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St. Peter Newsletter June 23, 2020

Nativity of St. John the Baptist

Third Sunday after Pentecost
Third Sunday of Matthew

Recovery of the relics of Cyrus and John the Unmercenaries; Martyr Papios; Paul the Physician of Corinth; Venerable Moses the anchorite; Venerable Sergios and Herman, Wonderworking Abbots of Valaam

Venerable Sergios and Herman, Wonderworking Abbots of Valaam
Venerable Sergios and Herman, Wonderworking Abbots of Valaam

Who Were Venerable Sergios and Herman, Wonderworking Abbots of Valaam?

Saints Sergius and Herman settled on the island of Valaam in 1329. The brethren gathered by them spread the light of Orthodoxy in this frontier land. The Karelian people began to regard Christianity with renewed suspicion, with its authority in the fourteenth century being undermined by the Swedes, who sought to spread Catholicism by means of the sword.

Sts. Sergius and Herman died about the year 1353. They are also commemorated on September 11 (The translation of their holy relics).

Learn more about Valaam monastery on the Orthodox Wiki website.


Nativity of St. John the Baptist Divine Liturgy on Wednesday June 24, 2020 at 9:30am

Nativity of St. John the Baptist
Nativity of St. John the Baptist

He that was greater than all who are born of women, the Prophet who received God’s testimony that he surpassed all the Prophets, was born of the aged and barren Elizabeth (Luke 1:7) and filled all his kinsmen, and those that lived round about, with gladness and wonder. But even more wondrous was that which followed on the eighth day when he was circumcised, that is, the day on which a male child receives his name.

Those present called him Zacharias, the name of his father. But the mother said, “Not so, but he shall be called John.” Since the child’s father was unable to speak, he was asked, by means of a sign, to indicate the child’s name. He then asked for a tablet and wrote, “His name is John.” And immediately Zacharias’ mouth was opened, his tongue was loosed from its silence of nine months, and filled with the Holy Spirit, he blessed the God of Israel, Who had fulfilled the promises made to their fathers, and had visited them that were sitting in darkness and the shadow of death, and had sent to them the light of salvation.

Zacharias prophesied concerning the child also, saying that he would be a Prophet of the Most High and Forerunner of Jesus Christ. And the child John, who was filled with grace, grew and waxed strong in the Spirit; and he was in the wilderness until the day of his showing to Israel (Luke 1:57-80). His name is a variation of the Hebrew “Johanan,” which means “Yahweh is gracious.”


Yearly Sts. Peter and Paul Feast Patronal Feast Day — Great Vespers and Divine Liturgy on June 28/29 2020 at St. Paul’s in Naples

Sts. Peter and Paul
Sts. Peter and Paul

Every year St. Peter’s of Bonita Springs and St. Paul’s of Naples celebrate their Patronal Feast together — Sts. Peter and Paul. We alternate yearly on where we celebrate the feast. This year St. Paul’s in Naples (get directions) is the host and all services will be celebrated there.

  • The main celebration with be a shared Great Vespers on Sunday, June 28 at 5:00pm, the eve of the Feast Day.
  • The Divine Liturgy will be celebrated on Monday, June 29, 2020 with Orthros at 8:30am followed by Divine Liturgy at 9:30am

Please mark you calendars and plan on attending. In this troublesome time we need the help of the Saints, particularly the protectors of our parishes. God is glorified in His Saints, God works His wonders (miracles) through His Saints, the Church teaches us.

When we worship God and venerate His Saints, we attract the grace of the Saints that God has given them; the Saints provide opportunities for the parishes that bear their names to flourish and prosper.

The Great Vespers and Divine Liturgy will be live streamed on the St. Paul Orthodox Church Facebook page.


Upcoming Liturgies

Sts. Cosmas and Damian Wednesday July 1, 2020 at 9:30am

Sts. Cosmas and Damian

Sts. Cosmas and Damian have helped with healings at St. Peter’s.

Saints Cosmas and Damian were two Arab physicians in the town Cyrhus, and were reputedly twin brothers, and early Christian martyrs. They practised their profession in the seaport of Aegeae, then in the Roman province of Syria.

Accepting no payment for their services led to them being named anargyroi (‘the silverless’ or ‘unmercenaries’); it has been said that, by this, they attracted many to the Christian faith


St. John Maximovitch Thursday July 2, 2020 at 9:30am

On Thursday, July 2 at 9:30am we will celebrate the Liturgy commemorating St. John of San Francisco (Maximovitch). Why? Because St. John has quietly worked miracles for some of the families in our parish. God is glorified through His Saints.

Our father among the saints John (Maximovitch), Archbishop of Shanghai and San Francisco (1896-1966), was a diocesan bishop of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia (ROCOR) who served widely from China to France to the United States.

He departed this life on July 2, 1966, and was officially glorified by the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad on July 2, 1994. His glorification was later recognized for universal veneration by the Patriarchate of Moscow on July 2, 2008.


Letter From Theo Palis — June 21, 2020

Visiting Theo through the window with the stack of cards he received.

Father Hans, John Simon and members of Saint Peter Orthodox Church:

I will try in the next few lines to express my sincere thanks and gratitude towards all of you, but mainly to our God.

During the last few days, my life has been flooded with strong feelings of love and gratitude towards all of you. It took only an event that lasted less than two seconds to change my life completely. What changed was not just the body and the pain, but also my daily routine.

So while I sit here and try to be brave, you, my friends have flooded me with your love and your prayers. You have sent me letters and cards with written messages inside. Some of you have stood among the bushes outside my room to visit me through the window. All of these things, visits and messages of love have been the source of my courage. The stack of cards and well wishes are a daily reminder of your love. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Father Hans, whom I have known for some twenty years, my Brother in Christ, John Simon’s attention and daily contact, and my contact with other people near and far, continue to be the source of my hope and joy.

Many Thanks be to God!

God is Great!

Theo Palis

Theo Palis — ROOM 433
3850 Williams Road
Estero, FL 33928


Apostles Fast Continues June 15 – June 29

In the Orthodox Church the Fast of the Holy Apostles lasts from the day after the Sunday of All Saints to the 29th of June, the feast of the Apostles Peter and Paul. This fast may be of longer of shorter duration depending upon which day PASCHA is celebrated. According to the Julian Calendar it could last from as little as 8 days to as many as 42 days dpeending on the date of PASCHA, but this is shortened by the Revised Julian Calendar which sometimes obliterates the Fast altogether, though rarely. If the feast of PASCHA occurs sooner, then the Apostles’ Fast is longer; if PASCHA comes later, then the Apostles’ Fast is shorter.

The Fast of the Apostles is somewhat more lenient than the Great Fast before Holy Week and PASCHA.


  • Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday: No meat or dairy
  • Wednesday and Friday: Strict Fast – No meat, dairy, olive oil, or wine.

Sunday Attendance Increased to 40 persons

  • Sunday Sign-ups continue (sign up here) with a maximum limit of 40 persons.
  • We will continue with this plan until we receive permission to increase our number.
  • Social distancing must be maintained.

Regarding the Social Distancing: Toward the end of Divine Liturgy last Sunday, a lot of people congregated toward the front of the Church since our regular Social Hour is still restricted. If you would like to talk to others (and we all do of course), please also use the sidewalks outside so that proper social distances can be maintained.


Baby Carmine is Expecting a Sibling so We are Giving a Shower for Mom!

Carmine and Lillie Riccioli Baby Shower

Carmine and Lillie Riccioli are expecting (actually Lillie is expecting and Carmine is coming along for the ride) and baby Carmine is about to get a brother or sister.

We are giving them a baby shower.

The shower will be held on Sunday July 5 in the Social Hall following the Divine Liturgy.

For more information and to RSVP please contact Paraskeve Morekeas at 615-481-5117.

We will follow the Florida distancing guidelines which state that groups should be no larger than 50, participants who prefer to wear a mask are encouraged to do so, and anyone showing symptoms of any kind of sickness or is in a risk category are encouraged stay home.


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.


Antiochian Diocese of Miami and the South East

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.


Interfaith Charities is Ramping Up and the Shelves are Bare


Interfaith Charities Logo


Interfaith Charities gave out all their available food during the coronavirus pandemic. The shelves are bare and they are asking local churches and business for help in feeding the poor in the south Lee County area (where St. Peter’s is located).

They need:

  • Cereal
  • Peanut butter
  • Soups
  • Canned vegetable (any and all)
  • Staples (any and all except for rice and beans)

St. Peter partners with Interfaith Charities as part of our service to the larger community. You can find out more on the Interfaith Charities website.


Pledge & Income Report – May 2020

Donations received in May: $20,421.00
Amount of money needed to cover expenses: $18,121.00
We are ahead by $2,300.00

Thank you very much for your support of St. Peter’s. You can fill out a pledge form on the St. Peter website.

St. Peter Orthodox Church

Don't forget your pledge!

Please keep current with your pledge. The financial health and stability of our parish requires us to do our part.

You can mail your check to:

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

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


Calendar At A Glance


  • Wed Jun 24 — NATIVITY ST. JOHN BAPTIST Divine Liturgy 9:30am LIVE STREAM
  • Sun Jun 28 — Orthros 8:30am / Liturgy 9:30am LIVE STREAM
  • Sun Jun 28 — STS. PETER AND PAUL Great Vespers at St. Paul Naples 5:00pm LIVE STREAM ON THE ST PAUL FACEBOOK PAGE
  • Mon Jun 29 — STS. PETER AND PAUL Divine Liturgy St. Paul Naples Orthros 8:30am, Divine Liturgy 9:30am LIVE STREAM ON THE ST PAUL FACEBOOK PAGE


  • Wed Jul 01 — STS. COSMAS AND DAMIAN Divine Liturgy 9:30am LIVE STREAM
  • Thu Jul 02 — ST. JOHN MAXIMOVITCH Divine Liturgy 9:30am LIVE STREAM
  • Sun Jul 05 — Orthros 8:30am / Liturgy 9:30am LIVE STREAM
  • Tue Jul 07 — ST. KYRIAKE THE GREAT MARTYR Divine Liturgy 9:30am LIVE STREAM
  • Sun Jul 12 — Orthros 8:30am / Liturgy 9:30am LIVE STREAM
  • Wed Jul 15 — ST. VLADIMIR EQUAL TO THE APOSTLES Diivne Liturgy 9:30am LIVE STREAM
  • Sun Jul 19 — Orthros 8:30am / Liturgy 9:30am LIVE STREAM
  • Mon Jul 20 — ELIAS (ELIJAH) THE PROPHET Liturgy 9:30am LIVE STREAM
  • Sun Jul 26 — Orthros 8:30am / Liturgy 9:30am LIVE STREAM

Wisdom From The Elders

[During illness] …make the sign of the cross on yourself and kiss the icons of the Savior, the Mother of God, and the saints often. Metropolitan Gregory (Postnikov) of St. Petersburg

To what end do fasting and penitence lead ? For what purpose is this trouble taken? They lead to the cleansing of the soul from sins, to peace of heart, to union with God; they fill us with devotion and sonship, and give us boldness before God. Righteous John, Wonderworker of Kronstadt

When Christ is in our heart, we are contented with everything: what has been discomfort to us becomes the greatest comfort, what was bitter to us becomes sweet, poverty becomes wealth, our hunger is satisfied, and our sorrow turns into joy! Righteous John, Wonderworker of Kronstadt

For man must first free himself from the material world in order to be born of God. Such is the economy of grace; such, too, is the economy of knowledge. Venerable Justin (Popovic) of Chelije in Serbia

Let us strive for sober attention, that we might recognize our sins and be constantly humbled, that we might not nurture, like the serpent, a high opinion of ourselves or wickedness. Venerable Ephraim the Syrian

So if we wish to attain to prayer unaffected by demonic temptation, let us begin by fostering purity of body and mind, that our house may become barren and uninviting to the demons and a fitting temple for the presence of the Lord. Bishop Irenei Steenberg


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)

John (Troutman 9/20)
Ray (Dusckas 9/20)
Dave (Dusckas 9/20)
Marina (Dusckas 9/20)
Constandina (Stephania 9/20)
Steven (Breitenbach 9/20)
Irini (Tsikitas 9/20)
Lori (Dusckas 8/20)
Alberta (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 Third Sunday after Pentecost

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

The Reading from the Epistle of St. Paul to the Romans. (5:1-10)

Brethren, since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through Him we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in our hope of sharing the glory of God. More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit which has been given to us. While we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. Why, one will hardly die for a righteous man—though perhaps for a good man one will dare even to die. But God shows His love for us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we are now justified by His blood, much more shall we be saved by Him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.



For Third Sunday of Matthew

The Reading from the Holy Gospel according to St. Matthew. (6:22-33)

The Lord said, “The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is sound, your whole body will be full of light; but if your eye is evil, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness! No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.

Therefore, I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you shall eat or what you shall drink; nor about your body, what you shall put on. Is not the soul more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of heaven: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add one cubit to his stature? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin; yet I tell you, even Solomon himself in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.

But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O men of little faith? Therefore, do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek all these things; and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things shall be yours as well.”

St. Peter Orthodox Church