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St. Peter News January 25, 2022

The Sunday of Zacchaeus

The Three Great Hierarchs and Ecumenical Teachers: Basil the Great,
Gregory the Theologian and John Chrysostom

Fifteenth Sunday of Luke – The Sunday of Zacchaeus

Hieromartyr Hippolytos, Pope of Rome; Virgin-martyr Chrissa of Rome; New-martyr Theodore of Mitylene; Julian, Priest of Aegina

The Sunday of Zacchaeus

The Sunday of Zacchaeus

Zacchaeus was a rich publican at Jericho. Since he was short of stature, he climbed a sycamore tree in order to see the Savior passing by. After the Ascension of the Lord, St. Zacchaeus accompanied St. Peter on his travels. Tradition says he followed St. Peter to Caesarea, where Peter appointed him the Bishop of Caesarea in Palestine. He died in peace.

The Sunday of Zacchaeus is also the first warning that Lent is around the corner. It is time to prepare ourselves for the coming of Lent. Start thinking about it now.

Read the complete story on the Orthodoxwiki website.


The Three Great Hierarchs and Ecumenical Teachers: Basil the Great, Gregory the Theologian and John Chrysostom

The Sunday of Zacchaeus

The Three Hierarchs

During the reign of the Emperor Alexius Comnenus (1081-1118), a controversy arose in Constantinople among men learned in Faith and zealous for virtue about the three holy Hierarchs and Fathers of the Church, Basil the Great, Gregory the Theologian and John Chrysostom. Some argued for Saint Basil above the other two because he was able, as none other, to explain the mysteries of the Faith, and rose to angelic rank by his virtues. Organizer of monastic life, leader of the entire Church in the struggle with heresy, austere and demanding shepherd as to Christian morals, in him there was nothing base or of the earth. Hence, said they, he was superior to Saint Chrysostom who was by nature more easily inclined to absolve sinners.

The partisans of Saint Chrysostom retorted that the illustrious Archbishop of Constantinople had been no less zealous than Saint Basil in combating vices, in bringing sinners to repentance and in raising up the whole people to the perfection of the Gospel. The golden-mouthed shepherd of matchless eloquence has watered the Church with a stream of homilies in which he interprets the divine word and shows its application in daily life with more accomplished mastery than the two other holy Doctors.

According to a third group, Saint Gregory the Theologian was to be preferred to the others by reason of the majesty, purity and profundity of his language. Possessing a sovereign mastery of all the wisdom and eloquence of ancient Greece, he had attained, they said to such a pitch in the contemplation of God that no one had been able to express the dogma of the Holy Trinity as perfectly as he.

With each faction setting up one of the Fathers against the other two in this way, the whole Christian people were soon caught up in the dispute, which far from promoting devotion to the Saints in the City, resulted in nothing but ill-feeling and endless argument. Then one night the three holy Hierarchs appeared in a dream to Saint John Mauropus, the Metropolitan of Euchaïta (5 Oct.), separately at first, then together and, speaking with a single voice, they said: “As you see, the three of us are with God and no discord or rivalry divides us.

Each of us, according to the circumstances and according to the inspiration that he received from the Holy Spirit, wrote and taught what befits the salvation of mankind. There is not among us a first, a second or a third, and if you invoke one of us the other two are immediately present with him. Therefore, tell those who are quarrelling not to create divisions in the Church because of us, for when we were on earth we spared no effort to re-establish unity and concord in the world.

You can conjoin our three commemorations in one feast and compose a service for it, inserting the hymns dedicated to each of us according to the skill and knowledge that God has given you. Then transmit it to the Christians with the command to celebrate it each year. If they honor us thus as being with and in God, we give them our word that we will intercede for their salvation in our common prayer.” At these words, the Saints were taken up into heaven in a boundless light while conversing with one another by name.


Source: Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America website.

Services This Week

  • Sun Jan 23 — SUNDAY DIVINE LITURGY – Orthros 8:30am Divine Liturgy 9:30am LIVE STREAM
  • Tue Jan 25 — St. Gregory the Theologian Divine Liturgy 9:30am LIVE STREAM
  • Fri Jan 28 — Sts. Ephraim and Isaac the Syrians Divine Liturgy 9:30am LIVE STREAM

Services Next Week

  • Sun Jan 30 — SUNDAY OF ZACCHEAUS DIVINE LITURGY – Orthros 8:30am Divine Liturgy 9:30am LIVE STREAM
  • Mon Jan 31 — Unmercenaries Cyrus and John Divine Liturgy 9:30am LIVE STREAM

St. Gregory the Theologian on Tuesday January 25, 2022 at 9:30am

St. Gregory the Theologian

Sts. Ephraim and Isaac the Syrians Divine Liturgy on Friday January 28, 2022 at 9:30am

Sts. Ephraim and Isaac the Syrians

Liturgical Greek Language School Begins

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.


St. Peter’s Kafenio Opens Thursday, January 27!


Barbara and Costa Dionysopoulos invite you to attend our first ever “Kafenio” for some Greek coffee, “Parea” (company) and sweets.

The Kafenio opens on Thursday, January 27 from 3:00pm to 5:00pm and on the fourth Thursday of every month following.

Sign up in the Social Hall before Sunday, January 23 so we know how many deserts to prepare. A small donation is requested to cover the cost of the coffee and deserts.

If you would like to help make Greek Coffee or donate a dessert to the Kafeniou as well, pleasecall Barbara Dionysopoulos at 239-826-1655 so that she can coordinate the monthly event.


Community Flea Market / Rummage Sale

Flea Market

St. Peter’s parish is holding a Community Flea Market/Rummage Sale on Saturday,January 29, 2022 from 10:00am to 3:00pm.

If you have any household items to donate tothe church for sale, please contact Gregory Seremetis BEFORE January 25 at 917-992-5884.

If you or anyone you know wants to be a vendor to rent a space to sell their owngoods, vendor prices are:

  • Single space 8 ft x 17 ft — $25
  • Double Space 16 ft x 34 ft — $40

To reserve your space, please contact Gregory Seremetis at 17-992-5884 ASAP.

All proceeds benefit St. Peter’s.


Calling All Teens!


Fr. Hans needs your name and email address (or your parent’s address) so you can receive SOYO (Society of Orthodox Youth Organization) materials. Maybe we can begin a SOYO group at St. Peter’s too.

Learn more about Teen SOYO on the DOMSE website.


Cafe of Life— One Cup of Coffee Can Feed the Poor

Cafe of Life

Are You Willing To Give Up A Month Of Coffee To Feed A Hungry Neighbor?

St. Peter’s is seeking monthly sponsors or ongoing donors to help sustain their committment in making sandwiches for the hungry and homeless. These are challenging times and your donation is especially needed to support our local community.

So please reach deep into your pockets. Any amount is appreciated.

Thank you, God bless and IC XC NI KA!


DOMSE Winter Retreat Rescheduled

DOMSE Winter Retreat

Get more information on the DOMSE website.


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!

January 2 – January 30

  • Barbara Dionysopoulos 239-826-1655
  • Costa Dionysopoulos
  • Marianthi Kazakos
  • Niki Locklear
  • Ray Locklear
  • Koula Ormandiou
  • Carol Palatine

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 Jan 23 — SUNDAY DIVINE LITURGY – Orthros 8:30am Divine Liturgy 9:30am LIVE STREAM
  • Tue Jan 25 — St. Gregory the Theologian Divine Liturgy 9:30am LIVE STREAM
  • Tue Jan 25 — Sts. Ephraim and Isaac the Syrians Divine Liturgy 9:30am LIVE STREAM


  • Sun Jan 30 — SUNDAY OF ZACCHEAUS DIVINE LITURGY – Orthros 8:30am Divine Liturgy 9:30am LIVE STREAM
  • Mon Jan 31 — Unmercenaries Cyrus and John Divine Liturgy 9:30am LIVE STREAM
  • Sun Feb 06 — ST PHOTIOS THE GREAT DIVINE LITURGY – Orthros 8:30am Divine Liturgy 9:30am LIVE STREAM
  • Tue Feb 08 — St. Theodore the Commander Divine Liturgy 9:30am LIVE STREAM
  • Thu Feb 10 — St. Haralambos the Hieromartyr Divine Liturgy 9:30am LIVE STREAM
  • 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 — St. Theodore of Tyro Divine Liturgy 9:30am LIVE STREAM
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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

A child has many desires. Everything catches his attention, attracts him, and gives birth to desires. Being unable to distinguish good from evil, he desires everything, and he is ready to do everything he desires. A child left to himself becomes untamable and self-willed. Therefore, parents must strictly watch this sprout of the soul’s activity. St. Theophan the Recluse, bishop of Tambov

Do not give to others in accordance with their merits, but for their need’s sake. Righteous John, Wonderworker of Kronstadt

A human being who does not endure courageously the unpleasant burdens of temptations, will never produce fruit worthy of the divine wine-press and eternal harvest, not even if one possesses all other virtues. For one is only perfected through zealously enduring both all the voluntary and involuntary afflictions. St. Gregory Palamas

External circumstances can never serve as excuses for the deficiencies in our interior life. Elder Sergei of Vanves

Be attentive toward yourself. Strive to be at peace, be quick to forgive, pour out your repentance and sorrows before the Lord more frequently, act according to your conscience—you will then feel better and attain salvation. Abbot Nikon Vorobiev

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

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)
Carmella (Jacobse 2/22)
Roma (Jacobse 2/22)
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 the Three Hierarchs

Their sound hath gone forth into all the earth.
The heavens declare the glory of God.

The Reading from the Epistle of St. Paul to the Hebrews. (13:7-16)

Brethren, remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the Word of God; consider the outcome of their life, and imitate their faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. Do not be led away by diverse and strange teachings; for it is well that the heart be strengthened by grace, not by foods, which have not benefited their adherents. We have an altar from which those who serve the tent have no right to eat. For the bodies of those animals whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest as a sacrifice for sin are burned outside the camp. So Jesus also suffered outside the gate in order to sanctify the people through His own blood. Therefore, let us go forth to Him outside the camp and bear the abuse He endured. For here we have no lasting city, but we seek the city, which is to come. Through Him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge His Name. Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.



For the Fifteenth Sunday of Luke — “Zacchaeus”

The reading from the Holy Gospel according to St. Luke. (19:1-10)

At that time, Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through. And there was a man named Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector, and rich. And he sought to see Who Jesus was, but could not, on account of the crowd, because he was small of stature. So he ran on ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see Jesus, for He was to pass that way. And when Jesus came to the place, He looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, make haste and come down; for I must stay at your house today.” So he made haste and came down, and received Him joyfully. And when they saw it they all murmured, “He has gone in to be the guest of a man who is a sinner.” And Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, “Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I restore it fourfold.” And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, since he also is a son of Abraham; for the Son of man came to seek and to savethe lost.”

St. Peter Orthodox Church