St. Mary Orthodox Church

Cambridge, MA

Weekly Newsletter for the week Friday, May 30, 2008 through Thursday, June 5, 2008

Weekly Newsletter for the week Friday, May 30, 2008 through Thursday, June 5, 2008


FASTING IN JUNE - There is no fasting on Wednesday or Friday during the forty days from Pascha until the Feast of the Ascension, which is  Thursday, June 5.  Then normal fasting resumes until the Feast of Pentecost on June 15.  During the week after Pentecost, June 15-21, there is again no fasting.  Then the Apostles' Fast begins on June 23 and continues until the Feast of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul on June 29.

CONGRATULATIONS - Our Fourth Grade Sunday School class came in First for their grade in the Creative Arts Festival, with a perfect score!  The students in this class are Anthony Marge, James Jabbour, Luke Porr, Rachel Bargoot, Carolyn Mabardy, Lukas Nahass, Nathan Nebiye, and Jonathan Mekinon; their teacher is Paul Joseph.  Congratulations to them all!

NEW CHANDELIERS - New Chandeliers have been ordered for the Church, and we hope to have them installed in time for our 80th Anniversary Celebration in October. There will be one large chandelier, which has been donated, and six smaller chandeliers, one of which has been donated.  We are presently looking for donations to cover the cost of the additional five  chandeliers, which are $10,000 each.   Donations can be made through the Bengarri or you can speak with Ray Sayeg or Mary Winstanley O'Connor. 


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. 

The church offices will be closed, and no services will be held at St. Mary's, during the Parish Life Conference.

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.

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.

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  


God is good, dispassionate, and immutable. ... He is good, and He only bestows blessings and never does harm, remaining always the same. We men, on the other hand, if we remain good through resembling God, are united to Him, but if we become evil through not resembling God, we are separated from Him. By living in holiness we cleave to God; but by becoming wicked we make Him our enemy. It is not that He grows angry with us in an arbitrary way, but it is our own sins that prevent God from shining within us and expose us to demons who torture us. And if through prayer and acts of compassion we gain release from our sins, this does not mean that we have won God over and made Him to change, but that through our actions and our turning to the Divinity, we have cured our wickedness and so once more have enjoyment of God's goodness. Thus to say that God turns away from the wicked is like saying that the sun hides itself from the blind.

   - Saint Anthony, the Philokalia

Those taught by God will be regarded as fools by the disciples of such as are wise in the wisdom of this world. But in fact it is the worldly-wise that are fools, spouting an inane secular wisdom, the stupidity of which God has demonstrated (cf. I Cor. 1:20) and which Scripture condemns as material, unspiritual, devilish, filled with strife and malice (cf. James 3:15). Since these people are blind to the divine light, they cannot see the marvels it contains; they regard as deluded those who dwell in that light and see and teach others about what is within it. On the contrary, it is they themselves that are deluded, not having tasted the ineffable blessings of God.

   - St. Symeon the New Theologian

God does not condemn us to Hell; God wishes all humans to be saved. He will love us to all eternity, but there will exist the possibility that we do not accept the love and do not respond to it. And the refusal to accept love, the refusal to respond to it, that precisely is the meaning of Hell. Hell is not a place where God puts us; it's a place where we put ourselves. The doors of Hell, insofar as they have locks, have locks on the inside.

   - Metropolitan Kallistos Ware

The fear of sin does not save from sin.  Joy in the Lord saves.  A feeling of guilt or moralism does not liberate from the world and its temptations.  Joy is the foundation of freedom, where we are called to stand.  Where, how, when has this tonality of Christianity become distorted, dull -- or rather, where, how, why have Christians become deaf to joy?  How, when and why, instead of freeing suffering people, did the Church come to sadistically intimidate and frighten them?

   - Fr. Alexander Schmemann, Journals


Saturday, May 31: Great Vespers 5:00 pm

Sunday, June 1:  Orthros  8:45 am, Divine Liturgy 10:00 am

SCRIPTURE READINGS for June 1, Sunday of the Blind Man:

Epistle:  Acts of the Apostles 16:16-34

... When the jailer woke and saw that the prison doors were open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself, supposing that the prisoners had escaped. But Paul cried with a loud voice, "Do not harm yourself, for we are all here." And he called for lights and rushed in, and trembling with fear he fell down before Paul and Silas, and brought them out and said, "Men, what must I do to be saved?" And they said, "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household."


Gospel: John 9:1-38  At that time, as Jesus passed by, he saw a man blind from his birth. And his disciples asked him, "Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?" Jesus answered, "It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be made manifest in him. We must work the works of him who sent me, while it is day; night comes, when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world."

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


Saturday, June 7:  No Vespers at St. Mary's

Sunday, June 8:  Orthros  8:45 am, Divine Liturgy 10:00 am

Saturday, June 14:  No Vespers at St. Mary's

Sunday, June 15:  Feast of Pentecost - Orthros  8:45 am, Divine Liturgy 10:00 am, with Kneeling Prayers. No fasting during the following week

Sunday, June 22:  Summer hours begin - Orthros  8:15 am, Divine Liturgy 9:30 am

Monday, June 23:  Apostles' Fast begins (until June 29)

Thursday-Sunday, June 26-29:  Parish Life Conference at Marriott Hotel, Providence , RI (St. Mary church and offices closed)



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 31:  Paul Joseph and Bill Coyle


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.

June 1:  Epistle - Nikki Stournaras


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.

June 1:  Mary Robbat & Family