St. Mary Orthodox Church

Cambridge, MA

Update for the week Thursday, March 21 – Wednesday, March 27, 2019


FRIDAY 3/22 – Akathist (Madayeh) 7:00pm

SATURDAY 3/23 - The Orthodox Christian Witness Program: Spiritual Pilgrimage will hold its final retreat at St. Mary's on the topic of "Christian Hospitality - True Self and the Inner Kingdom" this Saturday, from 9:00am-3:30pm. The retreat is an opportunity to reflect on your personal journey with God, expand your inner awareness, and deepen your faith and your contemplative and/or prayer practices.  The retreat uses small presentations, personal reflections, and small and large group discussions. Attendance at the previous retreats is not required. Although a donation of $35 per retreat is suggested (or any other amount), the donation is not a requirement for participation. Coffee, tea and a light breakfast will be provided (lunch is not provided). To register or ask questions, please email or call 617-274-8336.

SUNDAY 3/24 – Orthros 8:45am, Divine Liturgy 10:00am: Church School after Communion
   + Women’s Month homily by Teva Regule on the Parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37)
   + There will be a special collection for the Antiochian Women’s Project.  Please make checks out to the Women’s Club and earmark Women’s Project.
   + Bible Bowl meeting/practice immediately after Church School. (See Reminders, below)

WEDNESDAY 3/27 – Pre-Sanctified Liturgy 6:30, followed by Pot Luck Supper. This week’s Potluck Leader is Cali Touloumes, – any questions about what to bring can be directed to her at Note – food can be heated in the microwave and the convection oven, but not on the stove.

MONDAY 3/25 - Diocesan Compline services are offered at 7:00pm every Monday evening in Lent: 3/25 in Pawtucket, 4/1 in West Roxbury, 4/8 in Cotuit and 4/15 in Worcester.


THANKS FROM THE WOMEN’S CLUB - The Women’s Club would like to thank all those who came out to help prepare/cook the Spinach triangles for our annual Lenten food sale.  It’s always a fun day.   A total of 52 dozen were made.  We would not be able to do this without all your help.  A special shout out to Karen Noonan who prepared 14 containers of Hoomos and 24 containers of Mjadara.  Look forward to seeing you all next year. Many thanks to all those who purchased food as well.

YOUNG ADULT NIGHT – On Saturday, April 6, the Young Adults will welcome Arvelle Adamson, outreach specialist with Starlight Ministries, to speak on the topic "And Who is My Neighbor?" Arvelle will provide us with insights from his ministry in working with the homeless and working poor of the Greater Boston Area, and provide us with actionable ways with how we may better serve our neighbors. Vespers 5 pm, Potluck Dinner and Talk 6pm. All are welcome.
– Diocese Spring Meetings will be held on Saturday, April 6, at St. Mary in Pawtucket.

DEPARTED IN APRIL - Trisagion Prayers will be offered for all those departed in April on Sunday, April 14.
PASCHA DONATIONS – The deadline for Pascha donations is Sunday, April 21.


WOMEN’S MONTH – March is Antiochian Women’s Month. Each Sunday our women will be reading the Epistle, taking the Collection, taking part in the Procession, assisting during Communion, and giving the homily.  The homilies will be on the theme, “Faith in Action,” focusing on the parables of the Sundays of Lent from the old Jerusalem lectionary (the earliest set of readings known to us). Upcoming homilist will be:
   3/31 – Ioana Popa on the Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus (Luke 16:19-31)

LENTEN RETREATS – Diocese Lenten Retreat will be held at St. George West Roxbury on Saturday, March 30.  We welcome back His Grace Bishop ANTHONY.  This event is sponsored by the Antiochian Women and will begin with Divine Liturgy at 9:00am and conclude with Great Vespers at 3:00pm.  Lunch is included. Registration is $20; teens (12-18) and children (3-11) free.
   +A Teen SOYO Overnight Lenten Retreat with Bishop Anthony will precede the Diocese retreat, beginning Friday March 29 at 6:00pm at St. George Norwood. RSVP by March 22 at
LENTEN SERVICES – We will celebrate Pre-Sanctified Liturgy at 6:30 pm every Wednesday of Lent through Wednesday, April 17, followed by a Potluck Supper.
   + On the first five Fridays of Lent, March 15, 22, 29 and April 5 and 12, there will be an Akathist (Madayeh) Service at 7:00 pm.

PRE-SANCTIFIED POTLUCK SUPPERS – Every Wednesday during Lent (March 13, 20, 27, April 3, 10, 17), we need a leader to coordinate a potluck supper after pre-Sanctified Liturgy. Being the leader means a) providing a main dish, b) coordinating what others bring if asked, and c) coordinating setup and cleanup. Contact Tiffany Conroy ( for the potluck leader instruction sheet, or to sign up as a potluck leader. 

PYSANKY WORKSHOP - The Hospitality Group is offering an adult session to learn the beautiful art of Ukranian egg coloring (Pysanki) on Sunday, April 7, from 1:00-6:00pm. If you are interested in attending, please respond ASAP to Diana Yousef ( with the following information: (1) Will you need a kit with the materials? (2) Will you need childcare? Please respond as soon as possible so we can make arrangements!

PASCHA BAKE SALE – The Women’s Club Annual Pascha Bake Sale will be held on Sunday, April 14. 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:

SERVICE BOOK FOR HOLY WEEK AND PASCHA – If you would like to purchase the book, “Services of Holy Week and Pascha,” as used in the Antiochian Archdiocese, you can order it from the Ancient Faith Store, $35.00. The book has a hard cover with gilded pages and double ribbon markers.

FOOD FOR HUNGRY PEOPLE – The Food for Hungry People 2019 program began with the start of Great Lent and continues until Palm Sunday, April 21. Collection boxes are available at the Bengarri.

BIBLE BOWL - All Teens (13-19) and Pre-Teens (ages 10-12) interested in competing in this year's Bible Bowl, please contact Violet Robbat at 781-862-4388 or by e-mail at for further instruction.  This year we will be studying St. Paul's Letters to the Ephesians, Philippians and Colossians as found in the New Testament of the Orthodox Study Bible.  The Orthodox Study Bible is available from Ancient Faith Bookstore, Barnes and Noble, Holy Cross Bookstore and Amazon if you do not have one.  Our meeting/practice begins immediately after Church School every Sunday.  We will meet in the small area right outside Barbara's office.  Be sure to bring a chair in with you.  We look forward to having two great teams again this year!   

GUEST VOLUNTEERS INVITED – The St. Mary Prison Ministry would like to extend this Lenten opportunity for honorary guest volunteers to visit prisoners at the Massachusetts Correctional Institution in Concord, MA, every Monday at the Catholic chapel 6-8:30 PM. One of our permanent volunteers is on paternity leave, so we are actively looking for assistance. There is no prior experience or commitment needed as a guest, but please let Fr Antony know in advance for security reasons on the day you wish to visit.  The inmates appreciate volunteers who take time out of their busy day to spend the evening with them.
   For those interested in volunteering on a frequent basis, certification as a permanent volunteer is required. Please talk with Fr. Antony if interested in this ministry. For information about the Prison Ministry at St. Mary’s you can subscribe to our mailing list at 

SCHOLARSHIPS - Students graduating in 2019 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, 2019. Contact Mary Winstanley O’Connor at 617-523-1010 or email at for more information, including what it means to be a member.
   + The Archdiocese will be awarding several Francis Maria Scholarships of $2500 each to students attending an accredited 4 year college. This scholarship is available on the Archdiocese Scholarship page, Applications must be postmarked by May 15.

HIERARCHICAL VISIT - His Eminence Metropolitan JOSEPH will be at St. Mary’s Friday-Sunday, May 3-5 for a Hierarchical visit to celebrate Divine Liturgy and our 90th year anniversary. 

YES in PROVIDENCE – Join teens and college students from the Diocese Friday-Sunday, May 10-12 for an opportunity to serve the people of Providence, RI. Register online at Any questions? Please contact our Trip Leader, Michelle Hourani: or Katrina Bitar, YES Program Director:

ST. MARY’S ANNIVERSARY – On Saturday, May 18 we will celebrate our 90th Anniversary at the Crown Plaza in Woburn.  Plan to join us for dinner, dancing and other festivities.  More details to follow.
   + WE WANT YOUR PHOTOS! - The Young Adult Ministry is collecting photos of St. Mary's from past and present for the 90th Anniversary Celebration in May. If you have photos of family, relatives and friends from events at St. Mary's, please email to stmarys90thphotos@gmail.comor share them through GoogleDrive. Suggestions are photos of Holy Days, sacraments or other milestones; however all photos are welcome!

PARISH COUNCIL – The next meeting of the Parish Council is scheduled for Wednesday, May 22.

FAMILY CAMP - Register now for Family camp at Antiochian Village, Friday-Monday, May 24-27.  The theme is “Fostering a Healthy Family” with Speaker Fr. Nicholas Louh.  Visit for more information.

ORATORICAL FESTIVAL - The Diocese of Worcester & New England Oratorical Festival will be held on Saturday, June 8 at St. George, Norwood
PARISH LIFE CELEBRATION – The Diocese of Worcester & New England Parish Life Celebration will be held this year on Saturday, June 22 at St. George, West Roxbury, hosted by St. Stephen Church, Springfield and Emmanuel Church, Warren.

CROSSROAD SUMMER INSTITUTE - CrossRoad Summer Institute, a 10-day academic summer institute for Orthodox high school juniors and seniors to help them grow closer to Christ, will be held June 15-25 and July 2-12 at Hellenic College Holy Cross.  Apply today at  

ANTIOCHIAN ORTHODOX CONVENTION – This year’s Convention will be in Grand Rapids, MI, July 21-28, 2019. Hundreds of Antiochian Orthodox have already registered and purchased tickets. See 

HOSPITALITY GROUP – The Donald DiFiore Memorial Hospitality Group needs more volunteers to help it work 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 us, and help with planning fellowship events such as Lenten Potluck Suppers, the Dormition Feast, our annual Picnic, etc. Even if you could commit to just one event per year, this would help strengthen the sense of community and family in our parish. We also welcome new ideas for fellowship gatherings. If interested, please email Tiffany Conroy at
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


Whoever does not want to know the will of God is mentally walking a path next to a cliff, and easily falls with any wind. If he is praised, he is proud. If he is rebuked he is angry. If he eats pleasant food, he is drawn into bodily passions. When he suffers he weeps. When he knows something, he wants to show that he knows. When he doesn't understand, he pretends to understand. When he is rich he puts on airs. When he is poor, he is a hypocrite. When he is full, he is bold. When he fasts he is vainglorious. When he is denounced he loves to argue, while he looks on those who forgive him as fools.
   - St. Mark the Ascetic, Homilies, 2.193
O Lord and Master of my life!  Take from me the spirit of sloth, faint-heartedness, lust of power, and idle talk. But give rather the spirit of chastity, humility, patience, and love to thy servant. Yea, O Lord and King, grant me to see my own errors and not to judge my brother; For Thou art blessed unto ages of ages. Amen.
   - St. Ephrem the Syrian