St. Mary Orthodox Church

Cambridge, MA

Weekly Newsletter for the week Friday, April 4, 2008 through Thursday, April 10, 2008


LEARNING IN LENT - The Fellowship of St. John the Divine's Learning in Lent lecture series offers 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,  there is a presentation followed by a discussion/Q&A session with light refreshments provided by the FSJD.  Akathist begins at 7:00 p.m.

Our final speaker, this Friday, April 4,  is David Vermette. He will talk about "meditation" and put some of what people have been reading and discussing into an Orthodox Christian vocabulary.  (This is a continuation of what Fr. Antony began to do in his talk a couple of weeks ago.)  David will be discussing some of the words which are translated "intellect," "mind" and "heart" in the Patristic writings, and share some of what the Holy Fathers have taught us regarding the practical applications/implications of these terms.

CHOIR REHEARSALS - The choir will rehearse again this Sunday,  April 6 after Liturgy and on April 19 (Lazarus Saturday) after Communion Breakfast.


WOMEN'S CLUB - The Women's Club will meet this Monday, April 7, at 7:30 in the small hall next to the kitchen.  All women of St. Mary's are welcome.

FOOTLAMPS - The next lecture in the 2007-2008 Footlamps series, sponsored by the Diocesan Fellowship of St. John the Divine, will be Saturday, April 12, at St. George Church in West Roxbury.   The topic will be The Fulfillment Of The Law And The Prophets, with Fr. John Heropoulos.   All are invited to attend. Vespers begin at 5:00 p.m. followed by the lecture and light refreshments.  Suggested donation $5.    There will be no Vespers at St. Mary's on that date.

PALM SUNDAY FISH DINNER - The Fellowship of St. John the Divine is hosting its fourth annual fish dinner on Sunday, April 20, after Liturgy.  Instead of cooking, spend your Palm Sunday with your family and friends in Church.  A freewill donation will be collected, and we need lots of help with serving and cleanup. Thanks to the generosity of a parishioner, there will be plenty of food, but please let us know how many will be coming - contact Lan Hu at or 617-953-8724, or sign the form at the Bengarri, by Sunday, April 13.

VONHOLZHAUSEN LECTURE - The Fellowship will be presenting the annual Fr. John vonHolzhausen lecture on Saturday, May 10, 2008, following Vespers. Dinner is at 6:00 p.m.; the lecture will begin at 7:00 p.m. This year's speaker is our own Brett Grainger, author of the recently published book,  In the World but Not of It.  Watch for further information about the dinner and lecture; see for more information about the book.


FSJD BOOK DISCUSSION - The diocesan Fellowship of St. John the Divine will sponsor 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.

BAKE SALE -  The St. Mary Women's Club will be holding its annual Pascha Bake Sale on Sunday, April 13 (the Sunday before Palm Sunday) during coffee hour.  Plan on purchasing all your Pascha/Easter desserts, pastries and goodies!  If you can help bake or bring something for us to sell, please call MaryEllen Mabardy at 781-729-6303.

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 is  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.

CONFESSIONS - Fr. Antony is available for Confession before and after services throughout Lent, and by appointmentIt is preferred that you make your confession before Holy Week.

LAZARUS SATURDAY - Please come and bring your friends and family to celebrate the Divine Liturgy on Lazarus Saturday, April 19 (Matins 8:00 a.m., Liturgy 9:00 a.m.) and enjoy a Communion Breakfast at 10:15 a.m. offered by Selma Winstanley in memory of brother, Mitchell Mabardi. Then, starting at 11:00 a.m.,  there will be Rehearsal for the choir, and a  Church Clean-Up in preparation for Pascha for everyone else, coordinated by the Fellowship of St. John the Divine.  Please bring rags, cleaning supplies, small buckets, brown paper bags and irons for wax removal, etc. Come and lend a hand in preparing God's House for the Feast of Feasts.  Remember,  "Many hands make light work!"

ST. MARY'S 80th ANNIVERSARY - We will be celebrating our 80th anniversary the weekend of October 24 - 26, 2008.  If you are interested in working on the planning committee for this exciting event, please call Mary Winstanley O'Connor  at work:   617-523-1010  or  at home:  781-641-2967.

LITURGICAL SERVICE - Each Sunday, members of the congregation are needed to read the Epistle and assist during Communion by holding the Communion Cloths and Holy Bread Baskets. During the month of March (Antiochian Women's Month) this has been done by women of the parish; now it is time for other parishioners to volunteer.   If you would like to read the Epistle or assist during the Communion, contact Jeff Wasilko, 781-820-0882, email: and/or use the sign-up sheet on the Bengarri. 

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.


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

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          


This week we present "The 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 Mercy:

"Even if you are not what you should be, you should not despair. It is bad enough that you have sinned, why in addition do you wrong God by regarding Him as powerless? Is He, who for your sake created the great universe that you behold, incapable of saving your soul? And if you say that this fact, as well as His incarnation, only makes your condemnation worse, then repent and He will receive your repentance as He accepted that of the prodigal son and the prostitute. But if repentance is too much for you and you sin out of habit even when you do not want to, show humility like the publican, this is enough...For he who sins without repenting, yet does not despair, must of necessity regard himself as the lowest of creatures, and will not dare to judge or censure anyone. Rather he will marvel at God's compassion."

   - St. Peter of Damascus , From A Treasury of Divine Knowledge, "That We Should Not Despair Even if We Sin Many Times"

 1 Behold my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen, in whom my soul delights; I have put my Spirit upon him, he will bring forth justice to the nations. 2 He will not cry or lift up his voice, or make it heard in the street; 3 a bruised reed he will not break, and a dimly burning wick he will not quench; he will faithfully bring forth justice.

The Book of the Prophet Isaiah 42:1-3

 30 Just as you were once disobedient to God but now have received mercy because of their disobedience, 31 so they have now been disobedient in order that by the mercy shown to you they also may receive mercy. 32 For God has consigned all men to disobedience, that he may have mercy upon all. 33 O the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! 34 "For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor?" 35 "Or who has given a gift to him that he might be repaid?" 36 For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory for ever. Amen.

The Epistle of St. Paul to the Romans 11:30-36

40 And Jesus answering said to him, "Simon, I have something to say to you." And he answered, "What is it, Teacher?" 41 "A certain creditor had two debtors; one owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. 42 When they could not pay, he forgave them both. Now which of them will love him more?" 43 Simon answered, "The one, I suppose, to whom he forgave more." And he said to him, "You have judged rightly." 44 Then turning toward the woman he said to Simon, "Do you see this woman? I entered your house, you gave me no water for my feet, but she has wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. 45 You gave me no kiss, but from the time I came in she has not ceased to kiss my feet. 46 You did not anoint my head with oil, but she has anointed my feet with ointment. 47 Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much; but he who is forgiven little, loves little." 48 And he said to her, "Your sins are forgiven."

The Gospel According to St. Luke 7:40-48


Friday, April 4:  Akathist (Madayeh) Service 7:00 p.m., followed by third (and final) Learning in Lent speaker, David Vermette
Saturday, April 5:  Great Vespers 5:00 p.m.
Sunday, April 6:  Orthros  8:45 a.m., Divine Liturgy 10:00 a.m.


Epistle:  St. Paul's Letter to the Hebrews 6:13-20  We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner shrine behind the curtain, where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf, having become a high priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek.

Gospel: Mark 9:17-31  At that time, a man came to Jesus kneeling and saying: "Teacher, I brought my son to you, ... but if you can do anything, have pity on us and help us." And Jesus said to him, "If you can! All things are possible to him who believes." Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, "I believe; help my unbelief!"

Wednesday, April 9:  Presanctified Liturgy 6:30 p.m., followed by Potluck Supper
Friday, April 11:  Final Akathist (Madayeh) Service 7:00 p.m.


Saturday, April 12:  NO Vespers at St. Mary's; Footlamps at St. George, West Roxbury
Sunday, April 13:  Orthros  8:45 a.m., Divine Liturgy 10:00 a.m.
Wednesday, April 16:  Presanctified Liturgy 6:30 p.m., followed by Potluck Supper
Saturday, April 19, Lazarus Saturday: Matins 8:00 a.m., Divine Liturgy 9:00 a.m., Communion Breakfast 10:15 a.m., Church Clean-Up and Choir Rehearsal 11:00 a.m. (note revised times)
Sunday, April 20, Palm Sunday:  Orthros  8:45 a.m., Divine Liturgy 10:00 a.m.. followed by Palm Sunday Fish Dinner sponsored by FSJD;  Bridegroom Matins 7 p.m.
Holy Monday, April 21: Presanctified Liturgy 7 a.m.; Bridegroom Matins 7 p.m.
Holy Tuesday, April 22: Presanctified Liturgy 7 a.m.; Bridegroom Matins 7 p.m.
Holy Wednesday, April 23: Presanctified Liturgy 7 a.m.; Bridegroom Matins 7 p.m.
Holy Thursday, April 24:  Vesperal Liturgy 7 a.m.;  Washing of the Feet 6:45 p.m. and 12 Gospels 7 p.m.
Holy Friday, April 25: Children's Retreat 10 a.m.;  Royal Hours 1 p.m.;  Unnailing Vespers 3 p.m.    ; Lamentations 7:15 p.m. followed by Procession to Central Square
Holy Saturday, April 26: Vesperal Liturgy 9 a.m.
Saturday-Sunday, April 26-27:  Great and Holy Pascha Vigil/Rush Service 10 p.m.; Resurrection Matins 11 p.m.; Divine Liturgy 12 midnightPaschal Festivities in the Church Hall following
Sunday, April 27:  Joint Agape Vespers (Baouth) 11 a.m.; Reception following
Saturday, May 10: Fr. John vonHolzhausen lecture



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 29: John Rodriguez and Christian Alcala


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.

March 30:    Melissa Nassiff, Sandra Kondratiuk and others


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 30:  Michelle & Chuck Mabardy & Family