St. Mary Orthodox Church

Cambridge, MA

Weekly Newsletter for the week Friday, August 8, 2008 through Thursday, August 14, 2008

Editor's Note: This week's St. Mary Update is going out late, because of vacation schedules and an uncooperative computer.  Sorry!


FR. ANTONY IS  AWAY - Fr. Antony is at the Antiochian Village through this Friday, August 8. In case of emergency for the remainder of this week contact Fr. John Teebagy of St. John Church , Dedham at  781-326-3046.

PILGRIMAGE TO NEW SKETE - Several St. Mary parishioners will be joining the Monastic Communities and parishioners of New Skete Monastery (OCA) in Cambridge , New York , for a day of prayer and reflection celebrating their feast day this Saturday, August 9, 2008 (rain or shine).   For more information see the flier on the church bulletin board and/or contact Teva Regule at

HABITAT FOR HUMANITY - The Diocesan Fellowship of St. John the Divine is sponsoring a day working with Habitat for Humanity on the Cape, at one of two sites in Falmouth , MA , this Saturday, August 9,   8:00 am - 3:30 pm   Then Vespers will be at 5:00pm with dinner to follow at St. Michael the Archangel , Cotuit.  PLEASE RSVP to Michael Marge or Heather Feldman

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 Thursday, August 7  to  the Church Office at 617-547-1234. Paid Reservations are preferred.

CHOIR - The Choir will be helping to chant the Lamentations and the entire Festal Divine Liturgy on Thursday, August 14.  Please plan on arriving by 6:30 p.m.


ATTENTION TEENS - Orthodox Youth Outreach (OYO) has openings for an up-coming trip to Philadelphia , PA.  Some people have dropped out and they have some spaces to fill.    The dates are Aug. 22-24.  The cost is $150.  For more info about the trip visit  or contact  or call Jordan Henderson at 904-347-9220.

ST. MARY'S ANNIVERSARY - The 80th anniversary of our parish will be celebrated on Saturday, October 25, 2008 with vespers at 5:30 p.m., cocktails and hors d'oeuvres from 6:30 to 7:30 with dinner and dancing (American and Arabic music). Ticket price is $50.00 and includes hors d'oeuvres, wine and beer, shrimp cocktail, Caesar salad, roast tenderloin of beef, vegetables and dessert. Prepaid reservations only will be accepted. Only 200 tickets will be sold. For tickets and to reserve tables of eight call Mary Winstanley O'Connor (617) 523-1010, Marilyn Robbat (617) 547-1234 or Arlene Marge (781) 863-5015.

The parish council is looking for ten  individuals to donate $500.00 each to sponsor the 80th anniversary celebration dinner. If you are interested in being a sponsor, please see or call Mary Winstanley O'Connor (617) 523-1010


DORMITION FAST - The Dormition Fast starts Friday, August  1,  and continues through Thursday, August 14. It is traditional to attend Paraclesis services (supplication to the Theotokos) throughout this two-week period.  We will be having two Paraclesis services at St. Mary's:  on Monday, August 11, and Wednesday August 13, at 6:30pm.  If you would like to attend Paraclesis before that, St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church in Lexington ( 17 Meriam St ) has Paraclesis every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday throughout the fast at 7:00 pm.  Also  St. George Church, 55 Emmonsdale Rd., West Roxbury has Paraclesis Services scheduled for Wednesday, August 6,  Friday, August 8  and Wednesday, August 13 at 6:00 p.m.

ST.  MARY'S ANNIVERSARY PLANNING MEETINGS -  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

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

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 Monday, September 29, for an enjoyable evening of discussion,  refreshments and fellowship!

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.

NEW FORMAT - The content of the St. Mary Update has been rearranged.  Our information is now presented in the following order:  This Week, New Announcements, Reminders; Opportunities for Service, This Week's Volunteers; Liturgical Schedule for This Week, Looking Ahead; Insight; and Subscription Information.  Your reaction to the new arrangement would be welcome!

This newsletter is available in both Text and HTML formats. We recommend HTML, but if you have trouble reading it you can change your preference to Text.  To select or change  your format, click on the Update Profile link at the bottom of this e-mail.


There are a number of ways you can help the Church, your fellow worshippers and those in need, many of them coordinated by the Fellowship of St. John the Divine.  Consider serving in one of these ways:


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.  All Orthodox Christians in the Parish are welcome and encouraged to participate. We usually need one Epistle reader and six people to hold cloths and baskets.  If you would like to read the Epistle or assist during the Communion, please contact Jeff Wasilko, 781-820-0882,

Coffee Hour - People are needed every week to provide coffee, juice and cookies, or more if desired, and set it up Sunday morning. 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 Robbat in the Parish Office and she will write your name in. If you need any help with figuring out what to bring or do, check the list below the signup sheet (also printed in the Bulletin), or ask Marilyn at or 617-547-1234.


Holy Resurrection Open Doors - The Holy Resurrection Open Door Meal Ministry in Allston needs volunteers every Monday evening (there is a special need in the summer).  The official hours of the project are 4:30pm-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.  It is 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? Please contact Liz (Tutella) Straghalis at  phone 617-974-5005,  or Tiffany Conroy at, 617-990-7162.

St Paul's Food Pantry - Two to four volunteers help each week in the food pantry at St Paul 's Roman Catholic Church in Harvard Square , Saturday mornings from 9:30-11:45.  If you are interested in helping, please contact Christian Alcala at, or (617) 876-5684.


Food and Clothing - St. Paul's Food Pantry in Harvard Square , where volunteers from St. Mary help every Saturday,  depends upon regular donations of canned and packaged foods.  To help, contact Christian Alcala at, or (617) 876-5684.

Holy Resurrection in Allston also takes donations of non-perishable food items and clothing to distribute at the Open Door Ministry on Monday evenings.  You can bring your donations by on Monday nights between 4:30pm and 7:30pm or contact Tiffany Conroy,, 617-990-7162, for more information.

"As you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me," says our Lord.



August 9:  David Vermette and Christian Alcala


August 10:   Epistle: Jamil Samara;  Cloth: Bill Coyle and Melissa Nassiff;  Left Bread:  Peter Nassiff;  Right Bread:  Sarah Gosselin


August 10:  FSJD 


Saturday, August 9: No Vespers at St. Mary's
Sunday, August 10Summer hours - Orthros  8:15 am, Divine Liturgy 9:30 am


Epistle:  St. Paul's First Letter to the Corinthians 1:10-17  Brethren, I appeal to you by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree and that there be no dissensions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment.

Gospel: Matthew 14:14-22   Then he ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass; and taking the five loaves and the two fish he looked up to heaven, and blessed, and broke and gave the loaves to the crowds. And they all ate and were satisfied.

Monday, August 11: Paraclesis for the Dormition of the Theotokos
Wednesday,  August  13: Paraclesis for the Dormition of the Theotokos
Thursday, August 14: Vigil for the Dormition of the Theotokos - Vespers 4:15 p.m.;  Orthros with Lamentations 5:30 p.m.; Divine Liturgy  7:00 p.m.  followed by  Parish Dinner 8:15 p.m. (with prior reservations)


Saturday, August 16:  Great Vespers 5:00 pm
Sunday, August 17Summer hours - Orthros  8:15 am, Divine Liturgy 9:30 am
Saturdays, August 23, and 30:  No Vespers at St. Mary's
Sunday, August 31:  Last Sunday of summer hours
Sunday, September 7: Church School registration


Thou wast transfigured on the mount, and Thy disciples, in so far as they were able, beheld Thy glory, O Christ our god; so that, when they should see Thee crucified, they would remember that Thy suffering was voluntary, and could declare to all the world that thou art truly the effulgent Splendor of the Father.

   - Kontakion of the Transfiguration

Through the fall our nature was stripped of divine illumination and resplendence. But the Logos of God had pity upon our disfigurement and in His compassion He took our nature upon Himself, and on Tabor He manifested it to His elect disciples clothed once again most brilliantly. He shows what we once were and what we shall become through Him in the age to come, if we choose to live our present life as far as possible in accordance with His ways.

   - St. Gregory Palamas 

He was wrapped in swaddling clothes, but when he rose from the tomb he laid aside the shroud... He had "no form or comeliness" (Isaiah 53:2), but on the mountain he shone with a splendor more dazzling than the sun,  a foretaste of his future glory.

   - Gregory Nazianzen

In the Scriptures, we say, the words are the clothes of Christ and the meaning is his body. The words veil, the meaning reveals. It is the same in the world where the forms of visible things are like the clothing, and the ideas according to which they were created are like the flesh. The former conceal, the latter reveal. For the universal creator and law-maker, the Word, both hides himself in his self-revelation and reveals himself in his hiding of himself.

   - Maximus the Confessor, Ambigua

How is the fullness of God's glory achieved in each one of us? If what I do and say is for the glory of God, my words and deeds are full of God's glory; if my plans and undertakings are for the glory of God, if my food and drink and all my actions are for the glory of God, then it is to me also that the words are addressed: "The earth is full of His glory."
   - Origen, Homilies on the Visions of Isaiah