St. Mary e-Newsletter for Friday, September 4, 2020


Every Sunday Orthros is at 8:45am, followed by Divine Liturgy at 10:00am. Members of St. Mary’s laity may attend Sunday services in rotation, with appropriate physical distancing throughout the nave.  The list of voting members is subdivided into three or four parts, and members in each part will receive an invitation on a Tuesday afternoon, by telephone or by email, to attend on the following Sunday.   Your response is requested by noon the following Friday.
All the Divine Services held in St. Mary’s Church can also be seen live-streamed at   or    or
Monday–Saturday you can join Morning Prayers on Zoom with James & Brooke Wilcox, who write: “Morning Prayer has now become part of our daily routine, where we are joyfully able to participate with others in the St Mary’s community. Along the way, Brooke and I have learned to include liturgical material which honors the saints for each day, in addition to incorporating festal hymns proper to each liturgical season. We’ve even come to adopt Patron Saints for our newly formed house chapel – Sts. Antony and Anastasia. And thanks to the power of the internet, and the influence of other participants, we now have people joining us each morning from Arizona, Pennsylvania, Florida, New York City and other portions of Massachusetts as well. And we are always happy to add more!”
   We run morning prayers for 15 minutes each morning, Mon – Sat, beginning at 8:45am:
password: 28052020


Great Vespers
On Saturday, September 5 at 5:00pm we will have our monthly service of Great Vespers. Eventbrite link:
Vesperal Liturgy
At 6:30 Monday, September 7 at 6:30pm there will be a Vesperal Liturgy for the Nativity of the Theotokos. Eventbrite link:

Orthodox Witness to Christ Program - A Spiritual Journey 
After a successful completion of our first two year cycle, the program reopens its doors as an online program in the fall of 2020 and we would like to invite you to join us!

 We start on Thursday, September 10, with an all-online ten Round Table sessions on Thursday evenings (from 7-9pm) and a Retreat on  Saturday October 17  (from 10am - 4pm) - please see all information in the flier. 
The Online Registration is now open and is limited to the first 30 people to register. For all questions and registration information, please email
Although the program has 4 semesters, participants can join at the beginning of ANY semester, either in the fall or spring. The Witness to Christ Program Certificate will be awarded at completion of the 4 semesters, even if not taken in order. 
The purpose of the program and journey is an opportunity for anyone interested to learn, to reflect, and to be transformed through the Orthodox Christian Faith in preparation for various ministries. It is aimed to empower and equip Orthodox Christians to nourish and share the faith in the 21st century.
This program is sponsored by the Diocese of Worcester and New England, offered to laity, Christian educators, parents, chaplains, counselors, therapists, physicians and clergy. The program has 8 units over 4 semesters led by His Grace Bishop John, D.Min.; Archpriest Antony Hughes, M.Div.; Ioana Popa, MD, BCC; Mary Lou Catelli, M.Ed.; Sebastien Falardeau, PhD candidate in Theology; and Tenbit Mitiku, MS. 
To register for the upcoming semester please fill out the Registration Form.
To receive general program updates please Sign Up.  
Church School Registration
Please e-mail Deno Takles at if you would like to register your child for church school. This request is for new participants only. Children registered for last year will have their registration rolled over to this year.
    Our church school includes a Pre-K class that works with children 3 years old and up. And we need 2 teachers for 2nd and 3rd grades. All our classes will be conducted over Zoom. We recognize that not all children will understand how a Zoom meeting works. That’s why we are asking all our parents to be with their child during the Zoom class to help out with the technology or in how to be part of the class. You will be the judge of when your child is able to negotiate a Zoom meeting and then you can step away.

Enquirers Class
The St. Ignatius Catechetical Group – Enquirers’ Class  will begin meeting virtually on Monday, September 28 at 7:00pm, over the church’s Zoom account. Enrollment will be open until October 26. 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. Bob Kowalik will be teaching the group. If you would like to participate, please get in touch with Bob: phone 617-889-3436 or  For those seeking to be received into the Orthodox Church, participation in the group and Fr. Antony’s blessing are required.
People Helping People
A number of parishioners have made known their desire to help people who need assistance. The church office is keeping a list of volunteers. Call the office if you would like your name added to the list of volunteers. There can’t be too many.
   If you know of anyone who needs any sort of help call the church office (617) 547-1234 to make the connection.  Remember, many people are ashamed/afraid to ask for help. Keep your eyes and ears open and ask about needs with kind concern.

Parish Council Elections
If you are interested in serving on the Parish Council please speak to Mary Winstanley O’Connor or Fr. Antony by November 1.  To be eligible to serve you must be a member of St. Mary’s for two years and in good financial standing.

Abba Zeno said, 'If a man wants God to hear his prayer quickly, then before he prays for anything else, even his own soul, when he stands and stretches out his hands towards God, he must pray with all his heart for his enemies. Through this action God will hear everything that he asks.'
   - The Sayings of the Desert Fathers
Considering all these things then, and  remembering that to wipe away sins does not entail much labor and zeal, let us pardon those who have wronged us.  For that which others scarcely accomplish – I mean the blotting out of their own sins by means of fasting and lamentations, and prayers, and sackcloth, and ashes – this it is possible for us easily to effect without sackcloth and ashes and fasting, if only we blot out anger from our heart, and with sincerity forgive those who have wronged us.
   -  St. John Chrysostom
Jesus taught us how to forgive out of love, how to forget out of humility. So let us examine our hearts and see if there is any unforgiven hurt -- any unforgotten bitterness! It is easy to love those who are far away. It isn't always easy to love those who are right next to us. It is easier to offer food to the hungry than to answer the lonely suffering of someone who lacks love right in one’s own family. The world today is upside down because there is so very little love in the home, and in family life. We have no time for each other. Everybody is in such a terrible rush, and so anxious ... and in the home begins the disruption of the peace of the world.
   -- Mother Teresa of Calcutta