St. Mary e-Newsletter for Friday, September 18, 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


Parish Council
     The Parish Council will meet via Zoom on Wednesday, October 7, at 7:30 pm. St. Mary’s parishioners are always welcome to attend.
Orthodoxy 102
     Orthodoxy 102 is an adult education class designed for Christians who have spent many years in the Orthodox church, but have never had any formal teaching on the theology and liturgical structure of the Eastern Christianity. This is the second year the class is being offered. It will meet weekly to journey through the structure of the Divine Liturgy, while taking an in-depth look at Scripture, the Ecumenical Councils, our iconography, and the meaning and application of Orthodox theology. If you would like more information or want to join, please email (Or introduce yourself to Subdeacon James any Sunday, following the liturgy). A start date and Zoom time will be set by consensus when the class has formed.
Church School Registration
     This year our Church School classes are conducted over Zoom. Our virtual Sunday School began last Sunday, September 13. Our teachers have been reaching out to parents to set up the students for class.
     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.
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.
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 started on September 10, with ten all-online 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.
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.


For the man who believes, all things are possible because "Faith is counted as righteousness," and "Christ is the end of the Law." Belief in Him justifies and perfects the believer, for belief in Christ is considered to correspond to the works of the law. It is confirmed and witnessed by the evangelic precepts and so earns for the faithful a participation in eternal life, in Christ Himself.
   - St. Symeon the New Theologian
But God said, "I require mercy, and not sacrifice; and the acknowledgement of God, and not whole burnt offerings" Hosea 6:6.  What is meant by mercy? and what by sacrifice? By mercy then is signified justification and grace in Christ; even that which is by faith. For we have been justified, not by the works of the law that we have done, but by His great mercy. And sacrifice means the law of Moses.
   - St. Cyril of Alexandria, Commentary on the Gospel of St. Luke

It is necessary, therefore, that we be prompt in the practice of good works. For He forewarns us, "Behold, the Lord comes and His reward is before His face, to render to every man according to his work."
   - St. Clement of Rome