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St. Peter Newsletter February 13, 2018

The Sunday of Forgiveness

Leo the Great, pope of Rome; Agapitos the Confessor, bishop of Synnada in Phrygia;
Venerable Colman, bishop of Lindisfarne

The Expulsion of Adam and Eve from the Garden

The Sunday of Forgiveness, the last of the preparatory Sundays before Great Lent, has two themes: it commemorates Adam’s expulsion from Paradise, and it accentuates our need for forgiveness. There are obvious reasons why these two things should be brought to our attention as we stand on the threshold of Great Lent.

One of the primary images in the Triodion is that of the return to Paradise. Lent is a time when we weep with Adam and Eve before the closed gate of Eden, repenting with them for the sins that have deprived us of our free communion with God. But Lent is also a time when we are preparing to celebrate the saving event of Christ’s death and rising, which has reopened Paradise to us once more (Luke 23:43). So sorrow for our exile in sin is tempered by hope of our re-entry into Paradise.

The second theme, that of forgiveness, is emphasized in the Gospel reading for this Sunday (Matthew 6:14-21) and in the special ceremony of mutual forgiveness at the end of the Vespers on Sunday evening. Before we enter the Lenten fast, we are reminded that there can be no true fast, no genuine repentance, no reconciliation with God, unless we are at the same time reconciled with one another.

A fast without mutual love is the fast of demons. We do not travel the road of Lent as isolated individuals but as members of a family. Our asceticism and fasting should not separate us from others, but should link us to them with ever-stronger bonds.

Read more on the Greek Orthodox website.


Forgiveness Vespers, Sunday, February 15, 5:30pm

The Sunday of Forgiveness
The Sunday of Forgiveness

Forgiveness Vespers, the service before Great Lent starts on Monday, is the time where we ask each other for forgiveness for any offense of disrespect we might have committed toward each other.

This is a service of renewal and the proper way to enter the Lenten Cycle.

Saturday of the Souls Liturgy – Saturday, February 24, 2017

Our Saturday of the Souls liturgy will be held on Saturday, February 24, 2017 starting at 9:00am.

Saturday of Souls is a day set aside for commemoration of the dead within the liturgical year of the Orthodox Church. Saturday is a traditional day for prayer for the dead, because Christ lay dead in the Tomb on Saturday.

Bring kollyva (boiled wheat) if you can but even if you can’t bring the names of your deceased loved ones anyway. We will hold a memorial service for them after the Divine Liturgy.

NAMI Walkathon on February 17, 2018

Join the Walkathon

Every year St. Peter’s joins the NAMI walk organized by Bill and Mary Copeland.

Registration starts at 8-9am, at Cambria Park, Naples, FL. The walk starts at 9:30am.

There are refreshments before and after the walk provided for free. There will be fun for all age groups to participate in before and after.

Let Mary Copeland know if you want to join our team.

Learn more about NAMI here.


Interfaith Charities Needs Our Help!

Interfaith Charities Needs Our Help!

Interfaith Charities has asked us to help supply:

  • Jelly
  • Crackers (Ritz or Saltines)
  • Any Chef Boyardee food item (cans only please)

They also need:

  • Used clothing
  • Shoes
  • Bedding

Bring bring all items you can to St. Peter’s and we will get them to Interfaith Charities.

Interfaith Charities is a coalition of churches and business that help the poor in the San Carlos and south Fort Myers area (view their website). We partner with them to help the working poor in our area as part of our mission to serve the poor around us.


Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church Festival held February 16-18 in Port Charlotte

Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in Port Charlotte invites all parishioners to attend their annual Greek Festival from February 16-18. The food and entertainment will be great.

Interfaith Charities Needs Our Help!

Visit the Holy Trinity website for more information. Get directions to Holy Trinity.


Ladies, Mark Your Calendar: Lenten Women’s Retreat on Saturday, March 3, 2018

The Annunciation of the Theotokos
The Annunciation of the Theotokos

The Lenten Retreat for women will be held at St. Peter’s on Saturday, March 3, 2018. The women from St. Paul’s will join us.

The topic will be on the Theotokos as our teacher and guide. Fr. Hans and Fr. Paul Girgis will be the presenters. Details will be announced in a few weeks.

Please register by using the form on the website or at Church on Sundays.


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Calendar At A Glance


  • Friday, February 23, 2018 2:30pm Parish Council Meeting


Lenten Schedule

  • Sunday, February 18, 2018 9:30am Forgiveness Sunday Liturgy
  • Sunday, February 18, 2018 5:30 Forgiveness Vespers
  • Monday, February 19, 2018 LENT BEGINS
  • Monday, February 19, 2018 6:30pm Great Compline
  • Tuesday, February 20, 2018 6:30pm Great Compline
  • Wednesday, February 21, 2018 6:30pm Presanctified Liturgy
  • Thursday, February 22, 2018 6:30pm Great Compline
  • Friday, February 23, 2018 6:30pm Salutations to the Theotokos
  • Saturday, February 24, 2018 9:00am Saturday of the Souls
  • Saturday, March 3, 2018 Women’s Lenten Retreat (Details forthcoming)

Wisdom From The Elders

To practice the Jesus Prayer, as we are all gaining the habit of doing, is an excellent thing. In monasteries it is being set as a task. Would they set it as a task if it were dangerous? What is dangerous is only the mechanical techniques which were added later and adjusted to fit the recitation of the prayer…Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner. St. Theophan the Recluse

Fear of God is fear of separation from God. Elder Sergei of Vanves

He who has realized love for God in his heart is tireless, as Jeremiah says, in his pursuit of the Lord his God, and bears every hardship, reproach and insult nobly, never thinking the least evil of anyone. St Maximos the Confessor

Only those who have interior prayer and watch over their souls receive the gifts of grace. St. Seraphim of Sarov

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner. One may pray standing, sitting or lying. Those who are strong in health and physique pray standing and sitting. The weak can pray even lying, because in this prayer it is not the effort of the body that is paramount, but the effor t of the spirit.The body should be given a position that allows the spirit full freedom to act properly. St. Ignatius Brianchaninov

The fruits of the earth are not brought to perfection immediately, but by time, rain and care; similarly, the fruits of men ripen through ascetic practice, study, time, perseverance, self-control and patience. St. Anthony the Great


Remember in Your Prayers

Anne B.
Eva K.
Sean Helgeland (great nephew to Steve and Anne Brietenbach)
Baby Brynn L.
Presbytera Rosy
Eva W.
Carol Ann
Maria Louise
Petronia (Wife of Phil Pappas)
Constantine Houpis
Anna Marie Smith Baker
Ron Chromulak
Beverly Chromulak
Loucine Kassis
Mary Kassis
Baby Maximus
Annette Star
Claire Livaditis
Eva Chandilles
Baby Dani
Scott Nedoff
Anthony Mourgis
John Hansen
James Hord

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 Sunday of the Last Judgment

The Lord is my strength and my praise.
The Lord chastising hath chastised me, but He hath not delivered me over to death.

The Reading from the First Epistle of St. Paul to the Corinthians. (8:8-9:2)

Brethren, food will not commend us to God. We are no worse off if we do not eat, and no better off if we do. Only take care, lest this liberty of yours somehow become a stumbling block to the weak. For if any one sees you—a man of knowledge—at table in an idol’s temple, might he not be encouraged, if his conscience is weak, to eat food offered to idols? And so by your knowledge this weak man is destroyed, the brother for whom Christ died. Thus, sinning against your brethren and wounding their conscience when it is weak, you sin against Christ. Therefore, if food is a cause of my brother’s falling, I will never eat meat, lest I cause my brother to fall. Am I not free? Am I not an apostle? Have I not seen Jesus our Lord? Are not you my workmanship in the Lord? If to others I am not an apostle, at least I am to you; for you are the seal of my apostleship in the Lord.


For Sunday of the Last Judgment

The Reading from the Holy Gospel according to St. Matthew. (25:31-46)

The Lord said, “When the Son of man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne. Before Him will be gathered all the nations, and He will separate them one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, and He will place the sheep at His right hand, but the goats at the left.

Then the King will say to those at His right hand, ‘Come, O blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave Me food, I was thirsty and you gave Me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed Me, I was naked and you clothed Me, I was sick and you visited Me, I was in prison and you came to Me.’

Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see Thee hungry and feed Thee, or thirsty and give Thee drink? And when did we see Thee a stranger and welcome Thee, or naked and clothe Thee? And when did we see Thee sick or in prison and visit Thee?’

And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’ Then He will say to those at his left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels; for I was hungry and you gave Me no food, I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome Me, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me.’

Then they also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see Thee hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to Thee?’ Then He will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it not to one of the least of these, you did it not to Me.’ And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”