St. Mary Orthodox Church

Cambridge, MA

Update for the week Thursday, October 11 - Wednesday, October 17, 2018 


FRIDAY, 10/12 – Evening Vigil for St. Jacob of Hamatoura 8:00pm.
   In the Orthodox Church we commemorate St. Jacob of Hamatoura, a 13th century Antiochian saint, on October 13. St. Mary’s will be blessed to receive His holy relics in our parish for this vigil, which will consist of Vespers, Lity with Artoclasia, Orthros, and Hierarchical Divine Liturgy with Bishop JOHN. To read more about this saint, please visit:

SATURDAY 10/13 – Chant Rehearsal at 4:00pm
   - Great Vespers at 5:00pm.
   - Young Adult Fellowship Night at 6:00pm, with potluck dinner, fellowship, & discussion: Why Should I Go to Church Anyway? Seeking Meaning in an Age of Confusion.

SUNDAY 10/14 – Orthros 8:45 am
   - St. Ignatius Catechetical Group (Enquirers’ Class) first meeting 9:00. It’s not too late to join - contact Bob Kowalik at 617-889-3436 or 
   - Divine Liturgy 10:00 am, with Church School following
   - 40-day Trisagion prayers will be offered for Mary Bezreh

FLOROVSKY LECTURE – The annual Florovsky lecture at Holy Cross School of Theology will be held on Friday, October 19 at 7:30pm in the Maliotis Center. Speaker will be Dr. David Bentley Hart, author of more than 350 scholarly and popular articles as well as numerous books, whose talk will be entitled “Beauty and Judgement.” The lecture is free and open to the public.

PARISH COUNCIL – The next meeting of the Parish Council is scheduled for Wednesday, December 5 at 7:30pm.

BE A GREETER - We could use your help in being a Greeter. This is a great opportunity to meet all the parishioners of St. Mary’s.  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. Sign up for one Sunday or several Sundays. If you are interested, contact Buddy Mabardy at or 781-729-6303, or the church office at or 617-547-1234.

OCTOBER IS YOUTH MONTH – During the Month of October, at St. Mary and throughout the archdiocese, our teens will be taking an active role in the Liturgy by helping with communion, taking collections and reading the Epistle. To get involved, please see Theo Smith.

OUT OF TOWN - The church Secretary, Barbara Shoop, will be out of town until Thursday, 10/18.  Marilyn Robbat will come into the office for a couple of days to handle any urgent matters.
   - Also, Fr. Antony will be out of town October 16-24.  In case of emergency October 16-18 call Mary Winstanley O’Connor, our Parish Council President, at 617-523-1010. For any emergency on the remaining days call the church office or Mary.

BIBLE STUDY - Welcome back to the Bible Study/Adult Education Program at St. Mary's!  Our first meeting will be Tuesday, October 16 from 7-8:30 and we will meet at Christina's apartment in Cambridge. Each bi-weekly session will be an in-depth look at the lectionary reading for the coming two Sundays. Everyone is welcome to attend! If interested, please contact the co-leaders: Steve Walker at or Christina Palis at

BAZAAR - St. George, West Roxbury will be holding their Annual Bazaar & Food Fair Friday through Sunday, October 19-21. Friday and Saturday, 10am-9pm, Sunday 12pm-3pm.  Admission is free. Middle Eastern cuisine and pastries, baked goods, country store, kids’ corner, handmade holiday and craft items.

KIBBEH and GRAPE LEAVES SALE - This year the Women’s Club will be offering freshly made Kibbeh (ground lamb, onion, pine nuts, cracked wheat and seasoning) and Grapeleaves (rolled with ground lamb, rice and seasoning) for purchase to enjoy during the holidays. Kibbeh will be frozen raw, to be cooked at your convenience. Please use the order form in the Sunday bulletin, include payment and mail to the church or pass it in at the Bengarri or the office.  Order deadline is Sunday, October 21 and order pick-up will be November 4 at the church.  We look forward to receiving your order!

BAKE SALE - The Women’s Club will hold a Charity Bake Sale Sunday, October 21immediately following Liturgy in the church hall.  All proceeds will benefit the charitable projects we sponsor, from the YWCA Family Shelter in Cambridge to the Antiochian Women’s project. E-mail Renay DiFiore, or Barbara Shoop, or call the Church Office at 617-547-1234, or email, if you can help bake and/or donate.

DIOCESAN CHOIRS DAY - The Mission Council of the Diocese of Worcester and New England is sponsoring a day for church musicians and clergy to explore how the physical acts of breathing, making sound, and singing ground us in the present moment and bring us into the presence of Christ. The event, on Saturday, November 10, will be held at St. George Church in W Roxbury from 9:30am-3:00pm. RSVP by Sunday, October 21. For questions, contact Charlie Marge at
ICON EXHIBIT – The Museum of Russian Icons (203 Union Street, Clinton, MA) is showing an exhibition of Icons of the Hellenic World, focusing exclusively on Greek and Byzantine iconography, through October 21. For information see

ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION - An evening of Celebration to mark the 30th Anniversary of the University of Balamad will be held on Saturday, October 27 at the Doubletree Hilton, Westborough.  Special Guest His Eminence, Metropolitan JOSEPH.  Reception at 6:00pm followed by Program and Middle Eastern Music.  Tickets: $200.  For more information, contact Laila Kobrossy Audi at 315-289-2427.

PARISH COUNCIL ELECTION -  If you are interested in serving on the Parish Council please speak to Mary Winstanley O’Connor or Fr. Antony by Sunday, October 28.  To be eligible to serve you must be a member of St. Mary’s for two years and in good financial standing.

WOMEN’S CLUB - The next Women’s Club meeting will be held in one corner of the Hall on Sunday, October 28, immediately after Liturgy

COME SEE THE MESSIAH – Join friends from St. Mary’s for the Handel and Haydn Society’s annual performance of Handel’s Messiah, on Sunday afternoon, December 2, at 3:00 pm.  Tickets are just $29 ($36 without our group discount!). We will carpool to (or meet at) Symphony Hall after Liturgy and have lunch together at a nearby restaurant before the concert.  Those who have done this before have thoroughly enjoyed it - not only do we hear a world-class orchestra and chorus with famous soloists singing glorious words (taken directly from the Bible), but we also have an opportunity to spend time getting to know some fellow parishioners we normally may not encounter.  Good seats go fast - please contact Melissa Nassiff at  by Sunday, November 4, or order your own tickets online at

BAZAAR - St. John of Damascus in Dedham (300 West St.) will be holding their Annual Bazaar Friday through Sunday, November 3-5:  Friday 12pm-9pm, Saturday 10am-9pm and Sunday 12pm- 2pm.. Middle Eastern cuisine, country store, Christmas corner and more. For more information visit

LITURGY RETREAT – A Fall Liturgy Retreat for Church School Students and Families will be held on Monday, November 12 (This is the observed day for Veteran’s Day this year, when most students have the day off and some adults are off from work.) This year’s theme is Liturgy and the Arts.  Come and explore the intersection of Liturgy and Iconography, Music, Architecture, Textiles, and more.

FOOD FOR HUNGRY PEOPLE – Help support our Canned Food Drive!  From October through December 31, bring in canned goods and place them in the plastic bins in the room outside the kitchen. (Canned goods only, please.) They will be distributed to food pantries in our area.

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

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 (


What does it mean, "that they be careful to maintain good works"? That they wait not for those who are in want to come to them, but that they seek out those who need their assistance. In this way the considerate man shows his concern, and with great zeal will he perform this duty. For in doing good actions, it is not those who receive the kindness that are benefited, so much as those who do it that make gain and profit, for it gives them confidence towards God. … For almsgiving is the mother of love, of that love which is the characteristic of Christianity, which is greater than all miracles, by which the disciples of Christ are manifested. It is the medicine of our sins, the cleansing of the filth of our souls, the ladder fixed to heaven; it binds together the body of Christ.
   - St. John Chrysostom, Homily 6 on Titus
Basically, humility is the attitude of one who stands constantly under the judgment of God. It is the attitude of one who is like the soil. Humility comes from the Latin word humus, fertile ground. The fertile ground is there, unnoticed, taken for granted, always there to be trodden upon. It is silent, inconspicuous, dark and yet it is always ready to receive any seed, ready to give it substance and life. The more lowly, the more fruitful, because it becomes really fertile when it accepts all the refuse of the earth. It is so low that nothing can soil it, abase it, humiliate it; it has accepted the last place and cannot go any lower. In that position, nothing can shatter the soul’s serenity, its peace and joy.
   - Metropolitan Anthony Bloom, Living Prayer