Artist Michael Moukios at the Promenade

Many of our parishioners know Michael Moukios from St. Katherine’s and St. Paul’s. For those of you who don’t know Michael (or his lovely wife Catherine), read the biography below to learn more about Michael and his talents. Michael paints beautiful paintings and has a small studio set up at the Promenade (near E. Terry and 41 — see map)

Michael’s first career in the arts was advertising and marketing, creating imagery for major department stores and major advertising firms in Manhattan. Throughout his 25-year career he never lost sight of his love for the fine arts. Now retired, Michael enjoys spending more time painting the world around him, working mostly in oils on canvas. He’s received a number of awards for his paintings in Southwest Florida as well as New York, and Rhode Island. Open 10 AM – 3 PM Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, the Artists Studios at the Promenade are a collaborative project of the Art League of Bonita Springs and the Promenade. The last Thursday of each month, they are open from 4 to 7 PM.

The Antiochian Women are organizing an evening to celebrate the art of Michael Moukios. Please join us on Thursday, August 27th at 5:30 PM at the Promenade in Bonita Springs (see map) to tour the gallery and enjoy Michael’s art

Following the gallery tour, tables will be reserved at the Silver Spoon Restaurant (in the Promenade) for dinner.

Sign up in the Vestibule (if you go to St. Paul’s) or email Diane Shaheen (

Individual checks – you may order what you wish.

Chris Spina plays basketball


Chris Spina, treasurer of St. Peter Orthodox Mission, was featured on the front page of Naples Daily News yesterday. Chris is trying out for the basketball team at Ave Maria University where is also completing a degree. Congratulations Chris.

Story follows:

BONITA SPRINGS — A little over eight months ago, Bonita Springs resident Chris Spina had a revelation.

At 53 years old and tipping the scales at more than 300 pounds, he knew he needed to make a change.

But when he told friends and family of the change he had mind, he couldn’t blame them for being a little skeptical at first.

That’s because Spina proudly announced that he was going to drop nearly 100 pounds and play college basketball — all in less than one year.

Now as Spina’s quest has become well-known through local communities, cynics have become supporters and strangers have become fans. Spina has lost 70 pounds, and thanks to the support of the coaching staff at Ave Maria, will try out for the team’s basketball team in September.

“It’s always been a dream of mine to play organized basketball,” said Spina, who owns the Southwest Florida-based Spina Realty Company. “I love the game so much and I’ve always loved playing so I thought this would be the perfect motivation.”


Read the entire story on the Naples Daily News website.

Holy Transfiguration Liturgy

St. Paul’s Church will be serving a Vesperal Liturgy for the Feast of the Transfiguration at St. Paul’s (Immokalee Road — get directions) on Wednesday evening, August 5 at 6:30pm. All parishioners are invited (and encouraged) to attend this service marking a very important Feast Day.

Also, mark you calendar for August 14, 6:30pm when St. Paul’s will serve a Vesperal Liturgy for the Feast of the Dormition.

From the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese website:

The Feast of the Transfiguration of Our Lord, God and Savior Jesus Christ is celebrated each year on August 6. The feast commemorates the transfiguration or metamorphosis of Christ on Mount Tabor, when our Lord appeared in His divine glory before the Apostles Peter, James, and John.

Biblical Story

The event of the Transfiguration is recorded in three of the four Gospels: Matthew 17:1-9, Mark 9:2-8, and Luke 9:28-36. Jesus took the Apostles Peter, James, and John with Him up upon a mountain, and while they were on the mountain Jesus was transfigured. His face shone like the sun, and His garments became glistening white.

Moses and Elijah appeared with Christ, talking to Him. Peter declared how good it was for them to be there and expressed the desire to build three booths for Moses, Elijah, and Christ. This reference to the booths could imply that this occurred during the time of the Feast of Tabernacles when the Jews would be camping out in the fields for the grape harvest; for this Feast had acquired other associations in the course of its history, including the memory of the wanderings in the wilderness recorded in the Old Testament book of Exodus.

While Peter was speaking, a bright cloud overshadowed them. A voice came from the cloud saying, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to Him.” When the disciples heard this they fell on their faces filled with awe. Jesus came to them and told them to not be afraid. When the three looked up they saw only Jesus.

As Jesus and His disciples came down the mountain, He told them not to speak of what they had seen until He had risen from the dead.

St. Peter Epistle – July 21, 09 — Thoughts on Sunday’s Discussion

After Liturgy last Sunday, we discussed that Jesus was not the founder of Christianity. Instead, Christ enables the Gentiles (us) to enter the commonwealth of Israel. This means that the promise of God given to Abraham that through him a Savior through whom all the nations of the world would be blessed applied not only to the children of Abraham, but to the whole world.

St. Paul discusses this extensively in the book of Romans. The Church is now the “New Israel” and we look to a “city not made with hands” but to a “heavenly Jerusalem.”

A very good question was raised: how did Christianity become established? It was established through the preaching of the Gospel by the Apostles. The word “apostle” means “one sent forth” with the evangelion (“good news”) – what we call the Gospel. The apostles were the original disciples.

The gentiles heard the Gospel primarily through the preaching of the Apostle Paul. Paul was not an original disciple. In fact, he was a persecutor of the Christians before encountering Christ on the road to Damascus (you can read about this in Acts 9). Paul went to the Gentiles.

[Read more…]

St. Peter Epistle — July 1, 2009 Independence Day

We were created to be free

Declaration of Independence

On July 4 we celebrate the signing of the Declaration of Independence, a day we now understand as the founding of the United States of America. At the time, there was no guarantee that the brave men who declared independence from Britain would succeed. There were, for all purposes, signing their death warrants because if they failed, they would surely be hanged.

But they did succeed and out of their efforts a new nation was born. And this nation, despite some grave moral inequities like slavery that would not be settled until years later at great cost to itself, and despite mistakes and injustices along the way, would nevertheless rise as a beacon of freedom and hope in the world.

This call of freedom and hope rang in the ears of many of our immediate forbears. They came to America from all over the world because they believed that they might find the means to take care of their families. Many immigrated to escape war and poverty that afflicted so many other areas of the world.

Hard work, perseverance, and most of all the embrace of the right values ensured that a new life could be forged. And forge it they did. We are the beneficiaries of their sacrifice, and like them, we too must go forward to build on what they started.

Statue of Liberty

But America has fallen on hard times. Some of the difficulty is economic, but the more serious problem is that we have lost our moral compass. The values that guided the Forefathers were the same values that guided the early immigrants. Unfortunately they have fallen by the wayside in many areas of American life.

We don’t need to mention what they are. We already know. We worry about the moral lives of our children – what they face, the decisions they have to make. We worry about the collapse of the family. We worry that the public culture is increasingly profaned and there seems to be no way out of the moral confusion around us and the turmoil that it causes.


What do we do?

There is only one answer. We have to turn back to God. And the way back to God begins with us.

Alexander Solzhenitsyn, a Russian author and dissident said that our social and moral crisis was because “man had forgotten God.” Only when man recovers what he called his “religious sensibility” will things turn around. And that begins with us.

This Sunday right after liturgy, we are going to do two things. First we are going to pray together for the healing of a seventeen year old boy who was diagnosed with cancer. The prayers of many people can be very powerful and we are going to ask God to bring him healing.

Second, we are going to pray for our country. We are going to ask God for His help in restoring moral clarity to this great nation that has become our home. We will be joining thousands of other Christians who are doing the same thing this Sunday. This is not a political action. This is a moral action. We will ask God to bring healing to our nation and help us recover the moral clarity America needs to find stability, purpose, and the right direction.

One final reminder

Don’t forget about the Independence Day barbecue that will be held on July 5 at St. Paul Antiochian Church (google map). All parishioners of St. Peter are invited. It starts at noon (you will have plenty of time to get there after Liturgy). Please RSVP by email ( or phone (239-348-0828).

God bless you and God bless America.

Fr. Hans