St. Mary Orthodox Church

Cambridge, MA

Update for the week Thursday, February 2 - Thursday, February 9, 2017


SATURDAY, 2/4 – Chant class 3:30 pm

   + Great Vespers 5:00 pm

   + Young Adult Trivia Night - the Young Adult Ministry invites all college students and young adults in the area. Potluck dinner at 6:00 pm, followed by Trivia.  Bring your friends, a dish to share, and your A-Game!

SUNDAY, 2/5 - Orthros 8:45 am, Divine Liturgy 10:00 am; Church School lesson 14

   + Children are encouraged to dress in traditional costume to celebrate the Chinese New Year, which was January 28.

   + The Food for Hungry People canned food drive, originally scheduled to run through December 31, has been extended to this Sunday, February 5, due to the low number of donations. Please bring in more 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 be generous!

MONDAY, 2/6 - The Women’s Club will meet Monday, February 6, at 7:30 pm in 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.

THURSDAY, 2/9 - The Bible Study group will meet next Thursday, February 9, 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 23.


SATURDAY, 2/4 – 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.


TEEN SOYO OFFICERS – The newly elected officers of Teen SOYO at St. Mary’s are:  Andrew Bargoot – President, Gaby Mazzoni - Vice President, Malek Abdellas – Treasurer, and Gabi Popa – Secretary. Congratulations to them all!

THANKS TO TEEN SOYO – On December 28th seven teens along with the Teen Advisor, Jack Souweha, and parents Cindy Mazzoni and Andrew Bargoot, visited three of St. Mary’s seniors and sang Christmas carols.  The seniors were very appreciative of the teens’ visit.  We want to thank Cindy and Andrew, who also provided the transportation, and the Mazzonis for hosting the teens at their home at the conclusion of the visits, for pizza and cookies.  

SCOUT SUNDAY - Scout Sunday is the primary date we recognize the contributions of young people and adults to Scouting.  This year, St. Mary’s will observe Scout Sunday on February 12.  Look for the Scouts and Scout leaders in our parish to be involved in liturgical service that day. If your child is a Boy Scout or Girl Scout of any age and would like to participate in Scout Sunday, please send an e-mail to Charlie Marge:

WINTERFEST 2017 – St. George of Boston invites you to “Winterfest 2017,” Dinner and Hafli, on Saturday, February 11 from 7:30 to midnight.  Adults $60, Children to age 12 $30.  For tickets/reservations contact Rima Audy, 617-435-8888 or

LENTEN SERVICES – On Tuesday and Thursday in the first week of Lent, February 28 and March 2, there will be Little Compline with the Canon of St. Andrew at 7:00 pm.  We will celebrate Pre-Sanctified Liturgy every Wednesday of Lent at 6:30 pm, followed by a Potluck Supper sponsored by the Hospitality Group. And on the first four Fridays of Lent, March 3, 10, 17 and 31, there will be an Akathist (Madayeh) Service at 7:00 pm.

PRE-SANCTIFIED POTLUCK SUPPERS - Every Wednesday during Lent we need a lead to coordinate the potluck supper after Pre-Sanctified Liturgy. Being the lead means a) providing a main dish, b) coordinating what others bring if asked, and c) coordinating setup and cleanup.   We still need Leads for March 8, 15, 22 and April 5.  As with coffee hour, if there is no potluck leader, then there is no potluck. Contact Diana Yousef ( ) for the potluck lead instruction sheet, or to sign up as a potluck lead.

CHINESE NEW YEAR BREAKFAST - The Chinese “New Year” Breakfast originally scheduled as a celebration of the Chinese new Year of the Rooster, which fell on January 28 this year, has been postponed to Sunday June 4, coinciding with Church School graduation. A Chinese Dumpling Making Party will be held June 3 and children with adult supervision are welcome. Watch for more details or contact Nelson Mitrophan Chin at 


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.

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.

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.

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 (also known as Cheesefare Sunday) is Sunday, February 26, the last day before Lent begins. Forgiveness Vespers will be at 6:00 pm.

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

YOUNG ADULT MINISTRY - 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


   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.

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


Boastful I am, and hard-hearted, all in vain and for nothing. Condemn me not with the Pharisee, but rather grant me the humility of the Publican, O only merciful and just Judge, and number me with him.

   - The Great Canon of St. Andrew of Crete

The humbler our opinion of ourselves, the more swiftly our prayer rises to God. So soon as we lose humility, each and every ascetic effort is nullified. If pride is active in us, or fault-finding, or unfriendliness, the Lord stands remote from us.

   - Archimandrite Sophrony, His Life is Mine

Even without any other passion, self-esteem can ruin a man; and in the same way, if we have formed the habit of judging, we can be utterly ruined by this alone; for indeed, the Pharisee was condemned for this very thing.

   - St. John Climacus