St. Mary Orthodox Church

Cambridge, MA

Weekly Newsletter for the week Friday, September 19, 2008 through Thursday, September 25, 2008


ADULT EDUCATION CLASS FOR INQUIRERS - The St. Ignatius of Antioch Catechetical Group adult inquirers' class at St. Mary Church is for non-Orthodox persons who are interested in exploring the Orthodox Faith.  This group is for those who would like to be considered for reception into the Church, or for those who would like simply to learn more about our faith.  We will explore the basic elements of Orthodox teaching and practice through reading, talks, discussion, and question & answer. The class begins this Sunday, September 21, 2008 and meets from 9:00 until 10:00 a.m. on Sundays in the Library (adjacent to Fr. Antony's office). For more information please see the brochure available at the bengarri or contact David Vermette, e-mail or phone: 617-776-5635.  Please spread the word to anyone you know who might be interested.

CHURCH SCHOOL - Church School lessons begin this Sunday, September 21. Parents, if you have not yet done so, please register your child(ren) and make sure their registration materials and information are up-to-date. 

FELLOWSHIP OF ST JOHN THE DIVINE (FSJD) FALL ORGANIZATIONAL MEETING - All officers and members and all people interested in helping the FSJD in any capacity - or just curious about what the Fellowship does - are encouraged to come to an organizational meeting this Sunday, September 21. We'll meet near the end of coffee hour in the Church Hall.


IOCC HURRICANE RELIEF- The International Orthodox Christian Charities has issued an emergency appeal for its continuing response to the two tropical storms and two hurricanes which made landfall in the U.S. in just four weeks.  Cash funds will go towards immediate clean-up and recovery efforts.  Donations can be made by calling IOCC's donation hotline toll-free at 1-877-803-4622; by making a gift on-line at ; or by mailing a check or money order payable to "IOCC" and writing "US Emergency Response" in the memo line to IOCC, P.O. Box 630225 , Baltimore , Md. 21263-0225 .

HOLY ICONS, SACRED ARTS - The Boston Byzantine Choir will be presenting an afternoon concert entitled "The Sound of Icons" as a part of Orthodox Education Day at St. Vladimir's Seminary in Crestwood , NY on Saturday, October 4, 2008.  Other events include a display of rare 15th to 21st century Russian icons, the opportunity to venerate the relics of Sts. Herman and Innocent, and a live hands-on icon writing demonstration by Khouria Erin Kimmet of Norwood .  For more information, see or contact Charlie Marge (  To download the flyer and schedule:


ANNIVERSARY TICKETS GOING FAST - Tickets for the 80th Anniversary Celebration Dinner on October 25 are limited to 200.  No tickets will be sold at the door. And more than half have been sold already; only 35 tickets are still available. Don't wait - reserve yours now.  See or  call Mary Winstanley O'Connor (617) 523-1010, Marilyn Robbat (617) 547-1234 or Arlene Marge (781) 863-5015.

INTER-ORTHODOX YOUNG ADULT RETREAT - The Diocesan Fellowship of St. John the Divine, on behalf of the NAC Fellowship 20/40 Ministries, in conjunction with the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese Department of Young Adult Ministries, is sponsoring the Fourth Annual Young Adult Retreat.  When: Friday, September 26 - Sunday, September 28;  Where: Hellenic College/Holy Cross Seminary, Brookline , MA and the Hilton Dedham/Boston.

Keynote speaker is our own Reverend Father Antony Hughes, whose topic will be "There is neither Jew nor Greek; there is neither slave nor free; there is neither male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus." (Galatians 3:28).  The entire group will be joining us for Divine Liturgy on Sunday, September 28, followed by a brunch.  For further information and registration forms, contact Michael Marge at

SFEEHA AND KIBBEH SALE - The Women's Club is offering for purchase freshly made Middle Eastern Sfeeha (ground lamb meat pies with onions, pine nuts & seasonings) and Kibbeh (ground lamb meat with burghul). Orders and checks must be received by Sunday,  September 28 for Kibbeh, and by October 5 for Sfeeha. See the order form in the Sunday Bulletin.

Plan to come to the church on Friday morning, October 3, to help make the Kibbeh, and/or  on Saturday morning, October 18, to help make the meat pies.   Pick-up will be Sunday, October 5 for Kibbeh and Sunday, October 19 for Sfeeha.

WOMEN'S CLUB BOOK DISCUSSION:  This summer Women's Club members (and anyone else who'd like to join us) have been  reading The Friday Night Knitting Club by Kate Jacobs, a New York Times bestseller. Read the book and join us Monday, September 29, for an enjoyable evening of discussion,  refreshments and fellowship! Meeting at 7:00 pm, book discussion 7:30.

WELCOME BACK COLLEGE STUDENTS BREAKFAST - After Liturgy on Sunday, October 5, the Fellowship of St. John the Divine (FSJD) will host a special breakfast to welcome college students back to their "Church home away from home." Please join us in welcoming and supporting students who strive to remain connected to the Church while away from their families.  All are welcome! A free-will donation will be gratefully accepted from non-students.  Please RSVP so we'll know how much food to prepare:  call the church office at 617-547-1234, or reply to this e-mail, or use the sign-up sheet on the Bengarri (the desk in the vestibule).


Dinner & Dance - 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 - and they're going fast!  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.

TWO More Sponsors Needed - The parish council is looking for ten  individuals to donate $500.00 each to sponsor the 80th anniversary celebration dinner. Eight people have already come forward; two more are needed. If you are interested in being a sponsor, please see or call Mary Winstanley O'Connor (617) 523-1010

Planning Meeting - The next (and last) Planning Meeting will be  on 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 please let Mary know. 

VISIT FROM THE PATRIARCH - Our Father in Christ, His Beatitude, IGNATIUS IV, Patriarch of Antioch and all the East, will be visiting our Archdiocese this autumn.  He will travel to Boston on Thursday, October 30 and preside over a fund-raising banquet at the Westin Copley Hotel on Saturday evening, November 1, 2008, beginning at 6:00 pm, celebrating the 20th anniversary of the founding of the University of Balamand in Lebanon, and the establishment of  a scholarship fund in honor of Metropolitan PHILIP for needy and worthy students. Tickets are $200 each; reservations should be sent to The Balamand Educational Foundation, Inc., 40 Whisper Drive , Worcester , MA 01609 , and  must be received by October 15.

SACRED MUSIC WORKSHOPS - Choir members and interested parishioners are invited to the Sacred Music Workshops which will take place Friday evening October 31 and all day Saturday November 1, 2008 at St. John of Damascus Church , Dedham MA .  Chris Holwey, Chairman of the Dept of Sacred Music of the Antiochian Archdiocese will be the featured speaker and guest presenter.  There will be other presenters as well.  For further information contact David Franciosi at

ATTENTION COLLEGE & UNIVERSITY STUDENTS - If you are a new or returning college or university student, please fill out a yellow College Student Address Form on the Bengarri (the desk in the Narthex) so that we have your current addresses and information and you can receive announcements about activities at St. Mary's and on campus.  See Charlie Marge if you have questions.

CARE PACKAGES FOR A MARINE IN IRAQ - Fr. Antony's "spiritual son" Scott is in the Marines and has been sent to Iraq , and the Fellowship is helping collect items for care packages for him. Scott will share what he receives with his fellow Marines, and has sent a list of things he would especially like to receive. The Fellowship has purchased some of those items, but would be happy to receive contributions of the following: 

Tuna, Beef jerky, Sunflower seeds, Sour skittles, Non perishable junk food, Paperback books (legal thrillers or murder mysteries),  Long white socks, and also, of course, prayers.

A box has been set up in the entry to the Church Offices for your donations, and we would also welcome monetary contributions to help with postage, shopping, etc.  - make checks payable to Fellowship of St. John the Divine or to St. Mary Church (earmarked FSJD), and give them to any member of the FSJD Steering Committee (Tiffany Conroy, Mike Decerbo, Melissa or Peter Nassiff, Socrates Deligeorges or Steve Walker), or mail them to the Church. Thank you for your caring concern and prayers for Scott and his fellow Marines!

ONE-HALF MORE CHANDELIER  - New Chandeliers have been ordered for the Church, and we expect to have them installed this fall. There will be one large chandelier, which has been donated as a memorial, and six smaller chandeliers costing $10,000 each, all but half of one of which have been donated so far.  We are presently looking for someone to donate the remaining $5,000 for the last chandelier, plus donations to cover the $25,000 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.


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  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 - Holy Resurrection in Allston 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.

- 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.

Monetary Contributions - The Agape Canister Program is an Orthodox non-profit development program of the Orthodox Christian Mission Center .  It is dedicated to meeting the needs of children, families, and communities throughout the world, regardless of race, color, or creed. All funds collected by the Agape Canister Program are earmarked for medical care and clinics, water wells, agricultural development, food and clothing, support personnel (e.g. doctors, nurses, teachers), the construction of schools, and the education of indigenous people in their own communities.  Please contribute each Sunday-A clear plastic box  is on the Bengarri.

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



September 20:  Nadine Rebovich, Socrates Deligeorges and Lan Hu


September 21:   Epistle: Melissa Nassiff;  Left Cloth: Amelia Perkins and Chris Minidis;  Right Cloth: Brooke and James Wilcox;  Left Bread: Socrates Deligeorges;  Right Bread: Lan Hu


September 21:  Fellowship of St. John the Divine


Saturday, September 20:  Great Vespers 5:00 pm

Sunday, September 21:  Orthros  8:45 am, Divine Liturgy 10:00 am

SCRIPTURE READINGS for September 21: 

Epistle:  St. Paul 's Letter to the Galatians 2:16-20

Brethren, you know that a man is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ...  I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me; and the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

Gospel: Mark 8:34-38; 9:1

The Lord said: "If anyone wishes to come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it; and whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel's will save it."

Thursday, September 25:  Evening Liturgy for the Repose of St. John the Theologian 6:30 pm


Saturday, September 27:  Great Vespers 5:00 pm

Sunday, September 28:  Orthros  8:45 am, Divine Liturgy 10:00 am

Saturday, October 4:  No Vespers at St. Mary

Saturday, November 1:  No Vespers at St. Mary


The first duty of a Christian, of a disciple and follower of Jesus Christ, is to deny oneself. To deny oneself means to give up one's bad habits, to root out of the heart all that ties us to the world; not to cherish bad desires and thoughts; to quench and suppress bad thoughts; to avoid occasions of sin; not to do or desire anything from self-love but to do everything out of love for God. To deny oneself means, according to the Apostle Paul, to be dead to sin and the world, but alive to God.

   - St. Innocent of Alaska, Indication of the Way into the Kingdom of Heaven

For the man who believes, all things are possible because "Faith is counted as righteousness," and "Christ is the end of the Law." Belief in Him justifies and perfects the believer, for belief in Christ is considered to correspond to the works of the law. It is confirmed and witnessed by the evangelic precepts and so earns for the faithful a participation in eternal life, in Christ Himself.

   - St. Symeon the New Theologian

If, as St. Paul says, Christ dwells in our hearts through faith (Ephesians 3:17), and all the treasures of wisdom and spiritual knowledge are hidden in Him (Colossians 2:3) then all the treasures of wisdom and spiritual knowledge are hidden in our hearts. They are revealed to the heart in proportion to our purification by means of the commandments.

   - St. Maximus the Confessor, II, Fourth Century on Love, sec. 70

But God said, "I require mercy, and not sacrifice; and the acknowledgement of God, and not whole burnt offerings" Hosea 6:6.  What is meant by mercy? and what by sacrifice? By mercy then is signified Justification and grace in Christ; even that which is by faith. For we have been justified, not by the works of the law that we have done, but by His great mercy. And sacrifice means the law of Moses.

   - St. Cyril of Alexandria , Commentary on the Gospel of St. Luke