St. Mary Orthodox Church

Cambridge, MA

Weekly Newsletter for the week Friday, January 18, 2008 through Thursday, January 24, 2008


DIOCESAN MEETINGS -  The winter meetings of the Antiochian Women, Fellowship of St. John the Divine, and Teen SOYO, of the Diocese of Worcester and New England, will be held at St. George Church, West Roxbury on Saturday, February 9.   Liturgy 9 a.m., meetings  10:30 a.m. (Teens at 10 a.m.)

COFFEE HOUR - Most of the upcoming Sundays are still available,  so please sign up to sponsor a coffee hour, individually (last week it was provided by a friend of the parish) or with friends (this week it is provided by a group of 10!).   It doesn't have to be fancy; it can be as simple as coffee, juice, and cookies.   Signup sheets are on the bulletin board downstairs outside the Hall, or you can call the church office.

PARISH COUNCIL - The Parish Council for 2008 was installed last Sunday. This year's members are Nicholas Bezreh, Donald DiFiore, Renay DiFiore, Robert Hamwey, Edward Mabardi, Mary Winstanley O'Connor, Raymond Sayeg, and Melissa Nassiff (all beginning new 3-year terms); and Andrew Bargoot, Susan Dooley, Mitchell Bezreh, Shirley Bezreh, Bahig Kaldas, Paul Demerjian, Diane Mabardi, and Paul Nahass (continuing).

PARACLESIS - Beginning Wednesday, January 23, and continuing into Lent (Pascha is April 27 this year) there will be a Paraclesis service every Wednesday at 6:30 p.m.



GROWING SPIRITUALLY THROUGH LITURGY - For the next several weeks there will be a short presentation at each liturgy highlighting the ways that we can all learn about and grow closer to God and one another though our liturgical experience.  The series will culminate in the celebration of one of the more ancient liturgies of the Orthodox Church, the Liturgy attributed to St. James, on February 10.

This Sunday, January 30, the topic will be Growing Spiritually through Liturgy: The Inheritance of Tradition, presented by Seminarian John Daly.  The complete schedule and copies of previous talks in this series can be found on the St. Mary website at

ANNUAL PARISH MEETING - The Annual Meeting of St. Mary Parish will be held this  Sunday, January 20,  immediately following Divine Liturgy.  It will be brief;  we will approve the Year 2008 budget, review expenses for 2007, and hear short committee reports and updates. All members of the parish are urged to attend.  In case of inclement weather, the snow date will be Sunday, January 27.

BYZANTINE CHANT - As part of the Boston Early Music Festival,  Greek Byzantine Choir directed by Lycourgos Angelopoulos will perform Byzantine Chant Traditions this Saturday, January 19, at 8 p.m. at Greek Orthodox Cathedral, Parker St. , Boston .  Tickets:  $25, $38, $49, $64 for reserved seating.  Advance Reservations Recommended.      Call 617-661-1812 or go to

CHINESE NEW YEAR BREAKFAST - On Sunday, February 3, the Fellowship of St. John the Divine will sponsor the 2008 Chinese New Year Missions Breakfast, to benefit Chinese Missions via the Orthodox Fellowship of All Saints of China (OFASC).  The cost is your freewill donation (checks should be made payable to "St. Mary Orthodox Church - Fellowship" and earmarked to Chinese Missions).  Through fund-raising events by participating parishes world-wide, OFASC is looking to underwrite Orthodox participation in an Orthodox conference for Chinese academia being organized by the Institute of Sino-Christian Studies of Hong Kong.  More information about OFASC can be found at

Please RSVP to Nelson Mitrophan Chin at by Wednesday January 30, with the number of people attending and any diet restrictions. Also RSVP if interested in donating a dessert or food item, or to provide a helping hand with setup, food prep or cleanup.

BLESSING OF HOMES - Fr. Antony will be blessing homes after Epiphany (January 6)  and after Holy Pascha (April 27).  We bless homes to reveal the home as what God created it to be, a way to heaven; to rid the home of every evil;  to show that the family is a small church unit in Christ; to consecrate the home and all activity in it to God; and to fill the home and all who live in it with the fullness of God.  To schedule the blessing of your home please use the form in the weekly Bulletin or the monthly Cornerstone, or call the church office at 617 547-1234.

TEEN SOYO - January is Teen SOYO Education Month, and contributions are being requested to provide scholarships to our parish youth workers to participate in the Antiochian House of Studies Youth Ministry Education Program.  Checks may be made payable to SOYO Youth Worker Fund and sent c/o Department of Youth, P.O. Box 389 , Westwood , MA   02090

CALENDARS AVAILABLE - The 2008 Church Calendars have arrived and  are on the table outside the Church Office.  One per family, please.

2008 OFFERING ENVELOPES - Any 2008 envelopes not picked up will be mailed out  via first class, so please help and pick up any nearby relative's envelopes and save us some time and money. 

2008 PLEDGE CARDS - If you still haven't done so, please take the time to fill out your 2008 pledge card and return it to the Church Office as soon as possible.   If you do not have a pledge card, please contact the Parish Office.

FOOD DONATIONS CONTINUE - Even though the Teens' World Food Day project has ended, please continue to bring cans, jars, and boxes of food and place them in the container outside the Church Office. The need is still great at St. Paul 's Food Pantry in Harvard Square , where volunteers from St. Mary help every Saturday. 

SOUP KITCHEN - Three or four St. Mary's volunteers are needed to help each week at the Open Doors Meal Ministry at Holy Resurrection Orthodox Church in Allston, Mondays any time between 4:00 p.m. and 7:30. Contact Liz Tutella at 617-974-5005 or          


Do not pray for easy lives; pray to be stronger men.  Do not pray for tasks equal to your powers; pray for powers equal to your tasks.  Then the doing of your work shall be no miracle, but you yourself shall be a miracle.  Every day you shall wonder at yourself, at the richness of life which has come to you by the grace of God.

   - Phillips Brooks

But when the Holy Spirit dwells in the heart of a person, He shows him all his inner poverty and weakness, and the corruption of his heart and soul, and his separation from God; and with all his virtues and righteousness. He shows him his sins, his sloth and indifference regarding the salvation and good of people, his self-seeking in his apparently most disinterested virtues, his coarse selfishness even where he does not suspect it. To be brief, the Holy Spirit shows him everything as it really is. Then a person begins to have true humility, begins to lose hope in his own powers and virtues, regards himself as the worst of men. And when a person humbles himself before Jesus Christ Who alone is Holy in the glory of God the Father, he begins to repent truly, and resolves never again to sin but to live more carefully. And if he really has some virtues, then he sees clearly that he practiced and practices them only with the help of God, and therefore he begins to put his trust only in God.

   - St. Innocent of Irkutsk , Indication of the Way Into the Kingdom of Heaven

The one who has come to understand the weakness of human nature has had experience of the divine power, and such a person who because of it has succeeded in some things and is eager to succeed in others never looks down on anyone.  For he knows that in the same way that God has helped him and freed him from many passions and hardships, so can He help everyone when He wishes, especially those who are striving for His sake. Although for His own reasons He does not deliver all from their passions right away, still as a good and loving physician He heals in His own good time each one of those who are striving.

   - St. Maximus the Confessor, Four Centuries on Love

Just as the darkness does not go away unless the light is present, so the disease of the soul is not banished unless He Who takes away our infirmities comes and unites Himself with us. He is called health when He comes because He chases away every disease and infirmity of the soul and gives us back our health; and He is called light, Who transcends all light, because He illumines us; and life, Who is beyond all life, because He vivifies us. Shining around us all, and encircling and cherishing us with the glory of His divinity, He is called raiment, and so we say that we clothe ourselves with Him Who is intangible in every way and Who cannot be grasped. Uniting Himself without mingling with our souls, and making it all as light, He is said to indwell us and, uncircumscribed, become circumscribed. O the miracle!

   - St. Symeon the New Theologian, On the Mystical Life



Saturday, January 19:  Great Vespers 5:00 p.m.

Sunday, January 20:  Orthros  8:45 a.m., Divine Liturgy 10:00 a.m.; followed by presentation by Seminarian John Daly:  Growing Spiritually through Liturgy:  The Inheritance of Tradition


Epistle:  St. Paul's Second Letter to the Corinthians 4:6-15  Brethren, it is the God who said, "Let light shine out of darkness," who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.  But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, to show that the transcendent power belongs to God and not to us.

Gospel: Luke 17:12-19  Then one of them [ten lepers Jesus healed], when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice; and he fell on his face at Jesus' feet, giving Him thanks.

Wednesday, January 23:  Paraclesis Service 6:30 p.m.


Saturday, January 26:  Great Vespers 5:00 p.m.

Sunday, January 27:   Orthros  8:45 a.m., Divine Liturgy 10:00 a.m.

      Parish Meeting immediately following Liturgy

Wednesday, January 30:  Paraclesis Service 6:30 p.m.

Friday, February 1: Evening Liturgy for the Presentation of Christ in the Temple  6:30 p.m.

Sunday, February 3: FSJD Chinese New Year Missions Breakfast

Sunday, February 10: Celebration of the Liturgy of St. James:  Process upstairs from Church Hall at 9:45 a.m.         

Monday, March 10: Lent begins



Two to four volunteers help each week in the food pantry at St. Paul 's RC Church in Harvard Square , Saturday mornings from 9:30-11:45.  If you are willing to help, contact Christian Alcala at or (617) 876-5684.

January 19:  David Vermette and Brett Grainger


The Epistle each Sunday is read by a member of the congregation, and six members of the congregation hold the cloth and Holy Bread baskets during Communion.  If you would like to help with these services,  please contact Jeff Wasilko at or 781-820-0882.

January 20:    Epistle - 

Communion Assistance -


To sign up for an available Sunday, please put your name on the signup sheet on the bulletin board outside the Hall or call Marilyn in the Office 617-547-1234 and she'll write your name in.

January 20:  Brooke, James, Chris, Kate, Amelia, Rachel, Bret, Mark, Larissa & Jeff

January 27:

February 3:  FSJD Chinese New Year Missions Breakfast