Update for the week Friday, February 22, through Thursday, February 28, 2013


BIBLE STUDY – The next meeting of the new Bible Study group at St. Mary, sponsored by the Fellowship of St. John the Divine, will be Thursday, February 21. This discussion group will meet in the church library every other Thursday, from 7:00-8:30 pm, and is open to all interested participants. We are using the course Search the Scriptures, by Dr. Jeannie Constantinou, originally broadcast on Ancient Faith Radio. For more information contact Greg Patrick (greg@dailytradealert.com) or Fr. Antony (frawhj@gmail.com). 

WINTER DELEGATES MEETING - The Fellowship of St. John the Divine, Teen SOYO and Antiochian Women will hold their Diocesan General Assembly this Saturday, February 23, at St George Cathedral, Worcester.  Morning Prayers at 10:00 am, followed by meetings.   Luncheon at 12:30.

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 24, which falls in between the anniversaries of The Boy Scouts of America (February 8) and the Girl Scouts of the USA (March 12).  Scouts in our parish will be reading the Epistle, taking the Collection and assisting at Communion.  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

CHINESE NEW YEAR BREAKFAST– Join the FSJD for the 2013 Chinese New Year Missions Breakfast, to benefit the Chinese Translation Project via the Orthodox Fellowship of All Saints of China (OFASC), this Sunday, February 24 (postponed from last week).  Suggested minimum donation is $5.00 per adult. 

ORTHODOX RELIGIOUS AWARDS FOR SCOUTS – If your son or daughter is a Boy Scout or Girl Scout, St. Mary's Church School invites them to work with other parish scouts to earn their religious awards as outlined by the Eastern Orthodox Committee on Scouting. There are three award levels based on age: http://eocs.org/religious-awards/youth-emblems. Scout meetings towards the awards will begin this Sunday, February 24 (note new date), from 11:30-noon  during coffee hour in the church library – parents and scouts are welcome. Two additional meetings will be arranged based on participants' schedules. Marie Bernardi will be coordinating this effort. Please let us know if you wish to participate by emailing Marie at mariebernardi114@comcast.net or Andrea Popa at maryandreapopa@gmail.com.

PRE-LENTEN RETREAT – The Antiochian Women of the Diocese invite you to a Pre-Lenten Retreat on Saturday, March 2, 2013, at St. George Church in Norwood. Featured speakers will be father-daughter team,  Dr. John Dalack and Kh. Laila Ellias, who will talk about “Slow to
” (see James 1:19-20). To register, send  $15 registration fee per person,  payable to Antiochian Women – DOWNE,  to Kh. Erin Kimmett, 17 Austin Street, Norwood, MA 02062. Lunch is included.  Everyone (men as well as women) is welcome. Note – advance registration, by Sunday, February 24, is required.


COFFEE HOUR HOSTS NEEDED – More volunteers are needed to host our weekly Coffee Hours after Liturgy. Please put your name(s) on the sign-up sheet on the church bulletin board outside the coatroom, or email  secretary@stmaryorthodoxchurch.org.  You can call the Office if you have any questions: 617-547-1234. Guidelines and help are available should you need them.

ORTHODOXY ON TAP, Series 2 – Come to Sunset at 138 Brighton Ave, Allston, for great conversation and drinks (21+ only) on Tuesday, February 26 at 7:30 pm.  Speaker for this final event will be  Dr. George Stavros.
ORDER OF ST. IGNATIUS LUNCHEON – There will be a luncheon for St. Ignatius members on Sunday, March 10, 2013 at Byblos, starting at 3:00 pm.

THEOPHANY SCHOOL OPEN HOUSE – Theophany School is hosting its next open house March 11-14, from 9:30-11:30 am. Come and see how their teachers create a lifetime love of learning through their engaging thematic curriculum in a nurturing Orthodox Christian environment right in Needham. Visit their website www.theophanyschool.org or call them at 781-444-3058 for more information.


MARCH IS ANTIOCHIAN WOMEN’S MONTH –  Attention all Women of St. Mary: There will be a sign-up Sheet on the Bengarri for assistance with Liturgical Service throughout the month of March.  Please sign up to read the Epistle, help with the collection, or assist with Communion cloths and/or Holy Bread baskets.

ANTIOCHIAN VILLAGE SUMMER CAMP – Summer Camp registration for 2013 is now open.  For information see  http://antiochianvillage.org/camp/programs/summercamp.html   To register see http://antiochianvillage.org/camp/programs/registration.html.  Please don't wait to register - camp fills up very quickly.  Please note that you are not registered until you have paid the $100 deposit and receive a confirmation email.  Also note that to take advantage of the early-bird discount you must have your camper tuition fees paid in full by March 1st.  Scholarships are available – contact Fr. Antony.

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 10;  pickup date is Sunday, March 24.  Also, please plan to come help make the Spinach Triangles on Saturday, March 23, at 9:30 am.

MEATFARE SUNDAY BREAKFAST - The annual Meatfare Sunday Breakfast sponsored by the Fellowship of St. John the Divine will be Sunday, March 10, following Liturgy.  The suggested donation – $7 per person, $14 per family – 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; the weekly St. Mary Update e-mail newsletter; and more. If you would like to know more about the Fellowship or join, contact Julie at Julie31415pi@gmail.com.

BLESSING OF HOMES – Fr. Antony will be blessing homes after Epiphany/Theophany (January 6)  and between Pascha (May 5) and Pentecost (June 23).  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.

LENTEN RETREAT AT NEW SKETE – New Skete Monastery, in Cambridge, NY, invites you to a Lenten Retreat on Saturday, March 16, 2013 from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm. The theme of the retreat is "Lent and the Experience of Sin, Forgiveness and Gratitude.”  To see their flyer and information on accommodations go to http://www.newskete.org/pdfs/2013%20Lenten%20Retreat%20Flier%20and%20accommodations.pdf For the registration form see http://www.newskete.org/pdfs/2013%20Lenten%20Retreat%20Response%20form%20FINAL.pdf 

REAL BREAK – This spring, be a light to the world! Real Break is a popular alternative to the traditional spring break for college students.  Entering its 12th year, OCF Real Break continues to offer transformative, priest-led trips both domestically and internationally.  To find detailed information regarding the Real Break trips in March 2013 and to register, please visit www.ocf.net/realbreak.  Be a part of this year's life-changing week-long Real Break experience.

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, 2013.

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 this coming year (2013):  CrossRoad June: June 22-July 1 AND  CrossRoad July: July 8-18.  Download an application and view a video clip at www.crossroad.hchc.edu

PARISH LIFE CONFERENCE – The 2013 Parish Life Conference for our diocese will be held June 27 – 30, 2013, at the Wyndam Hotel in Andover, MA. Room Rate is just $99.00 per night.  Your host is St. George Church, Lowell, MA. Save the date, and watch for further details.

ORTHODOX MISSION TEAMS –  The Orthodox Mission Center has announced their 2013 Mission Teams.  Mission teams will be heading to 10 locations around the globe to share the teachings of the faith and offer the gift of service through hands-on experience.  For more information call the OCMC at 877-463-6784 or e-mail teams@ocmc.org, or see 
http://www.ocmc.org/about/open_teams.aspx. Note that the July mission to Albania is led by our own Panayiotis and Shannon Sakellariou.

PLEDGE CARDS – If you have not yet made your pledge for 2013, please return your signed card right away. Or you can make your pledge online at  https://www.stmaryorthodoxchurch.org/ministries/stewardship.php


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.”
     If you missed the opportunity to contribute to some of the special collections held recently,  you can still do so online – Special Categories have been set up in eGive for these one-time donations. 
     Parishioners can also use their credit cards to make one-time donations on our website:  https://www.stmaryorthodoxchurch.org/contact/donate.php    Just type the donation target (e.g. Hurricane Sandy) in the Additional Notes area.

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.

CONFESSIONS –  Confessions are heard each Saturday evening before and after Vespers, which start at 5:00 pm,  or by appointment.

PARKING –  If you park in the Church parking lot, you need to plan on remaining until after the Coffee Hour or other church function.  Do not park in the Church parking lot if you need to leave immediately after church. 
   Additionally, do not park beyond the sign that prohibits parking at the corner of Inman Street and Bishop Allen Drive.  It is difficult for large vehicles to turn the corner if cars are parked there.  Failure to heed this warning may result in the City preventing parishioners from parking on Inman Street.  Your cooperation is appreciated.


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:

BECOME A GREETER – If you do not sing in the choir, or chant, serve in the Altar or at the Bengarri, and  are not a Church School teacher,  please consider serving the Church as a GREETER!  Greeters arrive at 9:45 am., get a Greeter Name Tag  from the Bengarri, pin it on and greet visitors/parishioners at the Church Entrance and direct them upstairs to the Church, or to the CloakRoom or RestRooms.  Greeting time ends when Communion starts.  Send your name and e-mail address to Buddy Mabardy: buddymabardy@cjmabardy.com or phone him 781-729-6303. 

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:  Barbara Shoop

COFFEE HOUR:  FSJD’s Chinese New Year Breakfast


Saturday, February 23:  Great Vespers 5:00 pm

Sunday, February  24,  Scout Sunday:  Orthros  8:45 am; Enquirers’ Class 9:00 am;  Divine Liturgy 10:00 am; Church School Lesson 15; FSJD’s Chinese New Year breakfast (postponed from February 17); Religious Awards meeting for Scouts 11:30

SCRIPTURE READINGS for Sunday, February 24:
   Epistle: St. Paul's Second Letter to the Corinthians 4:6-15 
Brethren, it is the God who said, "Let light shine out of darkness," who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, to show that the transcendent power belongs to God and not to us.

   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 Publican (a tax collector). … But the tax collector … beat his breast, saying, 'God, be merciful to me a sinner!' I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted."


Saturday, March 2:  Antiochian Women 2013 Pre-Lenten Retreat at St. George Norwood approx. 10:15 am;  Great Vespers at St. Mary 5:00 pm

Sunday, March 3:  Orthros  8:45 am; Enquirers’ Class 9:00 am;  Divine Liturgy 10:00 am; Church School Lesson 16

Saturday, March 9:  Great Vespers 5:00 pm

Sunday, March 10:  FSJD Meatfare Sunday Breakfast following Liturgy

Sunday, March 17:  Forgiveness Vespers 6:00 pm

Monday, March 18:  Lent begins


Boastful I am, and hard-hearted, all in vain and for nothing. Condemn me not with the Pharisee, but rather grant me the humility of the Publican, O only merciful and just Judge, and number me with him.
   - The Great Canon of St. Andrew of Crete

Our virtue, therefore, must not be contaminated with fault, but must be single minded and blameless, and free from all that can bring reproach. For what profit is there in fasting twice in the week, if thy so doing serve only as a pretext for ignorance and vanity, and make thee supercilious and haughty, and selfish?
   -  St. Cyril of Alexandria, Commentary on the Gospel of St. Luke

It was pride that changed angels into devils; it is humility that makes men as angels.
   - Saint Augustine

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

Basically, humility is the attitude of one who stands constantly under the judgment of God. It is the attitude of one who is like the soil. Humility comes from the Latin word humus, fertile ground. The fertile ground is there, unnoticed, taken for granted, always there to be trodden upon. It is silent, inconspicuous, dark and yet it is always ready to receive any seed, ready to give it substance and life. The more lowly, the more fruitful, because it becomes really fertile when it accepts all the refuse of the earth. It is so low that nothing can soil it, abase it, humiliate it; it has accepted the last place and cannot go any lower. In that position, nothing can shatter the soul’s serenity, its peace and joy.
   - Metropolitan Anthony Bloom,  Living Prayer

Seek God daily. But seek Him in your heart, not outside it. And when you find Him, stand with fear and trembling, like the Cherubim and Seraphim, for your heart has become a throne of God. But in order to find God, become humble as dust before the Lord, for the Lord abhors the proud; whereas He visits those that are humble in heart.
   - St. Nectarius of Aegina