Update for the week Thursday, February 3 through Thursday, February 9, 2012


FAMILY VESPERS –  Church School families are warmly invited to attend our winter Family Vespers, which will be held this Saturday, February 4th, beginning at 5:00 pm. Following vespers, Fr. Antony will hear confession. Pizza will be served in the church hall along with a family activity. In keeping with the Chinese New Year celebration at St Mary's on Sunday, the activity will highlight the Chinese Translation Project. Please RSVP to Andrea Popa if you plan to attend: maryandreapopa@gmail.com. Donations of desserts and salads are welcome.

CHINESE NEW YEAR BREAKFAST– Join the FSJD for the 2012 Chinese New Year Missions Breakfast this Sunday after Liturgy, to benefit the Chinese Translation Project via the Orthodox Fellowship of All Saints of China (OFASC)..  Suggested minimum donation to help this worthy cause is $5.00 per adult.  Volunteers are need to help set up, decorate, serve, cook or clean up on Sunday, or to donate a desert, drink or dish. Please RSVP to Nelson Mitrophan Chin at mitrophan@orthodox.cn to let him know that you’re coming and how you will help.


NO FASTING – There is NO fasting or abstinence from meats and dairy products during this coming week (the week after reading of the Pharisee and the Publican).

UPDATED CHURCH SCHOOL CALENDAR– The Church School calendar has been updated for the spring to account for a couple changes. The updated calendar can be found on-line at https://www.stmaryorthodoxchurch.org/assets/files/2011-2012-ChurchSchoolCalendar.pdf

WINTER DELEGATES MEETING – The Fellowship of St. John the Divine, Teen SOYO and Antiochian Women will hold their Diocesan General Assembly on Saturday, February 25, at St John of Damascus Church in Dedham.  The day begins with Divine Liturgy at 9:00 am; Antiochian Women Executive Board will meet at 9:45 and after “coffee and…” the General Assembly Meetings will begin at 10:30. 

LENTEN FOOD SALE – The Women's Club is now taking orders for Hoomos (hummus), Mjadara (lentils with rice), and Spinach Triangles.  Please use the order form in the Sunday bulletin.  Order deadline is Sunday, March 4;  pickup date is Sunday, March 18.  Also, please plan to come help make the Spinach Triangles  on Saturday, March 17,  at 9:00 am.

SCHOLARSHIPS AVAILABLE –The Syrian-Lebanese Women’s Club of Greater Boston will make available a number of scholarship awards in the amount of $1000.00 each to young women of Syrian and Lebanese origin, residing in Massachusetts within a 50 mile radius of Boston, who plan to pursue a four-year college education.  Applications are available in the Church Office or by calling or e-mailing Mary Winstanley O’Connor (617-523-1010 or moconnor@koilaw.com ).  Completed applications must be postmarked by March 31, 2012.


BLESSING OF HOMES – Fr. Antony will be blessing homes after Epiphany (January 6)  and between Pascha (April 15) and Pentecost (June 3).  We bless homes to reveal the home as what God created it to be, a way to heaven; to rid the home of every evil;  to show that the family is a small church unit in Christ; to consecrate the home and all activity in it to God; and to fill the home and all who live in it with the fullness of God.  To schedule the blessing of your home, please use the form in the weekly Bulletin or call the church office at 617-547-1234.

PRE-LENTEN RETREAT – The Antiochian Women of the Diocese invite you to a Pre-Lenten Retreat on Saturday, February 11, at St. George Church in Norwood. Featured speaker will be His Grace, Bishop John, whose topic will be “Relationships: Discovering Myself in God and in My Neighbor.” Liturgy begins at 9:00 am,  Retreat 10:30 am. To register, call Erin Kimmett at 781-775-0789. $15 registration fee includes lunch.  All (men as well as women!) are welcome.

TEEN SOYO –  “What Do You Want To Do When You Grow Up?” Come to St. Mary Church on Saturday, February 11 for Teen Vespers at 5:00 pm, Pizza dinner at 5:45 pm, Discussion about life before, during and after college and a presentation about the CrossRoad Summer Institute by CrossRoad Director, Mike Tishel from 6:00-6:45 pm, and Games and fun activities from 7:00-8:30 pm.  Please RSVP to Nadia (nabuelezam@gmail.com) no later than February 9th.

MIDWINTER MEETINGS – The North American Board of Antiochian Women and the North American Council of the Fellowship of St. John the Divine will hold their midwinter meeting February 17-19, at the Best Western Hotel in Naples, FL, in conjunction with the Consecration of St. Paul Church there.  Teen SOYO’s meeting will be the same weekend, at Antiochian Village.

MEATFARE SUNDAY BREAKFAST – Join us for the annual Meatfare Sunday Breakfast, sponsored by the Fellowship of St. John the Divine, on Sunday, February 19, after Liturgy.  Your donation will help support the many activities of the Fellowship at St. Mary's. Suggested donation: $7 per person, $14 per family

SCOUT SUNDAY OBSERVANCE – Scout Sunday is the primary date to recognize the contributions of young people and adults to Scouting.  This year, St. Mary’s will observe Scout Sunday on February 26, which falls in between the anniversaries of The Boy Scouts of America (February 8) and the Girl Scouts of the USA (March 12).  In fact, the Girl Scouts of the USA are celebrating their 100th anniversary this year.  Look for the scouts in our parish to be involved in liturgical service that day.  If your child is a Boy Scout or Girl Scout (all ages) and would like to participate in Scout Sunday, please send an e-mail to Charlie Marge:  marge@alum.mit.edu

CONGRATULATIONS  -  The Archdiocese has just announced the appointment of our own Charlie Marge to be the new Diocesan Coordinator of Sacred Music for the Diocese of Worcester and New England.  We wish him well in this new ministry.

PLEDGE ENVELOPES and CALENDARS - Pledge envelopes and church calendars are available for pickup on the table downstairs outside the hall.  Look for your name in alphabetical order.  If you have chosen to pay periodically or through eGive, you have not been assigned a weekly envelope. (Calendars are also available on the Bengarri.)

PLEDGE CARDS - If you have not already returned your Pledge Card, please do so as soon as possible, or fill out the electronic pledge card on our web site: www.stmaryorthodoxchurch.org.

PARISH LIFE CONFERENCE – Next year’s Parish Life Conference will be held at The Cliff House, Ogunquit, Maine, June 21-24, 2012. Amazing Room Rate:  $149 (Regularly $310)  Call 207-361-1000 or visit their website www.CliffHouseMaine.com/attendees  User Name:  PARISH  Password: pa986B


COFFEE HOUR SIGNUP – A new signup sheet for coffee hours has been posted on the bulletin board outside the coat room.  There are plenty of dates to choose from – sign up now for the date you will sponsor the coffee hour!

DONATE VIA eGIVE– Did you know that you can make your donations to St. Mary through eGive, and have no more envelopes or checks to worry about?   If you have not yet set up an account, you can do it at www.egive-usa.com, or contact Charlie Marge (marge@alum.mit.edu) for help. The Recipient Organization is “St. Mary’s Orthodox Church.”

STREAMING VIDEO – St. Mary’s Church services are broadcast live each week through an internet video stream.  If you can't attend a service in person or want to share this ministry with a friend or loved one, the live stream can be viewed at www.stmaryorthodoxchurch.org/live  during regularly scheduled service times (see the schedule of services below or online).  If you have questions or comments about this ministry please contact us at live@stmaryorthodoxchurch.org.

PROTECT YOUR VALUABLES – Please do not leave valuables unattended in the Church Hall or Coat Room.

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 notblock 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.

FELLOWSHIP OF ST. JOHN THE DIVINE – Join the Fellowship!  It’s a great way to meet new people and be an integral part of our Parish life. We do not hold regular meetings, but we work together on a variety of projects and events. For example, after coffee hour every Sunday we all pitch in to put away tables and chairs. You can join our members’ email news list by contacting Melissa Nassiff at mnassiff@gmail.com.  Also, check us out on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/groups/FSJD1


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:

BE A GREETER - The Parish Council is continuing the Greeter Program, similar to other churches, to greet and aid parishioners, guests and visitors into the Church each Sunday.  As a Greeter, you will welcome people into the Church and help to direct visitors upstairs to the Liturgy, as well as keeping an eye on the Vestibule, hallways and entrance ways during church, arriving at Church at 9:45 am.  Greeting time ends when Communion starts.  We need volunteers.  If you would like to be a Greeter, a Sign-Up Sheet is posted on the Church Bulletin Board.  If you have any questions, please contact Buddy by e-mail buddy@cjmabardy.comor call him at 781-729-6303. “I was a stranger, and you invited me in………”   (Matthew 25:35)

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.  All Orthodox Christians in the Parish are welcome and encouraged to participate. We usually need one Epistle  and six 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, jeffw@smoe.org

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 new 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.

PRISON MINISTRY – If you would like to find out more about Prison Ministry at St. Mary’s Church, please subscribe to our mailing list at http://groups.google.com/group/ocpm-concord

"As you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me," says our Lord.


GREETER:   Marc Patacchiola

LITURGICAL SERVICE:  TBD - If you would like to read the Epistle or assist during Communion, please contact Jeff Wasilko, 781-820-0882, jeffw@smoe.org.

COFFEE HOUR:  FSJD Chinese New Year Breakfast


Saturday, February 4:  Church School Family Vespers and Confession 5:00 pm with pizza dinner and a craft project

Sunday, February 5:  Orthros 8:45 am, Divine Liturgy 10:00 am;  Church School lesson 13,  followed by Chinese New Year Missions Breakfast

SCRIPTURE READINGS for February 5, The Sunday of the Pharisee and the Publican  and The Sunday After the Presentation of our Lord:

Epistle: St. Paul's Second Letter to Timothy 3:10-15
Timothy, my son, you have observed my teaching, my conduct, my aim in life, my faith, my patience, my love, my steadfastness, my persecutions, …  yet from them all the Lord rescued me.  Indeed all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted…

Gospel: Luke 18:10-14
The Lord said this parable, "Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. … everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted."


Saturday, February 11:  Pre-Lenten Retreat at St. George Norwood 10:30 am; Teen Vespers at St. Mary with pizza, activities and discussion 5:00 pm

Sunday, February 12:  Orthros 8:45 am, Divine Liturgy 10:00 am;  Church School lesson 14 

Sunday, February 19:  Meatfare Sunday; Judgment Sunday; no Church School

Sunday, February 26:  Cheesefare Sunday; Forgiveness Sunday;   Forgiveness Vespers 6:00 pm

Monday, February 27: Great Lent begins;  Great Canon of St. Andrew 7:00 pm

Tuesday, February 28:  Great Canon of St. Andrew 7:00 pm

Wednesday, February 29:  Presanctified Liturgy 6:30 pm, followed by Pot Luck Supper


The period of pre-lenten preparation … includes five consecutive Sundays preceding Lent, each one of them – through its particular Gospel lesson – dedicated to some fundamental aspect of repentance.   The second Sunday is called the "Sunday of the Publican and the Pharisee." On the eve of this day, on Saturday at Vespers, the liturgical book of the Lenten season – the Triodion – makes its first appearance and texts from it are added to the usual hymns and prayers of the weekly Resurrection service. They develop the next major theme of repentance: humility.  … As for the Publican, he humbles himself and his humility justifies him before God.
   … But what is humility? The answer to this question may seem a paradoxical one for it is rooted in a strange affirmation: God himself is humble! …  It is almost impossible to put across to the modern man, fed on publicity, self-affirmation, and endless self-praise, that all that which is genuinely perfect, beautiful, and good is at the same time naturally humble; for precisely because of its perfection, it does not need "publicity," external glory, or "showing off" of any kind.
   The Lenten season begins then by a quest, a prayer for humility which is the beginning of true repentance. For repentance, above everything else, is a return to the genuine order of things, the restoration of the right vision.
   - Alexander Schmemann, Great Lent

Neither asceticism, nor vigils nor any kind of suffering are able to save, only true humility can do that.
   - Amma Theodora, Saying of the Desert Fathers

But look: if we are humble, God helps us to fight our sinfulness; if we are proud, He does not. And how can we acquire humility unless we are constantly humbled through seeing ourselves as we are - the worst of sinners - unless we are constantly brought to our knees in penitence?
   - St. Macarius, the Elder of Optina

When humility delivers a man from attachment to his own works and his own reputation, he discovers that perfect joy is possible only when we have completely forgotten ourselves. And it is only when we pay no more attention to our own deeds and our reputation and our own excellence that we are at last completely free to serve God in perfection for His sake alone.
   - Fr. Thomas Merton, New Seeds of Contemplation