St. Mary Orthodox Church

Cambridge, MA

Update for the week Thursday, September 13 - Wednesday, September 19, 2018

THURSDAY 9/13  – The Orthodox Christian Witness Program offered by the Diocese of Worcester and New England (a 2-year program designed to empower and equip Orthodox Christians to nourish and share the faith in the 21st Century) begins this evening. Registration fee: $100/unit.  For questions e-mail Ioana Popa at or call 617-455-7192.

SATURDAY 9/15 – Great Vespers will be held this Saturday at 5:00pm
   - Chanters’ Rehearsal will precede Vespers, at 4:00 (note new time)
   - Young Adult Fellowship Night will follow Vespers - walk 1/2 block to 730 Tavern for drinks, food, and fellowship (age 17+)

SUNDAY 9/16 Orthros 8:45 am, Divine Liturgy 10:00 am, followed by Procession of the Cross
   - Church School classes begin after Communion, with a short lesson.


SERBFEST – St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Cathedral, at 41 Alewife Brook Parkway here in Cambridge,  is having their annual festival this weekend, Saturday and Sunday 9/15-16.  For more information, visit

GOLF TOURNAMENT – The Olivia A. Waishek Memorial Golf Tournament will be held at the Brookmeadow Country Club, Canton, MA on Monday 9/17 at 1:30pm.  The event helps fund the programs of the American Arabic Benevolent Association, known as AABA.  Contact AABA office for details: 617-323-2722.

ALZHEIMER’S WALK – Next Sunday 9/23 the Greater Boston Walk to End Alzheimer’s will take place in the area of the Museum of Science and Charlestown. No roads in Cambridge will be closed, though if you drive through these areas on your way to church be aware that you may encounter more vehicular and pedestrian traffic than usual.

HOSPITALITY GROUP NEEDS VOLUNTEERS - St. Mary’s Donald DiFiore Memorial Hospitality Group works to build community among the larger St. Mary’s congregation, so that we can come together in service, celebration and fellowship outside of liturgy and coffee hour.  We need members to join our ranks, and help with planning and running fellowship events such as Lenten Potluck Suppers, the Dormition Feast, special coffee hours, our annual Picnic, etc. Even if you could commit to just one event per year, this would immeasurably help strengthen the sense of community and family in our parish. We also welcome new ideas for fellowship gatherings – anything that brings us together in communion. If interested, please email Diana Yousef (

ANGEL TREE VOLUNTEER NEEDED – The Angel Tree Ministry, which provides Christmas gifts for children with an incarcerated parent, is looking for a program coordinator for St. Mary’s. This role involves the coordinator (or volunteers he/she finds) registering St. Mary’s as a participating parish, contacting the families given to us to confirm information, connecting names of children with parish members to purchase and return gifts, and managing gift distribution. It’s an important and rewarding program, so if you are interested in volunteering, please contact Kate Arnold (

YOUNG ADULT MONTH – September is Young Adult Month in the Antiochian Archdiocese.  The young adults of St. Mary’s will be taking part in the Great Procession, reading the Epistle and assisting with Communion. To volunteer, let us know at

SUMMER CAMP FOR ADULTS – Antiochian Village Adult Camp for ages 21+ will be Friday-Monday, September 14-17. Adult Camp is open to all adults who want to spend the weekend in an Orthodox Christian environment growing in their faith.  Cost of $195 includes lodging, food and activities.  More information can be found at

ANTIOCHIAN WOMEN DELEGATES MEETING – The Fall Diocesan Delegates Meeting of Antiochian Women – General Assembly Meeting will be held on Saturday, September 15 at St. Michael Church, Cotuit, MA at 10:00am.   If you are interested in attending please contact Barbara Shoop at or the church office (617-547-1234).
   - TEEN SOYO MEETING - The Diocesan SOYO meeting will also take place on Saturday, September 15 at Saint Michael on the Cape. If you have questions, please email Father Joseph Kimmett,

ELEVATION OF THE CROSSNote change: We will not celebrate the Feast of the Elevation of the Cross on Thursday, September 13, as previously announced. Instead we will observe the Feast on Sunday, September 16, with Procession of the Holy Cross.

SONIA’S RUN – The 10th annual Sonia’s Run and Fall Fair, in memory of Sonia Daly Belcher, will be held at St. George Church, West Roxbury on Saturday, September 22. Registration begins at 7:30am, race starts at 9:00am (note change in times). If you would like to be a part of St. Mary’s team, choose “St Mary Cambridge” as your team when you register and e-mail Charlie Marge, All proceeds from the run will benefit Theophany School. Please visit to register, volunteer or donate.

DIOCESAN MEN’S RETREAT – A retreat for the men of the diocese will be held at St. Methodios Retreat Center in NH on Friday-Sunday September 28-30. This year’s topic is “Theosis: What it is and Why it Matters”.  Bishop JOHN will lead the four-part discussion. The cost of $199 includes lodging and meals. Contact John DeVoie at

ENQUIRERS’ CLASS – The St. Ignatius Catechetical Group (Enquirers’ Class) will begin meeting on Sunday, September 30 at 9:00am in the hall.  Enrollment will be open until October 21. The group is for non-Orthodox adults who are interested in exploring the Christian Faith as it has been – and continues to be – understood, preached, and lived by members of the Holy Orthodox Church. Bob Kowalik will be teaching the group. If you would like to participate, please talk to Bob during coffee hour; or get in touch by phone 617-889-3436 or  For those seeking to be received into the Orthodox Church, participation in the group and Fr. Antony’s blessing are required.

SEMINARIANS RECEPTION – The Antiochian Women of the Diocese are hosting a Welcome Reception for our Seminarians at Hellenic College/Holy Cross Seminary on Sunday, September 30  Please join Bishop JOHN and the clergy at St. George West Roxbury for Vespers at 4:00pm followed by dinner in the Parish Hall. 

PARISH COUNCIL - The next meeting of the Parish Council is scheduled for Wednesday, October 3, in the Hall.

SOYO FALL CAMP and FAMILY CAMP – Diocese of Worcester and New England SOYO Fall Camp and Family Camp will be held Thursday–Sunday, October 5-7, at St. Methodios Faith & Heritage Center in Contoocook, NH.  All teens in grades 7-12 are encouraged to attend the Teen SOYO Fall Camp. Family Camp is open to families of all ages. Parents of teenagers are welcome to attend Family Camp while their children attend Teen SOYO Fall Camp. Each camp will have its own distinct program. Watch for more information and registration details.


Whenever we have any feast or joy in the Church, we Orthodox first of all look back – for in our present life we depend on what happened in the past. We depend first of all, of course, on the first and the ultimate triumph -- that of Christ Himself. Our faith is rooted in that strange defeat which became the most glorious victory — the defeat of a man nailed to the cross, who rose again from the dead, who is the Lord and the Master of the world. This is the first triumph of Orthodoxy. This is the content of all our commemorations and of all our joy.
   - Protopresbyter Alexander Schmemann

Be not, then, ashamed of the cross, in order that Jesus Christ be not ashamed of you, when He will come, clothed in the Majesty of His glory, accompanied by this sign of our redemption, which will then shine more brilliant than the sun. Engrave it in your heart, lovingly embrace that which procured the salvation of our souls; for it is the cross which has saved and converted all the world -- it is that which has banished heresy and unbelief, which has reestablished truth, which has made a heaven on earth, and which has transformed men into angels. It is by means of the cross that the devils have ceased to appear formidable, and are now only to be despised … it is through the cross, that all our enemies have been conquered.
   - St. John Chrysostom