St. Mary Orthodox Church

Cambridge, MA

Weekly Newsletter for the week Friday, February 29, 2008 through Thursday, March 6, 2008

Weekly Newsletter for the week Friday, February 29, 2008 through Thursday, March 6, 2008


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 this week's breakfast, the Palm Sunday fish dinner, College Students' Welcome Back, and more); the annual Father John vonHolzhausen lecture series; Wednesday evening potluck suppers after Pre-Sanctified Liturgies during Lent; the annual Lessons and Carols evening; and much more.

The FSJD could use your help with prep work on Saturday, March 1, starting at 2:00 p.m., and with setting up, cooking, and serving the breakfast on Sunday morning starting at 9:00 a.m.

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.  You can pay at the door.

FAITH AND LEARNING RETREAT - Attention all college students:  Come and explore your vocation at the St. Photios the Great 2008 Faith & Learning Retreat on  Saturday, March 1, from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in the Reading Room of  Iakovos Library at Hellenic College/Holy Cross.  Speaker:  Bishop Savas of Troas, Chandellor , Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America . To register or request information, contact Dn. Nicholas Belcher 617-850-1309 or e-mail  

FATHER ANTONY IS AWAY  -  From this Saturday, March 1 through next Saturday, March 8,  Fr. Antony will be away leading a team of college students on a trip to an orphanage in El Salvador, sponsored by Orthodox Christian Fellowship's Real Break Program.  In case of emergency while Fr. Antony is away, please contact Fr. Timothy Ferguson of St. George Church, West Roxbury at 617-323-0323.

There will be no Vespers or Parackesis services while he is away.  Fr. John Katsoulos of the Greek Metropolis of Boston will be celebrating the Liturgy this week in Fr. Antony's absence.

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 this Sunday, March 2.   If you would like to help cook, join us on Saturday, March 15  at 9:30 a.m. The food you order will be ready for pickup on Sunday, March 16.


ANTIOCHIAN WOMEN'S MONTH - March is Antiochian Women's Month throughout the Archdiocese. Women of the parish will be reading the Epistle, holding the Communion cloths and bread baskets, and taking the collection.  Some dates are still available; please contact Marilyn Robbat 617-547-1234 or e-mail

HOUSEHOLD GOODS AVAILABLE - One of our parishioners will be moving soon, and wishes to give away some gently used furniture, kitchen ware and clothes. If you or anyone you know might be in need of such items, please contact Michelle Milic at

COFFEE HOUR - Most 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.


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.

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, or go to Expenses except travel to Boston are covered.

LEARNING IN LENT - The Fellowship of St. John the Divine's Learning in Lent lecture series will offer presentations by members of the St Mary's community on topics that will help us all better understand the practices and theology of the Orthodox Church and to apply these experiences and teachings to our lives. After Akathist services on four Fridays in Lent, beginning March 14,  there will be a presentation followed by a discussion/Q&A session with light refreshments provided by the FSJD. 

SUNDAY OF ORTHODOXY - A Pan-Orthodox Vesper Service will be held at 5:00 p.m. on Sunday,  March 16,  hosted by St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Church, 41 Alewife Brook Parkway (Route 16), in Cambridge .   Choir Rehearsals are scheduled at St. Sava Church  from 3 to 5 p.m. on  Sundays,  February 24,  March 2 and March 9.  Any questions, contact Stella Pathiakis, Chairman, Pan Orthodox Choir Committee, at 339-222-2629 (cell) or  Email:

TEEN SOYO RETREAT - Attention teens in grades 7-12: The Diocese of Worcester and New England will sponsor  a Lenten Retreat from 7:00 p.m. Friday, March 21, through noon on Sunday, March 23, at the St. Methodios Faith & Heritage Center, Contoocock , NH . Guest speaker is Alex Younes of Toronto , Ontario .  For information and registration form go to  and click in the highlighted note.  Registration deadline is March 10.

FSJD BOOK DISCUSSION - The diocesan Fellowship of St. John the Divine will hold a book discussion on Friday, April 4,  at St. John Church, Dedham at 7:30 p.m. after Akathist service (6:30). Our featured book, Wounded by Love is the life story of Greek monk priest Elder Porphyrios. Books can be obtained through the Holy Cross Seminary bookstore,,, or Refreshments will be served, and adults of all ages are encouraged to attend.  A $5 donation is suggested. RSVP by March 28th to Danielle Kayal at

HELP NATASHA - If you would like to become one of "Natasha's Helpers" in the Lotsa Helping Hands Program and assist the Smith family with meals, transportation, etc.,  you can go to the website at  Or you can contact Marilyn Robbat and give her your name and e-mail address to sign you up for the program.  If you prefer, you can also help by making meals and placing them in the Church freezer--plainly marked as to what they are and how to heat.  No eggs or tomato sauce, please.

NEW ePLEDGE CARD!  - If you have not yet made a financial pledge to St. Mary's for 2008 , or would like to increase your pledge,  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 and after Holy Pascha.  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 DONATION NEED CONTINUES - 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          


When thou comest, O God, to earth with glory, and all creatures tremble before thee, and the river of fire floweth before the Altar, and the books are opened and sins revealed, deliver me then from that unquenchable fire, and make me worthy to stand at thy right hand, O righteous Judge. 

   - Kontakion for Meat Fare Sunday, Tone 1

Then we say, "Thy kingdom come." See brothers, how we long for the coming of the Lord's kingdom and ourselves ask that his judgment be hastened, and yet we do not have our account in order. We should therefore conduct ourselves at all times in such a way that, when the time comes, our Lord and Father will receive us and, pleased with our daily good deeds in his presence, will separate us from the goats and place us at his right, admitting us into the eternal kingdom. May we, in the judgment to come, find a propitious judge whom in this world we have dared to call father.

   - St Benedict of Nursia, from "The Rule of the Master" spite of the fact that you are weak and faulty, you are accounted guilty for all the wrong things you do. For since you possess a will, all that comes forth from you is subject to it, and so everything good is counted in your favor and everything bad - to your detriment. Therefore, conscious of your general wickedness, admit yourself guilty also in the particular wickedness into which you have fallen at the present moment. Judge and condemn yourself, and only yourself; do not look around, seeking on whom you could put the blame. Neither the people around you nor the circumstances are guilty of your sin. Your bad will alone is to blame. So blame yourself.

   - Lorenzo Scupoli, Unseen Warfare

Accordingly, dearly-beloved, being mindful of our weakness, because we easily fall into all kinds of faults, let us by no means neglect this special remedy and most effectual healing of our wounds. Let us remit, that we may have remission; let us grant the pardon which we crave; let us not be eager to be revenged when we pray to be forgiven. Let us not pass over the groans of the poor with deaf ear, but with prompt kindness bestow our mercy on the needy, that we may deserve to find mercy in the judgment.

   - Leo the Great, On Lent I. 


Saturday, March 1:  NO Vespers at St. Mary (Fr. Antony in El Salvador )
Sunday, March 2:  Orthros  8:45 a.m., Divine Liturgy 10:00 a.m., followed by FSJD Meatfare Breakfast 

SCRIPTURE READINGS for March 2, Judgment Sunday, Meatfare Sunday:

Epistle:  St. Paul 's First Letter to the Corinthians 8:8-13;9:1-2  Brethren, food will not commend us to God. We are no worse off if we do not eat, and no better off if we do. Only take care lest this liberty of yours somehow become a stumbling block to the weak. ... Therefore, if food is a cause of my brother's falling, I will never eat meat, lest I cause my brother to fall.

Gospel: Matthew 25:31-46  The Lord said, "When the Son of man comes in his glory and all the holy angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate them one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, ... And the King will answer them, 'Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me.'" 

Wednesday, March 5:  NO Paraclesis Service


Saturday, March 8:  NO Vespers at St. Mary
Sunday, March 9:  Orthros  8:45 a.m., Divine Liturgy 10:00 a.m.
                          Forgiveness Vespers 6:00 p.m.
Monday, March 10: Lenten fast begins; Great Canon of  St. Andrew 7:00 p.m.;
                            Lenten Compline at St. George, Norwood 7:00 p.m.
Tuesday, March 11:  Great Canon of  St. Andrew 7:00 p.m.
Wednesday, March 12:  Presanctified Liturgy 6:30 p.m., followed by Potluck Supper
Thursday, March 13:  Great Canon of  St. Andrew 7:00 p.m.
Friday, March 14:  Akathist (Madayeh) Service 7:00 p.m. followed by a Speaker
Saturday, March 15:  Vespers 5:00 p.m.

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.

March 1:  Mitrophan and Michelle Chin and family and Nadine Rebovich


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. (During the month of March, contact Marilyn Robbat in the church office.)

March 2:    Women of the parish


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.

March 2:  FSJD Meatfare Breakfast