St. Mary Orthodox Church

Cambridge, MA

Update for the week Thursday, February 16 - Thursday, February 23, 2017


SUNDAY, 2/19 - Orthros 8:45 am, Divine Liturgy 10:00 am; No Church School

   + The annual Meatfare Breakfast sponsored by the Hospitality Group, postponed from late week,  will be this Sunday, February 19. Join us downstairs after Liturgy for a delicious breakfast of bacon,  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.

WEDNESDAY, 2/22 – The Parish Council will meet Wednesday, February 22, at 7:30 pm.

THURSDAY, 2/23 - The Bible Study group will meet on February 23 at 7:00pm in the church library. At that time we will discuss the following podcasts: (,,  (,, and  New members are always welcome.


SUNDAY, 2/19  –  IOCC (International Orthodox Christian Charities) is hosting a Musical Reception, “All That Jazz,” on Sunday, February 19 from 7:00-9:00 pm at the Maliotis Cultural Center at Hellenic College, 50 Goddard Ave., Brookline.  Wine reception and live jazz, suggested donation $25, students and under 21 $10.  Register online: . 


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

   + Great Vespers will be at 5:00pm

YOUNG ADULT MINISTRY – The Young Adults will have a fellowship night on Saturday, March 4, following vespers.  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

PYSANKY (UKRAINIAN EGG) WORKSHOP: The Hospitality Group invites you to join us on April 1 or 2 (one or both afternoons) to learn the beautiful art of Ukrainian Easter egg coloring. Seraphim Davis has generously offered to teach. We are offering two afternoons because last year people needed more time to finish, but participation does not require attending both dates. If you are interested, please respond ASAP to Diana Yousef ( with the following information: (1) which afternoon(s) would you attend? (2) Will you need a kit with the materials? (3) Will you need childcare? (NOTE: We might need to cap participation, to keep the numbers manageable, so please respond soon with any interest).

BIBLE BOWL NEWS - For the very first time we are going to have two Bible Bowl Teams, a Pre-Teen (ages 10-12) Team and a Teen (ages 13-19) Team.  If any Pre-teen or Teen is interested in being on one of St. Mary's Bible Bowl Teams please contact Violet Robbat @ 781-862-4388 or by e-mail at  There will be an informational meeting on Sunday, March 5, 2017 for parents, pre-teens and teens right after church in the Library.  Practice Sessions will begin the following Sunday, March 12, right after church in the Library.  We will be studying the Gospel of Mark as printed in the Orthodox Study Bible.  Participants must be present for all sessions. The Bible Bowl will be held at our Diocesan Parish Life Conference in June.

ANNUNCIATION - Our Lady of the Annunciation Melkite Church, West Roxbury, MA invites you to a celebration of the Feast of the Annunciation on Sunday, March 26 at 12:00noon, after Liturgy.   Homemade Food, Coffee and dessert, $15/person.  Free parking.

TEEN SOYO RETREAT – There will be a Diocese of Worcester and New England 2017 Teen SOYO Retreat, entitled “Packing My Lenten Lunchbox,” Friday-Sunday, March 31-April 2.  All teens Grades 7-12 are invited to attend.  Location:  Saint Methodios Faith and Heritage Center, Contoocook, NH. Cost:  $95/teen, $50/advisor.  Register by March 17.  For information contact Fr. Joseph Kimmett, or John Abud,


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; pickup will be Sunday, March 5.

   - Baking of spinach triangles will be Saturday, March 4.  Please come and help, starting at 9:00 am; lunch will be provided.

    - Also, we are looking for several people to help prepare 15 boxes of frozen spinach for the baking of our spinach Triangles on March 4.  The frozen spinach needs to be defrosted and the water squeezed out.  Please contact Marilyn Robbat (781-729-3033 or or the church office (617-547-1234 or if you are willing to help and for further instruction.

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. Join us for Forgiveness Vespers at 6:00pm.

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

WOMEN’S MONTH - March is Antiochian Women’s Month. Our women will be reading the Epistle, taking the Collection each Sunday, and assisting during Communion.  We invite all women of St. Mary Church to be included – if you are able to participate, please sign up on the sheet at the Bengarri or contact Marilyn Robbat at 781-729-3033 or, or the church office at 617-547-1234 or


   - 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.

   - 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 a few Wednesdays.  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.

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 online at

LENTEN WOMEN’S RETREAT - Holy Resurrection Orthodox Church, Allston, MA invites you to a Lenten Women’s Retreat on Saturday, March 18 9:00 am-4:00 pm.  Fr. Maximos of Simonopetra Monastery and Holy Cross will speak on Reflections on the Prayer of St. Ephraim.  For information visit .


   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.

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

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


It is love that constitutes the theme of "Meat-Fare Sunday."  The Gospel lesson for the day is Christ's parable of the Last Judgment  (Matt. 25:31-46).  When Christ comes to judge us, what will be the criterion of His judgment? The parable answers: love – not a mere humanitarian concern for abstract justice and the anonymous "poor," but concrete and personal love for the human person, any human person, that God makes me encounter in my life. …

      Not all of us are called to work for "humanity," yet each one of us has received the gift and the grace of Christ's love.  We know that all men ultimately need this personal love – the recognition in them of their unique soul in which the beauty of the whole creation is reflected in a unique way.  We also know that men are in prison and are sick and thirsty and hungry because that personal love has been denied them. And, finally, we know that however narrow and limited the framework of our personal existence, each one of us has been made responsible for a tiny part of the Kingdom of God, made responsible by that very gift of Christ's love. Thus, on whether or not we have accepted this responsibility, on whether we have loved or refused to love, shall we be judged.

   -Alexander Schmemann, Great Lent

At the last judgment, I will not be asked whether I satisfactorily practiced asceticism, nor how many prostrations and bows I have made before the Holy Table. I will be asked whether I fed the hungry, clothed the naked, visited the sick and the prisoner in jail. That is all I will be asked.

   - St. Maria Skobtsova

Accordingly, dearly-beloved, being mindful of our weakness, because we easily fall into all kinds of faults, let us by no means neglect this special remedy and most effectual healing of our wounds. Let us remit, that we may have remission; let us grant the pardon which we crave; let us not be eager to be revenged when we pray to be forgiven. Let us not pass over the groans of the poor with deaf ear, but with prompt kindness bestow our mercy on the needy, that we may deserve to find mercy in the judgment.

   - Leo the Great, On Lent I.