St. Mary Orthodox Church

Cambridge, MA

Weekly Newsletter for the week Friday, February 8, 2008 through Thursday, February 14, 2008

Weekly Newsletter for the week Friday, February 8, 2008 through Thursday, February 14, 2008


CHINESE NEW YEAR THANKS - The Chinese New Year Missions Breakfast last Sunday brought in $723.50 in donations. The Fellowship of St John the Divine wishes to express our utmost appreciation for all those who attended and helped out. FSJD is proud to present the money that was raised to the Orthodox Fellowship of All Saints of China, to benefit Chinese Missions.

ORTHODOX STUDY BIBLE AVAILABLE - Conciliar Press has announced February 12 as the release date of the first ever Orthodox Study Bible. This long-awaited single volume,  the fruit of over twenty years of labor by many of the best Orthodox Christian theologians of our time, brings together an original translation of the Old Testament from the Septuagint with the classic Orthodox Study Bible: New Testament and Psalms.  See  for more information.

SUMMER CAMP - Information and registration forms for Summer Camp at the Antiochian Village can be found at  An early bird discount applies if you pay before March 1.


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 this Saturday, February 9, beginning with prayer at 10:00 a.m.  Lunch will follow.

PARISH COUNCIL - The next meeting of the Parish Council will be Wednesday, February 13, at 7:30 (following Paraclesis).

FOOTLAMPS - The next lecture in the 2007-2008 Footlamps series, sponsored by the Diocesan Fellowship of St. John the Divine, will be Saturday, February 23, at St. George Church in Lowell (note corrected location).   The topic will be A Year in the Company of Angels, with Dr. Timothy Patitsas.  Dr. Patitsas currently teaches Ethics at Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology in Brookline .   All are invited to attend. Vespers begin at 5:00 p.m. followed by the lecture and light refreshments.  Suggested donation $5.  RSVP to Ghada Khouri at 781-275-7244 or nerfellowship@yahoo.comThere will be no Vespers at St. Mary's on that date.

PRE-LENTEN RETREAT - A Pre-Lenten Retreat will be held on Saturday, March 1,  at St. George Orthodox Church, Norwood MA , sponsored by diocesan Antiochian Women. ALL ARE WELCOME - this is not for women only! The theme is "An Orthodox Perspective On Contemporary Bioethical Issues - church teaching and stem cell research, cloning, organ transplants and other current bioethical issues."  The leader will be Deacon Seraphim Solof, who received his Bachelor of Science degree from MIT and his Master of Divinity degree from Saint Vladimir's seminary, and now serves as Deacon of Saint George Orthodox Cathedral in Worcester , MA .  The cost, including lunch, is just $15; registration deadline is Sunday, February 24..  Make checks payable to "Antiochian Women" and  return to Kh. Louise Ferguson, 10 Brahms St. , Boston , MA 02131 .  There will be no Vespers at St. Mary's on that date.

CROSSROAD  - Attention High School Juniors & Seniors:  Take the challenge of your life! CrossRoad is a ten-day Orthodox Christian summer program where you focus on Christ and His calling for your life. You'll experience mini classes taught by Orthodox professors, visit Orthodox Churches in Boston area, community outreach, field trips & spiritual reflection. There will be two sessions:    CrossRoad June:  June 21 - July 1, 2008; and CrossRoad July:  July 5 - 15, 2008

Application deadline is March 1.  Call 617-850-1309 for more information. Application may be downloaded:

LENTEN FOOD SALE - The Women's Club is now taking orders for Spinach Triangles, Hoomos and Mjadara.  Please use the order form in the Sunday bulletin. Order deadline is Sunday, March 2.   If you would like to help cook, join us on Saturday, March 15 (note new date)  at 9:30 a.m. The food you order will be ready for pickup on Sunday, March 16.

MEATFARE SUNDAY BREAKFAST - The annual Meatfare Sunday Breakfast sponsored by  the Fellowship of St. John the Divine will be  Sunday, March 2. Your generous free-will donation will be much appreciated, and will help support the many activities of the Fellowship which benefit the parish, including this weekly e-mail newsletter; coffee hours and special meals  (such as College Students' Welcome Back, Meatfare Sunday, Palm Sunday, and more); the annual Father John vonHolzhausen lecture series; the Wednesday evening potluck suppers after Pre-Sanctified Liturgies during Lent; the annual Lessons and Carols evening; and much more.

GROWING SPIRITUALLY THROUGH LITURGY - For several weeks there has been 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, at a future date to be announced (not on February 10, as originally announced). Copies of the five talks  given in this series so far can be found on the St. Mary website at

NEW ePLEDGE CARD!  - At the Annual Meeting of the parish, we asked every family to increase their pledge to reflect the realities of 34% inflation over the past 11 years.  Given that we approved a budget with planned expenditures greater than anticipated income, we need your pledge - and not just a bare minimum, but a percentage of your income (10% is the biblical ideal).  Our target is that the average household would contribute $2000-$3000 per year.  To update your pledge for 2008 (even if you already filled out a card), you can either get a new pledge card from Marilyn Robbat in the church office or you can take advantage of the new convenient electronic pledge card on the Stewardship page of our parish website:

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.

COFFEE HOUR - Many of the upcoming Sundays are still available,  so please sign up to sponsor a coffee hour, individually or with friends.   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.  When no one volunteers, there is no coffee.

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          


This week we present "Ancient Paths," a Bible study combining patristic passages and Scripture.  It is provided periodically by Deacon Neal Hughes, Fr. Antony's brother.  Deacon Neal maintains his own mailing list for "The Ancient Paths;" if you would like to receive them all, you may contact him at and request to be included on his list.  

On Pride:

   "You say your incapacity to resist temptations, your slowness to conquer your passions, and your general moral debility depresses you greatly, which only proves that you count on acquiring salvation by your own merits.

   "I, however, would have you bear this in mind:  you - such as you are today - could perhaps rid yourself of every one of the sins that depress you, but only at the price of developing one that is the root of them all. And yet, the thought of this one has, apparently, never depressed you, because you have never suspected it was there. For good reason: it is your pride."

   - St. Macarius, Elder of Optina

2 When pride comes, then comes disgrace; but with the humble is wisdom.

   - The Book of Proverbs 11:2

18 Pride goes before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall. 19 It is better to be of a lowly spirit with the poor than to divide the spoil with the proud.

   - The Book of Proverbs 16:18 & 19

11 The haughty looks of man shall be brought low, and the pride of men shall be humbled; and the LORD alone will be exalted in that day. 12 For the LORD of hosts has a day against all that is proud and lofty, against all that is lifted up and high;

   - The Book of the Prophet Isaiah 2:11 & 12

6 But he gives more grace; therefore it says, "God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble." 7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. 8 Draw near to God and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you men of double mind. 9 Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to dejection. 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord and he will exalt you.

   - The Epistle of St. James 4:6-10

11 He who is greatest among you shall be your servant; 12 whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.

   - The Gospel According to St. Matthew 23:11 & 12


Saturday, February 9:  Great Vespers 5:00 p.m.

Sunday, February 10:  Orthros  8:45 a.m., Divine Liturgy 10:00 a.m. (Celebration of the Liturgy of St. James postponed)


Epistle:  The Second Letter of St. Paul to Timothy,  Chapter 2:1-10  Timothy, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus, and what you have heard from me before many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.

Gospel: Matthew 15:21-28

And behold, a Canaanite woman from that region came out and cried, "Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David; my daughter is severely possessed by a demon." ... He answered, "I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel ." But she came and knelt before him, saying, "Lord, help me."

Wednesday, February 13:  Paraclesis Service 6:30 p.m.


Saturday, February 16:  Great Vespers 5:00 p.m.
Sunday, February 17:  Orthros  8:45 a.m., Divine Liturgy 10:00 a.m.
Wednesday, February 20:  Paraclesis Service 6:30 p.m.
Saturday, February 23:  NO Vespers at St. Mary (Footlamps at St. George, Lowell )
Saturday, March 1:  NO Vespers at St. Mary (Pre-Lenten Retreat at St. George, Norwood )
Monday, March 10: Lent begins
Sunday, April 27:  Pascha



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.

February 2:  John Rodriguez 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.

February 3:    Epistle - Melissa Nassiff


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.

February 10:  The Shoop Family
February 17:  The Arnold family
February 24: M & M Robbat