St. Mary Orthodox Church

Cambridge, MA

Weekly Newsletter for the week Friday, July 18, 2008 through Thursday, July 24, 2008


FR. ANTONY WILL BE AWAY - Fr. Antony will be at the Antiochian Village from this Monday, July 21, through Friday, August 8. He'll be taking part in the Clergy Symposium through Friday the 25th, and then assisting in pastoral ministry to the young people attending the 4th session of Summer Camp starting July 27.

In case of emergency:

From July 21-26, contact Ray Sayeg 781-769-6171.

For emergencies from July 27 to August 9, contact Fr. John Teebagy of St. John Church , Dedham at  781-326-3046.

CHURCH OFFICE WILL BE CLOSED - Early Deadline for next week's Sunday Bulletin will be Tuesday, July 22 at 10 a.m.  The Church Office will be open ONLY on Monday and Tuesday of next week.

HABITAT FOR HUMANITY - The Diocesan Fellowship of St. John the Divine is sponsoring a day working with Habitat for Humanity on the Cape . When: Saturday, August 9th   8:00am - 3:30 pm   Where: one of two sites in Falmouth , MA . Stay tuned for more details!

PATRONAL FEAST DAY - The Dormition of the Blessed Theotokos is August 15, 2008. On Thursday, August 14, we will celebrate the Vigil for the Dormition with Vespers at 4:15 p.m. , Orthros with Lamentations at 5:30 p.m., and Divine Liturgy  at 7:00 p.m.  This will be followed by a Parish Dinner at 8:15 p.m. (With prior reservations), offered by Charles Arbeely.  The cost for Adults & Students is $5.00;  Children 12 and under are FREE.  Please R.S.V.P. by August 7  to  the Church Office at 617-547-1234. Paid Reservations are preferred.

ST.  MARY'S ANNIVERSARY - The parish's 80th Anniversary Weekend is scheduled for October 24 - 26, 2008 . Mark your calendars and plan on attending the festivities!  We will have planning meetings for the 80th Anniversary on Thursday, July 31; Thursday, August 21; Thursday, September 11; and Tuesday, October 14, 2008,  beginning at 7:30 p.m., at the home of Mary Winstanley O'Connor, 781 Concord Turnpike in Arlington.  If you plan to attend the meetings please let Mary know.  Also, all who want to be on the committee need to provide their telephone numbers and email addresses to Marilyn Robbat at 617-547-1234 or,  and/or Mary Winstanley O'Connor at 617-523-1010 (work) or


TANGLEWOOD OUTING - Join your music-loving friends from St. Mary's as we carpool out to Tanglewood after Liturgy next 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;jsessionid=0SBOWRKHPVKWACTFQMGSFEQ?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).

COFFEE VOLUNTEERS NEEDED - 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.

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

MISSIONS AND EVANGELISM - The 20th Anniversary Orthodox Conference on Mission & Evangelism will be held August 29 - September 1, 2008 at University of California in Santa Barbara . The topic will be "The Bible and Evangelism."  Speakers are  Fr. Peter Gillquest, Fr. Jon Braun, and Fr. Dan Suciu.  Check Church Bulletin Board for more information, or contact 888-968-4014 or

RECOMMENDED READING - In last week's sermon Fr. Antony mentioned a brief article by Fr. Thomas Hopko entitled How Can I Know, which he recommended very highly. That article can be found on the St. Mary website at

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.

COFFEE VOLUNTEERS NEEDED - 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!

MEAL MINISTRY NEEDS HELP -  The Holy Resurrection Open Door Meal Ministry needs volunteers every Monday evening (there's a special need in the summer).  The official hours of the project are 5pm-7:30pm, but it is fine to come anytime and leave any time.  Best times would be 5:30-5:45 to 7:15-7:30pm. You can serve meals, coffee and tea to the people who arrive for dinner (6-7pm) or just stay behind the scenes doing set-up and clean-up, or ideally a combination of both.  It's a very rewarding, hands-on, face-to-face way to serve the community with (mostly) other Orthodox Christians (we even chant the Our Father together before the meal begins). Church info can be found at  Questions? Call Tiffany Conroy, St Mary's FSJD, 617-990-7162

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.


Thirst for Jesus, so that he may fill you to overflowing with His love. Blind your eyes to all that is held in honor in the world, so that you may be held worthy to have the peace which comes from God reign in your heart. Fast from the attractions that make the eyes glitter, in order that you may become worthy of spiritual joy. If your way of life is unworthy of God, then do not ask Him for glorious things, otherwise, you will appear as someone who tempts God. Prayer conforms strictly with behavior.

   - St Isaac of Nineveh


Someone who bears a grudge while he prays is like a person who sows in the sea and expects to reap a harvest.

   - St Isaac the Syrian

How immense is the grace of the divine compassion and condescension that knows no limit! God comes down to the level of sinful men and women; the good Lord speaks with His rebellious servants; the Holy One calls those who are impure to forgiveness. Humanity created out of mud addresses its Fashioner with familiarity, dust converses with its Maker. Let us, therefore, show awe when we sinners stand in the presence of this Majesty and speak. Even though we are so impure in our deeds, He draws us close to the sight of Himself in the spirit; let us therefore repeat with trembling the words of the blessed Prophet Isaiah: "Woe is me, for I am dazed. I am a man of unclean lips, yet my eyes have beheld the King, the Lord Almighty."

   - St. Martyrius, in The Syriac Fathers on Prayer and the Spiritual Life.

Let us go forward with the heart completely attentive and the soul fully conscious. For if attentiveness and prayer are daily joined together, they become like Elias' fire-bearing chariot, raising us to heaven.

   -  St. Philotheus of Sinai

Each one becomes perfect, not by realizing one uniform standard of universal perfection in his own life, but by responding to the call and love of God, addressed to him within the limitations and circumstances of his own peculiar vocation. In fact, our seeking of God is not all a matter of our finding Him by means of certain ascetic techniques. It is rather a quieting and ordering of our whole life by self-denial, prayer and good works, so that God Himself, who seeks us more than we seek Him, can "find" us and "take possession of us."

   - Thomas Merton, Life and Holiness


Saturday, July 19:  Great Vespers 5:00 pm

Sunday, July 20Summer hours - Orthros  8:15 am, Divine Liturgy 9:30 am


Epistle:  James 5:10-20

The prayer of a righteous man has great power in its effects. Elijah was a man of like nature with ourselves and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth. Then he prayed again and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth its fruit.

Gospel: Matthew 8:28-34; 9:1

At that time, when Jesus came to the other side, to the country of the Gergesenes, two demoniacs met him, coming out of the tombs, so fierce that no one would pass that way.  And behold, they cried out, "What have you to do with us, O Son of God? Have you come here to torment us before the time?"


Saturday, July 26: No Vespers at St. Mary's

Sunday, July 27Summer hours - Orthros  8:15 am, Divine Liturgy 9:30 am

Saturdays, August 2 & 9:  No Vespers at St. Mary's

Sunday, August 31:  Last Sunday of summer hours



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.

July 19:  John Rodriguez, David Vermette, and Paul Joseph


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.

July 20:  Chris Minidis, Danielle Miller, 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.

July 20:  Philip Straghalis