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St. Peter Newsletter July 21, 2020

St. Paraskevi

The Holy Righteous Martyr
Paraskeva (Paraskevi) of Rome
The Seventh Sunday of Matthew

Hieromartyrs Hermolaus, Hermippus, and Hermocrates of Nicomedia; Venerable Gerontios, first settler of St. Anne skete on Athos; Moses the Hungarian; Sabbas III, archbishop of Serbia; Priest Jacob Netsvetov, enlightener of the peoples of Alaska

St. Paraskevi
St. Paraskevi

Who Was St. Paraskeva (Paraskevi)?

The holy and glorious Virgin-Martyr Saint Paraskevi (also Paraskeva) was arrested during the reign of the Roman Emperor Antoninus Pius (r. A.D. 138-161) under the penalty of refusing to worship idols and adhering to the state pagan religion.

After enduring many tortures, she was eventually released by the emperor, continuing to profess Christ. She was eventually tortured and beheaded by the Roman governor Tarasius in the year 180. The Church commemorates her on July 26.

St. Paraskevi has the gift of healing for eye sight.

Read St. Paraskeva’s biography on the Orthodox Wiki website.


July 2020 Summer Appeal

Giving tends to slow down in the summer but unfortunately our obligations don’t. There is still rent, electricity, and other necessities that we have to pay.

The letter below was sent to all parishioners as a gentle reminder to remain current on their pledges and giving. That we we stay in the black and remain on a sound financial footing.

Please stay current on your pledge and giving to help keep St. Peter’s strong.

Click the image to see letter on the St. Peter website.


St. Peter LIVE STREAM To Get An Upgrade

Thanks to parishioners who responded to a request for better LIVE STREAM equipment, you will soon be seeing an improvement in our live streaming. We’ve purchased a camera, software the improves image quality, and will soon be adding improvements for the sound.

We are running into a few problems as we set this up. We hope to have it all ironed out this week.

Theo Palis Moving

Theo Palis is moving today (Tuesday) to The American House Coconut Point in Estero.

His new address is:

Theo Palis
The American
8460 Murano Del Lago Dr Room 2310
Bonita Springs, FL 34135

He will be there for at least a few months.


St. Panteleimon Divine Liturgy, Monday July 27, 2020 at 9:30am

St. Panteleimon Exuding Oil
The Oil Appeared as a Cross — Ear to Ear and Forehead to Bottom of Icon

The Holy and Great Martyr Panteleimon was born in Nicomedia of a Christian mother, Eubula, and a pagan father Eustorgius. He studied medicine as a young man. The priest Hermolaus befriended him, instructed him in the Christian faith and baptized him. Panteleimon miraculously healed a blind man who other doctors had treated in vain; he healed him by the name of Christ and baptized him. From jealousy, the doctors denounced Panteleimon as a Christian, and he went before the Emperor Maximilian for judgment. He stood before the earthly ruler in the body, but in his mind he stood before the Heavenly King. He freely declared himself to be a Christian before the Emperor, and in front of his eyes, healed a paralytic of a long infirmity.

This miracle brought many of the pagans to the Christian faith. The Emperor put him to torture, but the Lord appeared to him on several occasions and delivered him whole and uninjured. When he would not abandon Christ for the idols, he was stretched across a rack and burned with candles. Then he was thrown into a pit of fire and then to wild beasts. But Jesus appeared to him many times and kept him whole and unharmed. The idol worshippers believed it was sorcery. He was thrown into a river with a large stone tied to him, but it floated. When he was retrieved, he was sentenced to beheading.

Condemned to death, St. Panteleimon knelt in prayer. At that, the executioner gave him a blow on the neck with his sword, and the sword broke as if made of wax. The executioner could not kill him until he had finished his prayer and had himself given the word to behead him. Panteleimon was beheaded under an olive tree, which after that became laden with fruit.

“Panteleimon” means all-merciful. God the all-merciful received his righteous soul and glorified him among His greatest saints. His relics remained incorrupt. This wonderful martyr suffered with honor as a youth for Christ on July 27th, 304, when he was 29 years old.

St. Panteleimon has given us (the parishioners of St. Peter’s) oil on four occasions for the healing of the sick. The image above is when he gave us oil the first time.

Source of biography: The Panteleimon Project.


Dormtion Fast and Akathist Hymns begin (August 1-15, 2018)

Dormition of the Theotokos
Dormition of the Theotokos

August 1 starts the Dormition period in our Orthodox Church. We fast (abstain from meat and dairy as much as possible) from August 1 to August 15. At St. Peter’s the fast ends after the Dormition Liturgy on August 15.

Every weekday we will sing an Akathist to the Theotokos starting at 6:00pm. These are very powerful prayers and you will notice a focusing in your life if you participate in them.

What is the Dormition of the Theotokos?

The Holy Scriptures tell us that when our Lord was dying on the Cross, He saw His mother and His disciple John and said to the Virgin Mary, “Woman, behold your son!” and to John, “Behold your mother!” (John 19:25-27). From that hour, the Apostle took care of the Theotokos in his own home.

Along with the biblical reference in Acts 1:14 that confirms that the Virgin Mary was with the Holy Apostles on the day of Pentecost, the tradition of the Church holds that she remained in the home of the Apostle John in Jerusalem, continuing a ministry in word and deed.

At the time of her death, the disciples of our Lord who were preaching throughout the world returned to Jerusalem to see the Theotokos. Except for the Apostle Thomas, all of them including the Apostle Paul were gathered together at her bedside. At the moment of her death, Jesus Christ himself descended and carried her soul into heaven.

Following her repose, the body of the Theotokos was taken in procession and laid in a tomb near the Garden of Gethsemane. When the Apostle Thomas arrived three days after her repose and desired to see her body, the tomb was found to be empty. The bodily assumption of the Theotokos was confirmed by the message of an angel and by her appearance to the Apostles.

Source: Greek Orthodox Archdiocese website.


Pledge & Income Report – June 2020

Donations received in June: $15,642.00
Amount of money needed to cover expenses: $18,167.00
We are ahead by $2,300.00
Shortfall: $2,525.00

Please note: We are running a deficit for the month of June. Donations are also down significantly for the month of July. If you cannot make it to church please mail in your donation to:

St. Peter Orthodox Church
24850 Old 41 Road Suite 6
Bonita Springs, FL 34135


You can also donate online (scroll to bottom of page):


More on the Corona Virus and Church Protocols

St. Peter Orthodox Church

St. Peter’s is following the State of Florida recommendations on reopening. This works out about 40 worshipers attending every Sunday. Masks are recommended but not required.

Clearly there are some parishioners, particularly those in the high risk categories, who do not feel safe going into public areas until the virus threat has passed completely. No one really knows when safety can be universally assured and it may take a while, perhaps six months or more before we get there. We see this in many of our parishes.

We want to accommodate the needs of all parishioners. A one size fits all approach however is going to restrict attendance at church for both low risk and high risk parishioners.

One way to resolve this problem is to provide liturgy during the week that meet all the requirements that high risk parishioners request. This includes providing adequate social distancing which would be six feet between families and an empty row between seated rows. Wearing masks is again optional but highly recommended according to Florida State Guidelines. Weekday attendance is lower and the social distancing requirement is easier to implement.

This is not a perfect solution but it is workable and accommodates the needs of most parishioners. Since most of our high risk parishioners are retired, attending a weekday liturgy is feasible. Our low risk parishioners work during the week and are not able to attend.

As is our practice, hand sanitizer and extra masks are available at the Church entrance. We will continue to live stream all liturgies as well.


NEW* Byzantine Chant Workshop Tuesdays a 7:00 Weekly — Beginning on Tuesday, June 30, 2020


Byzantine Chant Workshop


Led by Dn. Nicholas Reid of St. Paul Orthodox Church, participants will learn the basics of the tone of the week — its characteristics, scale, and various forms — and will get a chance to participate in group practice.

No prior chanting experience is required.

This will also be an opportunity to deepen our Orthodox faith by better understanding the role each tone plays in liturgical worship so that we can apply them more fruitfully in our parish life as well as in the worship of the “Little Church” – our own homes.

All lessons will be held at St. Paul Orthodox Church in Naples (get directions).


Calendar At A Glance


  • Sun Jul 26 — Orthros 8:30am / Liturgy 9:30am LIVE STREAM
  • Tue Jul 28 — Byzantine Chant Workshop at St. Paul Naples 7:00pm


August 1-15 Dormition Fasting Period

  • Sun Aug 02 — Orthros 8:30am / Liturgy 9:30am LIVE STREAM
  • Mon Aug 03 — Paraklesis Service 6:30pm LIVE STREAM
  • Tue Aug 4 — Byzantine Chant Workshop at St. Paul Naples 7:00pm
  • Wed Aug 05 — Paraklesis Service 6:30pm LIVE STREAM
  • Fri Aug 07 — Paraklesis Service 6:30pm LIVE STREAM

  • Sun Aug 09 — Orthros 8:30am / Liturgy 9:30am LIVE STREAM
  • Mon Aug 10 — Paraklesis Service 6:30pm LIVE STREAM
  • Tue Aug 11 — Byzantine Chant Workshop at St. Paul Naples 7:00pm
  • Wed Aug 12 — Paraklesis Service 6:30pm LIVE STREAM
  • Fri Aug 14 — Paraklesis Service 6:30pm LIVE STREAM
  • Sat Aug 15 — DORMITION OF THE THEOTOKOS Divine Liturgy 9:30am LIVE STREAM

  • Sun Aug 16 — Orthros 8:30am / Liturgy 9:30am LIVE STREAM
  • Tue Aug 18 — Byzantine Chant Workshop at St. Paul Naples 7:00pm

  • Sun Aug 23 — Orthros 8:30am / Liturgy 9:30am LIVE STREAM
  • Tue Aug 25 — Byzantine Chant Workshop at St. Paul Naples 7:00pm

  • Sun Aug 30 — Orthros 8:30am / Liturgy 9:30am LIVE STREAM


Wisdom From The Elders

It may not be God’s will. Time will show, because God knows better than us. God always wants what is good for us. Elder Arsenios Galanopoulos, the Cave Dweller

At the approach of the great festivals (Feast Days) you must be especially watchful over yourself. The enemy endeavors beforehand to chill the heart towards the subject of the event celebrated, so that the Christian should not honor it by the heartfelt consideration of its reality. St. John of Kronstadt

Many people have never experienced the pleasure of a light stomach. St. Paisios of Mount Athos

Fasting is an expression of love and devotion, in which one sacrifices earthly satisfaction to attain the heavenly. Altogether too much of one’s thoughts are taken up with care for sustenance and the enticements of the palate; one wishes to be free from them. Thus fasting is a step on the road of emancipation and an indispensable support in the struggle against selfish desires. Together with prayer, fasting is one of humanity’s greatest gifts, carefully cherished by those who once have participated in it. Tito Coliander

You see, if one doesn’t cut away passions while young, then as one matures, the self-will is weakened and the passions increase. St. Paisios of Mount Athos

If your heart has been softened either by repentance before God or by learning the boundless love of God towards you, do not be proud with those whose hearts are still hard. Remember how long your heart was hard and incorrigible. Bishop Nikolai Velimirovic


Remember in Your Prayers

The Prayer List has been revamped. To bring order to the list we will do the following:

  • Names will remain on the list for two 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.

Current Prayer List (Resets July 1)

James (Dusckas 9/20)
Tracy (Dusckas 9/20)
Douglas (Dusckas 9/20)
Susan (Wolffe 9/20)
Grant [Van Berkom] (Zeena 9/20)
Barbara (Dusckas 9/20)
John (Troutman 9/20)
Dave (Dusckas 9/20)
Constandina (Stephania 9/20)
Steven (Breitenbach 9/20)
Irini (Tsikitas 9/20)
Lori (Dusckas 8/20)
Patricia (Copeland 8/20)
Demetrios (Copeland 8/20)
Efstathios (Mourgis 8/20)
Sergio (Mary Kazakos 8/20)
Francis (Copeland 7/20)
Dimitrios (Copeland 7/20)
Patricia (Copeland 7/20)
Jerry (Zafiris 7/20)
Harry James (Zafiris 7/20)

Permanent Prayer List

Demtrios (Kucera)
Margaret (Palis)
Theodosios (Palis)
Theodora (Webb)
Helen (Rogers)
Robert (Smith)
Robert (Jarvis)
Mary (Jarvis)
Presbytera Rosy (in Pakistan)
James (Hord)
Ann (Rellis)
Vassiliki (Kontinos)
Vassiliki (Morekeas)

Friends and Benefactors 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)

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 St. Paraskeva

God is wondrous in His saints.
Bless God in the congregations.

The Reading from the Epistle of St. Paul to the Galatians. (3:23-4:5)

Brethren, before faith came, we were confined under the Law, kept under restraint until faith should be revealed. So that the Law was our custodian until Christ came, that we might be justified by faith. But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a custodian; for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise. I mean that the heir, as long as he is a child, is no better than a slave, though he is the owner of all the estate; but he is under guardians and trustees until the date set by the father. So with us; when we were children, we were slaves to the elemental spirits of the universe. But when the time had fully come, God sent forth His Son, to redeem those who were under the Law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.


For the Seventh Sunday of Matthew

The Reading from the Holy Gospel according to St. Matthew. (9:27-35)

At that time, as Jesus passed on from there, two blind men followed him, crying aloud:“Have mercy on us, Son of David.” When He entered the house, the blind men came to Him; and Jesus said to them, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?” They said to Him, “Yes, Lord.”Then He touched their eyes, saying, “According to your faith be it done to you.” And their eyes were opened. And Jesus sternly charged them, “See that no one knows it.” But they went away and spread His fame through all that district. As they were going away, behold, a dumb demoniac was brought to Him. And when the demon had been cast out, the dumb man spoke; and the crowds marveled, saying, “Never was anything like this seen in Israel.” But the Pharisees said, “He casts out demons by the prince of demons.” And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every disease and every infirmity.

St. Peter Orthodox Church