Weekly Newsletter for the week Friday, February 23, 2007 through Thursday, March 1, 2007


WOMEN'S CLUB - There will be a short meeting of the Women's Club during coffee hour this Sunday, February 25.  This is instead of the meeting originally scheduled for Wednesday, February 21.

SPECIAL COLLECTION - There will be an Archdiocese Collection taken following services this Sunday,  for those undertaking theological studies. 

HELP DURING LITURGY - During the month of March (Antiochian Women's Month), women of the parish will be reading the Epistle, taking the collection, and helping during Communion by holding the Communion Cloths and Holy Bread Baskets.  If any woman in the parish would like to participate during March, as we are all Antiochian Women, please call or see Marilyn Robbat 617-547-1234. 

HELP  BAKE SPINACH PIES -The Women's Club will be baking Spinach Triangles for the Lenten food sale on Saturday, March 3.   If you would like to help and/or learn to make Spinach Triangles (Fatayer), join us at 9:30 in the Church Hall. Men are welcome too!  If you have placed an order, order pick-up will be Sunday, March 4, after Liturgy.


SUNDAY OF ORTHODOXY - The Orthodox Clergy Association of Greater Boston invites all to attend  a Sunday of Orthodoxy Vesper Service this Sunday, February 25, at  5:00 p.m., at St. Athanasius the Great Greek Orthodox Church (in their new facilities), Appleton & Mass. Ave., Arlington. Church phone is 781-646-0705.

There will be a choir rehearsal at St. Athanasius in preparation for the event this  Sunday, February 25 from 2:00-4:00. 

PARISH COUNCIL - The Parish Council will meet Thursday, March 1, at 7:30 in the Library.

ANNUAL MEETING - The Annual Meeting of St. Mary parish will be held after liturgy next  Sunday, March 4, to approve the Year 2007 budget, review expenses of 2006, and hear committee reports and updates.  Please plan to stay for the meeting; it is usually brief and informative.

LENTEN POTLUCKS - Every Wednesday during Lent, with the exception of March 14 (when Fr. Antony will be in El Salvador with Real Break), there will be a Presanctified Liturgy at 6:30 p.m., followed by a Potluck Supper sponsored by the Fellowship of St. John the Divine.  Do plan to come and bring something to eat and to share... and stay for supper even if you can't bring food.

FOOD FOR HUNGRY PEOPLE - FFHP boxes are available at the Bengarri. Please take one home and use it throughout Lent.  "He who is kind to the poor lends to the Lord; and He will reward him for what he has done." (Proverbs 19:17)

REAL BREAK - College Students are invited to go on a Real Break, sponsored by the Orthodox Christian Fellowship,  for a week in February or March. An alternative to the traditional spring break, Real Break give college students the opportunity to fulfill their call as Christians to show their faith through works. Some projects still have vacancies - for information see http://www.ocf.net/realbreak/index.asp

BLESSING OF HOMES -  To schedule the blessing of your home, please call the church office at 617 547-1234.


Let us fast an acceptable and very pleasing fast to the Lord. True fast is the estrangement from evil, temperance of tongue, abstinence from anger, separation from desires, slander, falsehood, perjury. Privation of these is true fasting.

   - St. Basil the Great, A Hymn of First Monday of Lent

However limited our fasting, if it is true fasting it will lead to temptation, weakness, doubt, and irritation. In other terms, it will be a real fight and probably we shall fail many times. But the very discovery of Christian life as fight and effort is the essential aspect of fasting. A faith which has not overcome doubts and temptation is seldom a real faith. No progress in Christian life is possible, alas, without the bitter experience of failures. Too many people start fasting with enthusiasm and give up after the first failure. I would say that it is at this first failure that the real test comes. If after having failed and surrendered to our appetites and passions we start all over again and do not give up no matter how many times we fail, sooner or later our fasting will bear its spiritual fruits. Between holiness and disenchanted cynicism lies the great and divine virtue of patience - patience, first of all with ourselves. There is no shortcut to holiness; for every step we have to pay the full price. Thus it is better and safer to begin at a minimum - just slightly above our natural possibilities - and to increase our effort little by little, than to try jumping too high at the beginning and to break a few bones when falling back to earth.

   - Alexander Schmemann, Great Lent

It is necessary most of all for one who is fasting to curb anger, to accustom himself to meekness and condescension, to have a contrite heart, to repulse impure thoughts and desires, to examine his conscience, to put his mind to the test and to verify what good has been done by us in this or any other week, and which deficiency we have corrected in ourselves in the present week.  This is true fasting.

   - Saint John Chrysostom

To change eating habits only and not develop a life of prayer would be to miss the purpose of fasting. Fasting is meant to "give wings to our prayers."

   - St. John Chrysostom

Whatever virtues are built on the foundation of fasting become immovable and steadfast, as though built upon a firm rock.

   - St. Symeon the New Theologian


Saturday,  February 24:  Vespers 5:00 p.m.

Sunday, February 25, Sunday of Orthodoxy:   Orthros 8:45 a.m.; Divine Liturgy 10:00 a.m. and procession with icons ( Church School lesson will be held in the Sanctuary)

SCRIPTURE READINGS for  February 25: 

Epistle:  St. Paul's Letter to the Hebrews 11:24-26,32-40  Brethren, by faith Moses, when he was grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter, choosing rather to share ill-treatment with the people of God than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin.   (The entire reading may be found at  http://www.goarch.org/en/chapel/lectionary.asp?type=epistle&code=138&event=1027

Gospel: John 1:43-51  Philip found Nathanael, and he said to him, "We have found him of whom Moses in the law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph." Nathanael said to him, "Can anything good come out of Nazareth ?" Philip said to him, "Come and see."    (The entire reading may be found at  http://www.goarch.org/en/chapel/lectionary.asp?type=gospel&code=323&event=1027&DL=EN  )

Wednesday February 28:  Presanctified Liturgy 6:30 p.m., followed by Potluck Supper

Friday, March 2:  Akathist Service 7:00 p.m.


Saturday, March 3:  Vespers 5:00 p.m.

Sunday, March 4:   Orthros 8:45 a.m.; Divine Liturgy 10:00 a.m., followed by Annual Meeting

Sunday, March 11: Feast of the Elevation of the Cross

Sunday, March 25: Feast of the Annunciation to the Theotokos

Saturday, March 31,  Lazarus Saturday: Matins 8:45, Divine Liturgy 10:00 a.m., Communion breakfast 11:15 a.m., followed by church clean-up



Two to four volunteers help each week in the food pantry at St. Paul 's RC Church in Harvard Square , Saturday mornings from 9:30-11:45.  If you are willing to help, contact Christian Alcala at cmalcala1989@yahoo.com or (617) 876-5684.

February 24:  Will Small and Paul Joseph


The Epistle each Sunday is read by a member of the congregation.  If you would like to be one of the readers,  please contact Maria McDowell at mariagwyn@gmail.com or 617 921-6395.

February 25: Mary O'Connor

March: Women of the church (Antiochian Women's month)


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 in the Office 617-547-1234 and she'll write your name in.

February 25:  Abra Greene & Chris Magnusson and David & Juliet Vermette

March 4: (Annual meeting - no coffee hour)

March 11: Lucine & Joe Kouyoumjian

March 18:  Corinne Mudarri

March 25: Women's Club Pascha Bake Sale


These volunteers will take the lead each week in getting the tables and chairs put away and the floor swept after Coffee Hour.  Please help them - the more people there are doing it, the easier it is for all.  To volunteer, please contact Abra Greene  at abrayanti@gmail.com

February 25:  Brett Grainger

March 4: Will Small and Steve Walker

March 11: Paul Joseph

March 18:  Meg Butler & Martin Scrivener

March 25:  Peter and Melissa Nassiff

April 1:  Abra Greene & Chris Magnusson



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