Update for the week Friday, September 14, through Thursday, September 20, 2012


EVENING LITURGY - Thursday, September 13, there will be an Evening Liturgy for the Feast of the Elevation of the Cross at 6:30 pm

INTER-ORTHODOX YOUNG ADULT RETREAT – The Archdiocese Fellowship of St. John the Divine invites you to their 2012 Inter-Orthodox Young Adult Retreat, Friday – Sunday September 14-16, at St. George Church, West Roxbury. For information and registration see http://www.worcesterdiocese.net/organizations/fellowship/retreat or contact  Brendan Ferguson at brendanferguson76@gmail.com.

SONIA’S RUN - The fourth annual 5k road race to benefit the Theophany School, in honor of  beloved friend Sonia Belcher, will be held on Saturday, September 15. See www.soniasrun.org for registration form and more information.

CHURCH SCHOOL – Church School classes begin this Sunday, September 16.

LITURGICAL MUSIC CONCERTS - The Choir of St. Romanos the Melodist of the Archdiocese of Beirut will be performing a concert of Syro-Byzantine Liturgical Music on their Fall 2012 Tour of the USA from September 10 – 24.
  The first concert will be Wednesday, September 19 at St. George Cathedral, Worcester at 7:00 pm. Limited Tickets are available. Contact Cathedral Office (508) 752-9150 & reservations are not confirmed until payment is received. Cost: $20/Adult; $10/College Students with a valid school ID; Children 12 and under: Free. Refreshments to follow.
   The second concert will be Friday, September 21 at St. George Church, West Roxbury at 7:30 pm. Admission: $10.00 at the door. Reception following.


REQUEST FOR DONORS – In order to make the Dinner/Antiochian Village Fundraiser with His Grace, Bishop JOHN  on Saturday, September 29 a financial success, we are asking that parishioners donate to reduce the costs. Please sign up on the list on the bulletin board downstairs, or see Mary Winstanley O’Connor or any Parish Council member, or contact Mary at moconnor@koilaw.com or 617-523-1010.

FR. ANTONY TO BE AWAY - Fr. Antony will be away on vacation from September 18 – 25, 2012.  In case of emergency during that time, please call Fr. Timothy Ferguson at St. George Church, West Roxbury:  617-323-0323.

TEEN SOYO KICKOFF NIGHT – On Saturday, September 22, from 5:00 - 8:30 pm, come join your fellow teens 13-18 in fellowship and fun and learn about all the wonderful activities you can expect in the next school year at St. Mary's. It'll be a wonderful time to meet your fellow teens, meet Nadia (if you haven't already) and spend time with all of your friends. We'll have pizza, games, and a brief talk about what to expect from Teen SOYO this year! If you have any questions, feel free to contact Nadia: nabuelezam@gmail.com.

TEEN SOYO ELECTIONS – On Sunday, September 23, all teens (13-18) are encouraged to participate in Teen SOYO elections for President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer. Elections will happen during coffee hour in the church library. Come with nominations in mind! Any questions? Contact Nadia: nabuelezam@gmail.com.   

ESSAY AND RESUME EDITING –  All teens applying to college (or jobs) are welcome to bring their application essays and resumes on Sunday, October 14, to be edited and looked at during/after coffee hour by "experts!" We can sit down and brainstorm or work on an existing piece. Please email Nadia if you think you'll be attending: nabuelezam@gmail.com. "Experts" are also available at other times for 1-1 sessions.

COME SEE THE MESSIAH - Join friends from St. Mary’s for the Handel and Haydn Society’s  annual performance of Handel’s Messiah, on Sunday afternoon, December 2, at 3:00 p.m.  Tickets are just $25 – even less if we have a big enough group. We will carpool to Symphony Hall after Liturgy and have lunch together before the concert.  Those who have done this before have thoroughly enjoyed it - not only do we hear a world-class orchestra and chorus with famous soloists singing glorious words (taken directly from the Bible), but we also have an opportunity to spend time getting to know some fellow parishioners we normally may not encounter.  Good seats go fast - please contact Melissa Nassiff at mnassiff@gmail.com  by Sunday, October 14, or order your own tickets online at http://www.handelandhaydn.org.   

“BREAKFAST SEARCH” –  All teens and young adults are encouraged to participate in our first ever St. Mary's breakfast search, on Sunday, October 21. Our very own Theo Smith will lead us in a brief orientation during coffee hour before we head out to feed and talk to people on the streets! Please put this into your calendar! If you have questions, please contact Nadia: nabuelezam@gmail.com.


WELCOME BACK COLLEGE STUDENTS" BREAKFAST – After Liturgy next Sunday, September 23, the Fellowship of St. John the Divine (FSJD) will host a special breakfast to welcome college students back to their "Church home away from home." Please join us in welcoming and supporting students who strive to remain connected to the Church while away from their families.  All are welcome! A suggested minimum donation of $5 will be gratefully accepted from non-students.

ENQUIRERS' CLASS - The St. Ignatius Catechetical Group - Enquirers’ Class will begin meeting next Sunday, September 23 at 9:00 am in the library (next door to Fr. Antony’s office). The group is for non-Orthodox adults who are interested in exploring the Christian Faith as it has been – and continues to be – understood, preached, and lived by members of the Holy Orthodox Church who descend from the early Christian community of Antioch where “the disciples were for the first time called Christians” (Acts 11:26). Bob Kowalik will be teaching the group using materials developed and piloted by St. Mary catechist emeritus David Vermette. If you would like to participate, please talk to Bob during coffee hour; or get in touch by phone at 617-889-3436 or e-mail r.kowalik@comcast.net. Brochures are available on the Rack behind Bengarri. For those seeking to be received into the Orthodox Church, participation in the group and Fr. Antony’s blessing are required.

PASTORAL VISIT – Join us for the Pastoral Visit of His Grace, Bishop JOHN on Saturday and   Sunday, September 29 & 30, 2012.
  Saturday, September 29:  Great Vespers at 5:00 pm, followed by Dinner with Bishop JOHN in the Church Hall (a fund raiser to send our children to Antiochian Village in July, 2013).  Tickets for Adults:  $45.00 per person includes Dinner, Beer, Wine & entertainment by Fouad Hajjar.  Children Under 18:  $35 per person.  NO TICKETS SOLD AT DOOR.
   Sunday, September 30:  Hierarchical Divine Liturgy at 10:00 am, followed by a Celebratory Coffee Hour.
   For reservations contact Mary Winstanley O’Connor at 617-523-1010 moconnor@koilaw.com, or Diane Mabardi at 617-720-6100 diane@ggatravel.com  Tables of 8 may be reserved in advance.

CHURCH SCHOOL TEACHERS NEEDED – We need teachers for the following three classes:  Kindergarten, Grade 1-2 and Grade 4, and also a few substitute teachers. Please consider sharing your many blessings by teaching our children the Faith.  There are many materials to assist you.  And substitutes can be arranged for those occasional Sundays during which you cannot attend.  Contact Andrea Popa at maryandreapopa@gmail.com

ATTENTION COLLEGE STUDENTS – If you are a new or returning college or university student, please fill out a pink College Student Address Form on the Bengarri (desk in the Narthex) so that we have your current address and information and you can receive announcements about activities at St. Mary's and on campus.  Please leave the form on the Bengarri.  See Charlie Marge if you have questions. 

ATTENTION PARENTS OF ST. MARY PARISH COLLEGE STUDENTS – If you would like your sons or daughters to receive a copy of the CORNERSTONE each month while they are away at school to keep them in touch with what’s going on at St. Mary’s, please fill out one of the pink College Student Address Forms and return it to Marilyn Robbat.

MEN’S WEEKEND –  There will be an Orthodox Men's Get-Away Weekend September 21-23, 2012, at The Saint Methodios Faith and Heritage Center - 329 Camp Merrimac Road Contoocook, NH 03229 (www.boston.goarch.org/faith_heritage_center.html), sponsored by  St. Stephen's Orthodox Church (www.stsoc.org).  Guest Speakers will be  Fr. Michael Keiser and Fr. Kenneth DeVoie, both of the Department of Missions & Evangelism for the Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese of North America, and others TBA. Cost:  $189.00  (2 night stay, all meals, snacks and use of recreational facilities).  For more information  see the brochure at https://mail.google.com/mail/?ui=2&ik=c173523fb2&view=att&th=138145dad9b77f31&attid=0.1&disp=safe&zw  or contact Jeff St. Jean at  jeffstjean11@verizon.net.

ST. THEKLA PILGRIMAGE – The annual pilgrimage to St. Thekla Convent at Antiochian Village will be held Friday through Sunday, September 21-23

SEMINARIANS WELCOME RECEPTION – The Antiochian Women of our Diocese invite you to a Reception honoring our Seminarians on Sunday, September 30, at St. George West Roxbury.  Vespers will be at 4:00 pm, followed by the reception in the Church Hall.  Hot & cold hors d’ouevres and dessert will be served.   All are welcome.

ORTHODOX STUDY BIBLES FOR SALE - There are a few ORTHODOX STUDY BIBLES (Old and New Testaments) available for purchase at our cost of $25.00 (usually $50.00). Anyone interested in purchasing one should speak to Marilyn Robbat in the Church Office to reserve a copy. Checks should be made payable to St. Mary Orthodox Church.

MARRIAGE SEMINAR - The Deanery of Worcester & New England will offer a Seminar for Couples on Thursday (note change) and Saturday, October 4 & 6, at St. John of Damascus Church, 300 West St., Dedham, MA. The seminar is for those preparing for marriage and all those interested, and guest speaker will be His Grace, Bishop JOHN.  Registration forms are available on the St. Mary church bulletin board; cost is $30/couple.  Talks and sessions will include A Vision of Marriage; Betrothal – Commitment and Grace;  Crown Them With Honor;  For This Cause Shall a Man Leave Father & Mother – Family Dynamics;  and You Just Don’t Understand – Man/Woman Communication and Culture

DANCING WITH THE AABA STARS – The American Arabic Benevolent Association invites you to “Dancing With the AABA Stars” on Friday, October 5 at Moseley’s-on-the-Charles, Dedham, MA at 7:30 pm.  Each parish will have one contestant competing  for their respective parish - our parish will be represented by Erica (Bezreh) Dooley.  Individual Ticket:  $50 per person includes Appetizer Buffet, Munchies at Tables, Coffee & Dessert.  Reservations ONLY – No tickets sold at door.  For tickets, tables reservations and Sponsor Forms, contact Shirley Bezreh 781-648-0685.
   In addition to food vouchers and scholarships, AABA’s major project is the funding and construction of federally subsidized elderly housing.  AABA has broken ground on another elderly subsidized facility and is utilizing this fundraising project to assist in building the building.  Please consider sponsoring Erica.  Sponsor forms can be found on the Bengarri and given to Shirley Bezreh.

SFEEHA AND KIBBEH SALE – The Women’s Club is offering for purchase freshly made Sfeeha (ground lamb-meat pizza pies with onion, pine nuts & seasonings) and Kibbeh (8 ½”x 11” tray made with ground lamb-meat and burghul).  Everything is cooked with the finest of ingredients and ready to eat now or freeze for the holidays!  Please use the order form in the  Sunday bulletin, or contact the church office for a copy.  Order deadline is Sunday, October 7.  Pick-Up Dates are  Sunday, October 21 for Sfeeha, and Sunday, October 28,  for   Kibbeh.

ABBA SENIOR HOUSING - AABA (American Arabic Benevolent Association) encourages seniors who may want to live in either of their senior housing facilities to fill out an application now and get your name on the waiting list.  If you are handicapped or 62 years or older, you qualify for Cheriton Grove, their present facility.  If you are 62 years of age or older, you qualify for Cheriton Heights, their 70-unit senior housing facility under construction and ready for occupancy by June 2012.  Call Cheriton Grove at 617-325-1939 and speak with Rita Ludington to schedule an appointment with her, or ask Rita to send you an application.


COFFEE HOUR SIGNUP – A signup sheet for coffee hours is 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.

VIDEO STREAMING FOR EVENTS – Now you can video stream your wedding or baptism live from St. Mary’s to friends and family who can't attend your event in person.  The cost for Event Video Streaming is $150 for members, $300 for non-members, and includes a password- protected viewing page and setup and breakdown of the streaming service for your event by a trained staff member.   You can also get a copy of your streamed event on CD: $50 for members, $100 for non-members. Fees are payable to the church. Streaming is subject to staff availability. For general questions on the video streaming ministry or event streaming, please contact live@stmaryorthodoxchurch.org.  To schedule your event and/or request Event Video Streaming, please contact the Church Office.

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 not block the driveway – if the lot is full, you can park on the street.


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.org or 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:  Amanda Noonan

LITURGICAL SERVICE:  Epistle: Teva Regule;  Left Cloth: volunteers needed;   Right Cloth:  Maggie Arnold Rodriguez and volunteer needed; Right and Left Bread: volunteers needed.  To volunteer, please contact Jeff Wasilko, 781-820-0882, jeffw@smoe.org

COFFEE HOUR:   Erick and Liz Straghalis and Phillip Straghalis


Thursday, September 13:  Evening Liturgy for the Feast of the Elevation of the Cross 6:30 pm

Saturday, September 15:  Great Vespers 5:00 pm

Sunday, September 16, Sunday after the Elevation of the Cross:  Orthros 8:45 am; Divine Liturgy 10:00 am; Church School classes begin

SCRIPTURE READINGS for Sunday, September 16:
   Epistle: St. Paul's Letter to the Galatians 2:16-20
Brethren, you know that a man is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ… I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me; and the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.  

   Gospel: Mark 8:34-9:1
The Lord said: "If anyone wishes to come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it; and whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel's will save it…  For whoever is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him will the Son of man also be ashamed, when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels."


Saturday, September 21: No Vespers at St. Mary

Sunday, September 23:  St. Ignatius Catechetical Group (Enquirers’ Class) begins 9:00 am;  Orthros 8:45 am; Divine Liturgy 10:00 am; FSJD “Welcome Back College Students" Breakfast following Liturgy;  Teen SOYO elections

Saturday, September 29:  Pastoral Visit of Bishop JOHN – Great Vespers 5:00 pm, followed by Dinner

Sunday, September 30:  Pastoral Visit continues – Orthros 8:45 am;  Hierarchical Divine Liturgy 10:00 am, followed by a Celebratory Coffee Hour.


The first duty of a Christian, of a disciple and follower of Jesus Christ, is to deny oneself. To deny oneself means to give up one's bad habits, to root out of the heart all that ties us to the world; not to cherish bad desires and thoughts; to quench and suppress bad thoughts; to avoid occasions of sin; not to do or desire anything from self-love but to do everything out of love for God. To deny oneself means, according to the Apostle Paul, to be dead to sin and the world, but alive to God.
   - St. Innocent of Alaska, Indication of the Way into the Kingdom of Heaven

Therefore if you want to have in your heart the affections and dispositions that were those of Christ on earth, consult not your own imagination but faith. Enter into the darkness of interior renunciation, strip your soul of images and let Christ form Himself in you by His Cross.
   - Thomas Merton, New Seeds of Contemplation

What was Christ’s love like? Did it withhold anything? Did it take note of or measure its spiritual gifts? What did it regret, where was it ever stingy? Christ’s humanity was spit upon, struck, crucified. Christ’s Divinity was fully incarnate to the end in his spit-upon, battered, degraded and crucified Humanity. The Cross — an instrument of shameful death — became a symbol of self-denying love for the world.
   - Mother Maria Skobtsova  

Of course, it would be easier to get to paradise with a full stomach, all snuggled up in a soft feather-bed, but what is required is to carry one's cross along the way, for the kingdom of God is not attained by enduring one or two troubles, but many!
   - Elder Anthony of Optina