St. Mary Orthodox Church

Cambridge, MA

Update for the week of July 20-27, 2017


SUNDAY 7/23 – Orthros 8:45 am, Divine Liturgy 10:00 am.

   + The 53rd Biennial Archdiocese Convention, honoring His Grace Bishop ANTOUN, will be held Sunday, July 23 through Sunday, July 30, hosted by St. George Cathedral, Coral Gables, FL.  Visit  for more details. Note: Services at St. Mary will be held as usual on both Sundays.

   + Our Bible Bowl winning teens - Gabrielle Mazzoni, Amanuel Kassa and Ben Crea – will be competing at the Convention in the National Archdiocesan Bible Bowl.  Good luck to them and to their coach, Violet Robbat!


JACKET FOUND – A men’s leather jacket was left in the coat room during Holy Week and no one has claimed it for over 3 months.  Please contact the Church Office - - if it belongs to you.  If no one claims it, it will be donated.

NEW SKETE PILGRIMAGE - The New Skete Pilgrimage is set for Saturday, August 12 this year – the Saturday after Transfiguration.  The theme this year is “We shall all be changed” (1 Cor. 15:51).  The guest speaker is Dr. Roberta Ervine.  Her talk is entitled, “We Shall All Be Changed: Armenian Artist-Theologians Ponder the Transfiguration."  In years past, a number of us have gone out for the weekend (this year, 8/11–13, 2017) to help the Communities with this event—to be extra sets of "helping hands" for the day.  They are hoping a number of us will do so again this year. In the past, this has been a wonderful community building activity for all of us.  Moreover, if you have never been to the monastery, this may be a good way to be introduced to their life and work.  In addition to the services, there are tours of the church and talks by various members of the communities about their lives.  There are also "the dogs," great hiking trails, nearby tubing, etc. More information about the day can be found here: 

   + Once again, the Boston helpers (and housing) will be coordinated by Teva Regule.  There is a good group going so far.  If you would like to join as part of the group (and stay at the monastery or with a parishioner), please contact Teva Regule ( by Sunday, July 30

ICON EXHIBITS – You are invited to an exhibit at the Museum of Russian Icons entitled From the Vault: Icons of Ethiopia, which features a mix of Ethiopian icons, silver hand crosses, and artifacts from the Museum’s collection dating from the 19th and 20th century. This exhibit ends on Sunday, August 13.

   + Also at the Museum of Russian Icons, Fantastic Beasts in Iconography spotlights the many types of natural and unnatural creatures in iconography, exploring their origins, symbolism, stories, and myriad representations. This exhibit is family friendly, with images and activities that are appealing, accessible, and educational for both adults and children. This exhibit runs until Sunday, September 24.

   + Special rates are available for group tours. Just call their Group Tour Manager, Amy Consalvi for information: 978.598.5000 x125. And more details of the exhibits are available on their website

DORMITION DINNER AND HAFLI - Our Lady of the Annunciation Melkite Catholic Church, West Roxbury, invities you to their Annual Dormition dinner and Hafli featuring George Maalouf on Tuesday, August 15 at 8:00pm.  Tickets are $25/person.  To reserve your tickets call Gracia Skaf at 617-470-8050.


DORMITION FAST and FEAST – The fast preceding the Feast of the Dormition of the Blessed Theotokos, our patronal feast day, begins on Tuesday, August 1 and continues through Monday, August 14, the eve of the Feast.

   + On Wednesdays, August 2 and August 9, there will be a Paraclesis for the Dormition at 6:30 pm

   + On Monday, August 14, we will observe the Vigil for the Dormition of the Theotokos with Vespers at 4:15 pm, Orthros with Lamentations at 5:30 pm, and Festal Divine Liturgy at 7:00 pm.

   + Immediately after the Liturgy please join us in the church hall for a Dormition Feast, sponsored by the Hospitality Group. Cost: $8 person/$16 family. Make checks payable to St. Mary's with "Hospitality Group" on the memo line. 

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED FOR DORMITION FEAST – For the feast on Monday, August 14, the Hospitality Group needs 5 volunteers - if you can help, please contact Diana Yousef at . We look forward to seeing you there!

PARISH COUNCIL  - The next meeting of the Parish Council is scheduled for Wednesday, August 16, at 7:30.

OCF LEADERSHIP PROGRAM – The Orthodox Christian Fellowship is sponsoring a Summer Leadership Program designed for Orthodox college students, Wednesday-Saturday, August 16-19 at  St. Iakovos Retreat Center, Kansasville, WI. Cost: $300.  To register go to

SOCIAL JUSTICE MINISTRY – Save the date for a training session on building social justice ministry teams in the church on September 16, 2017 at St. Mary Orthodox Church in Cambridge, MA. More information will be forthcoming at

WOMEN’S CLUB – The first Women’s Club meeting of the church year will be Monday, September 18 (note revised date) at 7:30. At this meeting we will formulate our yearly calendar, so come with any ideas you may have.  We meet only once a month, and welcome all women of the parish to join us.  The Women’s Club does charitable work both locally, nationally and internationally, and supports the Church School.   Call Priscilla (781-762-1527) or the church office (617-547-1234) if you have any questions or are interested in joining us.

CHURCH SCHOOL TEACHER NEEDED - For Fall 2017 we are in need of a Teacher and an Assistant for the 4th-5th grade class. And we are always in need of substitutes.   Please consider being a teacher and helping with this very important ministry.  Contact Barbara Shoop in the Church office if you are interested.

GREETER MINISTRY- The Greeter Ministry is always looking for new people to greet on Sunday Mornings.  As a Greeter, you will 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.  Arrive at Church 15 minutes before Liturgy (9:45am).  Greeting time ends when Communion starts. As a greeter you get to meet all the parishioners of St. Mary’s, whether old or new to the church. We hope you will consider joining this ministry! If you are interested, contact Buddy Mabardy at or 781-729-6303, or contact the church office at or 617-547- 1234.

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


The memory of insults is the residue of anger. It keeps sins alive… In order to appease the anger, love is necessary.

   - St. John Climacus

A person who suffers bitterly when slighted or insulted should recognize from this that he still harbors the ancient serpent in his breast. If he quietly endures the insult or responds with great humility, he weakens the serpent and lessens its hold. But if he replies acrimoniously or brazenly, he gives it strength to pour its venom into his heart and to feed mercilessly on his guts. In this way the serpent becomes increasingly powerful; it destroys his soul's strength and his attempts to set himself right, compelling him to live for sin and to be completely dead to righteousness.

   - St. Symeon the New Theologian 

It was because they knew their own weakness that the demons were always setting men to fight each other, fearing lest, if they ceased from mutual strife, they would turn to attack the demons themselves. For in truth the disciples of Christ, instead of fighting each other, stand arrayed against demons by their habits and virtuous actions, and chase them away and mock at their captain the devil. Even in youth they are chaste, they endure in times of testing and persevere in toils. When they are insulted, they are patient, when robbed they make light of it, and, marvelous to relate, they make light even of death itself, and become martyrs of Christ.

   - St. Athanasius, On the Incarnation