Update for the week Friday, September 6, through Thursday, September 12, 2013


BIBLE STUDY – The Bible Study at St. Mary, sponsored by the Fellowship of St. John the Divine, meets every other Thursday and is based on a lecture series originally broadcast on Ancient Faith Radio. Join us at 7:00 pm this coming Thursday, September 5, in the church library as we begin discussing Genesis (http://orthodoxbiblestudy.info/introduction-to-genesis/ and http://orthodoxbiblestudy.info/genesis-part-1/). For more information contact Marianna Sayeg (mksayeg@gmail.com) or Fr. Antony (frawhj@gmail.com). New members are always welcome. Don't worry if you don't have time to listen to all the material, you can still participate in the discussion!

CHURCH SCHOOL – Thanks to all those who are volunteering their time to be teachers, assistants and substitutes for the 2013-2014 school year. 
   Church School registration (age 3 and up) will be this Sunday, September 8.  This is only for new students or those who have never completed a Registration Form.  Church School classes will start next Sunday, September 15, 2013.
   There will be a Church School Teachers/Assistants/Substitutes meeting immediately following Registration this Sunday  Please plan on attending this very important meeting.

WOMEN’S CLUB – The next meeting of the Women’s Club will be Monday, September 9, at 7:30 pm.  All women are encouraged to attend.  We look forward to seeing both old and new members and discussing future activities of the organization.


2015 ARCHDIOCESAN CONVENTION - There will be a meeting of all subcommittee chairs for the 2015 Archdiocesan Convention to be hosted by St Mary, on Wednesday, September 25, 2013 at 7:30 pm in the church hall. If you cannot attend please let Raymond Sayeg (rsayeg@aol.com) or Mary Winstanley O'Connor (moconnor@koilaw.com) know.

BAKE SALE – The Women’s Club will hold a Charity Bake Sale on Sunday, September 29 immediately following Liturgy, in the church hall.  All proceeds will benefit the charitable projects we sponsor, from the YWCA Family Shelter in Cambridge to the Antiochian Women’s project “Operation Lace Up” providing children with shoes nationwide.

Friday evening 9/20: Socrates Deligeorges, our chef,  needs 1 person to help him with grocery shopping.
Saturday 9/21 at 2:00 pm: 4 volunteers are needed in the church kitchen to help prep the food.
Sunday 9/22, during Liturgy: we need 5 volunteers in the kitchen to help cook.  Immediately after Liturgy: we need at least 4 servers. 
Please contact Socrates (dr.socrates@gmail.com) to let him know where you can help. Thanks!

SYRIA RELIEF BENEFIT – Come to St. Mary Church of Pawtucket, RI on Saturday October 12 for an evening of prayer, food, and support for the relief effort desperately needed in and around Syria. The sweeping violence in Syria has left more than six million people in urgent need of help and more than four million children, women and men displaced in their own country. Your efforts will help the International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC) respond quickly to those in need by providing emergency relief items such as food, heating, fuel and basic necessities like blankets and hygiene kits. All proceeds to benefit IOCC efforts to help the more than 6 million in urgent need.
   The evening begins with a pan-Orthodox vespers at 5:00 pm, followed by Dinner and a presentation from IOCC's Development officer Lou Zagami.  Even if you cannot attend, sponsorships and other opportunities for involvement are available. If you have any questions, or would like to volunteer at the event, please contact Jamil Samara at 617-501-4427 or jamil@jamilsamara.com,  or Joe Samra at 401-440-0029 or joesamra@gmail.com.  Register online at www.iocc.org/pawtucket

COFFEE HOUR CHANGES – From now on, if no one volunteers to provide a coffee hour there will be no coffee hour that Sunday. Please get a few friends together and sign up right away! (Signup sheet is on the bulletin board downstairs.)
   Before you leave, please put away your own chair and help put away the table. As you know, "many hands make light work!”


MARRIAGE SEMINAR WITH BISHOP JOHN – St. Mary will host the first evening of a two-day marriage seminar to be held Friday and Saturday, September 13-14. On Friday at St. Mary, Evening Divine Liturgy for the Feast of the Elevation of the Holy Cross with His Grace Bishop JOHN, at 6:30 pm, will be followed by the first session which will last approximately an hour and a half.  A light dinner will be provided.  The second session will be held at the Chancery in Westborough on Saturday morning from 10:00 am to 3:30, with lunch provided. Everyone, married or unmarried, is welcome and encouraged to attend and learn about the Orthodox approach to marriage. To register, contact Fr. Antony at frawhj@gmail.com. A fee of $25.00 is required to cover the cost of food.

PARISH COUNCIL – The next meeting of the Parish Council will be Wednesday, September 18, at 7:30 pm.

THEOPHANY SCHOOL - Theophany School has limited openings in our preschool and full day kindergarten classes for the 2013 school year!  Our low student: teacher ratio, loving Christian environment, and engaging thematic curriculum enable our students to flourish academically, socially, and spiritually.  We are conveniently located off Route 128 at 754 Greendale Avenue in Needham, MA.  Call 781-444-3058 or visit www.TheophanySchool.org today to schedule a tour and see how Theophany School can make a difference in your child's life! 

PILGRIMAGE – The annual St. Thekla pilgrimage at the Antiochian Village has been expanded this year to include supplication to St. Raphael, who is buried on the grounds of the Village. The Pilgrimage will be September 20-22, 2013. For information and registration form see http://www.antiochian.org/sites/antiochian.org/files/2013_brochure.pdf

SONIA’S RUN –The 5th annual Sonia’s 5K Run/Walk at St. George Church, West Roxbury, will be held on Saturday, September 21, beginning at 9:00 am.  All proceeds will benefit Sonia’s dream of finding a permanent home for Theophany school. For more information see http://theophanyschool.org/ways-to-help/sonias-run

“WELCOME BACK COLLEGE STUDENTS" BREAKFAST – After Liturgy on Sunday, September 22, 2013, 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.

FR. ANTONY’S  20th ANNIVERSARY -  Be with us on Saturday and Sunday, October 5 & 6, 2013, as His Grace, Bishop John joins us to celebrate Fr. Antony’s first 20 years at St. Mary and his first 25 years in the priesthood!
   On Saturday, October 5, Great Vespers at 5:00 pm will be followed by a Banquet with Bishop John in the Church Hall.  Tickets – Adults:  $50.00 per person includes dinner, beer, wine & entertainment; Children under 18:  $25.00 per person. (All proceeds will be used to send our children to Antiochian Village in July, 2014).  No tickets will be sold at the door – for reservations  please see Marc Patacchiola or Deno Takles or call Mary Winstanley O’Connor at 617-523-1010. Prepaid tables of 8 may be reserved in advance.
   Sunday, October 6:  Orthros at 8:45 am;  Hierarchical Divine Liturgy at 10:00 am, followed by a Coffee Hour.
   We are looking for Sponsors for the Banquet:  Platinum $2000, Gold $1000, And Silver $500.  To date we have $4500 in sponsors and are looking for an additional $2000 in Sponsorships.  See Mary Winstanley-O’Connor if you are interested in being a Sponsor for this joyous event.

ENQUIRERS’ CLASS - The St. Ignatius Catechetical Group (Enquirers’ Class) will begin meeting on Sunday, October 6 at 9:00 A.M 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 617-889-3436 or e-mail r.kowalik@comcast.net

DANCING WITH THE AABA STARS- On Friday, October 11, 2013 the American Arabic Benevolent Association will present the annual “Dancing with the Stars.”  Representing St. Mary’s Church will be Amanda Noonan, daughter of Karen Winstanley Noonan.  This event is a fundraiser to benefit senior affordable housing at Cheriton Heights in West Roxbury.  The event will take place at The Norwood Theatre, Norwood, MA. Ticket price is $45.00 per person.  For tickets, sponsoring or information contact David Franciosi, 617-347-1005.  Sponsor seating will have 10 seats reserved plus an AABA Gift bag.  Sponsors names will appear in program and donations may be applied as points to dancer.   

COLLEGE & UNIVERSITY STUDENTS – If you are a new or returning college or university student, please fill out a green “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.

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 green “College Student Address Forms” and return it to the church office.

HABITAT FOR HUMANITY POSTPONED – The Fellowship of St. John the Divine’s Habitat for Humanity building project,  originally announced for September, has been  postponed until Saturday, November 16. Watch for further details.

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

PARKING RESTRICTIONS – Please do not park in the Church parking lot if you need to leave quickly after church. Cars parked there will be staying until the end of coffee hour.
   Additionally, do not park beyond the sign that prohibits parking at the corner of Inman Street and Bishop Allen Drive. (An orange cone will be placed in that No Parking area.) 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.
   And remember, there is no parishioner parking in the church parking lot Monday through Friday until after 6:00 pm.


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 – 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 15 minutes before Liturgy, 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.  All Orthodox Christians in the Parish are welcome and encouraged to participate. We usually need one Epistle reader and four people to hold the cloths.  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 monthly Cornerstone), 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.
   Also - 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.
   Our own Deacon Jeff Smith can be heard in a recent interview with Ancient Faith Radio at http://www.ancientfaith.com/podcasts/features/prison_ministry_awareness_sunday1  
VIDEO EDITING – Volunteers are wanted to assist with video editing of sermons and lectures.
We are looking for volunteers to assist with some basic video editing to post the sermons and lectures from St. Mary's online.  If you have experience with digital video editing, please let Jamil Samara or Erick Straghalis know you are interested - email live@stmaryorthodoxchurch.org.

PHOTOGRAPHERS AND GRAPHIC DESIGNERS – Are you a photographer or a graphic designer? Would you be willing to share your talents with St. Mary Church and her ministries?  We are looking for you to help photograph the divine services and events and to design promotional material for events and programs at our parish. Please contact Jamil Samara at webmaster@stmaryorthodoxchurch.org with any questions, and to let him know that you are interested in getting more involved.

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


Greeter:  Bob Kowalik

Coffee Hour:  Seraphim Davis


Saturday, September 7:  Great Vespers 5:00 pm

Sunday, September 8, The Sunday before the Elevation of the Holy Cross:  Orthros  8:45 am,  Divine Liturgy 10:00 am, followed by Church School registration, then meeting for teachers, assistants & substitutes
SCRIPTURE READINGS for Sunday, September 1:
   Epistle: St. Paul's First Letter to the Galatians 6:11-18
… far be it from me to glory except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. For neither circumcision counts for anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creation. Peace and mercy be upon all who walk by this rule, upon the Israel of God. Henceforth let no man trouble me; for I bear on my body the marks of Jesus.

   Gospel:  John 3:13-17
The Lord said, "No one has ascended into heaven but he who descended from heaven, the Son of man. And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.  For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God sent the Son into the world, not to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him."


Friday, September 13:  Evening Liturgy for Feast of the Elevation of the Holy Cross
6:30 pm with His Grace Bishop JOHN, followed by Marriage Seminar part 1.

Saturday, September 14:  Marriage Seminar part 2 at the Bishop’s Chancery in Westborough 10:00 am to 3:30 pm

Sunday, September 15:  Orthros  8:45 am, Divine Liturgy 10:00 am;  Church School classes begin

Saturday, September 21:  No Vespers

Sunday, September 22:  Orthros  8:45 am,  Divine Liturgy 10:00 am, followed by FSJD “Welcome Back College Students” Breakfast


When Moses stretched forth his hands on the Egyptians' behalf, the frogs were instantly destroyed. This can also be seen happening now. For those who perceive the out-stretched hands of the lawgiver - you understand, surely, what the figure says to you, and perceive in the lawgiver the true Lawgiver and in His outstretched hands Him Who stretched forth His hands upon the cross - those then who for a short time have lived with these sordid and frog-like thoughts, if they look to Him Who stretched forth His hands on our behalf, are set free from their evil life as their passion is put to death and left stinking.
   - St. Gregory of Nyssa, On the Life of Moses.

O ye bitten by Satan, look upon Christ; For this was He lifted up, that ye might gaze on Him and be healed by Him. O ye throughout whose members the hidden gall hath spread, by the sight of the Cross of light ye are restored to health. O ye slain by the bites of wicked demons, lift up your eyes, look, and be healed, if ye will. O thou that are bitten in soul by iniquity, doubt not; look on the Cross, and it will swiftly heal thy soul. Sins have torn thee like the bites of serpents: If thou gaze not on the Slain One, thou wilt not be healed. As Moses lifted the serpent, thy Lord was lifted up: Look on Him, O man, and the wound that pains thee will take to flight.
   - Mar Jacob, Bishop of Serugh, On the Serpent of Brass that Moses Lifted up in the Desert.

The virgin, the wood, and death were the symbols of our defeat. Eve was a virgin. When she suffered the fraud, she had not known man. The wood is the tree, and death is the punishment given to Adam. Do you see how the virgin, the wood, and death became the symbols of our defeat? Behold, therefore, how they again became the causes of victory. In the place of Eve, Mary; in the place of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, the wood of the Cross; in the place of the death of Adam, the death of the Master. Do you see by what means He conquered, with the same means Adam had been defeated?
   - St. John Chrysostom, A Homily on the Holy Pascha

We should not desire the death of a sinner, but his repentance. Nothing grieves the Lord more, Who suffered on the Cross for sinners, then when we pray to Him for the death of a sinner and thereby to remove him from our path. It happened that the Apostle Carpus lost his patience and began to pray that God send down death upon two sinful men; one a pagan and the other an apostate from the Faith. Then the Lord Christ Himself appeared to Carpus and said: "Strike me; I am prepared to be crucified again for the salvation of mankind." St. Carpus related this event to St. Dionysius the Areopagite and he wrote it down and gave it to the Church as a lesson to all, that prayers are needed for sinners to be saved and not for them to be destroyed, "for the Lord is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance" (2 Peter 3:9).
   - Prologue from Ochrid