Update for the week Friday, September 13, through Thursday, September 19, 2013


MARRIAGE SEMINAR WITH BISHOP JOHN – St. Mary will host the first evening of a two-day marriage seminar led by His Grace Bishop JOHN, to be held this 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, 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 immediately. A fee of $25.00 is required to cover the cost of food.

CHURCH SCHOOL –  Church School classes start this Sunday, September 15, 2013. Thanks to all those who are volunteering their time to be teachers, assistants and substitutes for the 2013-2014 school year.  Our Teachers/Assistants for the 2013-2014 Church School year are:
Laran Matta/Alyssa Shoop, Pre-K; Esther Porr/Andrea Popa, Kindergarten; Cyatharine Alias/ Michelle Chin, Grade 1; Thomas Perkins/Carolyn Rahal-Keamy Grade 2;  Marie Bernardi/Georgia Bellas, Grade 3;  Natasha Smith/ Ashley Laughney Grade 4/5; Marianna Sayeg/Dino Takles, Grade 6; 8- Peter Nassiff, Grade7;  Greg Hakim/Hannah Oakley, Discussion Group (Gr. 9-12).  Substitutes are Melissa Sayeg, Carol Hughes, Elena Unschuld

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


FR. ANTONY TO BE AWAY – Fr. Antony will be out of town Friday through Sunday, September 19-22, 2013.  In case of emergency, please call  Fr. Timothy Ferguson at St. George Church, West Roxbury:  617-323-0323.

OLD TABLES AVAILABLE – If anyone would like one of the old brown hall tables please feel free to take one.  The old tables must be removed from the hall by September 22nd.  Call the office if you want to schedule a weekday pick-up.

WOMEN’S CLUB – The next Women’s Club meeting will be Tuesday, October 8 at 7:30 pm at the Church.


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

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.

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 series of talks originally broadcast on Ancient Faith Radio. Join us at 7:00 pm on Thursday, September 19, in the church library as we continue discussing Genesis (http://orthodoxbiblestudy.info/genesis-part-2  and http://orthodoxbiblestudy.info/genesis-part-3). 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!

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 more information 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.

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!

2015 ARCHDIOCESAN CONVENTION - There will be a meeting of all subcommittee chairs for the 2015 Archdiocesan Convention, which will 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” which provides children with shoes nationwide.

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, chanted by the Boston Byzantine Choir, 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.   

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

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:  Mike Decerbo

Coffee Hour:  The Church School Parents


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
SCRIPTURE READINGS for Sunday, September 15:
   Epistle: St. Paul's First Letter to the Galatians 2:16-20
… For I through the law died to the law, that I might live to God. 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 what does it profit a man, to gain the whole world and forfeit his life? For what can a man give in return for his life?


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

Saturday, September 28:  Great Vespers 5:00 pm

Sunday, September 29:  Orthros  8:45 am,  Divine Liturgy 10:00 am, followed by Women’s Club bake sale

Saturday, October 5:  Great Vespers 5:00 pm, chanted by the Boston Byzantine Choir, followed by Fr. Antony’s 20th Aniversary Banquet with His Grace, Bishop John

Sunday, October 6:  Orthros  8:45 am,  Hierarchical Divine Liturgy 10:00 am


The cross, inseparable from the descent into hell, the resurrection, and the ascension to the right hand of the Father, is seen as fundamentally life-giving.  Its dimensions make of Christ the truly cosmic Man who transfigures the universe:  "Henceforward all is filled with light, the heavens, the earth and even hell," according to the Easter liturgy in the Byzantine rite.  To be crucified in Christ is to die to one's own death in order to enter into the sacrifice that restores wholeness, and to understand, as St. Paul says, "the breadth and length and height and depth" of love (Ephesians 3:18-19).
   - Olivier Clement, The Roots of Christian Mysticism

“Faith without works is dead" (James 2:26). The works of faith are love, peace, longsuffering, mercy, humility, bearing one’s cross and life by the Spirit. True faith cannot remain without works. One who truly believes will also surely perform good works.   
- St. Seraphim of Sarov

"Far be it for me to glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ" (Gal. 6:14).
Truly this symbol is thought despicable; but it is so in the world's reckoning, and among men; in Heaven and among the faithful it is the highest glory. Poverty too is despicable, but it is our boast; and to be cheaply thought of by the public is a matter of laughter to them, but we are elated by it. So too is the Cross our boast. He does not say, 'I boast not,' nor, 'I will not boast,' but, 'Far be it from me that I should,' as if he abominated it as absurd, and invoked the aid of God to his success therein. And what is the boast of the Cross? That Christ for my sake took on Him the form of a slave, and bore His sufferings for me the slave, the enemy, the unfeeling one; yea, He so loved me as to give Himself up to a curse for me. What can be comparable to this?
   - St. John Chrysostom

The one who knows God will follow the Lord's footsteps, bearing the cross of the Savior. It is said, "The world is crucified to him and he to the world." The Lord says, "He who loses his life will save it." We can "lose our lives" in one of two ways. First, we can risk our lives just as the Lord did for us. Secondly, we can separate our lives from the customary things of this world. Bearing the cross means to separate our souls from the delights and pleasures of this life. If you do this, you will find your life again - resting in the hope of what is to come. Dying to ourselves means being content with the necessities of life. When we want more than these necessities it is easy to sin.
   - St. Clement of Alexandria

We must bear our cross because we want to be with Christ and to participate in His glory. If Jesus Christ, our Master and Teacher, gained heavenly glory through suffering, would it not be shameful for us to share His glory when we faintheartedly shun any trials or sorrows?
   - St. Innocent of Irkutsk, Indication of the Way Into the Kingdom of Heaven