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St. Peter Newsletter August 30, 2016 — The Martyr Babylas, Labor Day Barbecue, Feast Days in September and more

The Eleventh Sunday of Matthew
The Hieromartyr Babylas of Antioch

Hieromartyr Babylas of Antioch
Hieromartyr Babylas of Antioch

The Hieromartyr Babylas was the Bishop of Antioch from 237 to 253. His feast day is September 4. He was martyred for his faith in Christ together with the three youths Urban, Prilidian, Epolonius and their mother Christodoula, under the emperor Decius (249-251).

Life of St. Babylas

Little is known of the life of Babylas. He was named Bishop of Antioch in 237 as successor to Bishop Zebinus. Babylas is noted for his defense of Christianity before the Roman emperor Decius that led to his martyrdom. Various sources place the events differently.

The most common version notes that during a visit to Antioch by the emperor Decius as part of an arranged a festival to the pagan gods, Decius attempted to witness a Divine Liturgy served by Babylas. Babylas barred the emperor from entering the church, for which the emperor had the church burned. After Babylas declared the emperor unworthy because he desecrated God’s sanctuary, Decius ordered Babylas to worship the pagan idols or face execution.

Convinced that Babylas would remain true to his faith, Decius ordered Babylas to be placed into heavy chains. The chains, Babylas told the emperor, were as important to him as the imperial crown was to the emperor, suffering for Christ was as desirable to him as imperial power was to the emperor, and death for the Immortal King was as precious to him as life to Decius.

At the trial with Bishop Babylas were three young brothers, who did not forsake him even in this most difficult moment. Seeing them, the emperor asked, “Who are these children?” “These are my spiritual children,” the saint replied, “and I have raised them in piety, I have given them an education, cultivated them with guidance, and here before you in a small body are these great young men and perfect Christians. Test them and see.”

The emperor tried in all sorts of ways to entice the youths and their mother Christodoula to renounce Christ, but in vain. Then, in a rage, he ordered each of them to be whipped with a number of blows corresponding to their age. The first received twelve blows, the second, ten, and the third, seven. Dismissing the mother and children, the torturer again summoned the bishop, telling him that the children had renounced Christ. However, the holy bishop did not believe the lie.

The emperor commanded all the martyrs be tied to a tree and burned with fire. Seeing the stoic bravery of the saints, the emperor finally condemned them to be beheaded with the sword in the year 253.

Source: OrthodoxWiki

Labor Day Barbecue Sunday, September 4, 2016


Plan on attending our Labor Day Barbecue cooked by Tom Haley and crew following the Divine Liturgy on Sunday, September 4.

The menus includes chicken, pork chops, and rice pilaf. Salads and desserts need to brought by parishioners.

Please contact Tom or Marlene at 239-405-8298 or email them at and let them know what you can bring or to ask what is needed.

Make sure to bring your kids. They love to play together. More important, the friends they make at church when they are young are very important in keeping them in the church as they enter their teen years.

Sunday School Registrations are Due

Allow The Children To Come Unto Me
Allow The Children To Come Unto Me

Sunday School begins September 11, 2016 — the first Sunday after Labor Day and parents need to register their children!

You can register you child in three ways:

  • Fill in the registration online on the website or…
  • Download and print the registration form, fill it in and bring it to Church or…
  • During Social Hall on Sundays.

Liturgies in September

Two Feast Day Liturgies are scheduled for September:

  • Wednesday, September 7 at 6:30pm — Nativity of the Theotokos (celebrated on the eve)
  • Tuesday, September 13 at 6:30pm — Elevation of the Cross (celebrated on the eve)

Please mark your calendars. More details of these important day forthcoming.

Events This Fall

Mark your calendar

As we enter into the new Ecclesiastical Year, St. Peter’s will hold at least one monthly parish social event. Please mark you calendars.

  • September 4, 2016 (Sunday) Labor Day Barbecue Following Divine Liturgy.
  • October 22 (Saturday, 6pm) New Members Welcome pot luck.
  • November 12-13 Christmas Lent Retreat with Fr. Gregory Jensen on “Building an Intentional Community.” Fr. Gregory will speak on our calling and vocation as Christians and how to live it especially in the Church.

More details as we move closer to the dates.

What Happens to the Names We Offer When Entering Church?

All the names you offer for the health and help of loved ones or prayers for the departed are read by Fr. Hans and included in the commemorations before the Great Entrance in the Divine Liturgy (when the priest and altar servers process through the church and place the gifts on the altar).

Sometimes the lists are a bit longer and so there is a slight delay before the procession begins.

Farewell to a Good Friend

Constantine (Dino) Houpis
Constantine (Dino) Houpis

It is with sadness that we received the news that Dino Houpis will not be returning to Naples and St. Peter’s this winter. This is a great disappointment for Dino and our community. Dino loves St. Peter’s and we love him.

Dino sends his regards to everyone in St. Peter’s. I asked him if it would be okay with him to make this announcement in the newsletter and he said yes. He also asked me to tell you that he will miss all of his friends at St. Peter’s.

Many of you don’t know that Dino is a very accomplished man who was the trailblazer in a mechanical theory and wrote the first book in his field that is still the standard used today in the universities. He is working on editing the newest edition.

Pray for Dino, especially for his health. These last few years have been very difficult for him. If anyone would like to send him a note you can write him at: Dr. Constantine Houpis, 1125 Brittany Hills Drive, Dayton, OH 45459.

Dino will be living with his son and daughter-in-law.

Receive the Daily Readings in your Inbox

You can read the daily scripture readings in two ways:

  1. Follow the calendar on the website, or
  2. Have them delivered to your inbox by signing up (scroll to bottom of page).

You can also download apps for your mobile device for daily readings.

Reading scripture is important. Our hearts have to be purified but so do our minds. Holy Scripture contains what our Lord wants us to know and understand. It shapes how we think, and how we think is how we see the world. Read scripture and the eyes of our mind will open to see Jesus Christ working around us more clearly.

Choir practice on Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Choir practice also this Wednesday, August 31, 2016.

Choir practice begins at 6:00pm

Bible Study on Wednesday, September, 2016

Bible Study also this Wednesday, August 31, 2016.

Bible Study begins at 7:00pm

Wisdom from the Elders

These eight passions should be destroyed as follows:

  1. Gluttony (over-eating) by self-control;
  2. Unchastity (sexual lust) by desire for God and longing for the blessings held in store;
  3. Avarice (greed) by compassion for the poor;
  4. Anger by goodwill and love for all men;
  5. Worldly dejection (feeling beaten down) by spiritual joy;
  6. Listlessness (aimlessness, no desire to work) by patience, perseverance and offering thanks to God;
  7. Self-esteem (arrogance, thinking too highly of yourself) by doing good in secret and by praying constantly with a contrite heart;
  8. Pride by not judging or despising anyone in the manner of the boastful Pharisee (Luke 18:11–12), and by considering oneself the least of all men.

When the intellect (the mind) has been freed in this way from the passions we have described and been raised up to God, it will henceforth live the life of blessedness, receiving the pledge of the Holy Spirit (2 Corinthians 1:22). And when it departs this life, dispassionate and full of true knowledge, it will stand before the light of the Holy Trinity and with the divine angels will shine in glory through all eternity.

—St. John Damascene, On the Virtues and the Vices

Prayer List on the St. Peter website

The Prayer List is now available on the St. Peter website. You can add or remove names using the form provided. More important is that you can print out the names periodically to keep on your family altar or near your icons and bible and reference the names whenever you pray.

Remember in Your Prayers

Anna Marie Smith Baker
Harry Zifiris
Iris Kuring (Bettina Zifiris’ mother)

Constantine Houpis
Gerhard Kuring (Bettina Zifiris’ father)
Ron Chromulak
Beverly Chromulak
Loucine Kassis
Mary Kassis
Baby Maximus
Annette Star
Claire Livaditis
Eva Chandilles
Baby Dani
Scott Nedoff
Anthony Mourgis
John Hansen
Constandina James
James Hord
Bob Smith
Tom and Jean, parents of Patty and Jerry.

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

Christ Giving Blessing


For the Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost

The Lord is my strength and my song.
The Lord has chastened me severely.

The Reading from the First Epistle of St. Paul to the Corinthians. (9:2-12)

Brethren, you are the seal of my apostleship in the Lord. This is my defense to those who would examine me. Do we not have the right to our food and drink? Do we not have the right to be accompanied by a wife, as the other apostles and the brothers of the Lord and Cephas? Or is it only Barnabas and I who have no right to refrain from working for a living?

Who serves as a soldier at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard without eating any of its fruit? Who tends a flock without getting some of the milk? Do I say this on human authority? Does not the law say the same? For it is written in the Law of Moses, “You shall not muzzle an ox when it is treading out the grain.” Is it for oxen that God is concerned? Does he not speak entirely for our sake? It was written for our sake, because the plowman should plow in hope and the thresher thresh in hope of a share in the crop. If we have sown spiritual good among you, is it too much if we reap your material benefits? If others share this rightful claim upon you, do not we still more?

Nevertheless, we have not made use of this right, but we endure anything rather than put an obstacle in the way of the Gospel of Christ.


For the Eleventh Sunday of Matthew

The Reading from the Holy Gospel according to St. Matthew. (18:23-35)

The Lord spoke this parable: “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his servants. When he began the reckoning, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents; and as he could not pay, his lord ordered him to be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had, and payment to be made. So the servant fell on his knees, imploring him, ‘Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay you everything.’ And out of pity for him the lord of that servant released him and forgave him the debt.

But that same servant, as he went out, came upon one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii; and seizing him by the throat he said, ‘Pay what you owe.’ So his fellow servant fell down and besought him, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you.’ He refused and went and put him in prison until he should pay the debt. When his fellow servants saw what had taken place, they were greatly distressed, and they went and reported to their lord all that had taken place.

Then his lord summoned him and said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you besought me; and should not you have had mercy on your fellow servant, as I had mercy on you?’ And in anger his lord delivered him to the jailers, until he should pay all his debt. So also My heavenly Father will do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother from your heart.”