St. Mary Orthodox Church

Cambridge, MA

Weekly Newsletter for the week Friday, April 11, 2008 through Thursday, April 17, 2008


FOOTLAMPS - The next lecture in the 2007-2008 Footlamps series, sponsored by the Diocesan Fellowship of St. John the Divine, will be this 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.

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

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 this Sunday,

April 13.


FOOD FOR THE HUNGRY - Return your filled Food for the Hungry boxes next Sunday, April 20 (Palm Sunday).  If  you don't have one yet, it's not too late - you can pick one up at the Bengarri this week, fill it with money, and bring it back next week.  If a man shuts his ears to the cry of the poor, he too will cry out and not be answered...... (Proverbs 21:13)

RETIRED CLERGY FUND - Thank you all who donated so generously to the Antiochian Women's Project 2008: Retired Clergy Fund last Sunday.  For those who would still like to participate, we will accept  additional contributions for this fine cause.  Please make your checks payable to St. Mary Women's Club and ear-mark:  Retired Clergy Fund.  You can pass them in at the Bengarri OR give them to MaryEllen Mabardy, Marilyn Robbat or Selma Winstanley.  Thank you once again!!

KATYA'S BELLS -- The St. Katherine bell tower at St. John Orthodox Church in Eugene , OR was dedicated last weekend.  The Polishchuks (former parishioners of St. Mary's) would like to thank all at St. Mary's who donated in memory of Katya towards the bells and the bell tower.  The local TV station ran a nice story on the bells that you can read and/or watch at this link:


HOLY WEEK BOOKS - The church has a few Holy Week Service books for sale for $25 (saves on shipping).  Please e-mail Charlie Marge ( if you want your own copy.  First come, first served.


HOLY FRIDAY RETREAT - Children and teens are invited to a retreat on Friday, April 25. It will include lessons, activities, crafts, "ask Father," and confessions (children only).  For children under age 7, accompanied by a parent, activities will be provided from 10:00 a.m. to 12:30. Older children will stay on for the Royal Hours at 1:00 p.m.  A goodwill offering of $5 per child will help defray activity expenses. If you can help with the retreat, or provide food or beverages, please call Trish at 781-641-0182 before Palm Sunday, or email her at

HOLY SATURDAY LITURGY - On Holy Saturday morning, April 26, we will celebrate the  Vesperal Liturgy of St. Basil at 9 a.m. Be among the first, along with the Myrrh-Bearing Women, to share in and witness Christ's triumph over evil and death, commemorated through the scattering of bay leaves and flowers. Be there to hear readings from the Old Testament that prophesy the coming of Christ. Be there to welcome the catechumens into the Faith. The service will be followed by a Coffee Hour/Reception for the continued good health of the Kaldas Family and the parishioners of St. Mary, offered by Nadia & Bahig Kaldas.

FOREIGN LANGUAGE READERS NEEDED -  If you would like to read the Gospel in another language for the Agape Vespers on Pascha, Sunday, April 27 at 11:00 a.m., please e-mail Charlie Marge (  The reading is John 20:19-25.



LENTEN POTLUCKS - The final evening Presanctified Liturgy and Potluck of this Lenten season will be this Wednesday, April 16.  Liturgy begins 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.   Please stay for supper even if you can't bring food--there's room at the table for everyone. 

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. 

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.

VONHOLZHAUSEN LECTURE - The Fellowship of St. John the Divine cordially invites you to the annual Fr. John vonHolzhausen dinner and 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: One Family's Militant Faith and the History of Fundamentalism in America.  The cost is your generous freewill donation; please RSVP to Melissa Nassiff at  or call 508-877-7483.  See for more information about the book.  Plan to come, and invite your friends!

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.

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          


The following prayers to St. Mary of Egypt are excerpted from the Great Canon of St. Andrew of Crete :

Thou was brought down into an abyss of great iniquity, yet not held fast within it; but with better intent thou has mounted through action to the height of virtue, past all expectation; and the angels, O Mary, were amazed at thee.

Sunk in the abyss of wickedness, O Mary, thou hast lifted up thine hands to the merciful God. And, as to Peter, in His loving-kindness He stretched out His hand to thee in help, seeking in every way thy conversion.

I am held fast, O Mother, by the tempest and billows of sin; but do thou keep me safe and lead me to the haven of divine repentance.

With all eagerness and love thou has run to Christ, turning from thy former path of sin, finding thy food in the trackless wilderness, and fulfilling in purity the commandments of God.

Bowing before the divine laws of Christ, thou has drawn near to Him, forsaking the unbridled longings of sensual pleasure; and in fear of God thou has gained all the virtues as if they were one.

Through the perfection of thine earthly life, O Mother, thou has gained a heavenly freedom from the sinfulness of passion. In thine intercessions pray that this same freedom may be given to those who sing thy praises.

He whom thou has loved, O mother, whom thou has desired, in whose footsteps thou has followed: He it was who found thee and gave thee repentance, for He is God compassionate. Pray to Him without ceasing, that we may be delivered from passions and distress.

By thy strange way of life thou has struck all with wonder, both the hosts of angels and the gatherings of mortal men; for thou has surpassed nature and lived as though no longer in the body. Like a bodiless angel thou has walked upon the Jordan with thy feet, O Mary, and crossed over it.

The holy Zosimas was struck with amazement, O Mother, beholding in thee a wonder truly strange and new. For he saw an angel in the body and was filled with astonishment, praising Christ unto all ages.

Holy Mother Mary, pray to God for us.


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.


Epistle:  St. Paul's Letter to the Hebrews 9:11-14 For if the sprinkling of defiled persons with the blood of goats and bulls and with the ashes of a heifer sanctifies for the purification of the flesh, how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify your conscience from dead works to serve the living God.

Gospel: Mark 10:32-45  At that time, Jesus taking the twelve again, he began to tell them what was to happen to him, saying, "Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem; and the Son of man will be delivered to the chief priests and the scribes, and they will condemn him to death, and deliver him to the Gentiles; and they will mock him, and spit upon him, and scourge him, and kill him; and after three days he will rise."

Wednesday, April 16:  Final 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.

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 7:00 a.m.; Bridegroom Matins 7:00 p.m.

Holy Tuesday, April 22: Presanctified Liturgy 7:00 a.m.; Bridegroom Matins 7:00 p.m.

Holy Wednesday, April 23: Presanctified Liturgy 7:00 a.m.; Bridegroom Matins 7:00 p.m.

Holy Thursday, April 24:  Vesperal Liturgy 7:00 a.m.;  Washing of the Feet 6:45 p.m. and 12 Gospels 7:00 p.m.

Holy Friday, April 25: Children's Retreat 10:00 a.m.;  Royal Hours 1:00 p.m.;  Unnailing Vespers 3:00 p.m.; Lamentations 7:15 p.m. followed by Procession to Central Square

Holy Saturday, April 26: Vesperal Liturgy 9:00 a.m.

Saturday-Sunday, April 26-27:  Great and Holy Pascha Vigil/Rush Service 10:00 p.m.; Resurrection Matins 11:00 p.m.; Divine Liturgy 12:00 midnightPaschal food and festivities in the church hall following

Sunday, April 27:  Joint Agape Vespers (Baouth) 11:00 a.m.; Reception following

Saturday, May 10: Fr. John vonHolzhausen lecture

Sunday, May 18:  Church School Graduation and Picnic



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.

April 12: Eric Ayoub and Kern Ormond


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.

April 13:  Larisa Patacchiola (Epistle) 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.

April 13:  Women's Club Pascha Bake Sale