St. Mary Orthodox Church

Cambridge, MA

Update for the week Thursday, June 13 - Wednesday, June 19, 2019


SUNDAY 6/16, Feast of Pentecost – Orthros 8:45am, Hierarchical Divine Liturgy with His Grace Bishop JOHN 10:00am, followed by Kneeling Prayers

MONDAY 6/17 – The Women’s Club will have its end-of-the-year dinner at the Cheesecake Factory in the Mall of Chestnut Hill, on Monday, June 17 at 7:00pm


SATURDAY 6/15 - 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 this Saturday, June 15 through Tuesday, June 25, and July 2-12, at Hellenic College Holy Cross.  Apply today at

FRIDAY-SUNDAY 6/14-6/16 – This weekend, our sister parish of Sts. Constantine & Helen in Central Square will be having their Greek Festival.  A number of our parishioners will be heading there for lunch after Divine Liturgy on Sunday.


CONGRATULATIONS – St. Mary’s Church School is pleased to announce that the two classes that submitted projects to the Diocese of Worcester and New England Creative Arts Competition both won awards!  There were three achievement levels, Gold, Silver and Bronze.  Grade 2/3 won Gold, and grade 4/5 won Bronze. We congratulate the following teachers and their students for their participation: 
Grade 2/3 Teachers: Andrea Popa and Rose Njuguna;  Students: Preston Drillock, Annalisa Martinek, Elianna Patacchiola, Nadia Straghalis, Elias Bezzredies, Carla Daniel, Veronica Decerbo and Miykall Samson
Grade 4/5 Teachers: Cyatharine Alias and Fortuna Risom;  Students: Peter Bezzerides, Eamonn Connolly, Sam Crea, Saron Solomon, Elnathan Daniel, Ruth Samson, Alia Flessas and Layla Haddad
Well done!  Award ribbons will be given to the children in the fall.

COFFEE HOUR VOLUNTEERS NEEDED – Volunteering always falls off this time of year, but the need for fellowship and hospitality stays strong. Please sign up to sponsor a coffee hour, individually or with friends.  It can be as simple as coffee, juice, and cookies, and plenty of help is available.  Signup sheets are on the bulletin board downstairs outside the Hall, or tell Barbara in the office at 617-547-1234 or secretary@stmaryorthodoxchurch.orgWhen no one volunteers, there is no coffee hour. Isn't it your turn by now?  


PARISH LIFE CONFERENCE – The Diocese of Worcester & New England Parish Life Conference will be held next Saturday 6/22 at St. George, West Roxbury, hosted by St. Stephen Church, Springfield and Emmanuel Church, Warren. Register online at

SACRED MUSIC INSTITUTE – This year’s Sacred Music Institute will be held Wednesday-Sunday, July 10-14, at Antiochian Village. The theme this year is “Sacraments and Song.” Contact Charlie Marge with any questions:  Online registration is available through the Village website.

PARISH COUNCIL – The next meeting of the Parish Council will be on Wednesday, July 17 at 7:30.

ANTIOCHIAN ARCHDIOCESE CONVENTION – This year’s Convention will be in Grand Rapids, MI, July 21-28, 2019. See 
DORMITION – The fast preceding the Feast of the Dormition of the Blessed Theotokos, our patronal feast day, begins on Thursday, August 1 and continues through Wednesday, August 14, the eve of the Feast.

TANGLEWOOD OUTING – Join your music-loving friends from St. Mary’s and carpool out to Tanglewood after Liturgy on Sunday, August 4. We’ll picnic on the lawn and listen to music by Rachmaninoff and Sibelius, featuring pianist Yefim Bronfman with the Boston Symphony Orchestra. For more information see The concert starts at 2:30; lawn tickets are $22.00 - pay at the door; children are free. Bring lawn chairs if you want them, and picnic food for yourself and to share.  For more information and to let us know you're coming, contact Melissa Nassiff at
TRANSFIGURATION – Divine Liturgy for the Feast of the Transfiguration will be celebrated on Monday, August 5, at 6:30.
NEW SKETE PILGRIMAGE – The annual New Skete Pilgrimage is set for Saturday, August 10 this year (the Saturday after Transfiguration).  In years past, a number of St. Mary people have gone out for the weekend (this year, 8/9-11, 2019) to help the Communities with this event—to be extra sets of “helping hands” for the day.  They are hoping a number of us will do so again this year. In the past, this has been a wonderful community building activity for all of us.  Moreover, if you have never been to the monastery, this may be a good way to be introduced to their life and work.  In addition to the services, there are tours of the church and talks by various members of the communities about their lives.  The main talk will be given by Gayle Woloshak, Ph. D. who is a Professor of Radiation Oncology, Radiology, and Cell and Molecular Biology at the Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University.  (In addition, she is Past President of the Orthodox Theological Society of America and Treasurer of the International Orthodox Theological Association and wears MANY other “hats” in the Orthodox world.  (Her ecclesial resume is quite long…)  Her talk is entitled, “Good Earth: Caring for God’s Creation."  There are also the dogs, great hiking trails, nearby tubing, and more (e.g. usually a picnic at Hedges Lake on that Sunday), etc.  More information about the Pilgrimage can be found here:
   Once again, Teva Regule ( will be coordinating the Boston helpers and as much housing as she can. (In particular, any women wanting to "camp out" at the nuns’, let her know.  The Emmaus house is now a guest house - anyone wishing to stay there should contact Br. Gregory directly at  Housing is first come, first served.
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

What happened at Pentecost is the exact opposite of what happened at Babel (Genesis 11:1–9).At Babel tongues were divided through pride, so that men no longer understood each other and were separated and dispersed. At Pentecost, it is the gift of God which divides itself so that it may descend upon each one individually and reunite them all. All those who have received the Holy Spirit proclaim the same Word, the Word of God. They are understood by all because they speak all languages. All language barriers are broken by the Word of God; it is understood by all those who have received the gift of languages.
   - Taken from: “The Living God” - a catechism from St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press
If you bear your cross with perseverance and seek comfort only from Him, then He, through His mercy, will not abandon you but will touch your heart and will impart to you the gifts of the Holy Spirit. It is then that you will feel an indescribable delight, a wonderful inner peace and joy such as you have never experienced before, and at the same time you will feel an influx of spiritual strength; prayer will become easier and your faith stronger. Then your heart will be kindled with love of God and all people. All these are gifts of the Holy Spirit.
  When the Lord decides to honor you with such gifts, do not consider them as rewards for your labors, and do not think that you have attained perfection. Such thoughts come from pride. The comforts and grace of the Holy Spirit are not rewards but gifts of divine mercy. Occasionally the Lord allows us to get a foretaste of future blessings so that we will put forth a greater effort in seeking His eternal Kingdom.
   - Saint Innocent, Bishop of Alaska, The Way into the Kingdom of Heaven