Weekly Newsletter for the week Thursday, April 12, 2007 through Thursday, April 19, 2007

Christ is Risen!  Truly He is Risen!



PHOTOS - Photos of this year's  Holy Week and Pascha celebrations are now posted on the  St. Mary website: https://www.stmaryorthodoxchurch.org/  Special thanks to Jeff Wasilko, Erick Straghalis, and  webmaster Jamil Samara.

NO CHURCH SCHOOL - There will be no classes this Sunday, April 15, because it is public school vacation week. Classes will resume next Sunday, April 22.

FOOD FOR HUNGRY PEOPLE - If you have not yet remembered to return your boxes and canisters, filled with money, and pass them in at the Bengarri, you can still do so this Sunday.

PARISH COUNCIL - The next meeting of the Parish Council will be Tuesday, April 17, at 7:30, in the small hall outside the kitchen.

WOMEN'S CLUB - Next meeting of the Women's Club  is Wednesday, April 18, at 7:30 p.m. in the Library.  Please join us.

HIERARCHICAL VISIT - St. George Church, West Roxbury will be celebrating its Patronal Feast Day with Metropolitan PHILIP  on Saturday and Sunday, April 21 - 22. Services will include Great Vespers on Saturday at 6:00 p.m., and Hierarchical Divine Liturgy 10:00 a.m. Sunday, as well as dinners and a concert.  Consequently there will be no Vespers at St. Mary on that Saturday.

PARISH LIFE CONFERENCE - The 2007 Diocesan Parish Life Conference will be June 28 through July 1, at the Radisson in Plymouth , MA Theme:  Missions and Outreach  (All proceeds will go toward establishing a Mission Endowment Fund for our Diocese.)  Plans are underway for a joint venture with our entire Diocese hosting the conference, led by co-chairpersons Paul Nahass (pnahass@comcast.net) and Michael Marge (michael_marge@yahoo.com)  Next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, April 24, location to be announced.  Please come and help us in this joint effort.

DIOCESAN MEETINGS - Next Meeting of the Diocese of Worcester & New England will be held on Saturday, April 28, at St. Mary Church, Pawtucket , RI .   A short church service will be held at 10 a.m. with meetings following at 10:30 a.m. for Antiochian Women, Fellowship of St. John the Divine and Teen SOYO.

PARISH PICNIC - On Sunday, May 20, immediately following Divine Liturgy, we will be celebrating the close of the Church School year with a "family style" picnic in the Church parking lot, under a big tent.  Festivities will include Bar-B-Que hot dogs & hamburgers; Silly Willy the Clown with a magic show, balloon sculptures & face painting; DJ's Peter and Nick Gonchar; raffle prizes; crafts, backgammon, and more. The entire parish is invited to attend. Please contact Michelle Mabardy if you can help.


CHRIST IS RISEN! - Truly, He is Risen!

Arabic:              Al Maseeh ‘Am!  Ha'an ‘Am!

Greek:              Christos Anesti!  Alithos Anesti!

Slavonic:        Khristos Voskrese!  Vo Istinu Voskrese!

Romanian: Hristos a Înviat!  Adeva(rat a Înviat!

Tigrinian:     Kristos Tensiu!  Behake Tensiu!

Cantonese:   Gaydolk Folkwoot Leew!  Ta Koksut Folkwoot Leew!

Armenian:    Krisdos Haryav ee Merelotz!  Orhnyal Eh Haryootyoonun Krisdosee!

To find how the Paschal Greeting is said in even more languages check out this site, which has text and voice recordings for over 250 languages: http://www.srbigham.com/en/langues.html

NO FASTING - There is no fasting on Wednesday or Friday, not only during Bright Week, but for the whole forty days until the Feast of the Ascension on May 17.  (This is the decision of the Holy Synod of the Church of Antioch .)  This cessation of fasting, however, is purely voluntary;  you may fast if you wish.

COFFEE HOUR - Several upcoming Sundays are available,  so please sign up to sponsor a coffee hour, individually or with friends.  Some do this to celebrate a special event or anniversary, others simply as an act of hospitality. It can be as simple as coffee, juice, and cookies.   Signup sheets are on the bulletin board downstairs outside the Hall.

LITURGICAL SERVICE - Each Sunday, members of the congregation are needed to read the Epistle and assist during Communion by holding the Communion Cloths and Holy Bread baskets.  Six people are needed each week, in addition to the reader.  If you would like to read the Epistle or assist during the Communion, contact Maria McDowell at 617-921-6395 or email: mariagwyn@gmail.com

ATTENTION COLLEGE STUDENTS - BU Orthodox Christian Fellowship invites college students and college-bound high school seniors to attend a panel:  "Sacred to Secular:  Discerning Your Orthodox Vocation in Today's World" on Saturday, April 14,  11:45 a.m. to 2 p.m. Light refreshments will be provided.  Location: TBA.  Any questions, call 609-703-4909 or email bdynamis@bu.edu

TALKING TO YOUR YOUNG KIDS ABOUT SEX - The next talk in the Footlamps Monthly Lecture Series will be held  Saturday, April 14,  at St. George Church, Lawrence , MA  Speaker will be Dr. John Chirban.  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 

THEOPHANY SCHOOL ANNIVERSARY - In celebration of its 10th anniversary, Theophany  Orthodox Christian School is holding  a Gala Evening and Auction, hosted by Maria Stephanos, on Sunday, April 29, at 4:00 p.m. at the Greek Orthodox Annunciation Cathedral Center , 162 Goddard Avenue , Brookline , Massachusetts .  Tickets are $40 per person (includes appetizers, dinner, dessert, wine & non-alcoholic beverages) and $15 per child (with children's menu).

There is also a raffle for a 2007 Mercedes-Benz C230 Sport Sedan; only 500 tickets will be sold.  To donate items or services for the auction, or to sponsor an ad, see http://www.theophanyschool.org/docs/2007%20item%20donation%20form.pdf .  All proceeds will directly benefit Theophany School , the first pan-Orthodox Christian preschool serving the needs of families of the greater Boston area.  If you have any questions, you can contact Michelle Chin at javachip23@hotmail.com, or call the school.

SCHOLARSHIPS - Attention High School Seniors:  The Fellowship of St. John the Divine gives out scholarships each year to high school seniors who are planning to attend a four-year college in the fall.  Please contact the Church Office at secretary@stmaryorthodoxchurch.org  or (617) 547-1234 so that an application may be mailed to you directly from the FSJD.



I learned that the Word was God and was with him from the beginning. I came to know the light of the world...  I understood that the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us... Those who welcomed him became children of God, by a birth not of the flesh but in faith... This gift of God is offered to everyone... We can receive it because of our freedom which was given us expressly for this purpose. But this very power given to each person to be a child of God was bogged down in weak and hesitant faith. Our own difficulties make hope painful, our desire becomes infuriating, and our faith grows weak. That is why the Word was made flesh: by means of the Word-made-flesh the flesh was enabled to raise itself up to the Word... Without surrendering his divinity God was made of our flesh... My soul joyfully received the revelation of this mystery. By means of my flesh I was drawing near to God, by means of my faith I was called to a new birth. I was able to receive this new birth from on high ... I was assured that I could not be reduced to non-being.

   - St. Hilary of Poitiers , The Trinity

Divine compassion brought it about in a wonderful way that when the doubting disciple touched the wounds in his Master's body, he cured the wounds of our unbelief. Thomas' unbelief was of more advantage to our faith than the faith of the believing disciples because when he was led back to faith by touching Jesus, our minds were relieved of all doubt and made firm in faith. And so after His resurrection Jesus allowed His disciples to doubt. But He did not desert him in his doubt. It is much the same as when before His birth He desired that Mary have a husband, who had not yet married her. The disciple who doubted and touched became a witness to the truth of the resurrection in just the same way as the husband of His mother had been the guardian of her perfect virginity.

   - St. Gregory the Great, Forty Gospel Homilies

The words of my companions were for me night and deep shadow, for they did not touch my spirit nor bring to light the lamp of the miracle which I now behold beyond all hope, for I see Christ again though the doors were closed. ... O the marvel! the forbearance! the immeasurable meekness! The Untouched is felt; the Master is held by a servant, And He reveals His wounds to one of His inner circle. Seeing these wounds, the whole creation was shaken at the time. Thomas, when he was considered worthy of such gifts, lifted up a prayer to the One Who deemed him worthy, saying, "Bear my rashness with patience, have pity on my unworthiness and lighten the burden of my lack of faith, so that I may sing and cry, "Thou art our Lord and God.'"

   - St. Romanos the Melodist,  On Doubting Thomas


April 14: No Vespers at St. Mary's  - Vespers and Footlamps at St. George Church, Lawrence , MA  

April 15: Orthros 8:45 a.m.; Divine Liturgy 10:00 a.m.


Epistle:  Acts of the Apostles 5:12-20 In those days, many signs and wonders were done among the people by the hands of the apostles. ... And more than ever believers were added to the Lord, multitudes both of men and women, so that they even carried out the sick into the streets, and laid them on beds and pallets, that as Peter came by at least his shadow might fall on some of them.  (The entire reading may be found at  http://www.goarch.org/en/chapel/lectionary.asp?type=epistle&code=43&event=1039)

Gospel: John 20:19-31  Now Thomas, one of the twelve, called the Twin, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him: "We have seen the Lord." But he said to them: "Unless I see in His hands the print of the nails, and place my finger in the mark of the nails, and place my hand in His side, I will not believe."  (The entire reading may be found at  http://www.goarch.org/en/chapel/lectionary.asp?type=gospel&code=8&event=1039&DL=EN )


April 21:  No Vespers at St. Mary's - Vespers at St. George, West Roxbury , with Metropolitan PHILLIP

April 22: Orthros 8:45 a.m.; Divine Liturgy 10:00 a.m.

May 19:  von Holzhausen lecture (Vespers, dinner and lecture), sponsored by FSJD

June 28 through July 1:  Parish Life Conference