Update for the week Friday, February 17 through Thursday, February 23, 2012


SHROUD OF TURIN – This Saturday, February 18, at 2:00 pm, Emmanuel Orthodox Church in Warren, MA will be hosting a life-sized Presentation on the Shroud of Turin.  Mr. Donald Nohs, Associate Director of the Confraternity of the Passion International and President of the Society of the Holy Face of Jesus will be coming from New York to share his years of study and expertise on the Shroud.

MEATFARE SUNDAY BREAKFAST– Please join us for the annual Meatfare Sunday Breakfast, sponsored by the Fellowship of St. John the Divine, this Sunday, February 19, after Liturgy.  Your donation will help support the many activities of the Fellowship at St. Mary's,  including the annual Lessons and Carols evening; Learning in Lent lecture series; Wednesday evening potluck suppers after Pre-Sanctified Liturgies during Lent; the annual Father John vonHolzhausen lecture; coffee hours and special meals; and much more. Suggested donation: $7 per person, $14 per family

OFFICES CLOSED – The Church Office will be closed through Tuesday, February 21, as the North American Board of Antiochian Women hold their midwinter meeting this weekend in  Naples FL.


SUNDAY OF ORTHODOXY VESPERS– His Eminence Metropolitan Methodios and The Metropolis of Boston Federation of Greek Orthodox Church Musicians invite you to Vespers of the Sunday of Orthodoxy on Sunday, March 4, at 5:00 pm, at Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church, 457 Oak Street, Brockton, MA.  Metropolitan Methodios has asked our own Fr. Antony to preach.

vonHOLZHAUSEN LECTURE - We are pleased to announce that Bishop Seraphim Sigrist will be  giving the annual Father John vonHolzhausen lecture, sponsored by the Fellowship of St. John the Divine, on Saturday, March 24, 2012. Vespers will begin at 5:00 pm, dinner at 6:00, and the lecture at 6:45.  Bp. Seraphim is the author of four books, and will talk about his newest book, A Life Together: Wisdom of Community from the Christian East. More information about him can be found at http://orthodoxwiki.org/Seraphim_%28Sigrist%29_of_Sendai

ANTIOCHIAN WOMEN’S MONTH –  March is Antiochian Women’s Month throughout the archdiocese.  During the month, the women of this parish will be reading the Epistle, taking the collection, giving homilies, and helping with Communion.  If you would like to participate, there is a sign-up sheet on the Bengarri.  Please become a part of this wonderful opportunity for all  women of the Parish.

DIOCESAN TEEN SOYO LENTEN RETREAT – There will be a retreat for teens in grades 7-12 held the weekend of  March 23-25  at St. Methodios Faith & Heritage Center, Contoocook, NH.  Leader will be Katrina Bitar, with the topic:  “Heroes of the Old Testament”

CROSSROAD - CrossRoad is a summer institute for high school juniors and seniors on the campus of Hellenic College/Holy Cross.  Participants take part in daily classes, visit neighboring Orthodox parishes and participate in service activities.  CrossRoad now offers two sessions.  Download an application and view a video clip at www.crossroad.hchc.edu

MEMORY ETERNAL – We regret to inform you that Elaine (Teebagy) Jacobs fell asleep in the Lord on Friday, February 10, 2012.  She was the sister of Joseph Teebagy and his wife Helen, Julie Warfield and her husband William, and the late Josephine Johnson.  She is also survived by eleven nieces and nephews.  Funeral services were held here at St. Mary on Tuesday, Feb. 14, with interment at Knollwood Memorial Park, Canton.  Contributions may be made to St. Mary Orthodox Church or to the American Kidney Fund, 6110 Executive Blvd. Suite 1010, Rockville, MD  20852.

MEMORY ETERNAL – We regret to inform you that Fouad Mabardi fell asleep in the Lord on Friday, February 10, 2012 in Damascus, Syria. He was the brother of Zahie Mabardi and her husband Edward, Rose Bossinakis and her husband Marko, and the late Alexander and George Mabardi.  Donations may be made at the 40-Day Trisagion Prayer Service (date to be announced).


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 Hierarchical Divine Liturgy at 9:00 am, and after “coffee and…” the General Assembly Meetings will begin at 10:30. 

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

CHOIR DIRECTORS MEETING –  Diocesan Choir Directors will meet with His Grace, Bishop John, here on Sunday, February 26, at 4:00 pm.

DIOCESAN YOUTH DAY – A Diocesan Youth Day hosted by His Grace, Bishop John, is scheduled for Saturday, March 3, from 1:00 to 3:00 pm, at the new Chancery in Westborough.

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.

BOOK DISPLAY AND SALE – A sales representative from Holy Cross Bookstore will be at St Mary's on Sunday, March 4, with a selection of Lenten and children's books and gifts for Pascha. Please come prepared to take advantage of this opportunity to buy books for yourself and your family.

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.

REAL BREAK – Each year hundreds of thousands of college students in North America travel during their spring break for oftentimes, empty experiences.  Entering its 11th year, OCF Real Break continues to offer the transformative, priest-led trips both domestically and internationally.  To find detailed information regarding the 2012 Real Break trips and to register, please visit www.ocf.net/realbreak. Be a part of this year's life-changing week-long Real Break experience.

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

PLEDGE ENVELOPES and CALENDARS - Pleasepick up your Pledge envelopes, if you have not yet done so – they are on the table downstairs outside the Hall.

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:   Andrew Bargoot

LITURGICAL SERVICE:   To be determined.  If you would like to assist during Communion, please contact Jeff Wasilko, 781-820-0882, jeffw@smoe.org.

COFFEE HOUR:   FSJD Meatfare Sunday Breakfast


Sunday, February 19, Meatfare Sunday, Judgment Sunday:  Orthros 8:45 am, Divine Liturgy 10:00 am;  no Church School

SCRIPTURE READINGS for February 19, Judgment Sunday:
Epistle: St. Paul's First Letter to the Corinthians 8:8-13; 9:1-2
Brethren, food will not commend us to God. We are no worse off if we do not eat, and no better off if we do. Only take care lest this liberty of yours somehow become a stumbling block to the weak. … Therefore, if food is a cause of my brother's falling, I will never eat meat, lest I cause my brother to fall.

Gospel: Matthew 25:31-46
The Lord said, "When the Son of man comes in his glory and all the holy angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate them one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, and he will place the sheep at his right hand, but the goats at the left. Then the king will say to those at his right hand, 'Come, O blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.' … 'Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me.'


Sunday, February 26, Cheesefare Sunday; Forgiveness Sunday:  Orthros 8:45 am, Divine Liturgy 10:00 am;  Church School Lesson 15;   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

Thursday, March 1:  Great Canon of St. Andrew 7:00 pm

Friday, March 2:  Akathist 7:00 pm

Sunday, April 15:  Great and Holy Pascha


   [The fourth Sunday of preparation for Lent] is called "Meat-Fare" because during the week following it a limited fasting – abstention from meat – is prescribed by the Church.  This prescription is to be understood in the light of what has been said [previously] about the meaning of preparation. The Church begins now to "adjust" us to the great effort which she will expect from us seven days later. She gradually takes us into that effort – knowing our frailty, foreseeing our spiritual weakness. …
   It is love that constitutes the theme of "Meat-Fare Sunday."  The Gospel lesson for the day is Christ's parable of the Last Judgment  (Matt. 25:31-46).  When Christ comes to judge us, what will be the criterion of His judgment? The parable answers: love – not a mere humanitarian concern for abstract justice and the anonymous "poor," but concrete and personal love for the human person, any human person, that God makes me encounter in my life. …
   The parable of the Last Judgment is about Christian love. Not all of us are called to work for "humanity," yet each one of us has received the gift and the grace of Christ's love.  We know that all men ultimately need this personal love – the recognition in them of their unique soul in which the beauty of the whole creation is reflected in a unique way.  We also know that men are in prison and are sick and thirsty and hungry because that personal love has been denied them. And, finally, we know that however narrow and limited the framework of our personal existence, each one of us has been made responsible for a tiny part of the Kingdom of God, made responsible by that very gift of Christ's love. Thus, on whether or not we have accepted this responsibility, on whether we have loved or refused to love, shall we be judged.  …
   - Alexander Schmemann, Great Lent

You shall recognize the righteous at the judgment for their heads shall hang low and they shall say 'we have done nothing worthy.'  
   - St. John Climacus

The Holy Spirit gives true humility. Even the most intelligent person, if he has not the Holy Spirit, cannot know himself properly. Without God's help he cannot see the inner state of his soul. If he does good to others and acts honestly, he thinks that he is a righteous man and even perfect in comparison with others; and therefore he does not feel that he needs anything. O, how often people perish from a false assurance of their honesty and righteousness! They perish because they trust in their own goodness, and do not think about the spirit of Christianity at all or the help of the Holy Spirit, just when they are in extreme need of His help. And as the Holy Spirit is given only to those who ask and seek, and such people not only fail to ask and seek Him but do not even consider it necessary, therefore He is not given them and consequently they remain in error and perish.
   - St. Innocent of Alaska, Indication of the Way into the Kingdom of Heaven

When thou comest, O God, to earth with glory, and all creatures tremble before thee, and the river of fire floweth before the Altar, and the books are opened and sins revealed, deliver me then from that unquenchable fire, and make me worthy to stand at thy right hand, O righteous Judge. 
   - Kontakion of Meat Fare Sunday