Update for the week Thursday, March 12 - Wednesday, March 18, 2020


Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ:
 In the interests of the health and welfare of our community and the greater community around us, all coffee hours and Lenten Potluck dinners after Presanctified Liturgies will be suspended until further notice. Please take care of yourselves during this crisis. May God send mercy and healing to us all.
   In Christ,
   Fr. Antony

FRIDAY 3/13 - AKATHIST (Medayah) Praises of the Holy Theotokos will be prayed on Fridays in Lent, March 6, 13, 20, 27, and April 3
SUNDAY 3/15 - Orthros 8:45am; St. Ignatius Catechetical Group, 9:00am, Orthodoxy 102 9:00am; Divine Liturgy 10:00am, followed by Church School
   + The St. Mary Women's Club will meet this Sunday, March 15, after Liturgy.  We’ll be sitting at the table in the far right corner of the Hall.  
WEDNESDAY 3/18 – PreSanctified Liturgy 6:30PM, but no Lenten Potluck Supper
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.  
   We meet with Mrs. Roustom, 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!!   

DIOCESE COMPLINE SERVICES - You are invited to join His Grace Bishop JOHN, Diocese clergy, and all the faithful to pray the Great Compline service each Monday during Great Lent. Each week will be at a different parish. The schedule is:

  • March 16 - St. John of Damascus Church, Dedham, 7:00 pm
  • March 23 - St. Michael Church, Cotuit, 7:00 pm
  • March 30 - St. George Church, West Roxbury, 6:30 pm
  • April 6 - St. George Cathedral, Worcester, 6:30 pm 


THANK YOU FOR SUPPORTING MISSIONS!  Thank you to the many people who helped plan and facilitate the Missions Event on the Sunday of Orthodoxy, March 8th: church school teachers and students for the posters, coffee hour providers and clean up team for an amazing meal, and all of you who donated toward the work of Chinese Translation Project, OCMC, and Project Mexico!  If you still want to make a donation, there are envelopes and designation cards in the hall.  You can put envelopes in the regular collection, or give them to Marc Patachiola, Treasurer. Make checks payable to St. Mary's, and the church will forward all donations together. 
LENTEN LUNCHEON – St Mary’s Women’s Club is postponing the Lenten Luncheon originally scheduled for Sunday, March 22. A replacement date later in the spring will be announced later.

FOOD FOR HUNGRY PEOPLE MITE BOXES – Mite boxes are available in the narthex on the bengarri. Take one home, drop in a few coins every day, and return it on Palm Sunday to help the Archdiocese feed the hungry. Use the box as a tool for teaching your children about generosity and almsgiving. Remind yourself of the power of the ‘Widow’s Mite’ – retold in the first window on the right side of the nave in St. Mary’s.
   “If man shuts his ears to the cry of the poor, he too will cry out and not be answered.” - Proverbs 21:13
PRESANCTIFIED LITURGY – On most Wednesdays during Lent (March 11 & 18 and April 1 & 8) there will be a Presanctified Liturgy service at 6:30pm. It will not be followed by a Lenten potluck supper.
   + Early Presanctified Liturgy – On April 1 the Presanctified Liturgy will begin at 5:30 instead of 6:30, in order to make it easier for families with children to participate in a midweek Lenten service.
ANNUNCIATION LITURGY - On Wednesday, March 25 there will be a Vesperal Divine Liturgy for the Feast of the Annunciation, at 6:30pm.  Note that there will no Presanctified Liturgy that week.
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. 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
RETREAT and YOUTH DAY – The 2020 Lenten Retreat and Youth Day of the Diocese is scheduled to 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.
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.
PALM SUNDAY FISH DINNER – On Palm Sunday, April 12, the Hospitality Group invites you to stay for the annual Palm Sunday Fish Dinner, donated by Ed and Lisa Brylczyk. Cost is $9.00 per person; $18 per family. Volunteers are needed to help with setup, serving the food, and especially with cleanup.
HOLY FRIDAY RETREAT NEEDS A NEW LEADER – After 25 years, Trish Orlovsky is stepping down from her role as leader of the children’s activities at the Holy Friday retreat. Please contact Trish at trishorlovsky@gmail.com if you can step in and continue the tradition, or if you have any questions. (Note: Holy Friday is April 17 this year.)
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 is open. You’ll need 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.
NEW DIOCESE SUMMER CAMP PROGRAM - Due to the long wait lists at AV, our Diocese is excited to offer this new Diocese camp program as an additional option to your young people. We hope that some campers who are going to AV this summer will also come to Camp St. Herman, and we also hope the many, many young people who are not going to AV will take advantage of the numerous benefits of a local program:
   - It's close! CSH is held in Contoocook, NH at the St. Methodios Faith & Heritage Center where we have gone for many years for our Teen Retreats. It is only a short 1-2 hour drive for the majority of our Diocese.
    Only a week! A shorter program (1 week) may be appealing to new campers (and parents!) who are not ready to spend 2 weeks away from home at AV.
   - No Wait List! The Village filled up in less than a day back in December, and left too many campers on the wait list. Camp St. Herman will follow the standards of the Antiochian Village program, the accreditation standards of the American Camp Association, and provide a quality experience for our young people to experience their faith in the camp setting just like at AV.
   - Diocese Connections! Camping programs are very effective ways to develop close friendships among those that attend. A local program for our Diocese will help to foster and develop relationships between our young people at the various local parishes. These relationships will continue to develop throughout the year at diocese activities.
  - Camper registration is now available online along with more details at www.CampStHerman.org  
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.


“When you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, that your charitable deed may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly.”
   - Mathew 6:3-4
The price of the kingdom is the food you give to those who need it.
   - St. Leo the Great
“You cannot show a kindness too soon, because you never know how soon it will be too late.”
   - Unknown