Weekly Newsletter for the week Friday, March 2, 2007 through Thursday, March 9, 2007


HELP  BAKE SPINACH PIES -The Women's Club will be baking Spinach Triangles for the Lenten food sale this 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, before or after the Parish Meeting (see below).

iPODS, CELL PHONES, AND MOBILE PORNOGRAPHY - The next talk in the Footlamps Monthly Lecture Series will be held this Saturday, March 3, at St. John of Damascus, Dedham . Speaker will be Mr. Theo Nicolakis, director of Information Technologies for the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese.  This presentation will educate and provide practical tips to parents, priests, and family members about the emerging danger of the use of  iPods and cell phones for the distribution of pornography.  Open to everyone. Vespers service begins at 5:00 pm followed by lecture and light refreshments. Suggested Donation $5.  For more information and to RSVP please Contact Ghada Khouri at 781-275-7244 or nerfellowship@yahoo.com 

NO VESPERS, NO CHANTERS' CLASS - Because Fr. Anthony will be attending the Footlamps program this Saturday (see above), Vespers at St. Mary's is cancelled as well as the Chanter's Class in Tone 5 that was going to precede it.  This final class in the series of the eight tones will be rescheduled later in the year when Tone 5 comes around again.

COLLECTION FOR RETIRED CLERGY - March is Antiochian Women's Month, so our women will be reading the Epistle, taking the collection and assisting at communion.  Following Liturgy this Sunday, Marilyn Robbat, President of the Women's Club, will make a short presentation and a  special collection will be taken following Liturgy for the Antiochian Women's Project 2007:  The Retired Clergy Fund. Please be generous.  Make checks payable to St. Mary Women's Club and ear-mark:  Retired Clergy Fund.

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


MISSION TRIP DONATIONS - Fr. Antony will be in El Salvador from March 10 through 17 with students on Real Break.  He will be taking specific items needed for the orphans and teachers there, and would appreciate donations toward the cost of those supplies, as well as for help with his travel expenses.

In cases of emergency while Fr. Antony is away, please call Fr. John Teebagy at St. John Church , Dedham , at 781-326-3046

JOINT DIOCESAN COMPLINE - Each Monday in Lent there will be a service of Compline at a different church in the Diocese. On Monday, March 5, Compline will be held at St. George Church, West Roxbury , at 7:00 p.m.

CONFESSIONS - It is preferred that you make your confession before Holy Week; Fr. Antony is available for Confession before and after weekday services.  During Holy Week he is available for Confession before and after services from Monday to Wednesday evenings only,  or by appointment. Please note that no confessions will be heard on Great and Holy Saturday before the Rush Procession. 


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... but stay for supper even if you can't bring food.  The coordinators for Wednesday, March 7, are Tiffany Conroy (trattus1@gmail.com ) and Abra Greene (abrayanti@gmail.comNote: the kitchen door from the driveway will be open, so you can drop off  your contribution.

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. 

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

HELP THOSE LESS FORTUNATE - Three or four St. Mary's volunteers are needed to help each week at the Open Doors Meal Ministry soup kitchen at Holy Resurrection Orthodox Church in Allston, Mondays any time between 4:00 p.m. and 7:30. Contact Liz Tutella at 610-507-0488 or ETutella@sovereignbank.com.


Since the Logos of God though His descent to us has brought the kingdom of heaven close to us, let us not distance ourselves from it by leading an unrepentant life. Let us rather flee the wretchedness of those who sit "in darkness and the shadow of death" (Isa. 9:2). Let us acquire the fruits of repentance: a humble disposition, compunction and spiritual grief, a gentle and merciful heart that loves righteousness and pursues purity, peaceful, peace-making, patient in toil, glad to endure persecution, loss outrage, slander and suffering for the sake of truth and righteousness. For the kingdom of heaven or, rather, the King of heaven - ineffable in His generosity - is within us (cf. Luke 17:21); and to Him we should cleave through acts of repentance and patient endurance, loving as much as we can Him Who so dearly has loved us.

   - St. Gregory Palamas

Unless we bear with patience the afflictions that come to us unsought, God will not bless those that we embrace deliberately. For our love for God is demonstrated above all by the way we endure trials and temptations. First the soul has to surmount afflictions embraced willingly, thereby learning to spurn sensual pleasure and self-glory; and this in its turn will permit us readily to bear the afflictions that come unsought.

   - St. Gregory Palamas

Many, unable to endure the self-constraint needed for acquiring the virtue of prayer, do not attain a plenitude of divine gifts; but those who do persist are rewarded with greater manifestations of divine aid, which sustain, support and joyfully carry them forward. Then what is difficult to accomplish is easily achieved, for they are invested with what one might call an angelic capacity, which empowers our human nature to commune with what lies beyond it. This accords with the words of the prophet, that those who persist will grow wings and will gain new strength (cf. Isa. 40:31)."

   - St. Gregory Palamas

When we strive with diligent sobriety to keep watch over our rational faculties, to control and correct them, how else can we succeed in this task except by collecting our mind, which is dispersed abroad through the senses, and bringing it back into the world within, into the heart itself, which is the storehouse of all our thoughts?

   - St. Gregory Palamas

If, as the Psalmist says, "All the glory of the king's daughter is within" (Ps. 45:13), how shall we seek it somewhere without? And if, as St. Paul says, "God has sent forth His Spirit into our hearts, crying: 'Abba Father' " (cf. Gal. 4:6), how shall we not pray in union with the Spirit that is in our hearts? And if, as the Lord of the prophets and the apostles says, "The kingdom of heaven is within us" (cf. Luke 17:21), how shall we not find ourselves outside the kingdom of heaven if we strive to alienate our intellect from what lies within us? "An upright heart," says Solomon, "seeks conscious awareness" (cf. Prov. 27:21.), the awareness or perception which he elsewhere calls noetic and divine (cf. Prov. 2:5)."

   - St. Gregory Palamas

...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


Saturday,  March 3:  No Vespers at St. Mary  (Vespers and Footlamps talk at St. John of Damascus , Dedham )

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


Epistle:  St. Paul 's Letter to the Hebrews 1:10-14; 2:1-3  Therefore we must pay closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it. For if the message declared by angels was valid and every transgression or disobedience received a just retribution, how shall we escape if we neglect such a great salvation?  (The entire reading may be found at  http://www.goarch.org/en/chapel/lectionary.asp?type=epistle&code=221&event=1055)

Gospel: Mark 2:1-12  And immediately Jesus, perceiving in his spirit that they thus questioned within themselves, said to them, "Why do you question thus in your hearts? Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, 'Your sins are forgiven,' or to say, 'Rise, take up your pallet and walk?' But that you may know that the Son of man has authority on earth to forgive sins" - he said to the paralytic - "I say to you, rise, take up your pallet and go home." (The entire reading may be found at  http://www.goarch.org/en/chapel/lectionary.asp?type=gospel&code=295&event=1055&DL=EN  )

Wednesday March 7:  Presanctified Liturgy 6:30 p.m., followed by Potluck Supper

Friday, March 9:  Akathist Service 7:00 p.m.


Saturday, March 10:  NO Vespers (Fr. Antony will be in El Salvador )
Sunday, March 11, Feast of the Elevation of the Cross:   Orthros 8:45 a.m.; Divine Liturgy 10:00 a.m.
Wednesday, March 14:  No Presanctified Liturgy, no potluck supper
Friday, March 16:  No Akathist Service at St. Mary
Saturday, March 17:  No Vespers at St. Mary
Sunday, March 25: Feast of the Annunciation to the Theotokos
Lazarus Saturday, March 31: Matins 8:45, Divine Liturgy 10:00 a.m., Communion breakfast 11:15 a.m., followed by church clean-up and choir rehearsal

Palm Sunday, April 1:  Orthros 8:45 a.m.; Divine Liturgy 10:00 a.m., followed by Fish Dinner;  Bridegroom Matins 7:00 p.m.
Holy Monday, April 2:  Presanctified Liturgy 7:00 a.m.; Bridegroom Matins 7:00 p.m.
Holy Tuesday,  April 3:  Presanctified Liturgy 7:00 a.m.; Bridegroom Matins 7:00 p.m.
Holy Wednesday, April 4:  Presanctified Liturgy 7:00 a.m.; Holy Unction 7:00 p.m.
Holy Thursday, April 5:  Vesperal Liturgy 7:00 a.m.; Washing of the Feet 6:45 p.m. followed by 12 Gospels 7:00 p.m.
Holy Friday, April 6:  Children's Retreat 10:00 a.m., Royal Hours 1:00 p.m., Unnailing Vespers 3:00 p.m., Lamentations 7:30 p.m. followed by Procession to Central Square
Holy Saturday and Great and Holy Pascha, April 7 & 8:  Vesperal Liturgy 9:00 a.m.;   Vigil/Rush Service 10:00 p.m.,  Resurrection Matins 11:00 p.m.,  Divine Liturgy 12:00 midnight, Paschal Festivities in the Church Hall after Liturgy

June 28 through July 1:  Parish Life Conference



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.

March 3:  Louis Demos and Jenna Beck


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.

March 4: Trish Orlovsky
March 11:  Melissa Nassiff
March 18 & 25:  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.

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

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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