St. Mary Orthodox Church

Cambridge, MA

Weekly Newsletter for the week Friday, June 27, 2008 through Thursday, July 3, 2008


PARISH LIFE CONFERENCE -The 2008 Diocesan Parish Life Conference will be this week, June 26 through 29, at the Mariott Hotel in Providence , RI , hosted by St. Mary Church, Pawtucket . Metropolitan PHILIP will preside; keynote speaker will be Rev. Dr. Emanuel S. Chris.  To see the schedule of events click on

SCHEDULE CHANGES - The timing of some Conference events has been changed, so note carefully the schedule you will receive when you arrive. Vespers each day will begin at 5:30 pm instead of 5:00. Divine Liturgy on Friday morning will begin at 9:00 instead of 9:30, and there will be no Orthros; Continental Breakfast will begin at 10:00 am.   Some of the Saturday events are changed (choir festival ends at 5:00 instead of 4:30), and the St. Ignatius/Parish Council Dinner begins at 6:30 instead of 6:00. Sunday's schedule remains unchanged.

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

FASTING IN JUNE - The Apostles' Fast began Monday, June 23, and continues until this Sunday, June 29, the Feast of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul.


MEMORY ETERNAL - John Leonard Maymon, father of Bishop MARK, passed away Thursday, June 19. His funeral was Monday, June 23.  For further information see  Our sympathies to Bishop MARK.

ONE MORE CHANDELIER  - New Chandeliers have been ordered for the Church, and we expect to have them installed by the end of the summer, in plenty of  time for our 80th Anniversary Celebration in October. There will be one large chandelier, which has been donated as a memorial, and six smaller chandeliers, all but one of which have been donated so far.  We are presently looking for someone to donate the one remaining chandelier, plus donations to cover the cost of the electrical work.   Donations can be made through the Bengarri or you can speak with Ray Sayeg or Mary Winstanley O'Connor. 

CELL PHONES FOR SERVICEMEN - The Lebanese-Syrian Ladies Aid Society is sending 150-minute international phone cards to our young people involved in the Iraq-Afghanistan War,  or stationed elsewhere.  If you know of any young people they can help, please provide names, parents' names, addresses and phone numbers.  Please contact Rose Dow 671-323-6883 or Emily Eknoian 617-323-7135.


VACATION BIBLE SCHOOL - St. George Church, West Roxbury, will hold a Vacation Bible School for ages pre-school through 4th grade (pre-schoolers must be potty-trained),  from Monday, July 7, through Thursday, July 10, from 9 a.m. - 1 p.m.   Call Khalil Samara 617-323-0323 if interested.

6th ANNUAL TANGLEWOOD OUTING - Join your music-loving friends from St. Mary's as we carpool out to Tanglewood after Liturgy on Sunday, July 27. We'll picnic on the lawn and listen to music by Tower, Mendelssohn and Beethoven, with violinist Sarah Chang and the Orchestra of St. Lukes.  (For more information see h;jsessionid=2Q1BY4DEXABHICTFQMGSFEQ?id=bcat5240070   )  The concert starts at 2:30; lawn tickets are just $18. Bring picnic food for yourself and to share, or buy it on the way.  For more information and to let us know you're coming, especially if you'll need a ride, contact Melissa Nassiff by email ( or phone (508 877-7483).

NO VOLUNTEERS = NO COFFEE - The services of the Church continue all year round, and volunteers continue to be needed throughout the summer!  If you've never given a coffee hour before, now's a good time to start. It's never difficult, but it's even easier in the summer.  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.  Plenty of help is available if you need it.

SUMMER HOURS - Summer hours at St. Mary's will continue through August 31.  Orthros begins at 8:15 am, Divine Liturgy at 9:30 am.

WOMEN'S CLUB SUMMER READING:  This summer Women's Club members (and anyone else who'd like to join us) will be reading The Friday Night Knitting Club by Kate Jacobs, currently #2 on the New York Times best-seller list. Read the book over the summer, and join us in the fall for an enjoyable evening of discussion,  refreshments and fellowship!

PILGRIMAGE TO NEW SKETE - The Monastic Communities and parishioners of New Skete Monastery (OCA) in Cambridge , New York , invite you to join them for a day of prayer and reflection celebrating their feast day on Saturday, August 9, 2008 (rain or shine).  The theme of the pilgrimage is "Healing: New Life in Christ." As is the rule of monastic life, the day will begin and end with prayer-- Matins at 8:30 am, followed by the celebration of the Divine Liturgy at 9:30 am, and Vespers and Vigil at 5:30 pm.  In addition, a special healing service will be held at approximately 4:15 pm.  Two main presentations will be held in the afternoon--"Perspectives on Healing" with Dr. Demetra Velisarios Jaquet and Fr. Steven Voytovich and "Holy Unction: Human Illness, Healing, and Wellness" given by Rev. Dr. Alkiviadis Calivas.  In addition, the day will include tours of the monastery Churches, a demonstration of the monks' dog program, as well as time for hiking, conversation, reflection and quiet.  Activities for children and teens are also planned. Traditional ethnic and American style food will be available for purchase. For more information (or to be part of the band of volunteers from the area), see the flier on the church bulletin board and/or contact Teva Regule at

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  


There are said to be five reasons why God allows us to be assailed by demons. The first is so that, by attacking and counter-attacking, we should learn to discriminate between virtue and vice. The second is so that, having acquired virtue through conflict and toil, we should keep it secure and immutable. The third is so that, when making progress in virtue, we should not become haughty but learn humility. The fourth is so that, having gained some experience of evil, we should 'hate it with a perfect hatred' (cf. Ps. 139:22). The fifth and most important is so that, having achieved dispassion, we should forget neither our own weakness nor the power of Him who has helped us.

   - St. Maximos the Confessor, Second Century on Love no. 67

...although expecting no good from ourselves and not relying on ourselves is the work of God in us, we on our side must make every effort to acquire this disposition, doing all we can, all within our power. And so, my brother, I offer you here four activities, by means of which, with God's help, you may end by acquiring disbelief in yourself, and learn never to rely on yourself in anything. (a) Realize your nothingness and constantly keep in your mind the fact that by yourself you can do nothing good which is worthy of the kingdom of heaven...(b) Ask for God's help in this with warm and humble prayers; for this is His gift...(c) Accustom yourself to be wary and to fear your innumerable enemies whom you cannot resist even for a short time...(d) If you fall into some transgression, quickly turn to the realization of your weakness and be aware of it. For God allows you to fall for the very purpose of making you aware of your weakness...This is the foundation and beginning of true humility, since it is based on realization, by experience, of your impotence and unreliability.

   - Lorenzo Scupoli, Unseen Warfare

    Having fallen from his heavenly rank through pride, the devil constantly strives to bring down also all those who wholeheartedly wish to approach the Lord; and he uses the same means which caused his own downfall, that is pride and love of vainglory. These and similar things are the means by which the demons fight us and hope to separate us from God.

    Moreover, knowing that he who loves his brother loves also God, they put into our hearts hatred of one another - and this to such degree that at times a man cannot bear to see his brother or say a word to him. Many have performed truly great labors of virtue, but have ruined themselves through folly. It would not be surprising if the same thing were to happen to you too; if, for example, having cooled towards active work, you begin to imagine that you already possess virtues. For there you have already fallen into that devilish disease (high opinion of yourself), thinking that you are close to God and are in the light, whereas in actual fact you are in darkness.

    What made our Lord Jesus Christ lay aside his garments, gird himself with a towel, and, pouring water into a basin, begin to wash the feet of those who were below Him (John 13:4, etc.), if not to teach us humility? For it was humility He showed us by example of what He then did. And indeed those who want to be accepted into the foremost rank cannot achieve this otherwise than through humility; for in the beginning the thing that caused downfall from heaven was a movement of pride. So, if a man lacks extreme humility, if he is not humble with all his heart, all his mind, all his spirit, all his soul and body - he will not inherit the kingdom of God .

   - St. Anthony the Great, Early Fathers From the Philokalia


Thursday-Sunday, June 26-29:  Parish Life Conference at Marriott Hotel, Providence , RI

       (St. Mary church and offices closed)

Saturday, June 28:  No Vespers at St. Mary's - Vespers 5:30 pm (note revised time) at Parish Life Conference

Sunday, June 29: No Liturgy at St. Mary's - Hierarchical Divine Liturgy 10:00 am at Parish Life Conference;  Apostles' Fast ends

SCRIPTURE READINGS for June 29, Feast of Sts. Peter and Paul: 

Epistle:  Corinthians 11:21-33; 12:1-9  [Paul said] If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness. ... Though if I wish to boast, I shall not be a fool, for I shall be speaking the truth. But I refrain from it, so that no one may think more of me than he sees in me or hears from me. And to keep me from being too elated by the abundance of revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan, to harass me, to keep me from being too elated. Three times I besought the Lord about this, that it should leave me; but he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." I will all the more gladly boast of my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

Gospel: Matthew 16:13-19  He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?" Simon Peter replied, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." And Jesus answered him, "Blessed are you, Simon Bar Jona! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven.


Saturday, July 5:  No Vespers at St. Mary's

Sunday, July 6Summer hours - Orthros  8:15 am, Divine Liturgy 9:30 am



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.

June 28: Lan Hu 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 29:  [Parish Life Conference]


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 29:  [Parish Life Conference]

July 6:   available

July 13:  Socrates Deligeorges