St. Mary Orthodox Church

Cambridge, MA

Weekly Newsletter for the week Friday, October 10, 2008 through Thursday, October 16, 2008


ANNIVERSARY PLANNING MEETING - The final planning meeting for the Anniversary Celebration will be  on Tuesday, October 14,   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. 

CHOIR REHEARSAL FOR HIERARCHICAL DIVINE LITURGY - Diocesan Combined Choir rehearsals for the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy are Tuesday, October 14, at 7:00 pm at St. George Cathedral, Worcester, and Thursday, October 23,  at 7:00 pm at St. John Church, Dedham (one is these is mandatory), and also Friday, October 31 at Diocesan Sacred Music Workshop with Chris Holwey (mandatory rehearsal).

PARISH COUNCIL - The next meeting of the Parish Council will be held Wednesday, October 15, in the small hall off the kitchen.

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 in the Westin Copley Hotel ballroom on Saturday evening, November 1, 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.

There will be no Vespers at St. Mary's on November 1, and all parishes in the Diocese will be closed Sunday morning, November 2, so that clergy and parishioners may worship with the Patriarch in a Hierarchical Divine Liturgy at the Westin Copley Hotel,  beginning at 10:00 am.


HELP MAKE SFEEHA- Plan to come to the church  on Saturday morning, October 18, starting at 9:00 am to help make meat pies with the Women's Club.   Lots of help will be needed - young and old, women and men are all welcome - and it's always lots of fun. Pickup will be Sunday, October 19, and any orders not picked up will be frozen.

FOOD FOR HUNGRY PEOPLE CANNED FOOD DRIVE - The Antiochian Archdiocese of North America is one of the sponsoring organizations of the National Committee for World Food Day, Thursday, October 16,  which is designed to heighten public awareness of food and hunger issues around the world.   We now join 456 voluntary organizations throughout the US and 163 countries around the world observing "WORLD FOOD DAY!" During October through December, 2008,  please bring  in your canned goods to the Church and place them in the large, blue plastic container outside the Church Office.  Our Teens will then weigh them and distribute them to local food pantries in our area.  Remember.....42 pounds of food will feed a family of four for three days!

ITEMS FOR SALE - Electronic Organ (Free-Standing, Full Keyboard), Sofa (88", Lime Green),     Lamps, Wooden Desk (24"x60"), and 3-Shelf Unit Table (Book Shelf).  Call Arthur Mabbett at 781-391-6530 after 7 pm.


YOUTH MONTH - October is Youth Month throughout the Antiochian Archdiocese. In our parish young people will be reading the Epistle, holding the Communion cloth and Holy Bread baskets, and taking the collection. 

BOOK CLUB - You are invited to take part in a new book club sponsored by the FSJD.  The first book we'll read will be Mystic Street: Meditations on a Spiritual Path by Steve Georgiou

When:  Sunday, November 23

Where:  We'll meet up in the church hall after coffee hour and discuss

If you have any questions contact Larisa Patacchiola at or Brooke Wilcox at And please spread the word. All are welcome!

SNACKS FOR SCOTT - When you do your Halloween shopping this month, please get something extra for our Marine in Iraq . The Fellowship is very grateful for all the contributions we've received so far, and most of them are already on their way to him. Help us fill up the next care package with snacks and junk food - he has especially requested beef jerky, sunflower seeds, sour skittles, and protein bars.  By the way, click here to see the current weather forecast for Baghdad:  We should probably avoid sending chocolate - it would melt.

There is a box in the entry to the Church Offices for your donations.  Thank you!


Dinner & Dance - The 80th anniversary of our parish will be celebrated on Saturday, October 25, 2008 -  Vespers with Artoklasia at 5:30 p.m., cocktails and hors d'oeuvres from 6:30 to 7:30 followed by 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, and tickets are sold out

Sponsors - The Parish Council has twelve sponsors at $500.00 each for the upcoming 80th Anniversary dinner.  Thank you for your generosity.

NEW CHANDELIERS  - New Chandeliers have been ordered for the Church, and we expect to have them installed this fall. There will be one large chandelier and six smaller chandeliers.  The cost for the electrical work and installation of the new lighting is $48,000 - this price includes removal of the existing chandeliers, updating the electrical wiring to current code, new electric winches, new dimming panels, installation of the new chandeliers, and the electrical work for the new sconce lighting in the rear of the church under the balcony.  It's not too late to donate to this most worthy project.  We have started receiving donations on the wiring and installation phase; however we need the support of the entire parish.  We welcome any additional donations and once again, are thankful for your continued support and generosity.   Please see Mary Winstanley O'Connor  or  Ray Sayeg. 

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.


There are a number of ways you can help the Church, your fellow worshippers and those in need.  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.

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. 

Monetary Contributions - The FSJD would also welcome monetary contributions to help with postage, shopping, etc. for the care packages (see above). 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!

- 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.

- 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 .

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



October 11:  John Rodriguez, Socrates Deligeorge, and Lan Hu


October 12:   Teens of the parish (Youth Month)


October 12:  The family of Fredrick Kawam (memorial)


Saturday, October 11:  Great Vespers 5:00 pm

Sunday, October 12:  Orthros  8:45 am, Divine Liturgy 10:00 am; No Church School


Epistle:  St. Paul 's Letter to Titus 3:8-15  I desire you to insist on these things, so that those who have believed in God may be careful to apply themselves to good deeds; these are excellent and profitable to men. But avoid stupid controversies, genealogies, dissensions, and quarrels over the law, for they are unprofitable and futile. 

Gospel: Luke 8:5-15  The Lord spoke this parable:  "A sower went out to sow his seeds; and as he sowed, some fell along the path, and was trodden under foot, and the birds of the air devoured it.  And some fell on the rock; and as it grew up, it withered away, because it has no moisture.  And some fell among thorns; and the thorns grew with it and choked it.  And some fell into good soil and grew, and yielded a hundred fold." 


Saturday, October 18:  No Vespers at St. Mary
Sunday, October 19:  Orthros  8:45 am, Divine Liturgy 10:00 am;
Saturday, October 25:  Great Vespers with  Artoclasia 5:15 pm (note time change)
Saturday, November 1:  No Vespers at St. Mary - Balamand fundraiser at Westin Copley Hotel
Sunday, November 2: No Divine Liturgy or Sunday School at St. Mary - Liturgy with the Patriarch 10:00 am (Orthros 9:00 am)  at the Westin Copley Hotel Ballroom, Boston
Saturday, November 8 - No Vespers at St. Mary


This week we present "Ancient Paths," a Bible study combining patristic passages and Scripture.  It is provided periodically by Deacon Neal Hughes, Fr. Antony's brother.  Deacon Neal maintains his own mailing list for "The Ancient Paths;" if you would like to receive them all, you may contact him at and request to be included on his list.  

On the "Desert": 

 "Spiritual aridity is not a sign of any kind of failure in a healthy relationship with God. It is only an important phase that the soul has to undergo, which may be regarded as a kind of pruning to prepare the soul for a more advanced spiritual life, not contingent upon psychological incentives or subjective pleasures...For this reason it is only those whose souls are spiritually pampered who are disturbed by the trial of spiritual aridity, only those who live on comforts and incentives, only those whose godliness depends on receiving and whose growth depends on experiences."

   - Fr. Matthew the Poor, Orthodox Prayer Life: The Interior Way, p.207    

 15 Now when Pharaoh heard this thing, he sought to slay Moses. But Moses fled from the face of Pharaoh, and dwelt in the land of Midian: and he sat down by a well...1 Now Moses kept the flock of Jethro his father in law, the priest of Midian: and he led the flock to the backside of the desert, and came to the mountain of God, even to Horeb. 2 And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush: and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed.

   - The Book of Exodus 2:15 & 3:1 & 2

 1 Ahab told Jez'ebel all that Eli'jah had done, and how he had slain all the prophets with the sword. 2 Then Jez'ebel sent a messenger to Eli'jah, saying, "So may the gods do to me, and more also, if I do not make your life as the life of one of them by this time tomorrow." 3 Then he was afraid, and he arose and went for his life, and came to Beer-sheba, which belongs to Judah , and left his servant there. 4 But he himself went a day's journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a broom tree; and he asked that he might die, saying, "It is enough; now, O LORD, take away my life; for I am no better than my fathers."

    - The First Book of Kings 19:1-4

3 More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4 and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5 and hope does not disappoint us, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit which has been given to us.

   - The Epistle of St. Paul to the Romans 5:3-5

 1 Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 2 And he fasted forty days and forty nights, and afterward he was hungry.

   - The Gospel According to St. Matthew 4:1 & 2