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St. Peter News February 15, 2022

Sunday of the Prodigal Son

MLeo, bishop of Catania in Sicily; Venerable Vissarion the Great of Egypt; Agathon, Patriarch of Rome

The Prodigal Son

The Prodigal Son


The Sunday of the Prodigal Son is the second Sunday of pre-Lent, the weeks of preparation preceding Great Lent. It is the Sunday after the Sunday of the Publican and Pharisee and Sunday before Meatfare Sunday. This pre-Lent is the start of the Easter cycle of worship in the Orthodox Church.

On this Sunday in the preparation for Great Lent, Orthodox Christians are read Christ’s parable about God’s loving

forgiveness (Luke 15:11-24). They are to see themselves as being in a foreign country far from the Father’s house and to make the movement of return to God, where we truly belong. The parable gives assurance that the Father will receive them with joy and gladness in their journey through Great Lent, their journey home.

Sermon on the Prodigal Son by Bp. Timothy Ware

When we take one step towards God, He takes 10 steps toward us.

Click to view video

Services This Week

  • Sun Feb 13 — SUNDAY OF THE PUBLICAN AND PHARISEE DIVINE LITURGY – Orthros 8:30am Divine Liturgy 9:30am LIVE STREAM
  • Tue Feb 15 — Paraklesis to the Theotokos 9:30am LIVE STREAM

What is Secularism? Talk and discussion on Saturday, February 19, 2022 at 10:00am

St. Demetirios

You’ve heard Fr. Hans mention the word “secularism” often. What is secularism? Why do we need to define it and understand it? These are questions that come up often and parishioners have asked Fr. Hans to explain it more.

Secularism does not refer the separation of Church and State. Secularism is a flawed understanding of the human person and God. It’s one of the driving forces that makes some parishes dysfunctional and turns them into clubs instead of churches. Secularism is the spirit of this age with results that can be catastrophic for both man and society.

Join is for a spirited, illuminating, worthwhile talk and discussion that will help us understand why the world is struggling, what we can do about it, and how we can make both ourselves and our parish stronger.

Doors open at 9:30 for coffee and breakfast treats, talk begins at 10:00. We will dismiss by noon at the latest.

The lecture is open to everyone. Parish Council members, choir members, and all who have designated responsibilities in the functioning of the parish are expected to attend.


Stewardship 2022

God has blessed St. Peter’s. Please fill in your pledge so the work that we have been called to do will continue.


Click the image to download and print the form

Click the image to download and print the form

You can also print and download the form on the St. Peter website.


Liturgical Greek Language School Continues

Sts. Ephraim and Isaac the Syrians

St. Peter’s has begun classes on the Greek language for the children of the parish. Their parents requested the classes so that their children can be exposed to liturgical Greek, the language of scripture and theology. Classes meet on Thursdays at 3:30pm in the Sunday School room.

Parents are responsible for the instruction of their children. St. Peter’s do will everything possible to help them.


St. Peter’s Adult Education Begins. Mark Your Calendars!

Holy Eucharist

Our first three offerings begin soon. These talks and discussion will deepen your knowledge of our Orthodox Christian faith, particularly in these troublesome times when trust in our civic institutions is failing and the bonds that held culture and society together have been seriously, and perhaps irretrievably, weakened. In our lifetime, the need to deepen our knowledge and faith has never been more necessary than today.

1) What is Secularism? Saturday February 19, 2022 at 9:30am

Fr. Hans mentions secularism often. What is secularism? How do we define it? How do secular ideas we may have incorporated into how we think and see the world distort our understanding of it? What does our Orthodox faith say about secularism? The talk will end around noon.

2) Journey through Lent. Saturday March 5, 2022 following the Saturday of the Souls Liturgy

This talk will explain the general outline of Lent and Holy Week so that we can understand the structure, meaning, and importance of this season more deeply. Leaarn why we do the things that we do. It follows the Saturday of the Souls Divine Liturgy held that morning (talk begins about 11:30am and will be over by 1:00pm).

3) St. Peter’s Women’s Retreat. Saturday March 26, 2022 at 9:00am

The tentative title is “All About Prayer” led by Presbytera Susan. Coffee at 9:00am, retreat begins at 9:30am and concludes with Vespers. More details forthcoming.


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.

Hopefully, we will reach our goal of collectively praying for the intercessions of the Theotokos every day of every month. That way the supplications to the Theotokos will be offered for our parish, the larger world and those in need such as the people on our prayer list.

Also, you will come to know and love this beautiful hymn and learn more about the Theotokos and her benevolence and power towards us. We supplicate the Theotokos who responds in mercy, and she supplicates her son on behalf of the parish and its people.

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

Cafe of Life— The Importance of Feeding the Poor

Cafe of Life

As you sit down to enjoy your next meal and thank God for all you have, ask yourself “When was the last time I made a donation for the hungry?”

One of St. Peter’s mission is the making of sandwiches to feed those who are hungry and homeless in our community. Your donation will help sustain those less fortunate than yourself.

Checks or cash may be given to Father Hans.

“Whoever oppresses a poor man insults his maker, but he who is generous to the needy honors him,” (Proverb 14:31).

Thank you, God bless and IC XC NI KA!


Man of God (St. Nektarios) Movie Coming to Fort Myers/Naples on Monday March 21, 2022

Click to view the trailer

Click to view the trailer

A special showing of “Man of God,” an award winning feature film about the life of St. Nektarios is coming to Southwest Florida on Monday, March 21, 2022. Fr. Hans has already seen the film and gives it five stars. It is very good.

We can go view the film as a parish. Locations include:

Prado Stadium 25251 Chamber of Commerce Dr Bonita Spring FL
Regal Coconut Point 8021 Cinema Way Estero FL
Regal Belltower 13499 Belltower Drive Fort Myers FL
Regal Gulf Coast Town Center 10028 Gulf Center Drive Fort Myers FL
Regal Hollywood 6006 Hollywood Drive Naples FL

This movie was supported by St. Maxim the Greek Institute and Vatopedi Monastery for the spiritual enrichment of Orthodox Christians and all of humanity. The 2021 #1 movie in Greece, “Man of God” depicts the life of St. Nektarios, his struggles, his deep faith in God and his unwavering compassion for all people.

Keep in mind that St. Nektarios has performed miracles in our parish including the healing of cancer and other maladies.


Preparing the Food for Social Hall Fellowship

Ever wonder how the great food for fellowship after the Divine Liturgy comes about? Through hard and loving work, that’s how! Thank you so much to our Social Hall All Stars who make it happen.

The importance of their dedication and work cannot be overstated. The fellowship, the communion between friends, the embrace of warmth extended to those who are new to St. Peter’s, are an important and necessary part of we do for God and neighbor – love God and love our neighbor.

What better way than fellowship after worship?

Preparing the food

Save the Date! DOMSE Parish Life Conference June 15-18, 2022

DOMSE 2022 Parish Life Conference

Learn more on the DOMSE website.


Could You Support a Special Project?

St. Peter Orthodox Church

Some parishioners have requested a needs list they could contribute to. Below are the special projects we still need to get done. If you can help please mention it to Fr. Hans, Jack Long, or John Simon.

  • Replace Church computer
  • Replace Flat roof on Church
  • Replace windows in the Sunday School rooms
  • Upgrade Church sound system
  • Seal coat and restripe parking Lot
  • Upgrade Church Electrical System
St. Peter Orthodox Church

Pledge & Income Report – December 2021

Donations received in December: $35,409.
Amount of money needed to cover expenses: $22,760.
We are ahead by $12,649.

These numbers reflect the operating costs of the the Hickory Drive property.

Don't forget your pledge!

St. Peter Orthodox Church
7470 Hickory Drive
Fort Myers, FL 33967


You can also donate online:


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.

Social Hall All Stars

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

February 6 – February 27

  • Pavlo Bilych
  • Bonnie Joseph
  • Al Joseph
  • Sandy Krotov
  • Nader Sahawneh 214-695-5710
  • Anna Tsikitas
  • Margie Zimmerman

March 6 – March 27

  • Leon Dephkalion
  • Marlene Haley
  • Tom Haley 239-887-0753
  • Cheryl Morse
  • Tim Morse
  • Diana Najjar
  • Debbie Repya
  • Elaine Semeretis
  • Gregory Semeretis

Procedures for Hospitality

Please note: If you would like to bring in your own prepared food, please contact Tom Haley at 239-887-0753 a week before the upcoming Sunday. That way we know not to prepare any food for Sunday.

New procedures for coffee hour
  1. On most Sundays we will serve lighter refreshments like coffee, sweets, hummus, olives, feta, pita and similar items. Please continue bringing these items. Even though we have a range (unlike our former facility), we appreciate items that are “ready to be served.”
  2. Please do not donate coffee. We have a space age coffee brewer that we acquired at no cost if we buy our coffee from one supplier. If you bring in coffee, we can’t use it.
  3. We cannot continue preparing meals for Memorials, Name Days, Anniversaries, and other celebrations. We don’t have the appliances or manpower to do it well. We do, however, have the name of two catering companies that can prepare and deliver the food if you would like to sponsor a celebration. Please call Tom Haley at 239-887-0753 for details and to make arrangements.
  4. If you would like to bring in your own prepared food, please contact Tom Haley at 239-887-0753 a week before the upcoming Sunday. That way we know not to prepare any food for Sunday.

The Safest Way to Come to Church

US 41 is a busy highway and the intersection at Hickory Drive does not have a stop light. We recommend turning on Sanibel Boulevard and following Coconut Road instead.

Driving Safely

Calendar At A Glance

Calendar also available on the St. Peter website.


  • Sun Feb 13 — SUNDAY OF THE PUBLICAN AND PHARISEE DIVINE LITURGY – Orthros 8:30am Divine Liturgy 9:30am LIVE STREAM
  • Tue Feb 15 — Paraklesis to the Theotokos 9:30am LIVE STREAM
  • Thu Feb 17 — Fr. Hans Out of Town
  • Thu Feb 17 — Greek Language School 3:30pm
  • Fri Feb 18 — Parish Council Meeting 3:30pm
  • Sat Feb 19 — Adult Education: What is Secularism? Church Social Hall 9:30am
  • Sun Feb 20 — SUNDAY OF THE PRODIGAL SON DIVINE LITURGY – Orthros 8:30am Divine Liturgy 9:30am LIVE STREAM
  • Tue Feb 22 -26 — Fr. Hans out of town for the DOMSE Retreat in Atlanta
  • Thu Feb 24 — Greek Language School 3:30pm
  • Sat Feb 26 — CANCELLED – First Saturday of the Souls Divine Liturgy, Fr. Hans out of town


  • Wed Mar 02 — Paraklesis to the Theotokos 9:30am LIVE STREAM
  • Thu Mar 03 — Greek Language School 3:30pm
  • Fri Mar 04 — Paraklesis to the Theotokos 9:30am LIVE STREAM
  • Sat Mar 05 — Second Saturday of the Souls Divine Liturgy 9:30am LIVE STREAM

Wisdom From The Elders

The light of truth increases and decreases according to a man’s way of life. Terrible temptations fall upon those who seek to live a spiritual life. The ascetic of faith must therefore pass through great sufferings and misfortunes in order to come to knowledge of the truth. Venerable Isaac the Syrian, bishop of Nineveh

Spiritual progress can be rapid with a little philotimo-filled effort and awareness of our inner self. Saint Paisios of Mount Athos

By succumbing to sensory desire, rather than reigning over it by God’s dominion, the heart of man is “distracted” from its true orientation in God and His Kingdom. Bishop Irenei Steenberg

Terrible is the approach of death to people who are passionate, sinful and weak, who have not tried to live blamelessly in this vain world. Venerable Ephraim the Syrian

As to members of the Holy Orthodox Church living in districts beyond the reach of Orthodox Catholic clergy, I direct that the ancient custom of our Holy Church be observed, namely, in cases of extreme necessity, that is, danger of death, children may be baptized by some pious Orthodox layman, or even by the parent of the child, by immersion three times in the names of the (persons of the) Blessed Trinity, and in case of death such baptism is valid: — but, if the child should live, it must be brought to an Orthodox priest for the Sacrament of Chrismation. St. Raphael of Brooklyn

Remember in Your Prayers

List has been updated. If you want some names restored, please mention it to Fr. Hans.

  • 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.

Updated January 11 / Resets February 1.

Current Prayer List

Katherine (Jacobse 3/22)
Daniel, Fr. Deacon (Jacobse 3/22)
Lev (Jacobse 3/22)
Basil (Jacobse 3/22)
Linda M. (Dusckas 3/22)
Barbara (Dusckas 3/22)
Fr John (Jacobse 3/22)
Angel (Ghanem 3/22)
John (Duskas 3/22)
Nancy (Coin 3/22)
Nicholas (Ghanem 1/22)
Arielle (Ghanem 1/22)
Georgia (Sarros 1/22)
Kerri (Dusckas 1/21)

Permanent Prayer List

Lindsay (Semeretis)
Corgette (Troutman)
Irina (Irina)
Lee Joseph (Irina)
Lidia (Irina)
Sarina (Ghanem)
Kasiani, Jordan and their unborn child (Chapekis)
Debbie (Breitenbach)
Kathy (Breitenbach)
Hope (Isadore)
John (Long)
Pantelis (Tsikita)
Marisa (Tsikita)
Barbara (Dionysopoulos)
Patricia (Evanoff)
Gabriel (Mankus)
Baby Dani (Repya)
Maria and her newborn baby (Diveris)
Despina (Diversis)b
Fredericos (Diveris)
Sophia (D. Constantine)
Herman (Kerr)
Innocent (Kerr)
Nicholas (Kerr)
Paola (Jacobse)
Gregory (Yankopolos)
Soterios (Ninos)
Pauline (Poulos)
Sergio (Kazakos)
Fran (Hansen)
Nina (Krotov)
Franklin (Pyrrson)
George (Chionis)
Stamatia (Evelyn)
Demetrios (Kuchera)
Theodosios (Palis)
Theodora (Webb)
Robert (Smith)
Robert (Jarvis)
Presbytera Rosy (in Pakistan)
James (Hord)
Vassiliki (Kontinos)
Vassiliki (Morekeas)

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)
John (Katsigianopoulos)
George (Chionis)
Mary (Spiropoulos)
Gregory (Pappas)
Angela (Coran K
Eugene (Rust)

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.


Sunday Readings

Search the Scriptures


For Sunday of the Prodigal Son

Let Thy mercy, O Lord, be upon us.
Rejoice in the Lord, O ye righteous.

The Reading from the First Epistle of St. Paul to the Corinthians. (6:12-20)

Brethren, all things are lawful for me, but not all things are helpful. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be enslaved by anything. Food is meant for the stomach and the stomach for food; but God will destroy both one and the other. The body is not meant for immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. And God raised the Lord and will also raise us up by His power. Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I therefore take the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? Never! Do you not know that he who joins himself to a prostitute becomes one body with her? For, as it is written, “The two shall become one flesh.” But he who is united to the Lord becomes one spirit with Him. Shun immorality. Every other sin which a man commits is outside the body; but the immoral man sins against his own body. Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, which you have from God? You are not your own; you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.



For Sunday of the Prodigal Son

The Reading from the Holy Gospel according to St. Luke. (15:11-32)

The Lord spoke this parable: “There was a man who had two sons; and the younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of property that falls to me.’ And he divided his living between them. Not many days later, the younger son gathered all he had and took his journey into a far country, and there he squandered his property in loose living.

And when he had spent everything, a great famine arose in that country, and he began to be in want. So he went and joined himself to one of the citizens of that country, who sent him into his fields to feed swine. And he would gladly have fed on the pods that the swine ate; and no one gave him anything. But when he came to himself he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have bread enough and to spare, but I perish here with hunger! I will arise and go to my father, and I will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; I am no longer worthy to be called your son; treat me as one of your hired servants.”’

And he arose and came to his father. But while he was yet at a distance, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring quickly the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet; and bring the fatted calf and kill it, and let us eat and make merry; for this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.’ And they began to make merry.

Now his elder son was in the field; and as he came and drew near to the house, he heard music and dancing. And he called one of the servants and asked what this meant. And he said to him, ‘Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fatted calf, because he has received him safe and sound.’ But he was angry and refused to go in. His father came out and entreated him, but he answered his father, ‘Lo, these many years I have served you, and I never disobeyed your command; yet you never gave me a kid that I might make merrywith my friends. But when this son of yours came, who has devoured your living with harlots, you killed for him the fatted calf!’

St. Peter Orthodox Church