St. Mary Orthodox Church

Cambridge, MA

Update for the week Thursday, March 17 - Friday, March 25, 2016


FRIDAY, 3/18 - Akathist/Madayeh 7:00 pm, followed by a speaker sponsored by the Women’s Club: Kh. Erin Kimmett, Iconographer will talk about "The Icons of Holy Week & Pascha." Refreshments will be served.

SUNDAY, 3/20, Sunday of Orthodoxy – Adult catechism 9:00; Orthros 8:45 am, Divine Liturgy 10:00 am. Bring your icon to church for the procession.

   + March is Antiochian Women’s month. Each Sunday in March women of our parish will read the Epistle, take the collection, assist during Communion, and give the homily. They will also carry candles for the Gospel and the Great Entrance, carry the icon of the day for the Great Entrance, and carry and present the bread baskets.

   + This Sunday the homily is on The Paschal Canon. Homilist is Kyra Limberakis

   + There will be a short music lesson for Church School children after Communion.

WEDNESDAY, 3/23 – Presanctified Liturgy 6:30, followed by Potluck Supper.

   + Do stay for the Potluck and bring something to share.  Any Lenten fare is welcome:  main courses, sides, salads, desserts, as well as beverages and snacks.  This is a wonderful opportunity for fellowship during Lent, plus we get to sample each other's Lenten recipes.

FRIDAY, 3/25, Feast of the Annunciation of the Theotokos - 6:30 pm Vesperal Divine Liturgy (No speaker)


SPECIAL COLLECTIONS - A collection will be taken this Sunday for our Archdiocesan Seminarians - please make checks payable to St. Mary and earmark “Seminarians.”

   Also, if you did not have a chance to contribute last week to the Antiochian Women’s Project, Hungry Children: At Home and Abroad, you may still do so. Please give your check - payable to St. Mary Women’s Club and earmarked “Hungry Children” – to Marilyn Robbat.

FOOD FOR HUNGRY PEOPLE –You are urged during this season of prayer, self-discipline and fasting, to be very generous in your contribution to the Food for Hungry People program of our Archdiocese. Collection Boxes for collecting alms at home will be on the Bengarri; please pick one or two up and place them throughout your home, fill them up, and return them on Palm Sunday, April 24. Please be generous! “Whoever gives a hand to help his neighbor is helped by God’s own hand” - St. Isaac the Syrian

COFFEE HOUR HOSTS NEEDED – Volunteers are needed to provide coffee hour on Sunday, April 3 and most Sundays in May. Linda Arnold is now serving as our volunteer Coffee Hour Coordinator. Contact her at or 978-270-0346 if you are interested in hosting a coffee hour, especially if you have not done so in the past. She will be happy to guide you through the process.

WOMEN’S LENTEN RETREAT – You are invited to a retreat at Holy Resurrection Orthodox Church, 62 Harvard Ave, Allston, on Saturday, April 9, from 9:00-4:00, sponsored by the Saints Mary and Martha Sisterhood. The retreat, entitled “If we die with Him, we shall rise with Him,” will be led by Mother Gabriella, Abbess of Holy Dormition Monastery. Register at $35 fee ($20 for students) includes lunch and afternoon tea. See the schedule at

BIBLE BOWL - Any teen interested in being on St. Mary's Bible Bowl Team please see Violet Robbat or call her at 781-862-4388.  We will be studying the Gospel of John.  Participants must be present for all sessions.  The Bible Bowl will be held at our Diocesan Parish Life Conference. Study sessions will begin on Sunday, April 10 after Liturgy, in the Library.

PRE-SANCTIFIED POTLUCK SUPPERS - Every Wednesday during Lent, we will share in a potluck supper after pre-Sanctified Liturgy. We have not received enough volunteers to lead these, so we need to ask everyone who attends to bring a dish to share, and help with cleanup. The hall and kitchen must be cleaned, and all dishes washed, dried, and put away. Contact Melissa Nassiff ( ) with any questions.

PASCHA BAKE SALE – The St. Mary Women’s Club will be offering its annual Pascha Bake Sale on Sunday, April 17 during coffee hour. Plan on purchasing all your Pascha/Easter desserts, pastries and goodies. If you can help bake please call Marilyn Robbat at 781-729-3033


MARCH HOMILIES - During the month of March, women from the parish will be sharing their thoughts on “The Hymnography of the Lenten and Paschal Seasons.”  Much of our theology is embedded in the hymns of the church. This series will allow us to focus on them more particularly, uplifting their themes and showing how the hymns can speak to us today.  Upcoming homily:

      March 27 - Marian Hymns for the Annunciation (Homilist: Natasha Smith)

TEEN SOYO DAY OF SERVICE - The teens will participate in Teen SOYO's national day of service on Saturday, March 19. We will meet to assemble hygiene kits for the Syrian refugees and then go out for a social event. Save the date -- exact timing and details to be determined.

TEEN LENTEN RETREAT – We will join teens from all over New England for one of the best events of the year -- the annual teen Lenten retreat Friday-Sunday, March 25-27 at the Saint Methodios Faith & Heritage Center. All teens, grades 7-12, are welcome. Antiochian Village’s Marek Simon will lead the retreat.  You must register by March 18. The cost for the weekend is $95 per teen. If the cost is prohibitive, please see Hannah or Greg.

BIBLE STUDY - The next meeting of Bible Study group will be on Thursday, March 31. We will continue our discussion of the Trials and Crucifixion of Christ, using the podcasts found at and

   The Bible Study at St. Mary is based on a very interesting course originally broadcast on Ancient Faith Radio, entitled Search the Scriptures. For more information contact Marianna Sayeg ( or Fr. Antony ( New members are always welcome.

FRIDAYS OF GREAT LENT - Join us on Fridays of Great Lent for beautiful, joyous divine services and interesting, inspiring speakers sponsored by the Young Adult Ministry, with refreshments. The remaining schedule is as follows.

   April 1:  Akathist/Madayeh 7:00 pm, followed by "On Contemplative and Silent Prayer" - Dr. Albert Raboteau, Ph.D.  

   April 8:  Akathist/Madayeh 7:00 pm, followed by "Watchfulness and the Seven Deadly Sins" - Dr. Anthony Bashir, Ph.D.

   April 15: Full Akathist Hymn 7:00 pm, no speaker

WOMEN’S CLUB - The next Women’s Club meeting will be Monday, April 4, 7:30 at the church.

HOMESCHOOLING CONFERENCE – There will be a St. Emmelia Homeschooling Conference at the Antiochian Village and Retreat Center Thursday–Sunday, April 7-10.  Fr. Noah Bushelli, Director of the Department. of Homeschooling for the Antiochian Archdiocese will present topics of homeschooling and the marriage relationship.  For more information visit

RELIC ON DISPLAY - A Relic of St. Charbel is touring the US and will be displayed for veneration at Our Lady of the Cedars Church, Rockwood Ave., Jamaica Plain, on Saturday and Sunday, April 16 and 17.  Everyone is welcome.

PARISH COUNCIL – The next meeting of the Parish Council will be Tuesday, April 19 at 7:30 at the church


   Syrian-Lebanese Women’s club - Scholarships ($1,000) are available from the Syrian-Lebanese Women’s club of Greater Boston to young women of Syrian and Lebanese origin, residing in Massachusetts within 50-mile radius of Boston, who plan to pursue a four-year college education.  Scholarships are based on outstanding academic achievement, extra-curricular activities, charitable and civic involvement and good character; and applicants must be in good academic standing in her school and possess those personal attributes, which best serve the community.  Applications are available through the Church Office and must be postmarked by March 31, 2016.  If you have any questions, contact Mary Winstanley O’Connor at 617-523-1010 or email at

Francis Maria Scholarship - Several $2500 scholarships will be awarded to students attending an accredited 4-year college. See the Archdiocese Scholarship page, Applications must be postmarked by May 15, 2016.

Antiochian Women’s Scholarship - Scholarships are available to females 25 years of age and older in good standing of the Antiochian Archdiocese, actively involved in their parish and who demonstrate need.  The application deadline is June 1, 2016.  Applications are available in the Church Office.  E-mail with any questions.

RIDES TO CHURCH FOR COLLEGE STUDENTS - Do you live near a college or university? Are you able to offer a ride to and from St. Mary Church for a student? Are you a college student in need of a ride? Contact St. Mary’s Young Adult Ministry at 617-564-3344 or to sign up or to learn more!

ST. MARY T-SHIRTS - The Teens have a few T-shirts remaining from their sale last spring, and will be selling them during coffee hour until they are gone.  Get your St. Mary T-shirt while they last!

COFFEE HOUR MADE EASY! - To make sponsoring a Coffee Hour a little bit easier, St. Mary’s will be offering a delivery service through “Instacart”, for the basic foods necessary to host a Coffee hour.  Simply select a date, mail a check to the office and we will order the food and have it delivered to the church on that Sunday between 9:00 and 10:00 am.  You will need to be at the church to accept the order and you will be required to set up for the coffee hour and clean up both the kitchen and hall at the end of the coffee hour.  Two menus will be offered.  Menu one will include: bagels, mini muffins, fruit, hummus/Syrian bread, juice and coffee for $160.  Menu two will include: bagels, juice and coffee for $70. Prices DO NOT include a 20% tip for delivery and are subject to change based on current market pricing of items.  Cream cheese, peanut butter, jam and coffee creamer are included with each menu.  As usual, St. Mary’s will provide the plates, cups, napkins, utensils, serving platters, and sweetener for coffee.  If you are interested in taking advantage of this service and signing up for a coffee hour please contact the office at 617-547-1234 or e-mail



Brethren, by faith Moses, when he was grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter, choosing rather to share ill-treatment with the people of God than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin. And what more shall I say? For time would fail me to tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets …And all these, though well attested by their faith, did not receive what was promised, since God had foreseen something better for us, that apart from us they should not be made perfect.

   - Hebrews 11:24-26, 32-40


At that time, Jesus decided to go to Galilee. And he found Philip and said to him, "Follow me." … Philip found Nathanael, and he said to him, "We have found him of whom Moses in the law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph." …  

   - John 1:43-51


Though we may do many things to increase our self-control (like fast, keep a schedule of daily prayer, tithe, and sacrifice time and money), one of the main things God uses for our spiritual growth is other people. As they interact with us, frustrate and annoy us, we are over and over given opportunities to act in love. The main evidence that we are growing in Christ is not exhilarating prayer experiences, but steadily increasing humble love for other people.

   - Frederica Mathewes-Green, First Fruits of Prayer

Let the mouth also fast from disgraceful speeches and railings. For what does it profit if we abstain from fish and fowl and yet bite and devour our brothers and sisters? The evil speaker eats the flesh of his brother and bites the body of his neighbor.

   - St. John Chrysostom

Beware of limiting the good of fasting to mere abstinence from meats. Real fasting is alienation from evil. "Loose the bands of wickedness." Forgive your neighbor the mischief he has done you. Forgive him his trespasses against you. … You do not devour flesh, but you devour your brother. You abstain from wine, but you indulge in outrages. … Woe to those who are "drunken, but not with wine." Anger is the intoxication of the soul, and makes it out of its wits like wine.

   - St. Basil the Great, Homilies on the Holy Spirit

If love is long-suffering and kind (cf. 1 Cor. 13:4), a man who is contentious and malicious clearly alienates himself from love. And he who is alienated from love is alienated from God, for God is love.

   - St. Maximos the Confessor

Why does the Lord command us to love our enemies and to pray for them? Not for their sake, but for ours! For as long as we bear grudges, as long as we dwell on how someone offended us, we will have no peace.

   - Elder Thaddeus of Vitovnica