St. Mary Orthodox Church

Cambridge, MA

Update for the week Thursday, March 15 - Wednesday, March 21, 2018


FRIDAY 3/16 Akathist 7:00 pm, followed by refreshments
   + Learning in Lent 8:00 pm - Bob Kowalik, MTS and St. Mary's Catechist, will talk about "Why do people choose to become Orthodox?" Bob will reflect on his experience teaching the inquirers' course for 6 years.  He will focus on who and why people come to the inquirers’ course and why some decide to become Orthodox.

SATURDAY 3/17 -  Pysanky (Ukrainian egg) workshop session to learn the art of Ukrainian Easter egg coloring, 1:00-4:00 pm, sponsored by the Hospitality Group and taught by Seraphim Davis. For more information or to sign up contact Diana Yousef-Martinek at

SUNDAY 3/18 – Orthros 8:45 am, Divine Liturgy 10:00 am; Church School lesson 19.
   + Women’s month sermon by Sarah Byrne-Martelli: The Icon of the Dormition of Mary
A collection will be taken for the Antiochian Women’s Project - please make checks out to the Women’s Club and earmark “Women’s project”

WEDNESDAY, 3/21 - Pre-Sanctified Liturgy at 6:30 pm (every Wednesday through March 28), followed by Potluck Supper sponsored by the Hospitality Group.
   + Do come to the Potluck Supper and bring something to share.  Any Lenten fare is welcome:  main courses, sides, salads, desserts, as well as beverages and snacks.  This is a wonderful opportunity for fellowship during Lent, plus we get to sample each other's Lenten recipes.  This week’s potluck leads are Cali Touloumes & Sophie Burge.


WOMEN’S RETREAT – Sts. Martha and Mary Sisterhood of Holy Resurrection Orthodox Church, 62 Harvard Ave., Allston, invites you to a Lenten Women’s Retreat on Saturday, March 17, 9am-4pm.  Fr. Maximos will speak on “Prayer without Distraction”. Cost: $35, $20 for students, includes lunch. To register go to

MONDAY 3/19 – Diocesan Compline will be offered at 7:00 pm on Monday at St. John of Damascus, Dedham


COFFEE HOUR - Please sign up to provide a coffee hour – it can be as simple as coffee, juice, and cookies. Plenty of help is available! Signup sheets are on the bulletin board downstairs outside the Hall, or contact Linda Arnold ( or the Church Office ( or 617-547-1234).  If no one volunteers, there is no coffee hour.


WOMEN’S MONTH – March is Antiochian Women’s Month. Our women will be reading the Epistle, taking the Collection each Sunday, taking part in the Procession, and assisting during Communion. 

WOMEN’S MONTH HOMILIES – This month a number of women from the parish will be sharing their thoughts on The Iconography of the Feasts of Mary – her Nativity, Presentation, Annunciation, and Dormition. Upcoming sermons will be:
3/18 – The Icon of the Feast of the Dormition of Mary  (Homilist: Sarah Byrne-Martelli)
3/25 – The Icon of the Feast of the Annunciation  (Homilist: Anna Higgins)

PASCHA BAKE SALE – The Women’s Club Annual Pascha Bake Sale will be held on Sunday, March 25. Plan on purchasing all your Pascha/Easter desserts, pastries and goodies! If you can help bake please call Renay DiFiore at 617-327-6361or e-mail the church office

LEARNING IN LENT – Please join us on Wednesday, March 28 after the Presanctified Potluck, for the last in our "Learning in Lent" series exploring various aspects of our faith. (On Friday, March 23 we will pray the full Akathist hymn; there will be no speaker on that date.)  Presanctified Liturgy on Wednesday is at 6:30 pm, followed by a potluck supper; the talk is at 8:00. Dr. Ioana Popa, Psychiatrist, individual and couples therapist and Life Coach, and Adjunct Professor at Hellenic College Holy Cross, will talk about “Towards Oneness with God: Watchfulness and Contemplation during Lent.”

DIOCESAN COMPLINE - Diocesan Compline services will be offered every Monday evening during Lent at 7:00pm in a different church of the Diocese.  The final service will be March 26 in Worcester.

CD’s AVAILABLE – Span the liturgical cycle from Lent to Pascha with the triad of recordings from the Boston Byzantine Choir: Lenten Journey, Thy Passion, and Thy Resurrection. The CDs are $15 each, or all three for $40. Available from the Church Office or from Charlie Marge.

LAZARUS SATURDAY – Please come and bring your friends and family on Saturday, March 31, to celebrate the Divine Liturgy (Matins 8:00 am; Liturgy 9:00 am), and enjoy a Communion Breakfast at 10:15 presented by the Women’s Club and offered by Selma Winstanley in loving memory of brother, Mitchell Mabardi.  Following the Communion Breakfast, there will be a Church Clean-Up in preparation for Pascha.  Please bring rags, cleaning supplies, small buckets, brown paper bags, irons and extension cords for wax removal, etc. 

PALM SUNDAY FISH DINNER - The annual Palm Sunday Fish Dinner, sponsored by the Hospitality Group and donated by Ed and Lisa Brylczyk, will be held on Sunday, April 1. Cost is $9.00 per person; $18 per family. Volunteers will be needed to help with setup, serving, and cleanup. Please plan to help.

HOLY FRIDAY RETREAT - Spend the morning in fellowship and activities with friends and families at the St. Mary’s Holy Friday Retreat on Friday, April 6, 9:30-12:30. A variety of activities will be provided and luncheon served ($5 donation per person requested).  Recommended for ages 5 – adult.  Younger children welcome but must be accompanied by an adult. Fr. Antony will be available to hear the children’s and teen’s confessions before lunch. RSVP by Palm Sunday, April 1, to Trish O: 781-641- 0182 or, if you plan to attend or can help with activities that day.

DONATIONS FOR HOLY WEEK – For the special services of Holy Week, the Church needs donations of olive oil for the Unction Service (Wednesday), flowers for the tomb of Christ (Friday), flowers to distribute on Great and Holy Friday, rose water to anoint the faithful (Friday), incense, Paschal lilies and other flowers,  and candles. Deadline is Palm Sunday, April 1. Please use the donation form in the Bulletin.

FOOD FOR HUNGRY PEOPLE – During this season of prayer, self-discipline and fasting, please be very generous in your contribution to the Food for Hungry People program of our Archdiocese. Collection Boxes for collecting alms at home will be on the Bengarri; please pick up one or two and place them throughout your home, fill them up, and return them on Palm Sunday, April 1“Whoever gives a hand to help his neighbor is helped by God’s own hand” - St. Isaac the Syrian

SCHOLARSHIPS - Students graduating in 2018 from high school who are children of membersof St. Mary’s may apply for the Diocese of Worcester and New England Scholarship.  Deadline is March 31, 2018. Contact Mary Winstanley O’Connor at 617-523-1010 or email at for more information, including what it means to be a member.
   + 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, 2018.  If you have any questions, contact Mary Winstanley O’Connor at 617-523-1010 or email at .
   + Antiochian Women’s Scholarships are available to females 26 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, 2018.  Applications are available in the Church Office.  E-mail with any questions.

BIBLE STUDY – During Lent, the Bible Study/Adult Education group will come together as a community for the PreSanctified liturgies (instead of our usual meetings) on Wednesdays, followed by the Pot-luck supper. Those experiences are truly rich and we invite everyone to join us. After Pascha the bi-weekly meetings of the Bible Study group will resume on Wednesday, April 11.

METROPOLITAN JOSEPH VISIT POSTPONED - His Eminence Metropolitan JOSEPH has been called to the Holy Synod in April, so he can not be at St. Mary’s April 27-29. The Metropolitan will visit St. Mary’s at a future date.

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 2018, and we hope you'll join us! To learn more or to get involved contact Jamil (617-501-4427) or Adam (315-719-2101), or go to

JOIN US ONLINE - St. Mary’s Church services are broadcast live each week through an internet video stream. If you can't attend a service in person, or want to share this ministry with a friend or loved one, the live stream can be viewed at during regularly scheduled service times (see the schedule of services or online). If you have questions or comments about this ministry please contact us at

REFLECTION on fasting

The true fast is from ungodliness: 
Fast from judging others; feast on Christ dwelling in them.
Fast from fear of illness; feast on the healing power of God.
Fast from words that pollute; feast on speech that purifies.
Fast from discontent; feast on gratitude.
Fast from anger; feast on patience.
Fast from pessimism; feast on optimism.
Fast from negatives; feast on affirmatives.
Fast from bitterness; feast on forgiveness.
Fast from self-concern; feast on compassion.
Fast from suspicion; feast on truth.
Fast from gossip; feast on purposeful silence.
Fast from overwhelming problems; feast on prayer that sustains.
Fast from worry; feast in faith.
   - Author Unknown