St. Mary Orthodox Church

Cambridge, MA

Weekly Newsletter for the week Friday, March 14, 2008 through Thursday, March 20, 2008


HELP  BAKE SPINACH PIES -The Women's Club will be baking Spinach Triangles for the Lenten food sale this Saturday, March 15.   If you would like to help and/or learn to make Spinach Triangles (Fatayer), join us at 9:00 a.m. in the Church Hall.  Men are welcome too!

If you placed an order, order pick-up will be Sunday, March 16.

SUNDAY OF ORTHODOXY - On the first Sunday in Lent we celebrate the triumph of Orthodoxy over the attempt to suppress icons. Bring an icon and take part in the procession at the end of Liturgy this  Sunday,  March 16.

Church School students will stay upstairs after Communion, for a lesson in the sanctuary before the Procession.

A Pan-Orthodox Sunday of Orthodoxy Vesper Service will be held at 5:00 p.m.,  hosted by St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Church, 41 Alewife Brook Parkway (Route 16), in Cambridge .   Any questions, contact Stella Pathiakis, Chairman, Pan Orthodox Choir Committee, at 339-222-2629 (cell) or  Email:   Last Choir Rehearsal is scheduled  at St. Sava Church  at 3 p.m.



Syrian-Lebanese Women's Club - Scholarships available to young women of Arab-American origin, living in Massachusetts with a 50-miles radius of Boston , who plan to pursue a 4-year college education.  Award ($1,000) is based on financial need, outstanding academic achievement and good character, and personal attributes which best serve the community.  For applications, call Reem Elias Ozone at 781-702-5890, or e-mail  or Mrs. Laurice Kurker at 781-643-7001. Application must be postmarked by March 31, 2008

Nicholas G. Beram Veterans Association Scholarships - Scholarships are available to youth of Arab-American heritage who are current high school seniors planning on attending a college full time.  Applications are due June 1, 2008.  For applications and more information, go to web address


LENTEN POTLUCKS - Every Wednesday during Lent there will be a Presanctified Liturgy at 6:30 p.m., followed by a Potluck Supper sponsored by the Fellowship of St. John.  Do plan to come and bring something to share.  Any Lenten fare is welcome:  main courses, sides, salads, desserts, as well as beverages and snacks.  This is a wonderful opportunity for fellowship during Lent, plus we get to sample each other's Lenten recipes.  Please stay for supper even if you can't bring food--there's room at the table for everyone. 

There will be yoga classes in the Hall until 7:30, so please bring your food or beverage into the kitchen area via the side stairs (through the doors to the right and left of the altar area) to avoid interrupting the class. And we'll need your help setting up tables and chairs just before the Supper.

PARISH COUNCIL - Next meeting will be  this Thursday, March 20, at 7:30 p.m.

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 to better understand the practices and theology of the Orthodox Church and to apply these experiences and teachings to our lives. After Akathist services on three Fridays in Lent, beginning  this Friday, March 21,  there will be a presentation followed by a discussion/Q&A session with light refreshments provided by the FSJD.  This week's speaker is Fr. Antony.

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

FOOD FOR HUNGRY PEOPLE BOXES - "If a man shuts his ears to the cry of the poor, he too will cry out and not be answered."  (Proverbs 21:13)  Food for Hungry People Boxes are on the Bengarri for pick-up.  Each Church School child was given one to take home, too.  Put one on your kitchen table and where you place your loose change!    Return the filled boxes to the Bengarri on Palm Sunday, April  20.  

OCMC MISSION TEAMS - FSJD and the Orthodox Christian Mission Center are sponsoring an Alaska Mission Trip and pilgrimage, July 30 through August 11. The trip to Alaska will include two camps that are run for the youth of Ouzinkie and Old Harbor . The camps will include Church services, Christian Ed, afternoon and evening programs, etc. After the camps, participants will help prepare for and participate in St. Herman's Pilgrimage to Spruce Island .  For more information see  and; for application forms see

MISSION SUPPORT - St. Mary's encourages its members to take an active role in mission projects sponsored by the Archdiocese.  If you will be doing so, and require financial assistance from the parish, please note the Policy Statement regarding eligibility and the procedure for requesting assistance, which can be obtained from Marilyn in the parish office (617-547-1234).  Note especially that requests should be made 60 days in advance of the trip.

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, Contoocook, NH . Guest speaker is Alex Younes of Toronto , Ontario .  For information and registration form go to  and click in the highlighted note. 

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

FSJD BOOK DISCUSSION - New Time  and Place - The diocesan Fellowship of St. John the Divine will hold a book discussion on Friday, April 4,  at St. George Church in West Roxbury,  at 8:15 p.m. after Akathist service (7:00). 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 - regardless if you've finished reading the book.  A $5 donation is suggested.

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.

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. Due to popular demand, this year there will be two sessions:    CrossRoad June:  June 21 - July 1, 2008; and CrossRoad July:  July 5 - 15, 2008. Call 617-850-1309 for more information, or go to Expenses except travel to Boston are covered.

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          


Thy pure image do we venerate, O good One, asking forgiveness of our sins, O Christ our God; for by thine own will thou didst ascend the Cross in thy body, to save thy creatures from the bondage of the enemy.  Thou hast verily filled all with joy, since thou didst come, O our Savior, to save the world.

   - Troparion for the Sunday of Orthodoxy

Let the icons of the saints bring to your mind how many intercessors you have always praying for you before God, and how many allies fighting for you in your unceasing battles. Having themselves courageously fought the enemies throughout their lives and overcome them, they have revealed and shown you the art of waging war. If, with their help, you are alert in fighting your battles, you will, like them, be crowned with victory in the eternal glory of heaven.

   - Lorenzo Scupoli, Unseen Warfare

Just as words speak to the ear, so the image speaks to the sight; it brings us understanding. ... teaching without use of words those who gaze upon them, and sanctifying the sense of sight ... Suppose I have few books, or little leisure for reading, but walk into the spiritual hospital - that is to say, a church - with my soul choking from the prickles of thorny thoughts, and thus afflicted I see before me the brilliance of the icon. I am refreshed as if in a verdant meadow, and thus my soul is led to glorify God.

   - St. John of Damascus, On the Holy Images

During a service, the priest does not only cense the icons of the Savior, the Mother of God, and the Saints. He also censes the icon-people, the image of God in the people who are present. And as they leave the church precincts, these people remain as much the images of God, worthy of being censed and venerated. Our relations with people should be an authentic and profound veneration. ... The "churching" of life is the sense of the whole world as one church, adorned with icons that should be venerated, that should be honored and loved, because these icons are true images of God that have the holiness of the Living God upon them.

   - St. Maria Skobtsova


Friday, March 14:  Akathist (Madayeh) Service 7:00 p.m.
Saturday, March 15:  Vespers 5:00 p.m.
Sunday, March 16, Sunday of Orthodoxy:  Orthros  8:45 a.m., Divine Liturgy 10:00 a.m. and procession with icons


Epistle:  St. Paul 's Letter to the Hebrews 11:24-26,32-40  And what more shall I say? For time would fail me to tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets -- who through faith conquered kingdoms, enforced justice, received promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched raging fire, escaped the edge of the sword, won strength out of weakness, became mighty in war, put foreign enemies to flight. ...

Gospel: John 1:43-51  At that time, Jesus decided to go to Galilee . And he found Philip and said to him, "Follow me." ... Philip found Nathanael, and he said to him, "We have found him of whom Moses in the law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph." Nathanael said to him, "Can anything good come out of Nazareth ?" Philip said to him, "Come and see."

Monday, March 17:  Lenten Compline at All Saints, South Weymouth 7:00 p.m.
Wednesday, March 19:  Presanctified Liturgy 6:30 p.m., followed by Potluck Supper
Friday, March 21:  Akathist (Madayeh) Service 7:00 p.m., followed by the first Learning in Lent speaker, Fr. Antony Hughes


Saturday, March 22:  Vespers 5:00 p.m.
Sunday, March 23:  Orthros  8:45 a.m., Divine Liturgy 10:00 a.m.
Monday, March 24: Evening Liturgy for the Feast of the Annunciation of the Theotokos 6:30 p.m.
Wednesday, March 26 and every Wednesday in Lent:  Presanctified Liturgy 6:30 p.m., followed by Potluck Supper
Friday, March 28:  Akathist (Madayeh) Service 7:00 p.m. , followed by second Learning in Lent speaker, Marian Simion
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 15:  Kern Ormond and Eric Ayoub


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 16:    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 16:  Mitrophan & Michelle Chin