St. Mary Orthodox Church

Cambridge, MA

Update for the week Thursday, October 20 - Thursday, October 27, 2016


THURSDAY, 10/20 - The Bible Study group will meet tonight - Thursday, October 20 - at 7:00 pm in the church library. For more information contact Fr. Antony ( The meeting after this will be two weeks later, Thursday, November 3. New members are always welcome.

SATURDAY, 10/22 Help make sfeeha - please come to the church on Saturday, October 22, starting at 9:30 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.

   + No Vespers at St. Mary.

SUNDAY, 10/23 – This Sunday October 23, the Super Hero 5K road race will restrict access to parking around the church and behind the Post Office.  The race starts at 9:00am.  The end of Inman St. will be closed off to accommodate runners on Massachusetts Ave. until approximately 10:00am.  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.  Do not be surprised to see race participants dressed as superheroes!

   + Orthros 8:45 am, Divine Liturgy 10:00 am.; Church School lesson 5

   + Enquirers’ Class 9:00 am in the library (next door to Fr. Antony’s office).

   + Please welcome Sister Maria and Sister Stephanie, who will be visiting with us from the Convent of Saidnaya in Syria. There will be a special collection today for the Convent of Saidnaya

   + There will be a special meeting for Church School teachers, assistants, and substitutes after Liturgy this Sunday, in the library

   + The Young Adult Ministry will have a Rooftop BBQ at Natalia’s in the Back Bay at 12:30pm. Find us at coffee hour for directions and other details.

MONDAY, 10/24 - 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 the church office (617-547-1234) for more information.


FRIDAY-SUNDAY, 10/21-23 - St. George Church will be having a Bazaar & Food Fair Friday through 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. 


VESPERS AND YOUNG ADULTS – On Saturday, November 5 there will be a service of Great Vespers at 5:00 pm, followed by Young Adult Trivia Night

PARISH COUNCIL ELECTIONS - If you are interested in serving on the Parish Council please speak to Mary Winstanley O’Connor or Fr. Antony by November 6.  To be eligible to serve you must be a member of St. Mary’s for two years and in good financial standing.

YOUNG ADULT RETREAT -  “From Stranger Danger to Entertaining Angels: Practicing Radical Hospitality as a Way of Life” is the topic of a retreat in Syracuse, NY on Friday-Sunday, November 4-6. Interested in getting to know other Orthodox young adults from a variety of backgrounds in a laid back retreat setting? Want to learn how to live out your faith in a contemporary context using the practice of radical hospitality? Join a diverse group of young adults from all up and down the East Coast and from a variety of different Orthodox jurisdictions for the Syracuse Pan-Orthodox Young Adult Retreat, November 4-6, 2016. For more information on the theme, speakers, schedule, and registration visit    

   + NOTE: There will be a large number of people attending from Boston if anyone would like to carpool. Contact Dn. Michael Tishel at for more information!

YOUNG ADULT MINISTRY – The Young Adult Ministry at St. Mary will have a Pre-Advent Brunch at Nick and Dena’s on Sunday, November 13, at 12:30

WOMEN’S CLUB – The next meeting of the Women’s Club will be Monday, November 14, at 7:30, at the church

NATIVITY FAST – The Nativity Fast, also known as the season of Advent, begins Tuesday, November 15. This is the forty days of fasting and prayer in preparation for the Great Feast of the Nativity of Christ.

VILLAGE AT HOME – On Friday and Saturday, Nov. 18-19, St. George Cathedral in Worcester will host “Village at Home.” Village at Home gives our teens and children (ages 9 and up) a chance to experience the typical routine of a camper at Antiochian Village.  Contact Rassem El Massih for more information at 781-738-6107.


YOUTH MONTH – October is Youth Month in our Archdiocese. Throughout the month of October our teens will be taking an active role in the Liturgy by helping with communion, taking collections and reading the Epistle. To get involved, please see Jack Souweha or contact the church (; 617-547-1234).  

PARISH COUNCIL – The next meeting of the Parish Council will be on Wednesday, November 2, at 7:30 pm.

SPAGHETTI DINNER – The teens invite you to a spaghetti and meatball dinner on Sunday, November 6, following Liturgy. The menu includes Spaghetti, Meatballs (just before the Nativity fast!), Salad, Bread, Dessert and Coffee/Beverage. Suggested minimum donation of $5.00/person will be greatly appreciated - no charge for Teen SOYO members.

FALL LITURGY RETREAT - Church School parents, teens, families (and friends) are invited to a St. Mary Fall Liturgy Retreat on Friday, November 11, 2016, from 12:30 - 6:00 pm. This year’s theme is “Christmas Traditions: The Liturgies of Christmas.” Come and explore the various ways that we ritually prepare and celebrate (i.e. “liturgize”) the Birth of Our Lord. The retreat will include baking projects and Christmas rituals, and will culminate with a celebration of the Slavic “Christmas Eve Supper” to which we want to invite families and friends) The Festive Meal will begin at 5:00 pm. Donation: $5/student, $10/family (Includes Supper, snacks and supplies). For more information and registration, contact Teva Regule or Doreen Bargoot.

BYZANTINE MUSIC FESTIVAL - The Fourth Boston Byzantine Music Festival wil be held Friday-Saturday, November 11-12.  Tickets and full schedule of lectures and workshops are available at . Sponsored by the Mary Jaharis Center at Hellenic College.

MESSIAH AT GROUP RATES - 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 pm. Note: Tickets are just $23, because there are enough of us going now to qualify for group rates! 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

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.  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!



Brethren, I would have you know that the gospel which was preached by me is not man's gospel. For I did not receive it from man, nor was I taught it, but it came through a revelation of Jesus Christ. For you have heard of my former life in Judaism, how I persecuted the church of God violently and tried to destroy it; and I advanced in Judaism beyond many of my own age among my people, so extremely zealous was I for the traditions of my fathers. …

   - Galatians 1:11-19


As Jesus arrived at the country of the Gadarenes, there met him a man from the city who had demons; for a long time he had worn no clothes and he lived not in a house but among the tombs. When he saw Jesus, he cried out and fell down before him, and said with a loud voice, "What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beseech you, do not torment me." For He had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man. (For many a time it had seized him; he was kept under guard, and bound with chains and fetters, but he broke the bonds and was driven by the demon into the desert.) Jesus then asked him, "What is your name?" And he said, "Legion"; for many demons had entered him. And they begged him not to command them to depart into the abyss. Now a large herd of swine was feeding there on the hillside; and they begged him to let them enter these. So he gave them leave. Then the demons came out of the man and entered the swine, and the herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and were drowned. When the herdsmen saw what happened, they fled, and told it in the city and in the country. Then people went out to see what had happened, and they came to Jesus, and found the man from whom the demons had gone, sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed and in his right mind; and they were afraid. …

  - Luke 8:26-39


Why do demons wish to excite in us gluttony, fornication, greed, anger, rancor and other passions? So that the mind, under their weight, should be unable to pray as it ought; for when the passions of our irrational part begin to act, they prevent the mind from acting rationally.

   - St. Nilus of Sinai

Demons are not visible bodies, but we become their bodies when our souls accept dark thoughts from them. For, having accepted these thoughts, we accept the demons themselves and make them bodily manifest.

   - St Anthony the Great, from "Early Fathers From the Philokalia"

A man ... wrestles with many ... demons; and often the demon, whom many men could not master with iron bands, has been mastered by the man himself with words of prayer which is in him of the Holy Spirit; and the mere breathing of the Exorcist becomes as fire to that unseen foe. A mighty ally and protector, therefore, have we from God; a great Teacher of the Church, a mighty Champion on our behalf. Let us not be afraid of the demons, nor of the devil; for mightier is He who fights for us.

   - St. Cyril of Jerusalem, Catechetical Lectures

There are said to be five reasons why God allows us to be assailed by demons. The first is so that, by attacking and counter-attacking, we should learn to discriminate between virtue and vice. The second is so that, having acquired virtue through conflict and toil, we should keep it secure and immutable. The third is so that, when making progress in virtue, we should not become haughty but learn humility. The fourth is so that, having gained some experience of evil, we should 'hate it with a perfect hatred' (cf. Ps. 139:22). The fifth and most important is so that, having achieved dispassion, we should forget neither our own weakness nor the power of Him who has helped us.

   - St. Maximos the Confessor, Second Century on Love no. 67