St. Mary Orthodox Church

Cambridge, MA

Weekly Newsletter for the week Friday, May 2, 2008 through Thursday, May 8, 2008


NO VESPERS - There will be no service of Great Vespers at St. Mary this Saturday, May 3; Fr. Antony will be celebrating Vespers at St. George West Roxbury with Metropolitan PHILIP at 6 p.m. Everyone is invited to attend there, and join in their Feast Day celebration.

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. For more information about the book see .

The cost for the dinner is your generous freewill donation. Please RSVP by this Sunday, May 4,  to Melissa Nassiff at  or call 508-877-7483, or use the signup sheet at the Bengarri.    Plan to come, and invite your friends!


CHRIST IS RISEN! - Truly, He is Risen!

Arabic:              Al Maseeh ‘Am!  Ha'an ‘Am!

Greek:                Christos Anesti!  Alithos Anesti!

Slavonic:          Khristos Voskrese!  Vo Istinu Voskrese!

Romanian:     Hristos a Înviat!  Adevǎrat a Înviat!

Tigrinian:       Kristos Tensiu!  Behake Tensiu!

Cantonese:     Gaydolk Folkwoot Leew!  Ta Koksut Folkwoot Leew!

Armenian:      Krisdos Haryav ee Merelotz!  Orhnyal Eh Haryootyoonun Krisdosee!

[Language of your choice: ] To find how the Paschal Greeting is said in even more languages check out this site, which has text and voice recordings for over 250 languages:

PHOTOS - Photos from most of this year's  Holy Week services, plus a link to the news report (with photos) about Friday evening's Procession to Central Square, plus a video from Saturday's Rush Procession,  are now posted on the  St. Mary website: -   thanks to Jeff Wasilko, who took most of the photos, and Jamil Samara, our webmaster, who took the video.  Check back in the next few days for even more pictures.

NEWLY ILLUMINED - Congratulations to Lilith  Elizabeth Arthur, Sarah Mary Gosselin, Danielle Cecilia Miller, Marc Paul Patacchiola, Brooke Sophia Wilcox, and James Francis Wilcox, who were all chrismated last week.

NEW CD - THY RESURRECTION, the Boston Byzantine Choir's 4th recording, has arrived!  The 76 minute CD includes 28 selections from the Paschal services of Holy Saturday Morning through the Midnight Liturgy.  Many from St. Mary's made special contributions to this project, including Michelle Mabardy (chanted "All Creation"), Erick Straghalis (design), and Jeff Wasilko (photography).  The recording is dedicated to the memory of former parishioners Lynette Hoppe, missionary to Albania , and Katya Polishchuk, goddaughter of Arlene Marge and Alex Orlovsky.  In fact, the bells constructed in memory of Katya can be heard on this recording during the singing of "Christ is Risen!".  CDs are $15 and will be on sale during coffee hour.  See Charlie Marge.

PARISH COUNCIL - The next meeting of the Parish Council will be Wednesday, May 14.

CHURCH SCHOOL CLOSING AND PICNIC - On Sunday, May 18, immediately following Divine Liturgy, we will be celebrating the close of the Church School year with a "family style" picnic in the Church parking lot.  Festivities will include Bar-B-Que hot dogs & hamburgers; raffle prizes; crafts, backgammon, and much more. The entire parish is invited to attend - $5.00 for adults; church school students are FREE.  Please contact Michelle Mabardy at or 781-860-8899  if you can help.

BLESSING OF GRAVES - On Memorial Day, Monday, May 26,  Fr. Antony will be blessing graves at Fairview Cemetery in Hyde Park , starting at 9 a.m.  If you would like him to bless the graves of loved ones in other cemeteries, please let him know by calling him at the Church Office at 617-547-1234 or e-mail

THANKS FROM FSJD - The Fellowship of St. John the Divine wishes to thank all the people of St. Mary's who attended the Palm Sunday Fish Dinner and contributed so generously to support the work of the Fellowship. We especially wish to thank Ed and Lisa Brylczyk, who donated and prepared the delicious meal.

THANKS FROM NATASHA AND FAMILY - To St. Mary Parishioners and Friends: 

Thank you all for your prayers and support big and small.  We are so grateful to you who helped in any way.  God bless you.  Love, Natasha, Deacon Jeff & Family

If you would like to be one of "Natasha's Helpers" in the Lotsa Helping Hands Program and assist the Smith family with transportation for a few more weeks,  you can still go to the website at


NO FASTING - There is no fasting on Wednesday or Friday, not only during Bright Week, but for the whole forty days from Pascha until the Feast of the Ascension on June 5.  (This is the decision of the Holy Synod of the Church of Antioch .)  This cessation of fasting, however, is purely voluntary;  you may fast if you wish.

ARE YOU USING GOD'S TIME WISELY? - The next lecture in the 2007-2008 Footlamps series, sponsored by the Diocesan Fellowship of St. John the Divine, will be Saturday, May 17, at St. John Church in Dedham.   The topic will be Are you using God's time wisely? with Don Khouri.   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 Saturday.

PARISH LIFE CONFERENCE - The 2008 Diocesan Parish Life Conference will be June 26 through 29, at the Mariott Hotel in Providence , RI , hosted by St. Mary Church, Pawtucket . Keynote speaker will be Rev. Dr. Emanuel S. Chris.  To see the schedule of events and register for the conference, click on - you can register either online or on paper.  To register for the hotel call 866-807-2171. 

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, 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. 

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          


Just as the darkness does not go away unless the light is present, so the disease of the soul is not banished unless He Who takes away our infirmities comes and unites Himself with us. He is called health when He comes because He chases away every disease and infirmity of the soul and gives us back our health; and He is called light, Who transcends all light, because He illumines us; and life, Who is beyond all life, because He vivifies us. Shining around us all, and encircling and cherishing us with the glory of His divinity, He is called raiment, and so we say that we clothe ourselves with Him Who is intangible in every way and Who cannot be grasped. Uniting Himself without mingling with our souls, and making it all as light, He is said to indwell us and, uncircumscribed, become circumscribed. O the miracle!

   - St. Symeon the New Theologian

It is for this reason that the Savior says, "Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God": for He is hidden in the hearts of those who believe in Him. They shall see Him and the riches that are in Him when they have purified themselves through love and self-control; and the greater the purity the more they will see.

   - St. Maximus the Confessor, Fourth Century on Love

Faith is to believe what we do not see, and the reward of this faith is to see what we believe.

   - St. Augustine

Three things bring salvation to man: faith, works, and contemplation. For firstly, one believes from hearing; secondly, one does the commandments; and thirdly, one is granted union with God and enjoys with contemplative faith what he formerly believed with faith from hearing.

   - St. Maximos of Corinth , Modern Orthodox Saints, V. 2

...the Spirit of Christ...abides wholly in all the members of Christ's body, and moves and gives life to those who can take part in life. But those also whose weakness prevents them, it still mercifully keeps as its own.

   - St. Gregory of Sinai, Texts on Commandments and Dogmas


Saturday, May 3:  NO Vespers at St. Mary; Vespers 6:00 p.m. at St. George West Roxbury with Metropolitan PHILIP

Sunday, May 4:  Orthros  8:45 a.m., Divine Liturgy 10:00 a.m.


Epistle:  Acts of the Apostles 5:12-20

In those days, many signs and wonders were done among the people by the hands of the apostles. ... And more than ever believers were added to the Lord, multitudes both of men and women, so that they even carried out the sick into the streets, and laid them on beds and pallets, that as Peter came by at least his shadow might fall on some of them. The people also gathered from the towns around Jerusalem , bringing the sick and those afflicted with unclean spirits, and they were all healed.

Gospel: John 20:19-31

Eight days later, His disciples were again in the house, and Thomas was with them. The doors were shut, but Jesus came and stood among them, and said: "Peace be with you." Then He said to Thomas, "Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side; do not be faithless, but believing." Thomas answered Him, "My Lord and my God!" Jesus said to Him: "Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe."


Saturday, May 10: Great Vespers 5:00 p.m., followed by FSJD dinner; Fr. John vonHolzhausen lecture 7:00 p.m.

Saturday, May 17:  NO Vespers at St.Mary; Vespers and Footlamps at St. John Church in Dedham

Sunday, May 18:  Church School Graduation and Picnic

Thursday, June 5:  Feast of the Ascension of our Lord.  Wednesday & Friday fasting resumes

Sunday, June 15:  Feast of Pentecost

Thursday-Sunday, June 26-29: Parish Life Conference



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.

May 3: Sandra Kondratiuk 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.

May 4:  Matt Robinson, Teva Regule, Gergana Bounova, 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.

May 4:  Stella Miller