St. Mary Orthodox Church

Cambridge, MA

Update for the week Thursday, April 14 - Thursday, April 21, 2016


SUNDAY, 4/17 Adult catechism 9:00; Orthros 8:45 am, Divine Liturgy 10:00 am; Church School Creative Arts preparation.

   + Bible Bowl study sessions after Liturgy, in the Library.

   + The St. Mary Women’s Club will be offering its annual Pascha Bake Sale this Sunday 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

WEDNESDAY, 4/20 – Presanctified Liturgy 5:00, followed by Potluck Supper.

   + Note change in time - The Pre-Sanctified Liturgy will begin at 5:00 pm instead of 6:30, in order to accommodate families with young children during school vacation week.

   + Do stay for the Potluck and bring something to share, and please help with cleanup after the meal (The hall and kitchen must be cleaned, and all dishes washed, dried, and put away.)  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. Contact Melissa Nassiff ( with any questions.

   + The Parish Council will meet Wednesday at 7:30 in the church. Note the change in date.

THURSDAY, 4/21 - The Bible Study group will meet again next Thursday, April 21, at 7:00 pm. We will have a special guest speaker: Dr. Bruce Beck, Director of Religious Studies at Hellenic College.

   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.


ANTIOCHIAN WOMEN SPRING MEETING – The Spring delegates’ meeting of the Antiochian Women will be Saturday, April 16, at St. Mary’s Church in Pawtucket. Discussions will include the Parish Life Conference hosted this year by St. George of Lawrence/Methuen, the success of our project, “Hungry Children,” humanitarian projects, and the NAB summer meeting at the Antiochian Village. Plus Olga Hawwa, an esthetician and make-up artist, will be speaking at 1:30 on skincare and aging gracefully

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.


PARKING RESTRICTED - Next Sunday (Palm Sunday) there will be a 5K road race that will restrict access to parking around the church and behind the Post Office.  The race starts at 9:30am.  The end of Inman will be closed off to accommodate runners on Massachusetts Ave. until approximately 10:30am.  Traffic will be diverted on Inman but if you advise the police officers that you are attending services at St. Mary’s they will let you down Inman to the church only(you will not be able to get onto Mass. Ave). However, keep in mind; if you arrive late there will not be any parking spaces in close proximity to the church and you will be stuck in traffic on Inman St. Please plan accordingly. We recommend public transportation. Log on to to view the race route.

CHURCH SCHOOL GRADUATION – Graduation ceremonies will be held on Sunday, June 5. There will be no classes during Holy Week (on April 24 and May 1); the only Church School classes remaining will be May 8 and 15.

PARISH LIFE CONFERENCE - Pre-Conference activities will be held on Saturday June 11 at St. George (8 Lowell St. Lawrence, MA).  This day will include judging of the Creative Arts Festival, and Oratorical Competition, as well as various meetings and Luncheon.

   The Parish Life Conference, which will include Liturgy, Awards Lunch, Bible Bowl competition, Keynote Speaker and break-out workshops, as well as a lively dinner and dance to end the day, will be held a Sts. Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Church on 71 Chandler Rd. in Andover on Saturday, June 25.

   For more information and to register go to


LAZARUS SATURDAY – On Saturday, April 23, we will celebrate Matins at 8:00 am and Divine Liturgy at 9:00 am. Please come and bring your friends and family to celebrate the Divine Liturgy on Lazarus Saturday and enjoy a Communion Breakfast at 10:15 am, presented by the Women’s Club and offered by Selma Winstanley in loving memory of brother, Mitchell Mabardi.

   Following the Communion Breakfast, there will be a Church Clean-Up in preparation for Pascha.  Everyone is encouraged to bring some rags, cleaning supplies, small buckets, brown paper bags and irons for wax removal, etc.  Please come and lend a hand in preparing God’s House for the Feast of Feasts. John Rodriguez and Steve Walker are our clean-up leads - please see one of them to know where/what you can help clean. Thank you - many hands make light work!

PALM SUNDAY FISH DINNER – The Hospitality Group invites you to St. Mary’s annual Palm Sunday Fish Dinner hosted by Ed & Lisa Brylczyk, on Sunday, April 24, after Liturgy. Spend Palm Sunday with your family and friends at Church and let us do the cooking! Cost is $8 per person, $16 per family.

   Please also help us with setup, cleanup, or serving the food. We always need more help with clean-up.

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

HOLY FRIDAY RETREAT - Spend the morning in fellowship and activities with friends and families at the St. Mary’s Holy Friday Retreat on Friday, April 29, from 9:30 to 12:30.  A variety of activities will be provided and luncheon will be served.  Recommended for ages 5 – adult.  Younger children welcome but must be accompanied by an adult.  

   We welcome your energy and talent if you are able to provide a craft, read stories, or spend time coloring with the children as part of the morning’s activities.  Teens and adults are welcome to assist with egg dying and pysanky decorating, crafts with the children, or decoration of the tomb upstairs.   Please let Trish know how you can assist or an activity you can provide for the morning.

   Fr. Antony will be available to hear the children’s and teens’ confessions before lunch.   Lunch will be provided for everyone - $5 donation per person donation requested. (Checks Payable to St. Mary Orthodox Church)

   Please contact Trish Orlovsky at or call 781-641-0182, if you plan to attend or can help with activities that day. RSVP by Palm Sunday, April 24.

HOLY FRIDAY VIGIL - Following the Lamentations Service on Holy Friday evening, St. Mary's Teen Soyo will hold an All-Night Vigil at the Church.  All youth, ages 12-18 (grades 7-12), are encouraged to participate in reading Psalms, keeping watch at the tomb. The Vigil culminates Saturday morning with Vesperal Liturgy at 9:00 am.  Teens across the Diocese will participate in similar vigils at their respective churches.  The Church will be locked and several chaperones will remain with the Teens throughout the night, into the morning.

HOLY SATURDAY VESPERAL LITURGY – Join us on the morning of Holy Saturday, April 30 at 9:00 am, for the Vesperal Liturgy of St. Basil, followed by a Coffee Hour/Reception offered by Richard & Violet Robbat. Be among the first, along with the Myrrh-Bearing Women, to share in and witness Christ’s triumph over evil and death, commemorated through the scattering of bay leaves and flowers. Be there to hear the readings from the Old Testament. Be there to welcome the catechumens into the Faith.


Diocese of Worcester and New England Scholarship - Our Diocese is awarding scholarships to high school seniors who are a member of any of the Antiochian Orthodox Churches in the Diocese of Worcester and New England, are faithful and active Orthodox Christians whose high school records indicate a potential for being successful in an accredited college, and who are in need of financial assistance. Applications are available through the Church Office and must be received by the Scholarship Committee Chairperson by May 1, 2016.  Any questions should be directed to Mary Winstanley O’Connor at 617-523-1010.

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.

Nicholas G. Beram 50th Scholastic Achievement Awards - Awards are available for high school seniors of our Arab American Community planning to attend a 4 year college full time.   Applications are available in the Church office or on-line at (note corrected address). Application deadline is June 1, 2016.

THEOPHANY SCHOOL BENEFIT EVENING – Theophany School invites you to its 16th annual Benefit Evening, with special recognition of our Co-founders, on Sunday, May 22 at 4:00pm, at St. Demetrios Orthodox Church, 57 Brown St., Weston. To learn more visit

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!

CHURCH SCHOOL TEACHERS NEEDED – New teachers will be needed next fall for Kindergarten/Grade 1 (2 teachers) and the Teen Discussion Group, grades 9-12 (1 or 2 teachers). Please contact Barbara Shoop at to volunteer or to learn more.

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

ABBA VILLAGE - Applications are available for Market Value, Tax Credit and Section 8 apartments in AABA Village in West Roxbury. Please have them call Vivian Haidar at 617-325-1913 and an application will be mailed.  AABA Village is a multi-cultural community with many residents of Syrian/Lebanese descent. Amenities include on-site Resident Service Coordinators, accessible laundry rooms, sun room, game room, and library/computer labs. There are weekly and monthly activities including yoga, massage, The Ride and the Boston senior shuttle.


Brethren, when Christ appeared as a high priest … he entered once for all into the Holy Place, taking not the blood of goats and calves but his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption. For if the sprinkling of defiled persons with the blood of goats and bulls and with the ashes of a heifer sanctifies for the purification of the flesh, how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify your conscience from dead works to serve the living God.

   - Hebrews 9:11-14


At that time Jesus took the twelve aside, and he began to tell them what was to happen to him, saying, "Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem; and the Son of man will be delivered to the chief priests and the scribes, and they will condemn him to death, and deliver him to the Gentiles; and they will mock him, and spit upon him, and scourge him, and kill him; and after three days he will rise." … And Jesus called them to him and said to them, "You know that those who are supposed to rule over the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great men exercise authority over them. But it shall not be so among you; but whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all. For the Son of man also came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many."

   - Mark 10:32-45


When humility delivers a man from attachment to his own works and his own reputation, he discovers that perfect joy is possible only when we have completely forgotten ourselves. And it is only when we pay no more attention to our own deeds and our reputation and our own excellence that we are at last completely free to serve God in perfection for His sake alone.

   - Fr. Thomas Merton, New Seeds of Contemplation

Let us become like Christ, since Christ became like us.
Let us become divine for His sake, since for us He became man.
He assumed the worse, that He might give us the better.
He became poor, that by His poverty we might become rich.
He accepted the form of a servant, that we might win back our freedom,
He came down that we might be lifted up.

   - St. Gregory the Theologian

Though [Christ] was the object of derision He was not angry, and are you annoyed? He submitted to being spat upon, struck and scourged, and yet you cannot endure a harsh word! He accepted the cross and a shameful death and the agonies of the nails; do you refuse to perform the lowliest services? How will you be a partaker in His glory when you refuse to be a partaker of His shameful death?

   - St. Symeon the New Theologian

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.