Groups
/ About / Groups
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  • A. A. N. O.
  • Choir
  • Daughters of St. Mary’s
  • Seniors
  • Sons of St. Mary’s
  • Sunday School
  • Women’s Guild
  • Youth Group
A. A. N. O.
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Albanian American National Organization – Worcester Chapter
A.A.N.O. is a non-religious and non-political organization established
in 1946 to perpetuate and celebrate our Albanian heritage.

Choir

Director: Lazi Danga

Daughters of St. Mary’s
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The Daughters of St. Mary’s, founded at the church in 1951, is a women’s auxiliary group that provides hospitality following services during Great Lent and other times. They also make the grure (wheat) for those who request it for memorial services, and lend their support for projects around the church.

Saturday of Souls 
We offer our prayers for the repose of our dearly departed loved ones during our Saturday of Souls liturgies, typically held in February and again in the spring. The Daughters make the memorial wheat for these services.

Seniors
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On the third Thursday of each month, our Seniors have their monthly luncheon in the church hall beginning at 11:30 am.  Stop by to enjoy good food and good friends!

Sons of St. Mary’s
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The Sons of St. Mary’s is a men’s auxiliary group that meets the first Tuesday of the month (September – June) for dinner and a meeting in the church hall at 6:30 pm.

They offer support for projects around the church and offer cash scholarships each year to college students from the parish.

Sunday School
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Sunday School is held each Sunday after Communion. For more info please contact Sunday School Director Sandy Dionis at smcchurchschool@gmail.com

The Importance of Sunday School
“Let the children come to me, so not to hinder them; for to such belongs the Kingdom of God. Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the Kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.” Mark 10: 14-15 
Christian education is a permanent challenge to the work of the Church. Not only did our Lord continuously teach the word of God during His early mission, but the Church as well from the earliest times looked upon Christian education as one of its essential ministries.  
The greatest gift, the most precious inheritance that we have to give to our children is our Orthodox Faith. Jesus makes it clear that He wants children to come to know Him, and the He considers it a grave offence for an adult to hinder this process or lead a child astray: “whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened round his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.” Matt 18:6 
The Central aim of Christian education in our Church is to evoke and nurture faith in Jesus Christ according to the Gospel. We use a whole range of Orthodox educational material- books, filmstrips, visuals, Bible Studies, lives of saints, contemporary discussion of Christian values, as an effective way to communicate the love and sprit of Christ. As an essential and abiding ministry in the Church, it is never finished.
When we bring our children regularly to Sunday School we provide them with a gift of knowledge that has lifelong value and significance.
The validity of Christian education is demonstrated by the truth that a well informed Christian is a spiritually committed Christian within the greater body of the Church. The commission of Christian education comes from the Lord Himself:
“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you, and lo I am with you always, to the close of the age.” Matt 28: 19-20 
So bring your children to Sunday School. Your personal example and involvement in the religious education of your children are extremely important. The priest and teachers cannot do the job alone. Here is how you can help develop the spiritual life and moral upbringing of your children:

  • Register your child to our Sunday Church School Program. 
  • Bring them to Church on time. 
  • Stay and worship at the Divine Liturgy in the Church. 
  • Be positive about Church. 
  • Discuss with them what they learned each Sunday. 
  • Teach them to bring their weekly stewardship offering. 
  • Give your personal example of Christian living. 
  • Emphasize regular repentance and Holy Communion.
  • Put Church before every other activity on Sunday.
  • Avoid criticism of others.
  • Let your love for Our Lord Jesus Christ radiate.  
Women’s Guild
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Founded at the church in 1955, the Women’s Guild is an auxiliary group established to fundraise for the church and assist the Church School by raising funds through various functions for textbooks, necessary materials, and field trips.

The Guild meets on the second Tuesday of each month at 6:30 pm in the church hall.

Youth Group
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AOYA (Albanian Orthodox Youth of America)

The mission of AOYA is to strengthen the relationship of young Orthodox Christians with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ as well as create a fellowship with the St. Mary’s community.

We meet once a month in the church hall for 2 hours. Our meetings bring together the youth of the church from grades 6 to 12. We start each meeting with a general meeting about upcoming events in the church and activities that as a group we can participate in. In previous years, we have helped decorate the Petafi for Holy Friday, serve food during Presanctified services at St. Mary’s, and volunteered at St. Mary’s Sunday School.

After our general meeting, we have Christian Education. We have discussed many topics from Bible scriptures to movie’s that we watched as a group. The last part of our meeting will be followed by an activity consisting of games or participating in our annual Ice Cream Social.

During some months, we will have a group outing. We participated in the Men’s Club Bowling night for College Scholarships, went tubing, and went to Davis’s Mega Maze.

As a group we also like to help the community of Worcester. In the previous year, we participated in the Heart Association’s 5 mile Heart and Stroke walk.

We can’t wait for you to join AOYA.

For more information please contact Sydney Dionis at smchurchyouthgroup@gmail.com

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Saint Mary's Albanian Orthodox Church