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St. Peter Newsletter July 28, 2020

The Eighth Sunday after Pentecost
The Eighth Sunday of Matthew

Relics Translation of Proto-martyr Stephen the Archdeacon; Venerable Photini the wonderworker of Carpasia in Cyprus; Blessed Basil the Fool-for-Christ, Wonderworker of Moscow

St. Basil Fool for Christ Healing a Sick Man

Blessed Basil the Fool-for-Christ, Wonderworker of Moscow?

Saint Basil the Blessed, Wonderworker of Moscow, was born in December 1468 on the portico of the Elokhov church in honor of the Vladimir Icon of the Most Holy Theotokos outside Moscow. His parents were commoners and sent their son to be trained as a cobbler.

During Basil’s apprenticeship, the master happened to witness a remarkable occurrence, which showed him that his student was no ordinary man. A certain merchant had brought grain to Moscow on a barge and then went to order boots, specifying that they be made in a particular way, since he would not pick them up for a year. Blessed Basil wept and said, “I wish you would cancel the order, since you will never wear them.”

St. Basil Cathedral. The Cathedral named for St. Basil Fool for Christ. Americans often assume it is named for St. Basil the Great and associate the Cathedral with the Kremlin in Moscow

When the perplexed master questioned his apprentice he explained that the man would not wear the boots, for he would soon die. After several days the prediction came true.

When he was sixteen, the saint arrived in Moscow and began the difficult exploit of foolishness for Christ. In the burning summer heat and in the winter’s harsh frost, he walked about barefoot through the streets of Moscow. His actions were strange: here he would upset a stand with kalachi, and there he would spill a jug with kvas. Angry merchants throttled the blessed one, but he endured the beatings with joy and he thanked God for them. Then it was discovered that the kalachi were poorly cooked, and the kvas was badly prepared. The reputation of Saint Basil quickly grew, and people saw him as a holy fool, a man of God, and a denouncer of wrong.

A certain merchant wanted to build a stone church on Pokrovna in Moscow, but its arches collapsed three times. The merchant turned to the saint for advice, and he pointed him toward Kiev. “Find there John the Cripple,” he said. “He will advise you how to construct the church.”

Traveling to Kiev, the merchant sought out John, who sat in a poor hut and rocked an empty cradle. “Whom do you rock?” asked the merchant. “I weep for my beloved mother, who was made poor by my birth and upbringing.” Only then did the merchant remember his own mother, whom he had thrown out of the house. Then it became clear to him why he was not able to build the church. Returning to Moscow, he brought his mother home, begged her forgiveness, and built the church.


Read more about St. Basil the Fool for Christ on the Russian Orthodox Cathedral of St. John the Baptist website.


St. Peter LIVE STREAM: Latest Developments

St. Peter Live Stream

Transferring to the new camera was more involved than we first anticipated. With some improvements in our modem and WiFi capabilities, the problems such as freezing images and poor sound should, hopefully, be a thing of the past.

So far the sound has improved, the visual quality has improved, but the actual streaming still needs improvement.

On Monday we tested the upgrades during the Divine Liturgy for St. Panteleimon. There was only one short freeze up. We will do a little more whiz-bang on the technical end and, if it works, Sunday should be flawless. Please let us know of any problems in in the comments section on Facebook during the Liturgy.


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.

Divine Liturgy for the Feast of the Transfiguration on August 6, 9:30am

The Transfiguration of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ
The Transfiguration of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ

The Feast of the Transfiguration of Our Lord, God and Savior Jesus Christ is celebrated each year on August 6. The feast commemorates the transfiguration or metamorphosis of Christ on Mount Tabor, when our Lord appeared in His divine glory before the Apostles Peter, James, and John.

Biblical Story

The event of the Transfiguration is recorded in three of the four Gospels: Matthew 17:1-9, Mark 9:2-8, and Luke 9:28-36. Jesus took the Apostles Peter, James, and John with Him up upon a mountain, and while they were on the mountain Jesus was transfigured. His face shone like the sun, and His garments became glistening white.

Moses and Elijah appeared with Christ, talking to Him. Peter declared how good it was for them to be there and expressed the desire to build three booths for Moses, Elijah, and Christ. This reference to the booths could imply that this occurred during the time of the Feast of Tabernacles when the Jews would be camping out in the fields for the grape harvest; for this Feast had acquired other associations in the course of its history, including the memory of the wanderings in the wilderness recorded in the Old Testament book of Exodus.

While Peter was speaking, a bright cloud overshadowed them. A voice came from the cloud saying, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to Him.” When the disciples heard this they fell on their faces filled with awe. Jesus came to them and told them to not be afraid. When the three looked up they saw only Jesus.

As Jesus and His disciples came down the mountain, He told them not to speak of what they had seen until He had risen from the dead.

Source: Greek Orthodox Archdiocese.

St. Peter Launches New Ministry to Help the Poor

Helping the poor is a necessary obligation to our neighbors and thus to God. He who loves his brother loves God, St. John tells us in his first epistle (see 1 John 1).

For the last four months we have working with Cafe of Life in Bonita Springs to make over one hundred sandwiches for the local poor once a month. They serve needy families who don’t have food on the weekends.

The first six months of the project has been underwritten by an anonymous donor. It costs nearly $200 to buy the bread, lunch meat, and cheese to make the sandwiches and buy other food items. Volunteers from the parish make them. They are distributed during the weekend by Cafe of Life.

We have two months left on the original donation, and already three donors have stepped up for the following three months. Helping the poor is a great way to bless God (yes, God blesses us but we also bless God — read the Psalms), because the poor are always close to God’s heart.

You might consider a donation to remember the memory of a loved one who has passed away. It brings honor to them through your help of the poor.

For more information, to sponsor a month, or to help make the sandwiches, please contact Julia Grekos or Pasraskeve Morakeas. This ministry is in addition to our help with Interfaith Charities.

Helping the poor through the Cafe of Life

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.


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):


Calendar At A Glance


  • Tue Jul 28 — CANCELLED 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

The passion of lust wars against everyone, and at the toll-houses the demon of lust will boast before all the princes of darkness that he provided hell with more spoils than all the rest. Be patient, and implore Divine help! St. Anatoly of Optina

A wise and discriminating person, seeing an immaculate home with many children, will come to the conclusion that either the children are damaged, or the mother is barbarian and imposes military discipline. Saint Paisios of Mount Athos

God is an incomplex, most perfect Being, that is, the purest holiness, the purest good and truth; and in order to be in union with God, in order to be one spirit with Him (for we are from Him), we must acquire, through His grace, the most perfect simplicity of goodness, holiness, and love. Righteous John, Wonderworker of Kronstadt

We must never allow envy to enter our hearts, for envy destroys the peace within and the tranquility of the soul. For example, we are at peace. A friend comes along and tells us about someone who has behaved unjustly toward us in the past. This person is now very successful and has achieved a lot. If we have not forgiven this person, the spirit of envy rears its head immediately. Elder Thaddeus(Strabulovich) of Vitovnica

For we do not know how long we may remain in virtue, as says the Prophet who attained to knowledge of this matter by experience: In my prosperity I said, I shall never be moved. Thou didst hide Thy face, and I am troubled (Ps. 29:7, 8).
St. Seraphim of Sarov

You who love God: follow the path onto which the Lord has directed you and fear nothing. Is the whole world against you? Do not fear, but only try to please the Lord God, and then, remembering the words of the holy Apostle, If God be for us, who can be against us? (Rom. 8:31), remain completely calm. Metropolitan Gregory (Postnikov) of St. Petersburg


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 August 1)

Libby Ann (Riccioli 10/22)
Moria (Fr. Hans 10/22)
Paraskeve (Fr. Hans 10/22)
Gregory (Fr. Hans 10/22)
Andrea (Sarros 10/22)
Basil (Sarros 10/22)
Margaret (Sarros 10/22)
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

Demetrios (Kuchera)
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)
Scott (Repya)
Bud (Repya)

Founders, Members, 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)
Constantine (Joseph)

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 Eighth 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 First Epistle of St. Paul to the Corinthians. (1:10-17)

Brethren, I appeal to you, by the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree andthat there be no dissension among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the samejudgment. For it has been reported to me by Chloe’s people that there is quarreling among you,my brethren. What I mean is that each one of you says, “I belong to Paul,” or “I belong to Apollos,”or “I belong to Cephas,” or “I belong to Christ.” Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you?Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?

I thank God that I baptized none of you except Crisposand Gaius; lest anyone should say that you were baptized in my name. (I did baptize also thehousehold of Stephanas. Beyond that, I do not know whether I baptized anyone else.) For Christdid not send me to baptize but to preach the Gospel, and not with eloquent wisdom, lest the crossof Christ be emptied of its power.


For the Eighth Sunday of Matthew

The Reading from the Holy Gospel according to St. Matthew. (14:14-22)

At that time, when Jesus went ashore he saw a great throng; and he had compassion onthem, and healed their sick. When it was evening, the disciples came to Him and said, “This is alonely place, and the day is now over; send the crowds away to go into the villages and buy foodfor themselves.” Jesus said, “They need not go away; you give them something to eat.” They saidto Him, “We have only five loaves here and two fish.” And He said, “Bring them here to Me.”Then He ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass; and taking the five loaves and the two fishHe looked up to Heaven, and blessed, and broke and gave the loaves to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds. And they all ate and were satisfied. And they took up twelvebaskets full of the broken pieces left over. And those who ate were about five thousand men,besides women and children. Then Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go before Himto the other side, while He dismissed the crowds.

St. Peter Orthodox Church