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St. Peter Newsletter July 7, 2020

Fifth Sunday after Pentecost
Fifth Sunday of Matthew

Holy Martyrs Proclus and Hilary of Ancyra; Veronica, the woman with the issue of blood who was healed by our Lord; Venerable Father Paisios the New of Athos

St. Paisios of Athos
St. Paisios of Athos

Who is St. Paisios of Athos?

Our venerable and God-bearing Father Paisios of Mount Athos or Paisios the New, of the Holy Mountain (July 25, 1924 – July 12, 1994), was a monastic of Mount Athos. An ascetic, he was known by his visitors for his gentle manner and acceptance of those who came to receive his advice, counsel, and blessing. His words of counsel continue to be published. [1] Elder Paisios was canonized on January 13, 2015, by the Holy and Sacred Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople.[1][2] The Church commemorates St. Paisios on July 12.

A letter from St. Peter’s was included in the documents that contributed to the canonization of Elder Paisios by the Ecumenical Patriarch in 2015. You can read the letter here: A Miracle by Elder Paisios.

Read about the life of St. Paisios on the Orthodox Wiki website.


St. Procopios the Great Martyr Divine Liturgy on Wednesday July 8, 2020 at 9:30am

St. Procopios
St. Procopios the Great Martyr

The holy Martyr Procopius was born of a pious father named Christopher, but his mother Theodosia was an idolater. After Christopher’s death, she presented Neanias – for this was the Saint’s name before – to Diocletian, who was at Antioch in Syria. Diocletian made him Duke of Alexandria, and sent him there to punish the Christians.

On the way to Alexandria, our Lord spoke to Neanias as once He had to Saul, and turned this new persecutor to faith in Him. Neanias turned back to Scythopolis, and preached Christ. He was betrayed by his own mother, and was arrested and tormented in Caesarea of Palestine.

While he was in prison, the Lord appeared to him again and gave him the new name of Procopius (which is derived from the Greek word meaning “progress, advancement”). He was brought out of prison and taken to worship the idols, but at his prayer, the idols fell; many then believed in Christ and suffered martyrdom, among them certain soldiers, twelve women of senatorial rank, and the Saint’s own mother, Theodosia.

Saint Procopius, after further torments and imprisonment, was beheaded about the year 290.


Baby Shower for the Andrews Family on Sunday July 19, 2020 after the Divine Liturgy

Have you noticed the new families coming to St. Peter’s? We know that St. Peter’s is to become a Church where those who are seeking Christ in the fullness of the Orthodox Church. This is our vision and it is happening.

We have two new families that includes three more young children (and two more when Moriah and Lillie have their babies) attending our parish. Glory to God for all things!

One couple, Jason and Moriah Andrews, are expecting a child soon and we are throwing a shower! See the details below.



Please sign up in the Narthex or RSVP to Lillie Riccioli.

Please note: Jason and Moriah won’t be using disposable diapers so please don’t buy any.


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).


The St. Peter Sermon Page is Back!

You can catch a replay of Fr. Hans’ latest sermons on the website.

Please make sure to subscribe! That way the St. Peter YouTube page rises higher in the Google search rankings.


Sign Up for the DOMSE Newsletter


The Diocese of Miami is growing and we need to stay informed. Sign up for the DOMSE News and the get the news delivered directly to your inbox. Send an email to to get added!


Bishop NICHOLAS Offers a Weekly Live Stream



His Grace Bishop NICHOLAS offers a LIVE STREAM talk with questions and answers to everyone in the Diocese of Miami and the Southeast every Sunday at 3:00pm ET.

You will be able to send questions directly to Bishop NICHOLAS via chat during the live stream. A recording of the live stream will be posted to the DOMSE BAND group. You must join the newly formed Domse band group to join in.

Open this invite link below on your iPhone, Android, or desktop:

If you have BAND already, you will be able to simply join the group. If you do not have BAND, you will be able to download the application and join the group.


Calendar At A Glance


  • Tue Jul 07 — Byzantine Chant Workshop at St. Paul Naples 7:00pm
  • Wed Jul 08 — ST. PROCOPIOS THE MARTYR Divine Liturgy 9:30am LIVE STREAM
  • Sun Jul 12 — Orthros 8:30am / Liturgy 9:30am LIVE STREAM
  • Sun Jul 12 — Anthony Mankus Memorial 11:30am LIVE STREAM
  • Tue Jul 14 — Byzantine Chant Workshop at St. Paul Naples 7:00pm
  • Wed Jul 15 — ST. VLADIMIR EQUAL TO THE APOSTLES Divine Liturgy 9:30am LIVE STREAM
  • Sun Jul 19 — Orthros 8:30am / Liturgy 9:30am LIVE STREAM
  • Sun Jul 19 — Andrews Family Baby Shower following the Divine Liturgy
  • Mon Jul 20 — ELIAS (ELIJAH) THE PROPHET Liturgy 9:30am LIVE STREAM
  • Tue Jul 21 — Byzantine Chant Workshop at St. Paul Naples 7:00pm
  • Sun Jul 26 — Orthros 8:30am / Liturgy 9:30am LIVE STREAM
  • Tue Jul 28 — Byzantine Chant Workshop at St. Paul Naples 7:00pm

Wisdom From The Elders

Rebuttal bridles evil thoughts, but the invocation of Jesus Christ drives them from the heart. St. Hesychius the Theologian of Jerusalem, disciple of St. Gregory the Theologian

How without grace can one readily believe in things unseen? St. Theognostos

And as much as one progresses spiritually, just as much will he see the love of God on a greater scale and he will melt away because of that love. Saint Paisios of Mount Athos

We have come to this monastery from all parts. We have grown up in different families under different circumstances. Among us there are some who are too sensitive and some who are insensitive and think nothing of offending others. However, we must all tolerate one another in the community in order that we may gradually become of one mind and thought. The abbot should serve as an example to the rest of the brethren in this. Elder Thaddeus(Strabulovich) of Vitovnica

As a child is indifferent to whatever clothes are put on it, so also the Christian, an infant in Christ, should be indifferent to the variety, richness, and beauty of his earthly garments, considering Christ, our God, his best and incorruptible garment; for an attachment to expensive, fine clothes is peculiar to the children of this world and to the heathen. Righteous John, Wonderworker of Kronstadt

‘My brother,’ he continued, ‘at the present time, good deeds have become scarce, immorality has increased, injustice has taken root, love is for­gotten, faithfulness has become lost, and the word of God has dried up in the mouths of men. Falsehood and godlessness are everywhere triumphant, enmity has taken the place of love, cruelty has displaced mercy, truth has been conquered by falsehood. Men’s minds are full of evil thoughts, and their evil deeds have so increased that they all are clinging to what is wicked, and there is almost none who lives piously. This is the reason why those who do even a little good now are yet found worthy of much reward.’ Great Martyr George


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)

Sarah (Dusckas 9/20)
Tamara (Dusckas 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)
Dennis (Dusckas 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)
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 the Fifth Sunday after Pentecost

How great are Thy works, O Lord! In wisdom hast Thou made them all.
Bless the Lord, O my soul.

The Reading from the Epistle of St. Paul to the Romans. (10:1-10)

Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is that it may be saved. I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but it is not enlightened. For, being ignorant of the righteousness that comes from God, and seeking to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness. For Christ is the end of the law, that everyone who has faith may be justified. Moses writes that the man who practices the righteousness which is based on the law shall live by it. But the righteousness based on faith says: Do not say in your heart, “Who will ascend into Heaven?” (that is, to bring Christ down) or “Who will descend into the abyss?” (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). But what does it say? The word is near you, on your lips and in your heart (that is, the word of faith which we preach); because, if you confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For man believes with his heart and so is justified, and he confesses with his lips and so is saved.



For the Fifth Sunday of Matthew

The Reading from the Holy Gospel according to St. Matthew. (8:28-9:1)

At that time, when Jesus came to the country of the Gergesenes, two demoniacs met Him, coming out of the tombs, so fierce that no one could pass that way. And behold, they cried out, “What have we to do to Thee, O Son of God? Art Thou come here to torment us before the time?” Now a herd of many swine was feeding at some distance from them. And the demons begged Him, “If Thou castest us out, send us away into the herd of swine.” And He said to them, “Go.” So they came out and went into the swine; and behold, the whole herd rushed down the steep bank into the sea, and perished in the waters. The herdsmen fled, and going into the city they told everything, and what had happened to the demoniacs. And behold, all the city came out to meet Jesus; and when they saw Him, they begged Him to leave their neighborhood. And getting into a boat He crossed over and came to His own city.

St. Peter Orthodox Church