St. Mary Orthodox Church

Cambridge, MA

Update for the week Thursday, January 26 - Thursday, February 2, 2017


THURSDAY, 1/26 - The Bible Study group will meet tonight – January 26 – at 7:00 pm in the church library. For more information contact Fr. Antony ( New members are always welcome. The next meeting will be February 9.

SUNDAY, 1/29 - Orthros 8:45 am, Divine Liturgy 10:00 am; Church School lesson 13

   + The Food for Hungry People canned food drive, originally scheduled to run through December 31, has been extended to January 29 due to the low number of donations. Please bring in canned goods and place them in the plastic bins in the room outside the kitchen. (Canned goods only, please.) They will be distributed to food pantries in our area.  Please give generously!

WEDNESDAY, 2/1 – There will be an Evening Liturgy for the Feast of the Presentation of our Lord on Wednesday, February 1, at 6:30pm


SATURDAY 1/28 – His Eminence Metropolitan JOSEPH will be visiting the area this weekend.  On Saturday there will be Vespers at 5:30pm at St. John of Damascus Church, Dedham, followed by a Grand Hafli in his honor, featuring Mitchell Kaltsunas and Band. Cost: $35/adult, $20/children 21 and under.  Mazza, pastry and coffee included.  For tickets e-mail or call 781-326-3046.

SUNDAY, 1/29 – On Sunday there will be a St. Ignatius Holiday Party with His Eminence Metropolitan JOSEPH, along with His Grace Bishop JOHN, at 5:00pm at Byblos Restaurant, 678 Washington St., Norwood.  Cost is $70 per person. Checks payable to Saint Ignatius can be mailed to Debbie Laham, 16 Kilronan Rd. Westwood, MA  02090.


YOUNG ADULT POTLUCK AND TRIVIA NIGHT – The Young Adult Ministry invites all college students and young adults in the area to a Young Adult Trivia Night on Saturday, February 4, after Great Vespers. Vespers at 5:00, Potluck dinner at 6:00, followed by Trivia.  Bring your friends, a dish to share, and your A-Game!

   + The Young Adult Ministry is an active, dynamic group that hosts monthly social, spiritual, and outreach events and programs. We have lots of great plans for 2017, and we hope you'll join us! If you are interested in getting involved, please contact Jamil at 617-501-4427 or

LENTEN FOOD SALE – The St. Mary Women’s Club is once again having a Lenten Food Sale, featuring Spinach Triangles, Hoomos, and Mjadara. Please use the order form in the Sunday bulletin. Order deadline is Sunday, February 26; baking will be Saturday, March 4 (please come and help!), with pickup on Sunday, March 5.

PARISH LIFE CONFERENCE – The 2017 Diocese of Worcester and New England Parish life Conference will be hosted by St. George Cathedral, Worcester, at the Downtown Worcester Holiday Inn Express.  Dates: Saturday, June 17 (Pre-Conference) and Friday-Sunday, June 23-25 (Conference). For more information and to register go to


BLESSING OF HOMES – Fr. Antony will be blessing homes after Epiphany (January 6) and between Pascha (April 16) and Pentecost (June 4).  We bless homes to reveal the home as what God created it to be, a way to heaven; to rid the home of every evil; to show that the family is a small church unit in Christ; to consecrate the home and all activity in it to God; and to fill the home and all who live in it with the fullness of God.  To schedule the blessing of your home, please use the form in the weekly Bulletin or call the church office at 617-547-1234.

DIOCESAN DELEGATES MEETING – The General Assembly Meeting of delegates from  Antiochian Women will be held at St. George, West Roxbury, on Saturday, February 4. Morning prayers start at 9:30am, meetings at 10:00am followed by lunch.

CHANT CLASS AND VESPERS – On Saturday, February 4, there will be a Chant class at St. Mary’s at 3:30pm.

   + Great Vespers will be that evening at 5:00pm

WOMEN’S CLUB - The next meeting of the Women’s Club will be Monday, February 6, 2017 at the church. 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.

PRE-LENTEN RETREAT and YOUTH DAY – A Pre-Lenten Retreat, sponsored by the Antiochian Women of the Diocese of Worcester and New England and open to everyone, will be held on Saturday, February 11, at St. John of Damascus, Dedham. The featured speaker is the V. Rev. Michael Elias, pastor of St. Mary Antiochian Orthodox Church, Brooklyn, NY. Cost is $20 per person.

   + This year there will also be Youth Day programs for all our young people: There will be activities for children (ages 3 and older) as well as those who are in Teen SOYO. (No charge for Youth Day)

   + RSVP deadline is February 1 for both Retreat and Youth Day. Please use the registration form in the Sunday bulletin. The day begins with Divine Liturgy at 9:00 am, and will end mid-afternoon. Breakfast (after Liturgy) and lunch are included.

MEATFARE SUNDAY BREAKFAST - The annual Meatfare Sunday Breakfast sponsored by the Hospitality Group will be Sunday, February 12 (actually the week before Meatfare Sunday).  Join us downstairs after Liturgy for a delicious breakfast of bacon, hash browns, sausage, pancakes, and more, cooked by our own Chef Socrates and hopefully a few volunteers - please email Soc at if you can help. $7/person, $14/family.

   + The Hospitality Group could use your help with setting up, cooking, and serving the breakfast that morning starting at 9:00 am, as well as cleaning up afterward.

PARISH COUNCIL – The next meeting of the Parish Council will be Wednesday, February 22, at 7:30.

HOLY WEEK AND PASCHA BOOK – If you would like to purchase “The Complete Text for Holy Week and Pascha” as used in the Antiochian Archdiocese (a hard cover book with gold gilded pages and double ribbon markers), please leave a check for $38 with the Bengarri or the Church Office by February 26. Your check should be made payable to St Mary Orthodox Church, and earmarked “Book for Holy Week”.  Any questions can be directed to Barbara Shoop, or e-mailed to the church office at

FORGIVENESS VESPERS – Forgiveness Sunday (aka Cheesefare Sunday) is Sunday, February 26, the last day before Lent begins. Forgiveness Vespers will be at 6:00pm.

LENT BEGINS – This year Great Lent begins on Monday, February 27.

CAMP REGISTRATION - Registration for Summer Camp at Antiochian Village has begun for children ages 9-17.  St. Mary’s children attend the third session.  The camper fee is $750 for the two-week session; camper fees paid in full by March 1 receive a $50 discount.  Register on line at


   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, 2017.  If you have any questions, contact Mary Winstanley O’Connor at 617-523-1010 or email at

   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, 2017.  Applications are available in the Church Office.  E-mail with any 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:

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 Linda Arnold, our Coffee Hour volunteer coordinator at or 978-270-0346, or 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: Diana Yousef, President, Michael Decerbo, Treasurer, Socrates Deligeorges, Head Chef, or Melissa Nassiff, eNewsletter editor,

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!

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


Remember that while you pray, God expects from you a positive answer to His question: "Do you believe that I can fulfill your prayer?" You must be able to answer from the bottom of your heart: "Yes, I believe, O God," and then you will be answered according to your faith.

   - St. John of Kronstad

Hold faith and humility fast within you; for through them you will find mercy, help, and words spoken by God in the heart, along with a protector who stands beside you both secretly and manifestly. Do you wish to obtain these things, which are a fountain of life? From the very onset take hold of simplicity.

   - St. Isaac the Syrian, Ascetical Homilies