Update for the week Friday, March 1, through Thursday, March 7, 2013


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 this Friday, March 1st.  Scholarships are available – contact Fr. Antony.

PRE-LENTEN RETREAT – The Antiochian Women of the Diocese are holding a Pre-Lenten Retreat this Saturday, March 2, 2013, at St. George Church in Norwood.  Everyone (men as well as women) is welcome. Note – advance registration, by Sunday, February 24, was required.

ANTIOCHIAN WOMEN’S MONTH –  March is Antiochian Women's Month throughout the Archdiocese. Women of the parish will be reading the Epistle, holding the Communion cloths and bread baskets, taking the collection, and delivering the homily. (Attention all women of St. Mary: There is a sign-up sheet on the Bengarri – please sign up for one of these liturgical services.)
   The sermon for this Sunday (Sunday of the Prodigal Son) will be given by Andrea Popa.


WOMEN’S CLUB MEETING – The next meeting of the Women’s Club will be Tuesday, March 5, at 7:30 pm in the parish kitchen.

DIOCESAN YOUTH DAY – There will be a  meeting for all youth of the Diocese on Saturday, March 9 at St. George, Norwood. Divine Liturgy will be at 10:00 am, followed by Lunch and Discussion with our own Fr. Antony Hughes and Dn. Nicholas Belcher.

MAGAZINES FOR PRISON MINISTRY – Please donate unwanted past issues of Orthodox magazines such as The Word, OCMC or other periodicals to our prison ministry to hand out to inmates.  Please remove any personal mailing address for security purposes and give them to Mitrophan Chin.

CONFERENCE ON LITURGICAL RENEWAL – Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology invites you to an International Conference on Liturgical Renewal on Friday and Saturday, March 15 and 16. For more information, contact Fr. Philip Zymaris at pzymaris@hchc.edu .

WORKSHOP FOR CHILDREN AND TEENS -  St. Mary's Church School invites families to attend a workshop designed for children and teens, entitled Living the Liturgy, on Friday, March 29, 2013 (Western Good Friday), from 9:30-3:00 at St. Mary's.  The day will feature making of Prosphora (holy bread), a "teaching" proscomedia service  (seeing the preparation of bread and wine for Eucharist), alter tour, morning prayer "reader" service, liturgical ministry practice/review and age-appropriate break-out activities to learn more about the liturgy. Lunch will be provided and a donation of $5/child or $10/family is requested.
   Please let us know as soon as possible if your family plans to attend so we have an idea of the group size. RSVP to Andrea Popa at maryandreapopa@gmail.com or 857-526-6706.
Please also let her know if you are a parent or teacher and can assist with activities for the day. To inquire about carpooling for the day, please contact Panayiotis Sakellariou at psakellariou@yahoo.com or 617-606-0750.  (Please note: This event is scheduled for Western Good Friday, a day off school for many, and is different from the Children’s Retreat which we always hold on Orthodox Holy Friday – this year May 3, 2013.)

ARCHDIOCESE CONVENTION – The 2013 national convention of the  Antiochian Archdiocese will be held July 21-28 in Houston TX, hosted by St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church. For information and registration see http://www.achouston2013.com.


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, March 7. 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). 

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.

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.

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:   Deno Takles

COFFEE HOUR:   Kh. Carol Hughes


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, Sunday of the Prodigal Son:  Orthros  8:45 am; Enquirers’ Class 9:00 am;  Divine Liturgy 10:00 am; Church School Lesson 16

SCRIPTURE READINGS for Sunday, March 3:
   Epistle: St. Paul's First Letter to the Corinthians 6:12-20
… Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? … But he who is united to the Lord becomes one spirit with him. … Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, which you have from God? You are not your own; you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body and in your spirit which belong to God.

   Gospel: Luke 15:11-32
The Lord said this parable: "There was a man who had two sons; and the younger of them said to his father, 'Father, give me the share of the property that falls to me.' And he divided his living between them. Not many days later, the younger son gathered all he had and took his journey into a far country, and there he squandered his property in loose living. … But when he came to himself he said, … I will arise and go to my father, and I will say to him, 'Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; I am no longer worthy to be called your son; treat me as one of your hired servants.' And he arose and came to his father. But while he was yet at a distance, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him.


Saturday, March 9:  Diocesan Youth Day at St. George, Norwood -  Divine Liturgy 10:00 am, followed by lunch and discussion.   Great Vespers at St. Mary 5:00 pm

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

Sunday, March 17:  Forgiveness Vespers 6:00 pm

Monday, March 18:  Great Lent begins - Great Canon of St. Andrew 7:00 pm

Tuesday, March 19:  Great Canon of St. Andrew 7:00 pm

Wednesday, March 20:  Pre-Sanctified Liturgy 6:30 pm, followed by Pot Luck Supper

Thursday, March 21:  Great Canon of St. Andrew 7:00 pm

Friday, March 22:  Akathist (Madayeh) Service 7:00 pm,  followed by Learning in Lent lecture series

Saturday, March 23:  No Vespers at St. Mary


Contrition cannot be grasped in a day or be taught from a book. It is life that flows between the soul and God. At first glance, it looks arduous, being a struggle against self-regard and a humiliation of one’s pride. But after awhile when the soul is cleansed from its false majesty and conceit, the life of contrition becomes a poignant, sweet melody that makes shorter the soul’s long journey to God. It invites the soul to make its approach to God’s dwelling place until it finds its complete rest in Him. A contrite soul is full of peace.
   - Fr. Matthew the Poor, Orthodox Prayer Life: The Interior Way

The publican prayed only "God be merciful to me a sinner" and was justified; the repentant thief prayed only "Remember me..." and received paradise; and the prodigal son and the tax-collector, Zacchaeus, said nothing at all, and received the mercy of the Father and the forgiveness of Christ. (Luke 15:20, 18:13, 19:5)
  - St. Dimitry of Rostov

Do not lose heart, O soul, do not grieve; pronounce not over yourself a final judgment for the multitude of your sins; do not commit yourself to fire; do not say: “The Lord has cast me from His face.”  Such words are not pleasing to God. Can it be that he who has fallen cannot get up? Can it be that he who has turned away cannot turn back again? Do you not hear how kind the Father is to a prodigal?  Do not be ashamed to turn back and say boldly: I will arise and go to my Father. Arise and go!  He will accept you and will not reproach you, but rather rejoice at your return. He awaits you; just do not be ashamed and do not hide from the face of God as did Adam.
  It was for your sake that Christ was crucified; so will He cast you aside? He knows who oppresses us. He knows that we have no other help but Him alone. Christ knows that man is miserable. Do not give yourself up to despair and apathy, assuming that you have been prepared for the fire. Christ derives no consolation from thrusting us into the fire; He gains nothing if He sends us into the abyss to be tormented.
  Imitate the prodigal son: leave the city that starves you. Come and beseech Him and you shall behold the glory of God. Your face shall be enlightened and you will rejoice in the sweetness of paradise. Glory to the Lord and Lover of mankind Who saves us.
   - St. Ephraim the Syrian