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St. Peter Newsletter June 30, 2020

Venerable Athanasius of Athos
Fourth Sunday of Matthew

Venerable Lampados of Irenoupolis; Hieromartyr Cyprian of St. George Kelli on Athos; Synaxis of the 23 Martyrs of Lesvos; Uncovering of relics of Sergios the Wonderworker of Radonezh

Who Was St. Athanasios the Athonite?

Born Abraham in Trebizond about the year 920, he was orphaned at an early age and was raised by a pious nun. After the death of his adoptive mother, Abraham was taken to Constantinople, to the court of the emperor Romanus the Elder. There, he was enrolled as a student under the renowned rhetorician Athanasius. Soon, he attained the mastery of skill of his teacher, and he himself became an instructor of youths.

During his time in Constantinople, Abraham met St. Michael Maleinus, igumen of Kyminas Monastery. Abraham told St. Michael about his life and revealed to him his desire to become a monk. Michael recognizing in Abraham the Holy Spirit taught him much in questions of salvation. During their spiritual talks Michael was visited by his nephew, Nicephorus Phocas, a military officer who was to be a future emperor. Nicephorus became impressed with Abraham’s spirit, and for all his life Nikephoros regarded Abraham with reverent respect and love.

Consumed with zeal for the monastic life, Abraham left everything behind and went to the Kyminas Monastery. There, he fell down at the feet of Igumen Michael and begged to be received into the monastic life. Fulfilling Abraham’s request with joy, the igumen tonsured him with the name Athanasius. Later in 958, having left Kyminas in search of a solitary place, Athanasius came to a place called Melanos, at the very extremity of Mount Athos, where he settled far from the other monastic dwellings.

Here, he struggled, intending to leave after a year, when on the last day as he set to pray, a heavenly light suddenly shined upon him, filling him with an indescribable joy. All the thoughts of leaving dissipated and his eyes welled up, graced with tears. From that moment St. Athanasius received the gift of tenderness, and he became as strongly fond of the place of his solitude as he had formerly loathed it.


Read the complete history on the Orthodox Wiki website.


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.


More on the Corona Virus and Church Protocols

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 optional but 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.


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


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).


Baby Carmine is Expecting a Sibling so We are Giving a Shower for Mom on Sunday, July 5, 2020!

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.


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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.


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


  • Tue Jun 30 — Byzantine Chant Workshop at St. Paul Naples 7:00pm


  • 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
  • Sun Jul 05 — Lillie Riccioli Baby Shower 12:00pm
  • Tue Jul 07 — ST. KYRIAKE THE GREAT MARTYR Divine Liturgy 9:30am LIVE STREAM
  • Tue Jul 07 — Byzantine Chant Workshop at St. Paul Naples 7:00pm
  • 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 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
  • 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

We should say the words of the prayers knowing that the Lord sees us and that He is listening to us. When something “moves” in the heart while we are at prayer, we should hold on to it and try to preserve that feeling. Elder Thaddeus(Strabulovich) of Vitovnica

Never form a close friendship with someone who enjoys noisy and drunken feasts, or who likes telling dirty stories, even though he may have been a monk for many years. Do not let his filth defile you; do not fall under the influence of people who are unclean and uncircumcised in heart. St. John of Karpathos

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 see the water of a river flowing uninterruptedly and passing away, and all that floats on its surface, rubbish or beams of trees, all pass by. Christian! So does our life. . .I was an infant, and that time has gone. I was an adolescent, and that too has passed. I was a young man, and that too is far behind me. The strong and mature man that I was is no more. My hair turns white, I succumb to age, but that too passes; I approach the end and will go the way of all flesh. I was born in order to die. I die that I may live. Remember me, O Lord, in Thy Kingdom! St. Tikhon of Zadonsk

To love our brothers is a need that is endemic to our nature. Contemporary man does not recognize this need, because it is suppressed and suffocated by egoism. Archbishop Averky (Taushev)

If you love true knowledge, devote yourself to the ascetic life; for mere theoretical knowledge puffs a man up (cf. 1 Cor. 8:1). St Mark the Ascetic


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)

J. and Husband (Dusckas 9/20)
Tamara (Dusckas 9/20)
Barbara (Dusckas 9/20)
Doug (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 St. Athanasius

The saints shall boast in glory, and they shall rejoice upon their beds.
Sing unto the Lord a new song; His praise is in the church of the saints.

The Reading from the Epistle of St. Paul to the Galatians. (5:22-6:2)

Brethren, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. Let us have no self-conceit, no provocation of one another, no envy of one another. Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Look to yourself, lest you too be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.



For the Fourth Sunday of Matthew

The Reading from the Holy Gospel according to St. Matthew. (8:5-13)

At that time, as Jesus entered Capernaum, a centurion came forward to him, beseeching Him and saying, “Lord, my servant is lying paralyzed at home, in terrible distress.” And Jesus said to him, “I will come and heal him.” But the centurion answered Him, “Lord, I am not worthy to have you come under my roof; but only say the word, and my servant will be healed. For I am a man under authority, with soldiers under me; and I say to one, ‘Go,’ and he goes, and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes, and to my slave, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”

When Jesus heard him, He marveled, and said to those who followed him, “Truly, I say to you, not even in Israel have I found such faith. I tell you, many will come from east and west and sit at table with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the Kingdom of Heaven, while the sons of the kingdom will be thrown into the outer darkness; there men will weep and gnash their teeth.” And to the centurion Jesus said, “Go; be it done for you as you have believed.” And the servant was healed at that very moment.

St. Peter Orthodox Church