury.  The 5K Run/Walk  begins at 9:00 am;  Kids Fun Run at 8:30 am.  Be a runner….Be a volunteer….Be a sponsor!  Call Kim Daly 781-510-1175 or kimdaly4@gmail.comor

ANTIOCHIAN WOMEN’S EVENT – A celebrationhonoring the Spiritual Advisor to the Antiochian Women of the Diocese, V. Rev. Fr. Ed Hughes, will be held at St. George, West Roxbury  from 4:00 – 7:00 pm on Sunday, September 19.  Everyone is welcome!

ST. THEKLA PILGRIMAGE – Theannual St. Thekla pilgrimage will take place over the weekend of  September 24 – 26, 2010 at Antiochian Village.  This year’s theme will be  Ascending the Mountain:  It’s a Family Road Trip.   Presiding Hierarch will be  Rt. Rev. Bishop THOMAS, with Mother Alexandra, Abbess of the Convent of St. Thekla, as an additional speaker.  For more information, visit www.antiochianvillage.orgor contact the office at the Antiochian Village 724-238-3677.  See brochure on Church Bulletin Board.  Registration and payment deadline:  September 1, 2010.

(Note:  If you are going to this event, please contact Joyce Kilsey at 407-636-0268.  She’s interested in going.)

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 on October 5  for an enjoyable evening of discussion,  refreshments and fellowship!

PARISH ANNIVERSARY– St. Mary, Pawtucket RI, will be celebrating their 100th anniversary the weekend of October 8-10, with Metropolitan PHILIP presiding.  Events include a “Walk Down Memory Lane,” a Grand Hafli,  Hierarchical Divine Liturgy, and a Grand Banquet.  More details to follow.

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.  

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.

COFFEE HOUR VOLUNTEERS NEEDED – Please sign up to provide a coffee hour – it can be as simple as coffee, juice, and cookies.  Lots of Sundays are available in the Fall, and 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

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  September through June, and at 9:30 am during the summer.

This ministry is 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!

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 – Communion Cloth and Bread:   Maggie Arnold, Linda Arnold, Kate Jellinghaus   and others.

If you would like to read the Epistle or assist during Communion, 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 – Peter and Melissa Nassiff


Saturday, September 4:  Great Vespers 5:00

Sunday, September 5Regular hours resume:  Orthros 8:45 am,  Divine Liturgy 10:00  am


Epistle:  St. Paul's Second Letter to the Corinthians 4:6-15

Brethren, it is the God who said, "Let light shine out of darkness," who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.  But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, to show that the transcendent power belongs to God and not to us.

Gospel:  Matthew 22:35-46

At that time, a lawyer asked him a question, to test him. "Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?" And he said to him, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it, You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the law and the prophets."

Tuesday, September 7:  Evening Liturgy for the  Feast of the Nativity of the Theotokos 6:30 pm 


Saturday, September 11:  Great Vespers 5:00

Sunday, September 12:  Orthros 8:45 am,  Divine Liturgy 10:00  am;   Church School registration

Monday, September 13:  Evening Liturgy for the Feast of the Elevation of the Holy Cross 6:30 pm

Sunday, September 19:  Procession of the Holy Cross;  Church School classes start;  Antiochian Women’s Reception for Fr. Ed Hughes at St. George, West Roxbury 4:00 pm


Abba John the Dwarf said, "A house is not built by beginning at the top and working down. You must begin with the foundations in order to reach the top." They said to him, "What does this saying mean?" He said, "The foundation is our neighbor, whom we must win, and that is the place to begin. For all the commandments of Christ depend on this one."

   - The Sayings of the Desert Fathers, edited by Sr. Benedicta Ward          

He who for our sake endured a disgraceful, unjust death desires us to be like this, for there is nothing so dear to Him or that in its true virtue so fully accords with Him—nothing so apt to raise us up from the dunghill of our passions—as gentleness and humility and love for our fellow beings. If these are not present with us as we cultivate the virtues, all our labor is in vain…

   - Nikitas Stithatos, “On the Practice of the Virtues”  From The Philokalia

The joy of the mystical love of God springs from a liberation from all self-hood by the annihilation of every trace of pride. Desire not to be exalted but only to be abased, not to be great but only to be little in your own eyes and the eyes of the world; for the only way to enter into that joy is to dwindle down to a vanishing point and become absorbed in God through the center of your own nothingness.

   - Fr.  Thomas Merton, New Seeds of Contemplation

He that loves Me, says the Lord, will keep My Commandments; and "this is My commandment, that you love one another." He therefore who does not love his neighbor does not keep the commandment. Nor is he that does not keep the commandment able to love the Lord.

    - St. Maximos the Confessor

We carry as in earthen vessels - that is to say, in our bodies - the Father's light in the person of Jesus Christ, and so can experience the glory of the Holy Spirit.

   -  St. Gregory Palamas,Those Who Practice a Life of Stillness