St. Mary Orthodox Church

Cambridge, MA

Update for the week Thursday, September 15 - Thursday, September 22, 2016


THURSDAY, 9/15 - The Bible Study group will meet tonight, Thursday, September 15, at 7:00 pm in the church library. For more information contact Marianna Sayeg ( or Fr. Antony ( The meeting after this will be Thursday, September 29. New members are always welcome.

SATURDAY, 9/17 – A Becoming Truly Human Workshop will be held here at St. Mary’s on Saturday, September 17 from 9:00am-3:00pm, Breakfast and Lunch included. The Becoming Truly Human program of the Antiochian Archdiocese is an outreach program. The program includes the first American Orthodox feature film and offers a refreshing and honest approach to evangelism. This workshop is being held to train parishes on how to implement the program. Registration is $45 per person for all jurisdictions.  For details and registration visit

SUNDAY, 9/18 Note: parking will be restricted. See “Road Race vs Parking” under Reminders, below.

   + Orthros 8:45 am, Divine Liturgy 10:00 am, with Procession of the Holy Cross.

   + Church School classes begin.

WEDNESDAY, 9/21 – The next meeting of the Parish Council will be Wednesday, September 21, at 7:30 pm.


SATURDAY, 9/17 – The 8th Annual Sonia’s 5K Run/Walk and fall fair will be held at St. George Orthodox Church, West Roxbury, MA, on Saturday, September 17. The 5k road race benefits the Theophany School in honor of our beloved friend Sonia Belcher. The proceeds from Sonia's Run go towards Theophany School's "Building on a Dream" campaign, to fulfill Sonia's Dream of a permanent home for Theophany School.  Be a sponsor, volunteer or vendor. For more information and how you can help visit the website


ENQUIRERS’ CLASS - The St. Ignatius Catechetical Group - Enquirers’ Class will begin meeting on Sunday, September 25 at 9:00am in the library (next door to Fr. Antony’s office). Enrollment will be open until October 16. This group is for non-Orthodox adults who are interested in exploring the Christian Faith as it has been – and continues to be – understood, preached, and lived by members of the Holy Orthodox Church. Bob Kowalik will be teaching the group. If you would like to participate, please talk to Bob during coffee hour; or get in touch by phone 617-889-3436 or e-mail  For those seeking to be received into the Orthodox Church, participation in the group and Fr. Antony’s blessing are required.

ST. VLADIMIR’S EDUCATION DAY - St. Vladimir’s Seminary Orthodox Education Day, “Celebrating Mary,” will be Saturday, October 1.  The day opens with Divine Liturgy at 8:00 am. Scholar Dr. Mary B. Cunningham will present the keynote address.   The day will be filled with church services, presentations, activities for children and a marketplace filled with international cuisine and Orthodox books and gifts.  Admission is free. Visit for more details.

BAKE SALE - The Women’s Club will hold a Charity Bake Sale on Sunday, October 2 immediately following Liturgy in the church hall. All proceeds will benefit the charitable projects we sponsor, from the YWCA Family Shelter in Cambridge to the Antiochian Women’s project. Call Marilyn Robbat @ 781-729-3033 or Violet Robbat @ 781-862-4388 or the Church Office at 617-547-1234 or email if you can help bake and/or donate.

SFEEHA SALE - The Women’s Club is offering for purchase freshly made Sfeeha (ground lamb-meat pizza pies with onion, pine nuts & seasonings).  Everything is cooked with the finest of ingredients and ready to eat now or freeze for the holidays. (Note - this product contains pine nuts. No special orders accepted.) Please use the order form in the Sunday bulletin. Max 3 dozen per order. Order deadline is Sunday, October 16; baking is Saturday, October 22, (come and help us!); pickup date will be Sunday, October 23.

WOMEN’S CLUB – The next meeting of the Women’s Club will be Monday, October 17 at 7:30. All women of the parish are welcome to join them. The Women’s Club does charitable work both locally, nationally and internationally, and supports the Church School.   Call Marilyn (781-729-3033) or the church office (617-547-1234) if you have any questions or want to be a part of this wonderful group of women.

   + The Women’s Club will be going out for a fun evening to the Cheesecake Factory in Chestnut Hill on Monday, October 24, at 7:00.  Any woman interested in going with them, please call Marilyn (781-729-3033) or the church office (617-547-1234) for more information.

BAZAAR & FOOD FAIR - St. George Church will be having a Bazaar & Food Fair Friday-Sunday, October 21-23. Friday & Saturday 10am-9pm, Sunday 12pm-3pm. Address is 55 Emmonsdale Rd., West Roxbury.  Admission is free.  Middle Eastern cuisine, country store, crafts, kids’ corner and raffles. 


ROAD RACE vs PARKING - This Sunday, September 18, the Fall Classic 5K road race will restrict access to parking around the church and behind the Post Office.  The race starts at 9:30am.  The end of Inman St. 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). Please plan accordingly. Log on to to view the race route.

CHURCH SCHOOL TEACHERS AND ASSISTANTS – Thank You to the following people, who have volunteered to be Church School teachers and assistants for the coming year:

   Pre-K - Larisa Patacchiola/Klorela Alcala

   Kindergarten/Grade 1 - Diana Yousef/ Mike Decerbo

   Grade 2/3 - Andrea Popa/Rose Njuguna

   Grade 4/5 - Natasha Smith/Tom Perkins

   Grade 6 - Marianna Sayeg/Dino Takles

   Grade7/8 - Peter Nassiff

   Discussion Group (Gr. 9-12) – Jack Souweha/Mary Winstanley O’Connor

YOUNG ADULT HIKE – The Young Adult Ministry will go hiking at Walden Pond after Liturgy next Sunday, September 25.

ORTHODOX SPIRITUALITY WORKSHOP - On Saturday, October 1, St. Mary's will be hosting a workshop on Orthodox Spirituality entitled "Going Within (And What to Do Once You Get There)." Under the guidance of Fr. Antony we will be utilizing the skills of the psychiatrists, therapists, licensed clinical social workers and hospice chaplains who are members of our parish and who will facilitate small group discussions.

   The mindfulness-based therapies our facilitators practice dovetail beautifully with Orthodox spirituality and it is our hope that those who attend the workshop will deepen both their understanding of and life of prayer.  The two therapeutic modalities we will examine in the light of Orthodox Life are the Internal Family Systems Model and Mindful Self Compassion Therapy.

   Attendance will be limited to no more than 26 parishioners, so if you are interested, please let Fr. Antony know as soon as possible. In case the 26 spots are not filled, we will open the remaining places for interested others. The workshop will begin in the morning of October 1 and end in the late afternoon. More details will be forthcoming.

   + There will be a Great Vespers service on Saturday, October 1, at 5:00 pm

NEW SKETE FALL RETREAT – You are invited to a retreat at New Skete Monastery on Saturday, October 8.  The theme is Going Deeper on the Contemplative Journey: Tools for Transformation.  You can sign up for the retreat at  If you would like to stay at the monastery for the weekend, contact either Br. Gregory ( for housing at the Emmaus House or Sr. Rebecca ( for housing at the nuns’.  (She is holding spots for the "Boston group from St. Mary’s” at the nuns for the time being; housing at Emmaus House is first come, first served.)  Added benefit:  The grounds of the monastery are incredibly beautiful in the fall - an opportunity to relax, reflect, and enjoy the beauty of God's creation.

HCHC OPEN HOUSE - Hellenic College Holy Cross is holding its Fall Open House on Saturday, October 15. Prospective undergraduates and graduate students are invited along with their parents for a half day of worship, learning and fellowship.  For more information visit

AABA FUND RAISER – The American Arabic Benevolent Association will hold a fund raiser on Saturday, October 15, at 8:00 pm at Norwood High School. The event will be An Evening with Gina Dimia,  General Seating is $25.  For reservations contact David Franciosa 781-856-0974 or Darya Gamel at

THEOPHANY SCHOOL BENEFIT EVENING – Theophany School has helped shape the education of hundreds of children from the Boston area over nearly two decades. This year it will hold its 16th annual Benefit Evening with cocktails, dinner, and a silent auction, on Saturday, October 15, at St. Demetrios Orthodox Church, Weston at 5:00pm. Tickets are $100. To learn more visit  

COME SEE THE MESSIAH – Join friends from St. Mary’s for the Handel and Haydn Society’s annual performance of Handel’s Messiah, on Sunday afternoon, November 27, at 3:00 p.m. Tickets are just $25 – even less if we have a big enough group. We will carpool to (or meet at) Symphony Hall after Liturgy and have lunch together at a nearby restaurant before the concert. Those who have done this before have thoroughly enjoyed it - not only do we hear a world-class orchestra and chorus with famous soloists singing glorious words (taken directly from the Bible), but we also have an opportunity to spend time getting to know some fellow parishioners we normally may not encounter. Good seats go fast - please contact Melissa Nassiff at by Sunday, October 16 (in time to order group tickets), or order your own tickets online at

COFFEE HOUR MADE EASY! - To make sponsoring a Coffee Hour a little bit easier, St. Mary’s is 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

   + In addition to the sign-up sheet, our contact Barbara in the church office and the Instacart option, we also have Linda Arnold serving as our volunteer Coffee Hour Coordinator. Her contact information is and 978-270-0346.  Please feel free to let her know of your interest and be open to hosting a coffee hour especially if you have not done so in the past.  She will be happy to guide you through the process!


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:

Greeter: Welcome people into the church and help to direct visitors upstairs to the Liturgy, as well as keeping an eye on the vestibule, hallways and entrance ways during Church. To volunteer contact Buddy Mabardy at 781-729-6303 or e-mail:, or call the church office at 617-547-1234

Liturgical Service – Epistle: The Epistle is read each Sunday by a volunteer parishioner. To volunteer please contact Jeff Wasilko,

Liturgical Service – Procession: Church School children or parishioners carry the candles, icon, and bread baskets in the Great Procession. For information about this ministry contact Teva Regule at

Liturgical Service – Communion: Volunteers are needed every Sunday to hold the Communion cloths and the Holy Bread baskets during Communion. To volunteer please contact Jeff Wasilko,

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 contact Barbara Shoop in the Parish Office at or 617-547-1234

Prison Ministry: For information about the Prison Ministry at St. Mary you can subscribe to our mailing list at If you are interested in helping with this ministry, talk with Fr. Antony or Deacon Jeff. Another way to help is to donate Orthodox books, icon cards, and magazines (for security, please remove any personal mailing address) – Mitrophan Chin collects these to share with the inmates.

Hospitality Group: St. Mary's Donald D. Fiore Hospitality Group sponsors various events to welcome visitors and newcomers and to foster a spirit of fellowship and caring among all the people who worship here. To join us or to find out more, contact any of our officers: Julie Wasilko, Outgoing President, Diana Yousef, Vice President, Michael Decerbo, Treasurer, Socrates Deligeorges, Head Chef

Choir: The St. Mary Church Choir is open to individuals interested in making a commitment to sing each Sunday at Divine Liturgy. Please feel free to join them and/or introduce yourself to the director, Michelle Mabardy, any Sunday after Liturgy.

Rides To Church For College Students: If you live near a college or university and are able to offer a ride to and from St. Mary Church for a student, or if you are a 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!


Greeter:  Madeline Homsy



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.

   - Galatians 2:16-20


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. …For whoever is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him will the Son of man also be ashamed, when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels." …

  - Mark 8:34-9:1


In Paradise of old, the tree stripped me bare, for by the eating thereof, the enemy brought in death. But now the most holy tree of the Cross that clothes all men with the garment of life has been set up on earth, and all of the world is filled with most boundless joy. Seeing it exalted, ye people, now, let us the faithful all cry out with one accord to God in faith: Thy house is full of glory, O Lord.

   - Feast of the Elevation of the Holy Cross 

The one who knows God will follow the Lord's footsteps, bearing the cross of the Savior. It is said, "The world is crucified to him and he to the world." The Lord says, "He who loses his life will save it." We can "lose our lives" in one of two ways. First, we can risk our lives just as the Lord did for us. Secondly, we can separate our lives from the customary things of this world. Bearing the cross means to separate our souls from the delights and pleasures of this life. If you do this, you will find your life again - resting in the hope of what is to come. Dying to ourselves means being content with the necessities of life. When we want more than these necessities it is easy to sin.

   - St. Clement of Alexandria

Glory, O Lord, to the power of Thy Cross, which never fails! When the enemy oppresses me with a sinful thought or feeling, and I, lacking freedom in my heart, make the sign of the Cross several times with faith, suddenly my sin falls away from me, the compulsion vanishes, and I find myself free… For the faithful the Cross is a mighty power which delivers from all evils, from the malice of the invisible foe.

   - St. John of Kronstadt

What was Christ’s love like? Did it withhold anything? Did it take note of or measure its spiritual gifts? What did it regret, where was it ever stingy? Christ’s humanity was spit upon, struck, crucified. Christ’s Divinity was fully incarnate to the end in his spit-upon, battered, degraded and crucified Humanity. The Cross — an instrument of shameful death — became a symbol of self-denying love for the world.

   - Mother Maria Skobtsova