St. Mary Orthodox Church

Cambridge, MA

Update for the week Thursday, April 20 - Thursday, April 27, 2017


THURSDAY, 4/20 – The Bible Study group will meet tonight - Thursday, April 20 - at 7:00pm in the church library.  We will continue discussing the book, "The Divine Dance" by Richard Rohr.  New members are always welcome. Our next meeting will be Thursday, May 4.

SATURDAY, 4/22 - The Diocese of Worcester and New England will host a “Marriage Preparation and Enrichment” Workshop on Saturday, April 22, to be held here at St. Mary’s, from 10:00am-3:00pm. The Workshop leader will be Bishop JOHN.  This workshop is open to anyone, not just those getting married.  To register, email ( with your name and phone number or call Barbara at 617-547-1234.  This workshop is free of charge.

SUNDAY, 4/23 This Sunday, April 23, the Spring 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.

   + Orthros 8:45 am, Hierarchical Divine Liturgy with Bishop JOHN 10:00 am; Church School lesson 21

   + Food for Hungry People boxes are due. Please pass them in at the Bengarri

   + Bible Bowl practice session right after church in the Library.  


WOMEN’S CLUB OFFICERS - Congratulations to the newly elected and returning officers of the Women’s Club: Priscilla Goss, President; Melissa Nassiff, Vice President; Shirley Bezreh, Secretary; and Barbara Shoop, Treasurer!

CLERGY AND CHOIRS DAY - Choir members are invited to Clergy & Choirs Day sponsored by the Diocese of Worcester & New England at St. John of Damascus, Dedham on Saturday, May 6 from 10am-3:00pm.  The schedule includes the Role of Clergy and Church Musicians, Choir Festival, and Improving vocal technique.  RSVP by April 30 to or 781-863-5015.

BLESSING OF GRAVES - On Memorial Day, Monday, May 29, Fr. Antony will be blessing graves at Fairview Cemetery in Hyde Park, MA. starting at 9:00 am.  If you would like him to bless the graves of loved ones in other cemeteries, please let him know by calling the Church Office at 617-547-1234 or e-mail

GRADUATION AND LUNCHEON – Church School Graduation will be Sunday, June 4, followed by the annual Chinese New Year Breakfast/Luncheon celebrating the Year of the Rooster. During liturgical service on this Sunday, children are welcome to dress up to celebrate the Chinese New Year.

   + A “Chinese dumpling making party” will be held on Saturday, June 3, and children with adult supervision are also welcome. Stay tuned for more details or contact Nelson Mitrophan Chin (  

POTLUCK PICNIC - Please come join the Hospitality Group for our Annual Potluck Picnic on Sunday, June 11 at DANA PARK (10-20 McTernan St, Cambridge) - the same park as previous picnics! Bring a blanket, some eats or drinks to share, balls, frisbees, even bathing suits if you want splash in the sprinklers! Dana Park is a 5-10 minute walk south of the Church (walk down Magazine St), with an enclosed playground, hoops, water spouts, and a beautiful green. This is a great opportunity to relax and spend time with our church family. OPEN TO ALL AGES!!! For people who need assistance getting to the park, we will coordinate rides. If you would like to help us out, please email Diana Yousef ( ).


NO FASTING – There is no fasting on Wednesday or Friday during Bright Week (the week after Pascha), as well as for the entire forty days until the Feast of the Ascension on May 25. This is the decision of the Holy Synod of the Church of Antioch. This cessation of fasting, however, is purely voluntary; you may fast if you wish.

ST. GEORGE WEEKEND – On Friday through Sunday, April 28-30, St. George West Roxbury will be welcoming his Eminence Metropolitan JOSEPH and his Grace Bishop JOHN.  Come for Family night on Friday, International night on Saturday - featuring Asian, Mexican, New England and Middle Eastern cuisine - and Festal Luncheon on Sunday. For more information visit

SERIOUS ABOUT SYRIA – Come to a humanitarian relief effort Benefit Dinner entitled “Serious About Syria” on Saturday, April 29, at the Second Church in Newton, from 6:00pm-9:00pm. Cost is $45 per person.  All proceeds go to Syrian American Medical Society (SAMS), who provide medicine and medical services to Syrian refugees in Syria, Turkey, Lebanon and Greece. For more information go to or

YOUNG ADULT FELLOWSHIP – The next Young Adult Fellowship Night will be on May 6. If you are interested in getting involved, please contact Jamil at 617-501-4427 or

BYZANTINE NIGHT - St. Mary Church of Pawtucket, RI invites you to share with them A Byzantine Night, with Bishop John and their Arabic Choir led by Kh.Rouba, on Saturday, May 6 at 6:00pm. Immediately following, there will be refreshments at the Parish center.

WOMEN’S CLUB DINNER - The Women’s Club will have an End of the Year Dinner on Monday, May 15. Place and time TBD. . If you are interested contact Marilyn at 781-729-3033 or Barbara in the church office ( or 617-547-1234).  Stay tuned for further information.  It’s always a fun evening!

PARISH COUNCIL – The next meeting of the Parish Council is scheduled for Wednesday, May 17, at 7:30.

ASCENSION LITURGY – Evening Liturgy for the Feast of the Ascension of our Lord will be Wednesday, May 24 at 6:30pm.

SCHOLARSHIPS AVAILABLE –  Francis Maria Scholarships are available through the Archdiocese Scholarship page,  Several $2500 scholarships will be awarded to Orthodox students attending an accredited 4-year college in the fall.  Applications must be postmarked by May 15, 2017.

   + Scholarships from the Antiochian Women 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.

   + Nicholas G. Beram 2017 Scholastic Achievement Awards are available for high school seniors of our Arab American Community planning to attend a 4-year college full time.   Applications are available online at .  Application deadline is June 1, 2017.

PARENTING WORKSHOP – The Diocese of Worcester and New England invites you to a workshop, “Parenting within Orthodox Families,” on Saturday, June 10 (rescheduled from April 1), 9:00am-3:00pm in the hall at St. George Cathedral, 30 Anna St., Worcester. To register email or call 508-752-9150. Cost: $20/person, $30/couple.

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

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


Divine compassion brought it about in a wonderful way that when the doubting disciple touched the wounds in his Master's body, he cured the wounds of our unbelief. Thomas' unbelief was of more advantage to our faith than the faith of the believing disciples because when he was led back to faith by touching Jesus, our minds were relieved of all doubt and made firm in faith. And so after His resurrection Jesus allowed His disciple to doubt. But He did not desert him in his doubt. … The disciple who doubted and touched became a witness to the truth of the resurrection…

   - St. Gregory the Great, Forty Gospel Homilies

You cannot be a man of faith unless you know how to doubt. You cannot believe in God unless you are capable of questioning the authority of prejudice, even though that prejudice may seem to be religious. Faith is not blind conformity to a prejudice – a "pre-judgment. " It is a decision, a judgment that is fully and deliberately taken in the light of a truth that cannot be proven. It is not merely the acceptance of a decision that has been made by someone else.

   - Thomas Merton, New Seeds of Contemplation