St. Mary Orthodox Church

Cambridge, MA

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


THURSDAY 11/15 - The Nativity Fast (also known as Advent) begins today, November 15, and continues through Monday, December 24.

FRIDAY 11/16 – St. Mary’s Bible Study/Adult Education Program will meet this Friday from 7:00-8:30pm, at the church. Each bi-weekly session will be an in-depth look at the lectionary reading for the next Sunday. Come join us - everyone is welcome to attend! For questions or directions please contact the co-leaders: Steve Walker at or Christina Palis at

SUNDAY 11/18 – Orthros 8:45am, St. Ignatius Catechetical Group (Enquirers’ Class) 9:00am, Divine Liturgy 10:00am, with Church School following
   + Women‘s Club Thanksgiving Charity Bake Sale. Please volunteer to bake - e-mail our Chairperson Violet Robbat ( ) or the church office, if you can bake and/or donate – and plan to purchase all your holiday breads, pies, goodies, Syrian pastries and much more!  All proceeds will benefit the Convent of Saidnaya in Syria.
   + If you ordered our discounted ($29) tickets for Handel’s Messiah, please see Melissa Nassiff during coffee hour this Sunday or next, to pay for and receive your tickets!  Note: two more tickets are available - contact Melissa at The performance is Sunday, December 2, at 3:00 pm.  We will carpool to (or meet at) Symphony Hall after Liturgy and have lunch together at a nearby restaurant before the concert. 

PARISH COUNCIL BALLOTS - The 2019 Parish Council Ballot has been mailed to all financial members of St. Mary’s.  Please vote for no more than 5 people and return to the church in the self-addressed envelope by Monday, November 26.

CHANT REHEARSAL, VESPERS and YOUNG ADULTS – On Saturday, December 1 there will be a Chant Rehearsal at 4:00pm preceding Great Vespers at 5:00. After Vespers, at 6:00pm, the Young Adult group will have a Fellowship Night with potluck dinner and Christmas crafts and games. They'll be singing Christmas carols and decorating the church and Iconostasis for the Nativity season! Bring a friend and a delicious Lenten dish or drink to share. 

PARISH CHRISTMAS CARD – Let the Women’s Club send a lovely Christmas card on your behalf to our parishioners. Save yourself time, let us do the work, and have all proceeds benefit the Antiochian Women’s Project. You will receive this card with the names of parishioners, like yourself, who are wishing a Blessed Nativity and a Merry Christmas to all. Please use the order form in the Sunday bulletin, or mail to: St. Mary Church, 8 Inman St., Cambridge, MA  02139-2407, and donate whatever amount you choose.  Deadline: Sunday, December 2.

– Join us for a Western Rite Service of prayers, scripture readings, and Christmas Carols on Sunday, December 9 at 5:30pm, featuring the Boston Civic Symphony Quartet and St. Mary's Choir. Please bring a canned food item for our food drive.  More details to follow.

THANK YOU - We want to thank all the parents and friends who came to help with and participate in our Fall Liturgy Retreat this year - “Liturgy and the Arts." We had a full house with many church school students, family members, and friends attending the day.  We were able to explore the intersection of liturgy and the various arts:  Hymnography (learning some of the hymns of the liturgy, led by Katie Boardman and Teva Regule with help from Bob Kowalik and Klorela Alcala);  Iconography (making icon cards for our parish shut-ins, led by Kate Jellinghaus);  Architecture (touring the church and altar area, led by Fr. Antony);  Culinary arts(baking about 50 loaves of Prosphora/Holy Bread for the church, with help from Shannon Sakellariou and Bob Kowalik and Thanasis Flessas);  Prayerful arts (making prayer ropes and learning about the Jesus prayer, led by Stella Miller who traveled from New York back to her “home parish” for the occasion);  and Textile arts (learning about the Epitaphios and embroidering crosses, with help from Natasha Smith and Ariane Daniel).   
   Many thanks to Fr. Antony for leading our adult discussion, “Singing and Chanting as Spiritual Practice,” and teaching the retreatants about the altar area of our church.  We also thank the St. Mary Women’s club for helping to underwrite some of the expenses of the day.  Appreciation also to Mike Decerbo for getting our bodies moving in the morning, and Natasha Smith for leading our icebreaker activities. We also remembered those in need during our day: many thanks to all who donated winter supplies and backpacks for the women and families at the YWCA, and to Liz Straghalis and Larisa Patacchiola for coordinating this activity.  Of course, no event is successful without good food.  We thank our breakfast and lunch crews (Kera Dalton, Doreen Bargoot and Andrew Bargoot) for the yummy breakfast snacks and lunch.  We also want to thank Daniel McCabe who came early and stayed late to help us set up tables and take them all down again.  Many thanks to Andrea Popa who helped to capture the day via pictures and to Gabi Popa who did so via video.  Lastly, we also thank the many parents and friends who pitched in where and when needed.  It "takes a village" to put this event together!  We are grateful for ALL who contributed in any way, those we named and for those we may have inadvertently forgotten to name.  Your help is always appreciated!  Mark your calendars: Same time next year - Monday, Nov. 11, 2019!   -Teva Regule, for the Retreat Planning Committee

ENTRANCE OF THE THEOTOKOS LITURGY – Divine Liturgy for the Feast of the Entrance of the Theotokos into the Temple will be celebrated on Tuesday, November 20 at 6:30pm

N.G. BERAM AWARDS BANQUET – The Nicholas G. Beram Veteran's Association will hold its 72nd Anniversary Celebration and Scholastic Achievement Awards Banquet on Saturday, November 24 at the Hilton Inn, Dedham, 12noon-4pm.  Our own Alexander Dalton is one of the Scholastic Achievement Award recipients!

OFFERING ENVELOPES – If you use offering envelopes, the 2019 envelopes are now available for pick-up in the Hall.

MARRIAGE AND ENRICHMENT WORKSHOP – On Saturday, December 1, the Diocese of Worcester and New England will offer a Marriage and Enrichment Workshop with Bishop JOHN. Time:  10:00am-3:00pm. Place: Chancery - 2 Lydias Path, Westborough, MA. Cost, $30 per couple, includes lunch and workshop materials.  RSVP to Bp. JOHN at

HOLIDAY POPS CONCERT - St. John’s Dedham invites you to a Holiday Pops Concert presented by the Metropolitan Wind Symphony, on Saturday, December 1 from 6:00 to 9:00pm. Cocktail hour and Mazza 6pm; Concert 7pm, Coffee and pastry 8pm.  $15 for adults; $5 for children. To reserve tickets call 781-326-3046, or go to

CHURCH SCHOOL CHRISTMAS PAGEANT - If your child is interested in participating in the Christmas Pageant, please see Sarah Byrne-Martelli or Chris Addis.  We also need parents to assist at rehearsals.  Rehearsal 1: Sunday, December 2 during Coffee Hour.  Rehearsal 2: Sunday, December 9 during Coffee Hour. Pageant: Sunday December 16 at the end of Liturgy.

WOMEN’S CLUB DINNER - On Monday, December 3 the Women’s Club will be going out to dinner for our Christmas gathering. We will meet at the Cheesecake Factory at the Mall at Chestnut Hill at 7:00pm. All women of the parish are welcome to join us. If you are interested contact Barbara (barbara or the church office (617-547-1234 or ).  We hope you will join us!

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

FOOD FOR HUNGRY PEOPLE – Help support our Canned Food Drive!  From now 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. Since 1984, churches throughout the Archdiocese have collected and distributed over 5,000,000 pounds of food!

ST. MARY’S ANNIVERSARY – Save the date: On May 18, 2019 we will celebrate our 90thAnniversary at the Crown Plaza in Woburn.  Plan to join us for dinner, dancing and other festivities.  More details to follow.

JOIN THE HOSPITALITY GROUP – 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 (

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.

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