St. Mary Orthodox Church

Cambridge, MA

Weekly Newsletter for the week Friday, May 16, 2008 through Thursday, May 22, 2008


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 this 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 pm, followed by the lecture and light refreshments.  Suggested donation $5.  There will be no Vespers at St. Mary's this Saturday.

CHURCH SCHOOL GRADUATION AND PICNIC - This 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 (or in the Hall if weather is inclement).  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.

FOOD FOR HUNGRY PEOPLE - If you still haven't turned in your Food For Hungry People box, please remember to do it this Sunday - just leave it at the Bengarri. Last chance!


LOST ON PASCHA:  Men's X-Large beige trench coat with sunglasses in pocket.  If found, contact Marilyn Robbat in Church Office 617-547-1234.


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

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. 

PHOTOS - Photos from 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 all now posted on the  St. Mary website: -   thanks to Jeff Wasilko and Nick Bezreh, who took the photos, and Jamil Samara, our webmaster, who took the video. 

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.  To hear samples of the music and read a glowing review of the CD, go to  CDs are $15 and will be on sale during coffee hour -  see Charlie Marge.

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.

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.

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. 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.  To help, contact Christian Alcala at or (617) 876-5684.

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 pm and 7:30. Contact Liz Tutella at 617-974-5005 or  


The one who has come to understand the weakness of human nature has had experience of the divine power, and such a person who because of it has succeeded in some things and is eager to succeed in others, never looks down on anyone. For he knows that in the same way that God has helped him and freed him from many passions and hardships, so can He help everyone when He wishes, especially those who are striving for His sake. Although for his own reasons He does not deliver all from their passions right away, still as a good and loving physician He heals in His own good time each one of those who are striving.

   - St. Maximus the Confessor, Four Centuries on Love

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 a 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

Love never hates anyone, never reproves anyone, never condemns anyone, never grieves anyone, never abhors anyone, neither faithful nor infidel nor stranger nor sinner nor fornicator, nor anyone impure, but instead it is precisely sinners, and weak and negligent souls that it loves more, and feels pain for them and grieves and laments, and it feels sympathy for the wicked and sinners, more than for the good, imitating Christ Who called sinners, and ate and drank with them. For this reason, showing what real love is, He taught saying, "Become good and merciful like your Father in Heaven," and as He rains on bad and good and makes the sun to rise on just and unjust alike, so also is the one who has real love, and has compassion, and prays for all.

   - Abba Ammonas

The merciful person is he who gives to others what he has himself received from God, whether it be money, or food, or strength, a helpful word, a prayer, or anything else that he has through which he can express his compassion for those in need. At the same time he considers himself a debtor, since he has received more than he is asked to give.

   - St. Peter of Damascus


Saturday, May 17:  NO Vespers at St.Mary; Vespers and Footlamps at St. John Church in Dedham
Sunday, May 18:  Orthros  8:45 a.m., Divine Liturgy 10:00 a.m., followed by Church School Graduation and Picnic


Epistle:  Acts of the Apostles 9:32-42

In those days, as Peter went here and there among them all, he came down also to the saints that lived at Lydda. There he found a man named Aeneas, who had been bedridden for eight years and was paralyzed. And Peter said to him, "Aeneas, Jesus Christ heals you; rise and make your bed." And immediately he rose. ... Now there was at Joppa a disciple named Tabitha, which means Dorcas. She was full of good works and acts of charity. In those days she fell sick and died... Peter put them all outside and knelt down and prayed; then turning to the body he said, "Tabitha, rise." And she opened her eyes, and when she saw Peter she sat up. ... and many believed in the Lord.

Gospel: John 5:1-15

At that time, Jesus went up to Jerusalem . Now there is in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate a pool, in Hebrew called Bethesda ... Jesus said to him, "Rise, take up your pallet, and walk." And at once the man was healed, and he took up his pallet and walked. Now that day was the sabbath. ... Afterward, Jesus found him in the temple, and said to him, "See, you are well! Sin no more, that nothing worse befall you."


Saturday, May 17: Great Vespers 5:00 pm
Sunday, May 18:  Orthros  8:45 am, Divine Liturgy 10:00 am
Saturday, May 24: No Vespers at St. Mary's
Wednesday, June 4: Vesperal Liturgy for Feast of Ascension of our Lord 6:30 pm
Thursday, June 5:  Feast of the Ascension of our Lord.  (No services.) 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 17: David Vermette, Mitrophan and Michelle Chin and family


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 11:  Epistle: Tatiana Kish


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 18:  Church School Graduation & Parish Picnic