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St. Peter News November 22, 2022

St. Katherine of Alexandria the Great Martyr

Twenty-fourth Sunday after Pentecost
Thirteenth Sunday of Luke

Great-martyr James the Persian

Venerable Palladios of Thessalonica; Venerable Nathanael of Nitria in Egypt

Great-martyr James the Persian

The Holy Great Martyr James the Persian (the Sawn-Asunder) was born in the fourth century into a pious Christian family, both wealthy and illustrious. His wife was also a Christian, and the couple raised their children in piety, inspiring in them a love for prayer and the Holy Scriptures. James occupied a high position at the court of the Persian emperor Izdegerd (399-420) and his successor Barakhranes (420-438). But on one of the military campaigns James, seduced by the emperor’s beneficence, was afraid to acknowledge himself a Christian, and so he offered sacrifice to idols with the emperor.

Learning of this, James’ mother and wife wrote him a letter, in which they rebuked him and urged him to repent. Receiving the letter, James realized the gravity of his sin. Faced with the horror of being cut off not only from his family, but also from God Himself, he began to weep loudly, imploring the Lord for forgiveness.

His fellow-soldiers, hearing him pray to the Lord Jesus Christ, reported this to the emperor. Under interrogation, Saint James bravely confessed his faith in the one True God. No amount of urging by the emperor could make him renounce Christ. The emperor then ordered the saint to be put to death.

They began to cut off his fingers and his toes one by one, then his hands and his feet, and then his arms and legs. During the prolonged torture Saint James offered prayers of thanksgiving to the Lord, Who had granted him the possibility of redemption from his sins by enduring these terrible torments. Finally, the martyr was beheaded. Christians gathered up the pieces of his body and buried them with great reverence.

Source: Orthodox Church in Americawebsite.


Services This Week

  • SUN Nov 20 — ENTRANCE OF THE THEOTOKOS Orthros 8:30am, Divine Liturgy 9:30am LIVE STREAM
  • Thu Nov 24 — CANCELLED St. Nicholas Academy Divine Liturgy 9:30am LIVE STREAM
  • Fri Nov 25 — St. Katherine Divine Liturgy 9:30am LIVE STREAM

St. Katherine of Alexandria the Great Martyr Divine Liturgy on Friday, November 25, 2021 at 9:30am

St. Katherine the Great Martyr

Living in the capital—the centre of Hellenistic knowledge—and possessed of an uncommon beauty and intellect, Catherine received a most splendid of educations, having studied the works of the finest philosophers and teachers of antiquity. Young men from the most worthy families of the empire sought the hand of the beautiful Catherine, but none of them was chosen. She declared to her parents that she would be agreeable to enter into marriage only with someone who surpassed her in illustriousness, wealth, comeliness, and wisdom.

Catherine’s mother, a secret Christian, sent her for advice to her own spiritual father—a saintly elder pursuing prayerful deeds in solitude in a cave not far from the city. Having listened to Catherine, the elder said that he knew of a youth who surpassed her in everything, such that “His beauty was more radiant than the shining of the sun, his wisdom governed all creation, his riches were spread throughout all the world—this however did not diminish but rather added to the inexpressible loftiness of his lineage.” The image of the heavenly Bridegroom produced in the soul of the holy maiden an ardent desire to see him. Truth, to which her soul yearned, revealed it to her. In parting, the elder handed Catherine an icon of the Mother of God with the God-Child Jesus on her arm and bid her to pray with faith to the Queen of Heaven—the Mother of the Heavenly Bridegroom—for the bestowing of the vision of Her Son.

Catherine prayed all night and was given to see the Most Holy Virgin, who sent her divine Son to look upon the kneeling of Catherine before Them. But the Child turned his face away from her saying, that he was not able to look at her because she was ugly, of shabby lineage, beggarly and mindless like every person—not washed with the waters of holy Baptism and not sealed with the seal of the Holy Spirit. Catherine returned again to the elder deeply saddened. He lovingly received her, instructed her in the faith of Christ, admonished her to preserve her purity and integrity and to pray unceasingly; he then performed over her the mystery/sacrament of holy baptism. And again Saint Catherine had a vision of the Mother of God with her Child. Now the Lord looked tenderly at her and gave her a ring—a wondrous gift of the heavenly Bridegroom.


Read the entire biography on the Orthodox Wiki website.


Mark Your Calendar: St. Peter Thanksgiving Dinner on Thursday November 24, 2022 at 2:00pm — Reservations Are Closed

Man praying

St. Peter’s will hold a Thanksgiving Dinner for all our parishioners who who want to spend their Thanksgiving with others — singles, couples, anyone. (First to sign up was Fr. Hans since Presbytera will be with family in Minneapolis.) So far sixteen people have signed up. It’s a full Thanksgiving dinner with great people and great fellowship.

Deadline for signup is Wednesday, November 16. Yes, that’s short notice but plans were made on Saturday and announced on Sunday. We need to know who will attend so we can get all the necessary supplies and everything cooked up in time.


Reading the Psalms During Christmas Lent

The Prophet David

St. John Chrysostom was asked once, “Is it good to lay aside the Psalter?” He replied, “it would be better for the sun to fall from its orbit, than to neglect reading the Psalter, for it is of great benefit to study the psalms, and to read the Psalter diligently. For all spiritual books are profitable for us, and grieve the demons, but there is NONE LIKE THE PSALTER”

Those are powerful words from a great Saint and teacher. At St. Peter’s we read the Psalter completely through during Christmas Lent. If you would like to join a group you will be assigned which kathismata (sections of Psalms, usually 6 to 8 each day) to read. So far 28 people are participating.

The complete instructions are posted on the website, including the kathismata. To be assigned to a group please contact John Diveris at 219-263-8849 or John will add you to a group.

This is a great way to “strengthen the inner man” as St. Paul teaches and draw closer to Christ and more deeply into His Church.


Catechumen Classes Begin December 4, 2022

This will be an Orthodoxy 101 class covering the basics and fundamentals of our Orthodox faith. All catechumens are required to attend but the class is great for anyone who wants to deepen their understanding of our Orthodox faith and Church. Anyone may attend. Plan on staying for an hour.

The classes will be held following the Divine Liturgy. Get your coffee, take a short break, then begin the class.

The text we will use is Fr. Spyridon Bailey’s “Small Steps in the Kingdom.” It’s a good introduction to the Orthodox faith. Please order your copy and bring it to class. You can also download a free copy on your Kindle from Amazon. A syllabus and outline of classes will be provided at the first class.


Click to order from Amazon

Click the image or link to order from Amazon.


Please note: Books will not be available for purchase at Church.


Adult Education: “The Winter Pascha” Series via ZOOM Begins December 1, 2022 at 7:00pm

As part of our continuing adult education, Fr. Hans will hold a book study on “The Winter Pascha” by Fr. Thomas Hopko during Christmas Lent. The study begins Thursday, December 1, 2022 at 7:00pm and will run every Thursday through December 17 (four weeks). The talks will be held through ZOOM and last one hour.

“The Winter Pascha” is a modern minor classic that explains very well the season from Christmas Lent through Theophany (the baptism of Christ). From the cover:

When the winter begins to make way into the Northern World, the Church of Christ begins to celebrate a “splendid three-day Pascha.”

Thus Fr Thomas Hopko begins the first of forty meditations for the season of Advent, Christmas and Epiphany, ending with the feast of the Meeting of the Lord in the Temple on the fortieth day after Christ’s birth. In the style of his popular book for the paschal fasting season, The Lenten Spring, the author draws on the biblical readings and liturgical hymns and verses of the season to illumine the way for believers to enter fully into the reality of the Coming of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, in human flesh. Many references are made to the writings of the saints and Church Fathers, as well as to contemporary Christian teachers and spiritual guides. All those who love the Lord’s Coming will find comfort and strength, as well as enlightenment and instruction, having passed through the Winter Pascha with this book as their companion.

Click to order from Amazon

Click the image or link to order from Amazon.

You can also order the book through St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press


How does ZOOM work? A link will be included in the newsletter and on the calendar on the website to log in to the session. Just click it and follow the prompts. If you don’t have ZOOM installed, you will be asked if you want to install it. Just reply yes.


Helping the People of Ukraine Keep Warm This Winter

Gaylena Seabrook, a member of St. Peter’s and very active in relief work for the suffering people of Ukraine requests our support for aiding Ukranians through the Ukrainian National Women’s League of America.

From their website:

The looming winter in Ukraine promises to be “the worst winter since the independence of Ukraine,” according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. In response to this challenge, the Ukrainian National Women’s League of America has launched a new fundraising initiative, “Keep Ukraine Warm,” to raise $500,000 for winter relief items (clothes, blankets, sleeping bags), wood-burning stoves, and window repairs in Ukrainian homes.


Click to the image to learn more

Click the image or here to learn more.

For more information contact Gaylena at 267-991-4101.


Register for Winter Camp Ages 12-17

Click the image of go here for more information.


Leaving a Legacy – Remembering St. Peter’s in Our Estate Planning

Leaving a legacy

The growth and success of St. Peter’s is certainly inspiring. Through it we see the benevolent work of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and the commitment, generosity, and fortitude of our members and friends who worked and contributed to the growth of our parish. St. Paul says that we are to become “co-laborers with Christ” and our support of St. Peter’s is one way that happens.

Several people have asked how they can leave a legacy for St. Peter’s. Thanks to the good work of Joe and Debbie Repya, St. Peter’s has developed a guide for anyone who would like to consider a gift to the parish in their estate planning.

Our vision at St. Peter’s is to become a church where anyone who is seeking Christ can find him. It happens when Christ calls them. But it also haappens because there is a parish to which our Lord and Savior can bring them. That’s our part of the work.

That work can continue long after our work on this earth is completed. Through planned giving today, we can leave a legacy that helps ensure the good work of St. Peter’s in the future.

For more information including an informational packet that answers many questions please see Fr. Hans.

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 – Generosity Fosters Life

Cafe of Life

One of the greatest enemies of our spiritual freedom is the cancer of greed and materialism. The quickest way to become slaves to our selfishness is to fail to actively develop the spiritual discipline of generosity. We all know that generosity is the eternal truth that what we have been given must be given away if we are ever going to enjoy what we’ve been given.

So this Thanksgiving let us look not only to our own interests but also to the interests of others by being generous with our tax- deductible check for the less fortunate and we will be enriched in every way.

Thank you.

Thank you and IC XC NI KA!

St. Peter Orthodox Church Fort Myers FL

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
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!


  • Leon Dephkalion
  • Glow Franklin
  • Moriah Peterson
  • Barbara Sasen
  • Will Schwarz
  • Anna Tsikitas


  • Marlene Haley
  • Cheryl Morse
  • Tim Morse
  • Diana Najjar
  • Deb Repya
  • Elaine Semeretis
  • Gregory Semeretis


  • Al Joseph
  • Bonnie Joseph
  • Marianthi Kazakos
  • Sandy Krotov
  • Niki Locklear
  • Ray Locklear
  • Eleni Moran
  • Koula Ormanidou

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

Helping Our Seniors With Parking

With the church growing the parking lot is close to full every Sunday. Younger parishioners, could you park in the grass lot even if spaces are open in the paved area? That way our seniors can park closer to the entrance and avoid the grassy area where it is easier to stumble and fall.

St. Peter Orthodox Church Fort Myers FL

Calendar also available on the St. Peter website.


Christmas Lent and Fasting Starts November 15.

  • SUN Nov 20 — ENTRANCE OF THE THEOTOKOS Orthros 8:30am, Divine Liturgy 9:30am LIVE STREAM
  • Thu Nov 24 — CANCELLED St. Nicholas Academy Divine Liturgy 9:30am LIVE STREAM
  • Fri Nov 25 — St. Katherine Divine Liturgy 9:30am LIVE STREAM
  • Fri Nov 26 — Men of St. Paisios 7:00pm Social Hall
  • SUN Nov 27 — THIRTEENTH SUNDAY OF LUKE Orthros 8:30am, Divine Liturgy 9:30am LIVE STREAM
  • Wed Nov 30 — St. Andrew the First Called Divine Liturgy 9:30am LIVE STREAM
  • Thu Dec 01 — St. Nicholas Academy Divine Liturgy 9:30am LIVE STREAM
  • Thu Dec 01 — “The Winter Pascha” Adult Education 7:00pm on ZOOM
  • Fri Dec 02 — St. Porphyrios Divine Liturgy 6:30pm EVENING LITURGY LIVE STREAM
  • Fri Dec 02 — Men of St. Paisios following the Divine Liturgy (8:00pm) Social Hall


  • SUN Dec 04 — ST, BARABARA THE GREAT MARTYR Orthros 8:30am, Divine Liturgy 9:30am LIVE STREAM
  • Tue Dec 06 — St. Nicholas of Myra Divine Liturgy 9:30am LIVE STREAM
  • Thu Dec 08 — St. Nicholas Academy Divine Liturgy 9:30am LIVE STREAM
  • Thu Dec 08 — “The Winter Pascha” Adult Education 7:00pm on ZOOM
  • Fri Dec 09 — Men of St. Paisios following the Divine Liturgy (8:00pm) Social Hall
  • SUN Dec 11 — THE ELEVENTH SUNDAY OF LUKE Orthros 8:30am, Divine Liturgy 9:30am LIVE STREAM
  • Thu Dec 15 — St Eleutherios / St. Nicholas Academy Divine Liturgy 9:30am LIVE STREAM
  • Thu Dec 15 — “The Winter Pascha” Adult Education 7:00pm on ZOOM
  • Fri Dec 16 — Men of St. Paisios following the Divine Liturgy (8:00pm) Social Hall
  • Sat Dec 17 — Parish Council Meeting 10:00am
  • SUN Dec 18 — THE SUNDAY BEFORE NATIVITY Orthros 8:30am, Divine Liturgy 9:30am LIVE STREAM
  • Tue Dec 20 — St. Ignatios of Antioch Divine Liturgy 9:30am LIVE STREAM
  • Thu Dec 22 — CANCELLED St. Nicholas Academy 9:30am
  • Thu Dec 22 — “The Winter Pascha” Adult Education 7:00pm on ZOOM
  • Fri Dec 23 — Men of St. Paisios 7:00pm Social Hall
  • Sat Dec 24 — Nativity Royal Hours 9:00am LIVE STREAM
  • Sat Dec 24 — Nativity Great Vespers 6:00pm LIVE STREAM
  • SUN Dec 25 — THE NATIVITY OF OUR LORD AND SAVIOR JESUS CHRIST Orthros 8:30am, Divine Liturgy 9:30am LIVE STREAM
  • Mon Dec 26 — Synaxis of the Theotokos Divine Liturgy 9:30am LIVE STREAM
  • Tue Dec 27 — St. Stephen the Proto-Martyr Divine Liturgy 9:30am LIVE STREAM
  • Wed Dec 28 — The 20.000 Martyrs of Nicomedia Burned Alive Divine Liturgy 9:30am LIVE STREAM
  • Thu Dec 29 — The Holy Innocents Divine Liturgy 9:30am LIVE STREAM
  • Thu Dec 29 — CANCELLED St. Nicholas Academy 9:30am
  • Thu Dec 29 — “The Winter Pascha” Adult Education 7:00pm on ZOOM
  • Fri Dec 30 — Men of St. Paisios 7:00pm Social Hall
St. Peter Orthodox Church Fort Myers FL

First of all, no matter how bad and how inju­ rious the evil talk spread about us may be, we must guard ourselves from anger, verbal abuse, and revenge, but remain as placid as possible in spirit, because we all must be of one spirit with Christ, and Christ, in the face of all the accusations from the Jews, remained in a placid, not in the least bit vengeful, spirit. Metropolitan Gregory (Postnikov) of St. Petersburg

According to materialism, men are like little flies in hot weather. They crowd one another in a vast swarm, push one another, fly around in confusion, mate, feed and warm themselves, and then disappear in a disordered process, only to give space to tomorrow’s swarm of exactly the same kind. Father I. Vinogradov

You must struggle with all your strength, you must learn the methods of warfare from the holy fathers, you must antic­ipate circumstances which are likely to lead to victory or defeat, and strive to avoid the latter, while seeking the former. Abbot Nikon Vorobiev

When reading the Holy Scriptures, he who is humble and engaged in spiritual work will apply everything to himself and not to someone else. St Mark the Ascetic

Physical, outward humility is easier to attain than inner humility, humility of the mind. Elder Thaddeus(Strabulovich) of Vitovnica

“A battle with evil in my own soul” is a true Christian’s fundamental motto, and it is the one true principle, the one sound and reliable foundation on which one can build the well-being of humanity. Archbishop Averky (Taushev)

St. Peter Orthodox Church Fort Myers FL

PLEASE NOTE: The names list in “The Current Prayer List listed to be removed after September 1 have been taken of the list. If you would like someone added back please send a text to Fr. Hans or send the name through website here.

  • 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 Oct 24 / Resets Dec 1.

Current Prayer List

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)b
Fredericos (Diveris)
Makrina (Kerr)
Herman (Kerr)
Innocent (Kerr)
Nicholas (Kerr)
Paola (Jacobse)
Gregory (Yankopolos)
Soterios (Ninos)
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)
John (Katsigianopoulos)
George (Chionis)
Mary (Spiropoulos)
Gregory (Pappas)
Angela (Coran K
Eugene (Rust)
Robert (Jarvis)
George (Corey)

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


For the Twenty-fourth Sunday after Pentecost

The Lord will give strength to His people.
Ascribe to the Lord, O sons of God, ascribe to the Lord honor and glory.

The Reading from the Epistle of St. Paul to the Ephesians. (2:14-22)

Brethren, Christ is our peace, Who has made us both one, and has broken down the dividing wall of hostility, by abolishing in His flesh the law of commandments and ordinances, that He might create in Himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the Cross, thereby bringing the hostility to an end. And He came and preached peace to you, who were far off, and peace to those who were near; for through Him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. So then you are no longer strangers and sojourners, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the cornerstone, in Whom the whole structure is joined together and grows into a holy temple in the Lord; in Whom you also are built into it for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.


For the Thirteenth Sunday of Luke

The Reading from the Holy Gospel according to St. Luke. (18:18-27)

At that time, a man came testing Jesus and asking, “Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but God alone. You know the commandments: ‘Do not commit adultery. Do not kill. Do not steal. Do not bear false witness. Honor your father and mother.’” And the man said, “All these I have observed from my youth.” And when Jesus heard it, he said to him, “One thing you still lack. Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” But when the man heard this he became sad, for he was very rich. Jesus, seeing him sad, said, “How hard it is for those who have riches to enter the kingdom of God! For it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” Those who heard it said, “Then who can be saved?” Jesus said, “What is impossible with men is possible with God.”

St. Peter Orthodox Church