Update for the week Thursday, February 27 - Wednesday, March 4, 2020


SUNDAY 3/1 - Orthros 8:45am; St. Ignatius Catechetical Group, 9:00am, Orthodoxy 102 9:00am; Divine Liturgy 10:00am, followed by Church School 
   +  Forgiveness Vespers 6:00pm. 
MONDAY 3/2 - Great Lent begins


PRESANCTIFIED LITURGY – On Wednesdays during Lent (March 4, 11, 18, & 25, and April 1 & 8) there will be a Presanctified Liturgy service at 6:30pm, followed by a Lenten potluck supper.
AKATHIST (Medayah) Praises of the Holy Theotokos will be prayed on Fridays in Lent, March 6, 13, 20, 27, and April 3
LENTEN LUNCHEON – St. Mary’s Women’s Club invites you to a Lenten Luncheon on Sunday, March 22, after Liturgy. The Women will be serving homemade Mjaddara and Hoomos and other Lenten favorites. Price, with reservation, is $12 for adults and $6 for kids under 12. Price at the door for an adult will be $15.  For reservations there will be a sign-up sheet at the Bengarri, or you can call Marilyn Robbat at 781-729-3033, or email mrobbat@gmail.com
ANNUNCIATION – There will be a Vesperal Divine Liturgy for the Feast of the Annunciation on Tuesday, March 24 at 6:30pm.
BIBLE BOWL - All Teens, ages 13 - 19 and Pre – Teens,  ages 10 - 12 interested in competing in this year's Bible Bowl please contact Violet Robbat at 781-718-5369 or by e-mail at vmkrobbat@yahoo.com    for further instruction.  This year we will be studying the Gospel of John as found in the New Testament of the Orthodox Study Bible.  The Orthodox Study Bible is available from Ancient Faith Bookstore, Barnes and Noble, Holy Cross Bookstore and Amazon if you do not have one.  
Our first meeting/practice will begin in mid-March (exact date TBD).  We meet immediately after Church School ends and every Sunday until the competition. We will meet in the small area right outside the secretary’s office.  Be sure to bring a chair with you.  We look forward to having two great teams again this year!!   


TRIUMPH OF ORTHODOXY – Pan-Orthodox Vespers for the Triumph of Orthodoxy will be Saturday, March 7 at 6:00pm, at St George Cathedral, Worcester. Note: If you are interested in singing with the Pan-Orthodox 4-part SATB or Byzantine Chant choir, please e-mail Charlie Marge, charlie.marge@verizon.net
MISSIONS COFFEE HOUR - A parish-wide collaboration of groups (Young Adults, Hospitality etc.) is planning a special coffee hour for the Sunday of Orthodoxy (March 8) to celebrate and learn about Orthodox missions activities around the world and to enjoy food from those places.  (Featured will be China Translation Project; Project Mexico; OCMC work in Albania, Guatemala, Kenya, S Korea, New Zealand, Romania, and Sweden; and possibly more.) If you would like to help with planning and with preparing food, please contact Shannon Sakellariou at srsakellariou@gmail.com or 617-792-75780
THE ORTHODOX CHRISTIAN WITNESS PROGRAM: Spiritual Pilgrimage is an opportunity for anyone interested to learn, to reflect, and to be transformed through the Orthodox Christian Faith in preparation for various ministries. This spiritual pilgrimage is an interdisciplinary approach to create a cadre of leaders in the church. It is aimed to empower and equip Orthodox Christians to nourish and share the faith in the 21st century. This semester the program has a Round Table discussion unit and a Retreat unit. Anyone can join at any point in the program. We welcome you on behalf of the Program Interdisciplinary Leadership Team: Bishop John of Worcester and New England, Archpriest Antony Hughes, Ioana Popa MD, BCC, Richard J. Robbat Ph.D., Sebastien Falardeau, MA, PhDc.
   ROUND TABLE: "Courage to Live - Fruits of the Holy Spirit". Ten Thursday evening discussions, beginning January 23. Anyone can register. Dates and Time: Thursdays 7:00pm-9:00pm, March 12, 19, 26, April 2, 9, 23 (snow date alternative). Location: Antiochian Orthodox Christian Diocese of Worcester and New England Chancellery: 2 Lydias Path, Westborough MA 01581
    RETREAT: "Free will and Christian Choice". Saturday daylong retreat – anyone can register. Date and Time: Saturday March 21, 2020, 9:00am-4:00pm.. Location: Emmaus House, New Ipswich NH, 03071
   To register or for questions, please email at IP.AlongTheJourney@gmail.com or call at 617-274-8336
SCHOLARSHIPS AVAILABLE - Scholarships ($1,000) are available from the Syrian-Lebanese Women’s club of Greater Boston to young women of Syrian and Lebanese origin, residing in Massachusetts within 50-mile radius of Boston, who plan to pursue a four-year college education.  Scholarships are based on outstanding academic achievement, extra-curricular activities, charitable and civic involvement and good character; and applicants must be in good academic standing in her school and possess those personal attributes, which best serve the community.  Applications are available through the Church Office and must be postmarked by March 31.  If you have any questions, contact Mary Winstanley O’Connor at 617-523-1010 or email at moconnor@koilaw.com.
   + Diocese of Worcester and New England Scholarship: Students graduating in 2019 from high school who are children of members of St. Mary’s may apply.  Deadline is March 31.  Contact Mary Winstanley O’Connor at 617-523-1010 or email at moconnor@koilaw.com for more information.
RETREAT and YOUTH DAY – The 2020 Lenten Retreat and Youth Day of the Diocese will be held on Saturday, March 28 from 9:00-3:30, at St. John of Damascus, Dedham. The theme of the retreat will be Don’t Stop Believin’, a Journey to the Kingdom of Heaven. Dr. Gregory Abdalah will be the guest speaker.

PARISH LIFE CONFERENCE – St. Mary’s is hosting the 2020 Parish Life Conference at the Cape Codder Resort & Spa in Hyannis, June 19-21.  Hotel registration is now open - special conference rate is $189/night + tax for the evenings of June 19 and 20; Pre-Conference Rate is $109/night + tax for up to 3 days before (Tuesday-Thursday nights) the conference; Post-Conference Rate is $139/night + tax (Sunday - Tuesday nights). To register for the hotel call 1-888-297-2200 and mention the “Parish Life Conference hosted by St. Mary’s” or book online by visiting www.stmaryorthodoxchurch.org/plc/hotel-reservation.  To learn more, visit www.stmaryorthodoxchurch.org/plc  
AV SUMMER CAMP – Antiochian Village summer camp registration has opened. Be sure to register early as the sessions fill up quickly - see https://avcamp.org/summer-camp.  St. Mary’s children attend 3rd Session, July 12-24.
JOIN US ONLINE - 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 or online). If you have questions or comments about this ministry please contact us at live@stmaryorthodoxchurch.org
JOIN THE CHOIR – St. Mary Church Choir welcomes individuals (especially basses and altos!) interested in making a commitment to sing each Sunday at Divine Liturgy.  Please feel free to join them and/or introduce yourself to the director, Michelle Mabardy, any Sunday after Liturgy.


Fasting is wonderful because it tramples our sins like a dirty weed.
   - St John Chrysostom