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St. Peter News March 21, 2023

St. John Climacus - The Ladder of Divine Ascent

Fourth Sunday of Great Lent
St. John of the Ladder

The Divine Liturgy of St. Basil

Our Righteous Father Stephen the Confessor, abbot of Triglia

St. John of the Ladder (Climacus)

St. John of the Ladder (Climacus)

Our venerable and God-bearing Father John Climacus (ca. 579 – 649), also known as John of the Ladder, John Scholasticus, and John Sinaites, was a seventh century monk at St. Catherine’s monastery at the base of Mount Sinai.

He came to the monastery and became a novice when he was about 16 years old, and when he died in 649 he was the monastery’s abbot. He wrote a number of instructive books, the most famous of which is The Ladder of Divine Ascent. (It is because of this book that John is known as “Climacus,” which means “of the ladder”.)

It describes how to raise one’s soul to God, as if on a ladder. This book is one of the most widely read among Eastern Orthodox Christians, especially during the season of Great Lent which immediately precedes Pascha (Easter), and on the fourth Sunday of Great Lent he is especially commemorated.

Quotes from St. John

  • Repentance is the renewal of baptism.
  • Repentance is a contract with God for a second life.
  • A penitent is a buyer of humility.
  • Repentance is constant distrust of bodily comfort.
  • Repentance is self-condemning reflection, and carefree self-care.
  • Repentance is the daughter of hope and the renunciation of despair.
  • A penitent is an undisgraced convict.
  • Repentance is reconciliation with the Lord by the practice of good deeds contrary to the sins.
  • Repentance is purification of conscience.
  • Repentance is the voluntary endurance of all afflictions.
  • A penitent is the inflicter of his own punishments.
  • Repentance is a mighty persecution of the stomach, and a striking of the soul into vigorous awareness.

Read more on the Orthodoxwiki website.

Fr. Thomas Hopko on “St. John of the Ladder”

Fr. Thomas Hopko

Originally broadcast on March 11, 2008 Length: 13:24

It is at this point in our Lenten journey that the Church contemplates the instruction of St. John Climacus and his Ladder of Divine Ascent.

Fr. Tom takes us step by step through this treasure and makes it practical for us non-monastics!

Listen here:

Click to listen to the podcast

Services This Week

  • SUN Mar 19 — SUNDAY OF THE VENERATION OF THE CROSS Orthros 8:30am, Divine Liturgy 9:30am LIVE STREAM
  • Mon Mar 20 — Great Compline 6:30pm LIVE STREAM
  • Wed Mar 22 — Presanctified Liturgy 6:30pm LIVE STREAM
  • Fri Mar 24 — Akathist Hymn Fourth Stanza 5:30pm
  • Fri Mar 24 — Great Vespers for Annunciation 6:30pm LIVE STREAM
  • Sat Mar 25 — Annunciation of the Theotokos Divine Liturgy 9:30am LIVE STREAM

PLEASE NOTE: The Akahist Hymn scheduled for Friday March 10, has been moved to Thursday, March 9 at 6:30pm.


Planning for Palm Sunday Brunch and the Pascha Celebration — Mark you Calendars!

If there is one thing we do well at St. Peter’s, it’s our community gatherings. Mark you calendars for the Palm Sunday Brunch on Sunday, April 9, 2023 (following Divine Liturgy) and Pascha Community Dinner of Sunday, April 16 2023 (around 1pm).

Palm Sunday Menu:

  • Plaki: Fresh Cod baked with celery, onions, and carrots
  • Potato
  • Tomato with Mediterranean seasoning
  • Spaghetti with Marinara aauce

Pascha Dinner Menu

  • Roast leg of lamb
  • Tossed salad
  • Beans
  • Baked lasagna

Sign up sheets are available on the tables in the social hall.


Diocese of Miami Parish Life Conference in Miami June 14-17, 2023

For more information visit the DOMSE website.


Click here to get more information

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St. Peter Orthodox Church Fort Myers FL

Let’s Pray the Paraklesis to the Theotokos Daily


Click here to get more information

Click the image to get more information on how to participate from the St. Peter’s website


Our goal at St. Peter’s is to have one person or family pray the Parakelsis to the Theotokos for at least one day of every month. For each day of the month, individuals or even an entire family can sign up to pray the Paraklesis in their homes on the day/s which they select.

Get more information on how to participate from the St. Peter’s website.


Cafe of Life – Sacrifice is Pleasing to God

Cafe of Life

God has given us the greatest sacrifice — His only Son Jesus. In doing so, he left us with a true example of what it means to give to the poor and less fortunate. He asks us to sacrifice as an act of worship before Him and when we obey, He will bless us.

According to The Hebrews 13:16: Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.

So please be exceptionally generous during this Great Lent and donate for the hungry and homeless in our community.

Thank you, God bless and IC XC NI KA!


Sign up the the Monthly DOMSE Newsletter on the DOMSE (Diocese of Miami and the Southeast) Website!


Visit the DOMSE Website (scroll to the bottom, fill in the form on the left side) to sign up for “The Light” Newsletter and DOMSE emails.

St. Peter Orthodox Church Fort Myers FL


MARCH 2023

  • Mar 05 Will Schwarz, Nader Sahawneh
  • Mar 12 Al Joseph, Joe and Deb Repya
  • Mar 19 Barb and Costa Dionysopoulos, Need Additional Volunteer
  • Mar 26 Will Schwarz, Candice Rosen

APRIL 2023

  • Apr 2 Joe and Deb Repya, Need Additional Volunteer   
  • Apr 9   Dan Delorenzo, George Tsikitas
  • Apr 16  Joe and Deb Repya Need Additional Volunteer
  • Apr 23  Dan Delorenzo,  Need Additional Volunteer
  • Apr 30  Need Additional Volunteer

We have a few Sunday’s in March and April with only one person or couple that we need to fill. If anyone else would like to volunteer, please call Joe Repya 612-270-4443.



Social Hall All Stars


  • Marlene Haley
  • Cheryl Morse
  • Tim Morse
  • Diana Najjar
  • Deb Repya
  • Elaine Semeretis
  • Gregory Semeretis
  • Dino Magas
  • Jennifer Magas
  • Mikala Magas
  • Michael Magas

The Social Hall All Stars are the men and women that make St. Peter’s Social Hall happen. Thank you All Stars!

St. Peter Orthodox Church Fort Myers FL

Calendar also available on the St. Peter website.


  • SUN Mar 19 — SUNDAY OF THE VENERATION OF THE CROSS Orthros 8:30am, Divine Liturgy 9:30am LIVE STREAM
  • Mon Mar 20 — Great Compline 6:30pm LIVE STREAM
  • Wed Mar 22 — Presanctified Liturgy 6:30pm LIVE STREAM
  • Fri Mar 24 — Akathist Hymn Fourth Stanza 5:30pm
  • Fri Mar 24 — Great Vespers for Annunciation 6:30pm LIVE STREAM
  • Fri Mar 24 — Men of St. Paisios 7:30pm Social Hall
  • Sat Mar 25 — Annunciation of the Theotokos Divine Liturgy 9:30am LIVE STREAM
  • SUN Mar 26 — SUNDAY OF ST. JOHN OF THE LADDER Orthros 8:30am, Divine Liturgy 9:30am LIVE STREAM
  • Mon Mar 27 — Great Compline 6:30pm LIVE STREAM
  • Wed Mar 29 — Presanctified Liturgy 6:30pm LIVE STREAM
  • Fri Mar 31 — Complete Salutations/Akathist Hymn 6:30pm LIVE STREAM
  • Fri Mar 31 — Men of St. Paisios 7:30pm Social Hall
St. Peter Orthodox Church Fort Myers FL

When we approach someone with pain and true love, then this true love of Christ transforms our neighbor. Saint Paisios of Mount Athos

Edifying words, the writings of the Holy Fathers, prayers, and especially the words of the Word Himself, the Second Person of the Holy Trinity, are indeed living water. Righteous John, Wonderworker of Kronstadt

So, then, it is in the Cross that we, too, will find our resurrection. There we will find our prayer. There we will find our salvation. Bishop Irenei Steenberg

Take care to distinguish between your thoughts, as the Fathers teach. Stop and look, decide which ones are good and which ones are bad. Then, disassociate from any that you find to be bad, believe nothing they tell you, do not believe for an instant that they are a part of who you are. This is of the utmost importance, because if we accept bad thoughts, then they will stay with us and make us believe that they are actually a part of us. Elder Sergei of Vanves

Dispassion is not freedom from attack by the demons, for to be free from such attack we must, as the Apostle says, ‘go out of the world* (1 Cor. 5:10); but it is to remain undefeated when they do attack. St. Diadochus, bishop of Photike in Epirus

St. Peter Orthodox Church Fort Myers FL
  • Names will remain on the list for three months.
  • If you would like to keep them on longer please mention it to Fr. Hans. We will keep the names on the list for as long as the person needs prayers.
  • Names will include the person who requested the prayers and the month the name will be removed.
  • The permanent list includes friends and members of St. Peter’s and others including shut-ins.

Were names dropped that should have remained? Please mention it to Fr. Hans. He will add them back.

Current Prayer List

Christina (Hildreth)
Georgia and Richard and their unborn child (Chapekis)
Dionysios Chapekis)
Nancy (Forderhase)
Kayla (Palantine)
George (3/23 Chapekis)
Penelope (3/23 Chapekis)
Theodora (3/23)
Victor (3/23)
Barbara (Dusckas 3/23)
James (Dusckas 3/23)
Les (3/23
Lynn (Hurely 1/23)
Irene and unborn baby (Tsikitas 1/23)
Linda (Pappas 1/23)
Ekaterina (Chapekis 1/23)
Mikaela and unborn baby (Irena 1/23)
Lee (Hurley 1/23)
Emmanuel (Kalousdis 1/23)
Katherine (Dusckas 1/23)
Vassiliki (Diveris 1/23)
Zena Touma (Contorelli 1/23
Lamia Touma (Contorelli 1/23
Matthew (Contorelli 1/23
Emmanuel (Kaloudis 1/23)
Marlene (Tewis 12/22)
Tina (Johnson 12/22)
Nicholas (De Lorenzo 12/22)
Priest Anthony (Karbo 11/22)
Archpriest Dionysius (Valentine 9/12)
Anthony Presbyter (Kerr 10/22)
Angel (Ghanem 10/22)
Edgar (Chapekis 9/22)
Evthriki (Jacobse 9/22)
Christos (Johnson 8/22)
Jon Paul (Andrew 8/22)
William (Brubaker 8/22)
Peter (Tewis 8/22)
The People of Ukraine and People of Russia and all those who are suffering in the war

Permanent Prayer List

Katheryn (Tolkkinen)
Markisia (Long)
Angela (Long)
Marina (Long)
Eleni (Long)
Raphaella (Long)
Joanne (Haley)
Francine (Anton)
Corwin (Dusckas)
Corgette (Troutman)
Irina (Irina)
Seraphim (Irina)
Lidia (Irina)
Sarina (Ghanem)
Debbie (Breitenbach)
Kathy (Breitenbach)
Hope (Isadore)
John (Long)
Pantelis (Tsikita)
Marisa (Tsikita)
Barbara (Dionysopoulos)
Patricia (Evanoff)
Gabriel (Mankus)
Baby Dani (Repya)
Despina (Diversis)
Fredericos (Diveris)
Makrina and her unborn baby (Kerr)
Herman (Kerr)
Innocent (Kerr)
Nicholas (Kerr)
Paola (Jacobse)
Gregory (Yankopolos)
Pauline (Poulos)
Sergio (Kazakos)
Fran (Hansen)
Nina (Krotov)
Franklin (Pyrrson)
Demetrios (Kuchera)
Theodosios (Palis)
Theodora (Webb)
Robert (Smith)
Presbytera Rosy (in Pakistan)
James (Hord)
Vassiliki (Kontinos)
Vassiliki (Morekeas)
Vassilike (Hord)

Founders, Members, Benefactors and Friends Departed this Life

John (Hansen)
Anatoly (Kurdsjuk)
Thareni (Brooks)
Milan Evanoff
Jean (Sam)
Eleni (Pearson)
Richard (Pearson)
Fr. Stephanos (Shagoury)
Panagiota (Bea Chionis)
Anthony (Mourgis)
Anthony (Mankus)
Constantine (Houpis)
Constantine (Joseph)
Mary (Jarvis)
Panagiota Margarita (Palis)
Maria (Ninos)
Soterios (Ninos)
John (Katsigianopoulos)
George (Chionis)
Mary (Spiropoulos)
Gregory (Pappas)
Angela (Coran K
Eugene (Rust)
Robert (Jarvis)
George (Corey)
Patricia (Cotsones)

How should we pray for the sick? Remember them daily. Say their names (first names are sufficient) and ask God to bestow mercy and grace on them.

Add or remove names and print this list for easy reference during your prayer time on the St. Peter website.

St. Peter Orthodox Church Fort Myers FL
Search the Scriptures


The Lord will give strength to His people.
Bring unto the Lord, ye sons of God, bring unto the Lord glory and honor.

The Reading from the Epistle of St. Paul to the Hebrews. (6:13-20)

Brethren, when God made a promise to Abraham, since He could swear by no one greater, He swore by Himself, saying, “Surely blessing I will bless thee, and multiplying I will multiply thee.” And thus, having patiently endured, he obtained the promise. For people indeed swear by what is greater, and in every dispute of theirs the oath is final for confirmation. So when God, being minded to show more abundantly to the heirs of the promise the immutability of His counsel, He interposed it with an oath, that by two immutable things—in which it is impossible for God to lie—we might have a strong consolation, we, who have fled for refuge to lay hold of the hope that is set before us; a hope, which we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and entering into “that which is within the veil,” where Jesus entered as a Forerunner on our behalf, having become a High Priest “forever according to the order of Melchizedek.”



For the Third Sunday of Great Lent

The Reading from the Holy Gospel according to St. Mark. (8:34-9:1)

The Lord said, ‘If any man would come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever would save his life will lose it; and whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it. For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul? For what can a man give in return for his soul? For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him will the Son of man also be ashamed, when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.” And Jesus said to them, “Truly, I say to you, there are some standing here who will not taste death before they see the kingdom of God come with power.’

St. Peter Orthodox Church