Saint Katherine Greek Orthodox Church Naples, Florida 34109
June-Sept 2011 Volume 4, Issue 6
St. Katherine Greek Orthodox Church
7100 Airport Road North ~ Naples, FL 34109
Phone: 239.591.3430 ~ Fax: 239.591.3271
www.stkatherine.net ~ email@example.com
V. Rev Archimandrite Constantine Mersinas, Pastor
V. Rev. Archimandrite Ernest Blougouras ~ V. Rev. Fr. Peter Atsales
THE MINISTRY Page 2
REGULAR WEEKLY PASTOR’S SUMMER MESSAGE
8:15 am Orthros Christos Anesti!
9:30 am Divine Liturgy
Weekdays (as announced) With the first day of June this year, we have the
8:15 am Orthros
9:00 am Divine Liturgy
final day for the Paschal period of 2011. We have pro-
claimed that “Christ is risen” for the past forty days and it
Pastor’s Reflection 2 now is time to move on to the Holy Ascension of our Lord.
Parish Council Committees 3 May His Holy Resurrection and Ascension be glorified!
There is also another season which has begun, that is, the famil-
iar “Summer” Season in which many of our members depart for their
Council Corner 3
homes in the north. Many of you we will not see until next Fall or early
Philoptochos 4 in 2012. That many of you have already departed is evident by the de-
GOYA 4 crease in church attendance and traffic around the church hall and of-
JOY 5 fice. We will try to keep in touch so everyone will feel connected to St.
Men’s Club 5 Katherine Church while away.
Reflecting for a moment on the past six months, one can hardly
Mortgage Elimination Drive 6
believe the flurry of events and activities that have taken place. St.
Memorials, Weddings 6 Katherine Church in Naples is a tremendous source for soul nurturing,
Room Rental 7 both spiritual and social. The full ecclesiastical schedule of services and
Stewardship Committee 7 many social gatherings and functions are the key to an active and pro-
ductive community. The social outreach of the Philoptochos Ladies
Special Submission 8
ensures that we are doing our part for those who are in need. The wit-
St. Luke, the Evangelist Icon 9 nessing of the mortgage debt being reduced to less than half of what it
Choir 9 was two years ago is a great financial blessing. The Greek Festival was
Calendars/Coffee Hour, 10 a huge success. The many activities and encouragement for involve-
GOYA & Altar Boy Scheds. ment of our youth helped them be a part of it all and a blessing for us.
The “crown jewel” of our year was without question the Conse-
Palm Sunday & Holy Unction 11
cration of our Temple. This event has left its spiritual mark on all of us
Holy Friday 12 who have partaken of this Once in a Lifetime event. The presence and
Holy Sat., Resurrection & Agape 13
leadership of His Eminence Metropolitan Alexios could not have been
more of a blessing for us. It was a particular blessing for me to shep-
Knitting Club 14 herd the community through our consecration and to be a part of all
Albanian School 15 the season had to offer. A spirit of unity has emerged from it all.
Greek School 15 I pray you have a blessed and healthy summer and that we will
see you next season.
Welcome Committee 15
In the resurrected Christ,
Altar Boys 17
Building & Grounds 17
Bridge Club 17
+Archimandrite Constantine Mersinas
Food for Thought 18
Kids’ Page 22
Page 3 VOLUME 4, ISSUE 6
2011 PARISH COUNCIL COUNCIL CORNER
V. Rev. Archimandrite Constantine Mersinas
President—Richard Pappas A very significant step has been taken in reducing
1st Vice President—Dr. John Klemes our mortgage. Through the efforts of Tom Kyrus,
2nd Vice President—Dr. Michael Kontos we were able to negotiate a lower interest rate,
Secretary—Anna Topougis which will bring us closer to paying off our loan
Asst. Secretary—Bianca Vukovic with TIB Bank. We have a long way to go to pay
Treasurer—Dr. Vlasios Albanis off the balance of our loan, but our St. Katherine
Asst. Treasurer—Minas Masouras parishioners have been very supportive in this
three-year endeavor. Our community is blessed to have the many vol-
Paul Backos Graysen Johnson unteers who have offered to help in any way they can, so that our
Frank Butler Dr. Harry Papas community can move forward. I would like to extend my sincere
Dianne Hatzis Peter Stavropoulos thanks to all our volunteers and encourage others to join us in this
Linda Hatzis Kostika Terezi journey.
Parish Council Committees
Each committee at St. Katherine is overseen by a parish
council member. However, it is a mission of the parish council Parish Council President
to involve other parishioners on each committee. The
committees are listed below:
Bookstore Committee: First Aid Committee:
Chairperson: Linda Hatzis Chairperson: Dr. George Kuzmishin/Dr. Michael Kontos
Budget Committee: Hall Rental Committee:
Chairperson: Dr. Vlasios Albanis Chairperson: Dr. Michael Kontos
Building & Grounds Committee: Philoptochos Liaison:
Chairpersons: Graysen Johnson Chairperson: Dr. Michael Kontos
By-Laws & Parliamentary Procedures Publicity/PR:
Chairperson: Dr. Michael Kontos Chairperson: Anna Topougis
Church Operations: Stewardship Committee:
Chairperson: Peter Stavropoulos Chairperson: Dianne Hatzis
Education, Culture & Youth Committee: “The Ministry” Committee:
Chairperson: Kostika Terezi Chairperson: Fr. Constantine Mersinas
Festival Committee: Ways & Means Committee:
Chairpersons: Linda Hatzis, Dianne Hatzis, Graysen Johnson Chairperson: Dr. Harry Papas
Finance Advisory Committee: Welcome Committee:
Chairperson: Harry Demas Chairperson: Dr. John Klemes
2011 Parish Council
THE MINISTRY Page 4
Xristos Anesti! PHILOPTOCHOS
A great big thank you to our outgoing Philoptochos President, Eva Kontos,
for her tireless work, dedication and service to Philoptochos. Additional kudos
to all ladies of Philoptochos for their hard work, artistic talents, fabulous en-
ergy and efforts during the Pascha Season — and always. We appreciate every
parishioner’s support - financially and spiritually - as we prepared our church
for the Easter Season. Your continued support is paramount to our success!
The 2011-2013 Philoptochos Board is now busy planning a dynamic schedule of activities for the upcoming sea-
son. New faces, new ideas and new energy are the reason you should get involved with Philoptochos! Please feel
free to mention your ideas to me, or any of the Philoptochos Board Members listed below. I thank everyone for
their support, kind words and good wishes and look forward to representing St. Katherine Philoptochos at the
Clergy-Laity conference in New Orleans. Your support is the reason Philoptochos will continue to help those in
our community, both locally and afar, who are in need of a friend.
May the good Lord keep us in His prayers and watch over us always.
Jeannie Manos Outgoing President Eva Kontos was pre-
President sented with roses by Persephone Johnson
2011-2013 Philoptochos Board on behalf of Philoptochos.
Jeannie Manos Eva Kontos Demetra Pichinos
Elaine Daravingas Helen Athan Joanne Watson
Persephone Johnson Athena Bellis Sharon Culianos
Paula Angelopoulos Urbinati Angie Chronis Joanne Venetis
Lisa Klemes Evonne Liakos Peggy Butler
Elona Ruci Barbara Loukidis
Patty Kalamaras Lenore Mattoff
We are winding down the 2010-11 G.O.Y.A. year with an overnight “reward” trip to Universal
Studios in Orlando. One of the tenets we try to impress on our youth is that hard work reaps re-
Of course, rewards would not come to fruition without our parishioners’ constant generos-
ity for G.O.Y.A. fundraisers. Thank you for your support.
Chris and I would also like to take this opportunity thank the following adults who helped us with food,
cooking and setting up for a successful Palm Sunday luncheon:
Kostika Terezi Paul Backos
Adriana & Romey Terezi Helen Athan
Mike & Mary Kontozoglou Christine Cokkinias
John Katsigianopoulos Peter Hunt
Page 5 VOLUME 4, ISSUE 6
Junior Orthodox Youth (JOY) serves pre-teens from 5 to 12 years of age. They meet monthly for out-
ings and other events. The adult advisor is Jennifer Avros. For further information, please contact her
at (239) 793-4199
The mission and goal of the JOY ministry is to lead our young people into experiencing the Holy Or-
thodox Faith. By developing a personal relationship with our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, and becom-
ing active sacramental members of the living church, our young people will be equipped with tools nec-
essary to assist them in their journey toward salvation. By laying a foundation of faith at this age, the young people will
have something that will guide and strengthen them as they progress into junior high and high school.
For further information, contact Jennifer Avros at (239) 325-7225.
St. Katherine Men’s Club
Thursday, Nov.10, 2011 -Dr. Jon Dounchis, “Advances in Robotic Surgery of the Knee”; Thursday, Nov. 17, 2011
--- Movie/Pizza night; Thursday, Dec.8, 2011-Dr. John Psaras, “Greeks of Alexandria,” Stonebridge CC luncheon
meeting with spouses; Thursday, Jan. 12, 2012-Dr. Harry Dimopoulos “Byzantium”; Saturday, Jan.21, 2012-------
Vasilopita Dinner-Dance; Sunday, Feb. 19, 2012 ----Opera—“Carmen” in Sarasota; Saturday., Feb 25, 2012 –
Broadway Palm Theater--Brigadoon; Thursday, March 8, 2012 ---Peter Novas-Economics--2012
Marco Island—luncheon Da Vinci Restaurant: $20:00 p/p; April 19, 2012 Vitas Hospice; April 17, 2012 Golf
Festival –Feb. 10-11-12, 2012; Orthodox Easter April 15, 2012; Western Easter April 8, 2012
St. Photios Greek Ortho-
dox National Shrine CONSECRATION DVDs
41 St. George St. AVAILABLE!
St. Augustine, FL 4 Disk-package for $25.00
32084 Purchase by cash, or check
(904) 829-8205 through the office
28th Annual Greek 239-591-3430, or in the
Landing Day Celebration Narthex on Sundays.
June 25 & 26, 2011See Mail orders will be
the bulletin board for plus postage.
schedule of events.
THE MINISTRY Page 6
MORTGAGE ELIMINATION DRIVE
The Season has come to a close and most of
us have gone our separate ways to enjoy life with
friends and family in other parts of the country or the
world. Soon, the time will come again to rejoin our
friends in Naples, Florida for another Season. We
seem to have been doing that for so long that we take
it for granted. I wonder how often we pause to re-
flect and thank God for our good fortune that we had a yesterday,
for the opportunity given to us to have a today, and the hope that
there will be a tomorrow.
As we start our summer season, let us not forget our obliga-
tions to our St. Katherine family. Let us continue to share our good
fortune through Stewardship, as well as contributions to our Mort-
gage Elimination effort. L-R: Dr. Albanis, Tom Kyrus, Richard Pappas,
We are slowly, but surely chipping away at our mortgage. As Beverly Howard, TIB VP for Commercial Loans
of June 1st, our mortgage stands at $780,000-a reduction of $897,000.
Furthermore, we recast the loan from 5.75% interest rate to 4.60%. Our interest cost per year at the current mortgage level
and interest rate is $36,340 vs. $96,428 when the drive began on 3/16/09. A savings of $60,088/year.
Please, if you haven’t given to the Mortgage Elimination Drive, do so now. If you have pledged, fulfill your pledge
obligation as soon as possible. If you have given, try to give a little more. We still have $36,340 interest left on the table —
Have a healthy, safe and happy summer. God willing, I will see you in the Fall or early Winter. God bless, Harry
ST. KATHERINE GREEK ORTHODOX CHURCH
I (we) ___________________________________________________
Pledge $ ________________________________________________
To St. Katherine Greek Orthodox
Church Building Fund
This sum will be paid over a period not to exceed three years.
DEATHS & MEMORIALS WEDDINGS
May 8: Mary Demasek fell asleep in the Lord May 28: Lindsay Maldonado & Christopher Stevens
May 22: Nicholas Glynos, 6-month memorial June 18: Sophia Kalamaras and William Oliver
May their memories be eternal.
Any questions regarding information to forward condolences,
please contact the church office.
Page 7 VOLUME 4, ISSUE 6
SOCIAL HALL WEEKLY RENTALS
Weight Watchers/Double Classroom:
Mon. 8:30 a.m., 10:00 a.m., 5:45 p.m./Wed. 4:30 p.m., 6:00 p.m./Fri. 8:00 a.m., 9:30 a.m.
Ballroom Dancing/Social Hall:
Mon. 9:00 a.m., 7:00 p.m./Tues. 9:00 a.m.-12 n., 5-9:00 p.m./Wed. 9:00 a.m.
Naples Bridge Club/Social Hall:
Tues. 12 n—5:00 p.m./Thurs. 12 n—5:00 p.m.
Bridge Classes/Double Classroom:
Tues. 9:00 a.m. - 12: 00 n./Wed. 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 n./Thurs. 9:00 p.m. - 12:00 n./Sat. 9:00 a.m. - 12: 00 n.
German American Club #1/Baby Classroom:
First Mon. of the month, 6:30 p.m.
German American Club # 2/Baby Classroom:
Third Tues. of the month, 7:00 p.m.
Stewardship for 2011 continues on an upward turned! As reported last month, we are running at ap-
proximately 4-5% ahead of 2010 and hope to raise that figure to the “ideal” 15% increase. Not an
easy task, but one which has received a very positive response from our community. Thank you all!!
We have purged and updated our stewardship lists, installed Servant Keeper and aim for 100% accu-
racy. There are some new fund raising plans pending and you will be hearing from the Stewardship
Committee. Please continue to keep St. Katherine in your thoughts and have a safe and blessed summer.
SAINT KATHERINE GREEK ORTHODOX CHURCH
7100 Airport Road North, Naples, FL 34109 Tel: (239) 591-3430 Fax: (239)591-3271
“Come and See. See the World as God’s Gift to You.”
2011 CHRISTIAN STEWARDSHIP COMMITMENT CARD
In gratitude for God’s blessings, I/we pledge to contribute for Christ’s work at St. Katherine in a 2011 weekly amount of:
$15 ($780 ann.) $25 ($1,300 ann.) $50 ($2,600 ann.) Other $_________($_________ ann.)
Signature _____________________________________________ Date __________________
Name __________________________________________ E-mail: ____________________________________
Address ________________________________________ Tel. No.: ___________________________________
City __________________________________ St _______ Zip _________
Stewardship and Building Fund contributions can now be made using your credit card. Please contact the office at 239-591-3430.
THE MINISTRY Page 8
SPECIAL ARTICLE BY SUSAN ANDERSON
I have surely built Thee a house to dwell in, a settled place for Thee to abide in for ever. (I Kings 8:13)
These words by Solomon at the dedication of the first Temple in Jerusalem are the direct
result of his father King David receiving the clearest
Divine direction since the Ten Commandments given to
Moses. This temple dedication is rightly considered a
Susan Anderson spiritual high point in the history of Old Testament
The radiance of the St. Katherine Consecration traces our majestic highlight
back to the traditions and unrivaled splendor of the first Temple. Now St.
Katherine is consecrated, set apart from every common to a most holy use,
the immediate service of God.
Hagia Sophia, Constantinople
The early Church uncertain about the world around them, yet strong of faith, barely congregated for fear of
persecutions, much less built churches. Initially they followed the Biblical tradition Jesus set at the Last Supper by
gathering in an upper room, the guest chamber of a large house.
In spite of the difficulties the Orthodox moved forward with an evangelistic
spirit and grew from meeting in rooms to the Hagia Sophia Cathedral in
Constantinople and other Asia Minor cities, including the monasteries at Mt.
Athos, during the 1000 year Byzantine era.
Our own Temple started a little more than ten years ago reflects that same
Byzantine architecture. It awakens that same Spirit. The Sanctuary Gift
Selections booklet was created and presented to St. Katherine members over a
year and a half ago to complement the existing interior design and illustrate, Monastery at Mt. Athos
enlighten and accentuate our Divine services.
The response by our faithful is overwhelming to me — over $94,000 given-to-date, with funds specifically spent
on treasures chosen by each donor. Many of the donations are designated memorials. These gifts will embody a
perpetual legacy to the Church by family members for many years as each piece adds an additional richness and
dignity to our temple.
Articles donated include the Chanter’s stand to be installed this summer,
beautiful cabinetry in the back vestry, Icons such as St. Luke, chalice sets,
hanging doves, and a hand washing vessel. Like Solomon’s Temple there is
still work to be done – Icons such as St. John the Evangelist, and altar robes,
to be donated to complete our mission.
They are built together for a habitation of God through the Spirit. (Eph. 2:22)
Orthodox Christian churches are Temples of God as He dwells among them St. Katherine Church, Naples
by his Holy Spirit. So Christ by his Spirit dwells in all true believers. As
followers of the Faith let us together make St. Katherine a temple, where our liturgical home overcomes all
divisions and polarities brought on by sin.
Page 9 VOLUME 4, ISSUE 6
St. Luke, the Evangelist Icon
On May 13th, Dr. in eternal mem-
Marianna Nowak- ory of her hus-
Kopidakis met band Dr. Em-
with church offi- manuel G. Kopi-
cials to present a dakis. This icon
check in the will be the first of
amount of the four Evangel-
$30,000 for the ists required for
purchase of an the dome area.
icon for the We are looking to
Pendentive of the have those of
dome. St. Luke Matthew, Mark
the Apostle, Evan- and John donated
gelist and Physi- Pictured from L-R: Susan Anderson, Fr. Constantine, Dr. Marianna to complete the
cian was selected Nowak-Kopidakis, Richard Pappas and Dr. Vlasios Albanis. series.
St. Romanos the Melodist
Patron Saint of Choir
Saint Romanus flourished during the reign of Anastasius (491-518). He was from Emesa of Syria, and apparently
was born of Jewish parents, for a hymn written in his honor in Greek says he was "of Hebrew stock," and it has
furthermore been noted that he uses many Semitic idioms in his writings. He was baptized an Orthodox Christian,
and at some time became a deacon in the Church of Beirut. He was the first composer of the kontakia, the fore-
most of which is that of the feast of Christ's Nativity, “On this day the Virgin ....” In composing many of his kon-
takia. Saint Romanus was inspired by the hymns of Saint Ephraim of Syria.
St. Katherine Choir is comprised of members of her parish and ranges in age from young adult to seasoned singer.
It is lead by Presvitera Christine Kehayes, meets for rehearsals once-a-week and augments the Divine Liturgy in
song each Sunday and high holy days. In addition, each spring an amazing concert is performed and the proceeds
are donated to St. Katherine.
The choir takes a summer hiatus from June until the end of September. If you would like to explore becoming a
part of St. Katherine Choir, please contact Presvitera at (239) 596-2848.
Yours in Christ,
THE MINISTRY Page 10
GOYA JUNE-SEPT 2011 CALENDAR SCHEDULE
Tuesday, June 7—GOYA meeting 6:30 Cultural Center
Tuesday, July 5—GOYA meeting 6:30 Cultural Center
Tuesday, August 2—GOYA meeting 6:30 Cultural Center
Tuesday, September 6—GOYA meeting 6:30 Cultural Center
ALTAR BOY TEAM ASSIGNMENT AND SERVING SCHEDULE
“I am the Alpha and the Omega” says the Lord God, “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Al-
mighty.” (Revelation 1:8)
Given the number of altar boys that St. Katherine is presently blessed in having, and the fact that it becomes cha-
otic when all are present to serve in the Altar at the same time, we have decided to split the altar boys into two
teams, designated as the Alpha Team and Omega Team:
Omega Team Alpha Team
Patrick Hunt – Co-captain Adam Bowman— Co-Captain
Ted Dente – Co-Captain Dimitri Bowman— Co-Captain.
Savas Vukovic – Co-captain Peter Alex
Michael Joanow Aleksa Ruci
Iakov Vukovic Marko Ruci
Loukas Vukovi Drew Weeks
These two teams will serve on a rotational basis on a2lternate Sundays, as scheduled below.
Schedule for the months of June-September 20111:
Sunday, June 5 — Alpha Team Sunday, August 7 — Omega Team
Sunday, June 12 — Omega Team Sunday, August 14 — Alpha Team
Sunday, June 19 — Alpha Team Sunday, August 21 — Omega Team
Sunday, June 26 — Omega Team Sunday, August 28 — Alpha Team
Sunday, July 3 – Alpha Team Sunday, Sept. 4 – Omega Team
Sunday, July 10 – Omega Team Sunday, Sept. 11 – Alpha Team
Sunday, July 17 – Alpha Team Sunday, Sept. 18 – Omega Team
Sunday, July 24 – Omega Tea Sunday, Sept. 25 – Alpha Team
Sunday, July 31 —Alpha Team
SUNDAY COFFEE HOUR SCHEDULE 2011
MAY & JUNE LADIES PHILOPTOCHOS
JULY & AUGUST PARISH COUNCIL
SEPTEMBER & OCTOBER SIGN-UP
The responsibility of hosting coffee hour is shared by the organizations of St. Katherine. The schedule is arranged
by the Philoptochos. The scheduled host organization provides and lays out the food and prepares and serves the
coffee. If individuals would like to host a coffee hour for a Memorial or just in the spirit of participation, please
contact the church office to make arrangements. 239-591-3430..
Page 11 VOLUME 4, ISSUE 6
PALM SUNDAY—APRIL 17, 2011
PROSFORO MAKING, HOLY UNCTION & EGGS—APRIL 4, 2011
THE MINISTRY Page 12
HOLY FRIDAY—APRIL 22, 2011
The taking down of Christ from the Cross (Apokathelosis)
Page 13 VOLUME 4, ISSUE 6
HOLY SATURDAY—APRIL 23, 2011
scattering the bay
Eva Kontos and
Holy Resurrection—April 23, 20011
AGAPE SERVICES—READING OF THE GOSPEL—APRIL 24, 2011
Left L-R: Effie Grekos,
Jeannie Manos, Perry Gotsis,
Lenore Mattoff, Paul Manos,
Dr. Kontos, Dr. Papas
Right L-R: Helen Athan, Eniada
Xhoxhi , Patrick Hunt, Anna-
marie Terezi, Harry Shatri
THE MINISTRY Page 14
ST. KATHERINE KNITTING CLUB –avow presentation 4/ 27/11
Sitting L-R: Tina Linardos, Chris Kachulas, Elsie Rigas, Athena Harmon
Standing L-R: Joan Kitromilis, Avow Hospice Representative Deborah Jonsson, Stella
Contos, Elaine Kyrus, Aristi Vourlos
Presenting the afghans to Avow Hospice representative Deborah Jonsson
ST. KATHERINE KNITTING CLUB
This group is comprised of members of St. Katherine who enjoy gathering weekly at the Cultural
Center for fellowship while creating handmade gifts of love for those who may have need of warm
clothes or blankets. It is a time of great camaraderie and growth. For further information contact
Stella Contos at (239) 784-3966
Page 15 VOLUME 4, ISSUE 6
Albanian Language School meets Fridays at 6:00p.m. The teachers are Donika Xhoxhi and
Dallendyshe Gerbi. For further information, please contact Romey Terezi at 594-9306.
The Greek School for the academic year 2010-11 started before mid-September with enthusiastic
returning and new students. We have three classes this year: Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced.
All the students seem well-prepared and enjoy the classes. Age isn’t a factor; young, mature, every-
one’s welcome! For further information, contact Dr. Vlasios Albanis at 263-1073.
This year’s Sunday Christian Church School Program began with a great start, the Blessing of the
students by Fr. Constantine on Sunday September 12th. We continue to grow with a need for more
classroom space. Our enrollment has grown close to 70 students registered for the 2010-2011
school year. The largest increase in new students has been in our Pre-K to 1st grade program with a
dozen students, which is taught by Mrs. Joan Weeks and me. The largest class we have is the 7th to
12th grade taught by Mrs. Georgia Katsigianopoulos and Mrs. Helen Athan with a class size of over
20. Our 2nd and 3rd grades are taught by Mrs. Persephone Johnson and Mrs. Irene Tribuiani. 4th grade is
taught by Mrs. Bianca Vukovic and Ms. Terry McDonald. Mr. Peter Hunt is in charge of the 5th and 6th grades,
and, once again, is in need of an assistant, if anyone out there would like to help out. Anyone who would like to
help Mr. Hunt should contact him or myself, or speak with Fr. Constantine.
The month of December was busy with preparation for the Christmas program, which was held on Sun-
day, December 19th. Many of the Sunday School children participated in our Christmas program. A special thank
you goes out to Mrs. Bianca Vukovic for overseeing the Christmas program this year. In January and February,
the children will be busy with dance practice for the festival and preparation for the Oratorical Festival.
Tom Alex, Director
Dr. John Klemes is Chairman of the Welcome Committee. This committee is comprised of a group
of men and women from the parish who wish to give of their Talents through
greeting at The Sunday Divine Liturgy,
being available to answer questions regarding St. Katherine Greek Orthodox Church,
providing Welcome Packets to those interested in becoming members,
supplying the pews with Visitor Cards and following up with personal phone calls or notes,
manning the Welcome Desk in the Cultural Center on Sundays during Coffee Hour
This committee also hosts a reception once-a-year to welcome all the new members and those visitors “testing the
waters.” If interested in becoming part of this committee, please contact Dr. John at 596-3330.
THE MINISTRY Page 16
THE PICTORIAL CHURCH DIRECTORIES
ARE AVAILABLE IN THE BOOKSTORE.
ST. KATHERINE BOOKSTORE
Summer is upon us. Make a visit to the church bookstore to stock-up on reading
material for the long, hot summer months. Books and religious articles are great
graduation gifts, especially for students going off to college in the fall. Watch for our
SUPER SUMMER SALE notice in the weekly church bulletin.
Linda Hatzis Icon: On Agate 4x6 ............ $20.00 The Lenten Spring .............. $14.00
A Guide to Greek Tradition Icons: On Marble 4x6....... $20.00 The Long Walk Home ....... $15.00
and Customs in America.... $42.00 Introduction to the The Lord’s Prayer ............... $ 8.95
A Table Prayer Guide ..........CALL Orthodox Church ............... $16.00 The One Thing Needful –
Agape .................................... $20.00 Living the Faith................... $20.00 Meditations for the Busy
Akathist Hymn…………..$15.00 Miracle on the Monastery Orthodox Woman .............. $15.00
Baby Baptismal Candle…...CALL Mountain The Orthodox Church (Ware)
Baby Baptismal Favors…...CALL (special order) ...................... $65.00 ............................................... $22.00
Beginning to Pray ................ $16.00 No Fixed Address .............. $12.00 The Orthodox Study Bible:
Breaking the Chains Of Tears and Triumphs…..$ 9.00 Complete ........................ $52.00
of Addiction ......................... $15.00 Prayer Ropes ....................... $10.00 New Testament/Psalms ... $26.00
Christmas Cards Red Egg Dye ....................... $ 2.00 The Parable .......................... $10.00
(English and Greek)…...$8.50/12 St. Joseph Home Seller ...... $ 5.00 The Wedding Game ........... $10.00
Daily Lenten Meditations ....$4.95 St. Katherine Philoptochos Those Whom God
Daily Lives, Miracles and Christmas Ornament ......... $10.00 Calls Blessed ........................ $17.00
Wisdom of the Saints Fasting The Cretan Book (all Greek) Wedding Candles……… ... CALL
Calendar………………….$22.00 ............................................... $10.00 Wedding Crown Frame….. CALL
Great Lent ............................ $10.95 The Cube and the Cathedral…CALL Wedding Crowns……… ... CALL
Holy Week—Easter……...$25.00 The Heavenly Banquet ...... $40.00 Wedding Favors…………. CALL
Homilies on the Lord’s Prayer…CALL The Jesus Prayer………….CALL What Every Orthodox
Icon: Framed 9x12…....$25-35.00 The Lenten Liturgies.......... $25.00 Christian Should Know ..... $6.00
St. Katherine has two dance troupes led by Persephone Johnson, Joanne Venetis and Sophia
Kiafoulis. These troupes are broken
into a younger and older grouping and
are populated by the youth of our par-
ish. At this time, there is no formal
adult dance troupe.
The dancers meet monthly and are
perfecting known dances while learning new ones. It’s a marvelous social outlet
and such enrichment to the participants in learning and continuing the Greek heri-
tage of folk dancing.
For more information, please contact any one of the instructors: Persephone at
(239) 594-1565; Joanne at (239) 949-3060; or Sophia at (248) 790-0108.
Page 17 VOLUME 4, ISSUE 6
Before vesting, the server must fold his sticharion and take it to the priest for him to bless. The
priest blesses and lays his hand on the folded sticharion. The server kisses the priest's hand and then
withdraws to vest.
The minimum age varies by local circumstance, but boys must be mature enough to carry out their
duties without disrupting the sanctity of the altar.
Altar servers, are subject to all the normal restrictions for those not of higher clerical position. Anyone who is
bleeding, or has an open sore, is not permitted to enter the altar. They may not touch the altar table or anything on
it under any circumstances, nor the prosthesis without a blessing. They may not touch the sacred vessels, the chal-
ice and diskos (paten) at any time. They may not stand directly in front of the altar table or pass between the front
of it and the iconostasis, but must cross between the altar and the High Place if they need to move to the opposite
For further information on becoming an altar boy, please contact Paul Backos at (239) 597-3411
BUILDING & GROUNDS
The Building and Grounds Committee is responsible for overseeing the general health and well-
being of the St. Katherine Greek Orthodox Church physical plant. This includes both the Cultural
Center and the church proper. All repairs and maintenance – both major and minor – are filtered
through this committee. It is accountable to the Parish Council. For information on becoming an
active part of this ministry, contact Graysen Johnson at 239-594-1565.
ST. KATHERINE BRIDGE CLUB
With the spirit of Pascha and Church Ministry, as indicated by the photo, the Bridge Club, on April
27th, was pleased to present to Mr. Richard Pappas, Council President, the amount of $105.00 as a
donation to the Mortgage Elimination Fund. This is the second time the Club has done so and will
continue to yearly. With the
growth of membership and
looking forward to the
forthcoming 2011-2012 season,
the Club is in the need of reliable substitutes. If
you desire to be a “reliable substitute,” please
send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Wishing
everyone a very healthy, enjoyable summer, and,
with the Lord’s blessing, we shall all meet again
this coming fall.
Dino Houpis, Coordinator
L-R: Representing the St. Katherine Bridge Club
are Frank and Sara Pyrsson, Frances Georgeson,
Dino Houpis presenting the check to Parish
Council President Richard Pappas
THE MINISTRY Page 18
THE SIXTH DAY OF AUGUST
On the of the month, we celebrate the Memory of the
Holy TRANSFIGURATION of our Lord and God and Savior JESUS CHRIST1
Six days after having declared to His disciples: There be some of them that stand here which shall not taste of death till
they have seen the Kingdom of God come with power (Matt. 16:28; Mk 9:1),2 Jesus took with Him His closest disciples and
led them up a high mountain apart (Mount Tabor, in Galilee), to pray. It was fitting that those who were to be
present at His agony in Gethsemane, and would be the most important witnesses of His Passion, should be pre-
pared for these trials by seeing His Glory: Peter, for he had just confessed his faith in Christ’s divinity; James, who
was to be the first to die for Him; and John, who would witness to his experience of the Divine Glory by pro-
claiming, with all the force of a ‘son of thunder,’ the theology of the Word made flesh.
He had them climb the mountain as a sign of the spiritual ascent that, step-by-step, from virtue to virtue,
leads to true charity; the supreme virtue that gives access to the contemplation of God. This ascent was in fact a
summary of the whole life of the Lord, who, clothed in our weakness, opened for us in His own person the way to
the Father, teaching us that hesychia is the mother of prayer and that it is in prayer that the glory of God is mani-
fested to us.
And as he prayed, the aspect of His face suddenly changed, and it was transfigured and shone like the sun, and His raiment
became shining, exceeding white as snow, such as no fuller on earth can white them (Lk 9:28, Mk 9:3, Mt 17:2). The Incarnate
Word of God thus manifested the natural splendor of the Divine Glory, which He possessed in Himself and
which He had kept at His Incarnation, but which had remained hidden under the veil of the flesh. From the mo-
ment of His conception in the womb of the Virgin, His divinity had been united without confusion with the hu-
man nature of His flesh, and the Divine Glory had become, hypostatically, the glory of the body He assumed.
What Christ reveled to His disciples on the summit of the mountain was not, therefore, something new, but the
resplendent manifestation of the deification in Him of the whole of the human being – including the body – and
of its union with the divine splendor.
Whereas, the face of Moses had shone with a glory that came from outside it after the revelation on Mount
Sinai (Ex. 34:29), Christ’s face appeared on Tabor as a source of light, the source of the divine Life rendered acces-
sible to mankind, which also spread to His raiment, that is to say, to the external world and the fruits of human ac-
tivity and civilization.
‘He was transfigured,’ Saint John Damascene assures us, ‘not by assuming what He was not, but in reveal-
ing to His disciples what He was, opening their blind eyes and making them see.’3 Christ opened the eyes of His
disciples, and it was with sight transfigured by the power of the Holy Spirit that they saw the divine Light indissol-
ubly united to His body. They were, therefore, transformed themselves and it was in prayer that they were able to
see and understand the change that has taken place in our nature through its union with the Word (St. Gregory
‘As the sun is to external realities, so God is to spiritual ones;’4 this is why the Evangelists report that the
face of the God-Man, Who is the true Light that lightens every person coming into the world (Jn 1:9), shone ‘like the sun.’
Yet, this light was incomparably superior to all perceived light, so that the disciples, unable to bear its overwhelm-
ing splendor, fell to the ground.
Immaterial, timeless and uncreated Light; this Light was the Kingdom of God coming in the power of the
Holy Spirit which the Lord had promised to His disciples. Then seen for a brief moment, this Light will become
the permanent inheritance of the chosen in the Kingdom, when Christ comes again, resplendent with the whole
splendor of his glory. He will come again in light, in the Light which shone on Tabor and which shone forth from
the tomb on the day of His Resurrection, and which, penetrating the souls and bodies of the elect, will make them
also shine forth ‘like the sun’ (cf. Mt. 13:43).
‘God is Light, and His Sight is Light.’5 In the same way as the disciples were at the summit of Tabor, many
saints have been witnesses of the revelation of God in light. Yet, this Light is not simply an object of contempla-
tion for them, but is also deifying grace that allows them to ‘see’ God, thus fulfilling the words of the Psalmist: In
Page 19 VOLUME 4, ISSUE 6
Thy Light shall we see light (Ps. 35:10/36:9).
At the heart of this glorious vision, Moses and Elias appeared on either side of the Lord, representing re-
spectively the heights of Old Testament Law and the Prophetic tradition; they bore witness to Him as Master of
the living and the dead.6 They spoke with Him in the Light, for it was by His Passion and Cross that this glory
would be given to men.
Taken out of themselves, ravished by the contemplation of the divine Light, the apostles were as though
‘overcome with sleep,’ and, ‘not knowing what he was saying, Peter said to Jesus: Master, it is good for us to be here, and
if Thou willest, let us make three tabernacles: one for Thee, one for Moses and one for Elias.’ Yet, guiding His disciple away
from too human a desire, which longed for an earthly enjoyment of the Light, the Lord then showed them a better
tent and a much greater tabernacle in which to shelter His glory. A luminous cloud covered them with its shadow,
and the voice of the Father was heard from its midst, bearing witness to the Lord: This is My beloved Son, in whom I
am well-pleased; hear Him. The cloud represented the grace of the Spirit of adoption; and, just as at Christ’s Baptism
in the Jordan, the Father’s voice bore witness to the Son and showed that all three Persons of the Holy Trinity al-
ways work together in the salvation of the human race.
God’s light, which had first allowed the disciples to ‘see’ Christ, gave them access to a state above human
vision and knowledge in its more intense shining. Leaving everything visible, and also coming out of themselves,
they entered into the ‘Luminous Darkness’ in which God makes His dwelling (cf. Ps. 17/18:12), and ‘closing the
door of their senses,’ received the revelation of the Trinitarian Mystery, which transcends all affirmation and all
Still insufficiently prepared for the revelation of such mysteries, for they had not yet undergone the trial of
the Cross, the disciples were greatly afraid. Yet, when they raised their heads, they saw only Jesus, who looked
once more as He always had, and who went across to them and reassured them. As they were going down the
mountain, He told them to keep silence about what they had seen until the Son of Man had risen from the dead.
Today’s feast is, therefore, that of the divinization of our human nature and the participation of our cor-
ruptible body in those eternal blessings that are beyond nature. Even before accomplishing our salvation through
His Passion, the Savior showed that the goal of His Incarnation was precisely to lead the whole of mankind to the
contemplation of His divine glory. It is for this reason that the Feast of the Transfiguration has been particularly
dear to monks and nuns, as those who have consecrated the whole of their lives to the seeking of this Light.8
1As the Transfiguration falls within the Dormition fast, there is today only a dispensation for fish and not a complete dispensation from fasting, as is the
case with the other Feasts of the Lord.
2St Luke’s account mentions a delay of eight days, including the first and last days. The two versions suggest moving beyond the world, created in six
days, to attain to the eternal Kingdom, symbolized by the number eight. According to some sources, the Transfiguration took place forty days before the
Passion; and this is why this feast is fixed forty days before the Exaltation of the Cross.
3St. John Damascene: Homily on the Transfiguration, 12 (PG 96,564).
4St. Gregory the Theologian: Or. XXVIII, 30 (NPNF 30, 300)
5St. Symeon the New Theologian: Ethical Discourse V, 276.
6Moses died before entering the Promised Land, and Elias was transported to a mysterious place without knowing death.
7The mystical theology of St. Dionysius the Areopagite was principally applied to the mystery of the Transfiguration by St. Gregory Palamas.
8A great many monasteries were dedicated to this feast, especially after the hesychast controversy in the 14th cent., which was concerned precisely with
the nature of the light of Tabor and of contemplation. We note in passing that, according to a tradition in circulation at the time of the iconoclasts, the
first icon ever painted, at the hands of the apostles themselves, was of the Transfiguration. This is much less a question of historical fact than of sym-
bolic interpretation, taking into account the close link recognized in the Church’s tradition between the art of iconography and this feast of the vision of
Christ in glory.
THE FIFTEENTH DAY OF AUGUST
On the 15th of the month, we celebrate the DORMITION, or the TRANSLATION to
HEAVEN, of our All-Glorious Sovereign Lady, the MOTHER of GOD and EVER-
When it pleased Christ our God to call His mother to Him, He sent an angel2 three days beforehand, to
give her this news. Coming to her, the angel said to her who is full of grace: ‘This is what your Son says: “The
THE MINISTRY Page 20
time has come to call My mother to Me.” Do not be afraid at this news, but rather rejoice, for you are going to
eternal life.’ Welcoming this message with great joy, the Mother of God, filled with an ardent desire to rise up to
her Son, went to the Mount of Olives to pray there in tranquility, as she often did. An amazing miracle was then
wrought: at the moment when the All-Holy reached the top of the hill, the trees planted there bent their branches,
bowing down and glorifying the Queen of the world like reason-endowed servants.
After having prayed, the All-Holy returned home to Mount Zion.3 When she went into the house, it sud-
denly began to shake. Giving thanks to God, she had the house-lamps lit and called together her kinsfolk and
friends. She herself set everything in order, prepared her deathbed and gave orders that all be made ready for her
funeral. To the women who came at her summons, she revealed the news of her departure to heaven and, as
proof, gave them the palm branch, the symbol of victory and incorruptibility, that the angel had given her. Still
held by the bonds of the world, her companions heard this news with copious tears and groans, begging the
Mother of God not to leave them orphaned. She reassured them, saying that she was indeed going to heaven, but
would nonetheless continue to protect both them and the whole world by her prayers. At these words, the women
stopped their weeping and hastened to make the preparations. The All-Holy also told them to give the only two
robes that she possessed to two poor widows who were her constant companions and friends.4
She had scarcely spoken these words when the house was shaken once again by a noise like thunder, and it
was filled with clouds bearing the Apostles, assembled from the furthest parts of the world. It was thus that the
whole Church, in their persons, was mystically present to celebrate the funeral of its sovereign Lady. To the choir
of the Apostles was joined that of the Hierarchs such as Saint Hierotheus (4 Oct.), Saint Dionysius the Areopagite
(3 Oct.) and Saint Timothy (22 Jan.).5 Their eyes full of tears, they said to the Mother of God: “If you were to stay
in the world and live among us, we would, of course, have great consolation, O Lady, as it would be as though we
saw your Son and our Master, but as it is now according to His will that you are taken to heaven, we are weeping
and lamenting as you see. However, we rejoice at all that has been arranged for you.’ She replied: “O you disciples
and friends of my Son and my God, do not turn my joy to sorrow, but bury my body and keep it in the position
that I shall take on my deathbed.’
At these words, Saint Paul, the chosen vessel, arrived in his turn. He threw himself at the feet of the All-Holy
to venerate her, and addressed this praise to her: ‘Rejoice, O Mother of Life and object of my preaching, for al-
though I never saw Christ in the flesh, it is Him, in seeing you, that I believe I behold.’
After having made her last farewells to all those present, the All-Immaculate laid herself down on her
deathbed, settling her body as she wished it, and offered ardent prayer to her Son for the preservation of peace in
the whole world. Then, having given here blessing to the Apostles and hierarchs, she, with a smile, peacefully gave
her soul, white and more resplendent than any light, into the hands of her Son and her God, who had appeared
together with the Archangel Michael and a host of angels. Her death came about with no suffering or anguish, as
her childbearing had been without pain.
Peter, the leader of the Apostles, then intoned the funeral hymn and his companions took up the bier, pre-
ceded by others present who carried torches and accompanied the cortège with their chanting. Saint John the
Theologian was at their head, holding the palm of victory in his hand and followed in silence by the crowd of dis-
ciples. Angels could also be heard, joining their voices to those of men, so that heaven and earth were entirely
filled with this threnody in honor of the sovereign Lady of the world. The air was purified by the ascending of her
soul, the earth was sanctified by the burial of her body, and many of the sick recovered their health. Not being
able to bear this sight, the leaders of the Jews aroused the people and sent them to overturn the bier bearing the
life-giving body, but divine justice forestalled their dark design, and they were all struck with blindness. One of
them, the priest Jephoniah, who, with greater daring, had succeeded in laying hands on the holy bier, also had his
hands cut off at the elbow by the sword of divine wrath, and his severed arms hung on the bier, presenting a piti-
able sight. Brought to repentance by the punishment, Jephoniah wholeheartedly embraced the Faith; and, at a
word from Peter, he was healed and became for his companions an instrument of salvation and healing. When he
was given a branch of the Mother of God’s palm, he laid it on the eyes of his companions and healed, at one and
the same time, their physical and spiritual blindness.
Page 21 VOLUME 4, ISSUE 6
Arriving in the Garden of Gethsemane, the Apostles buried the most holy body of the Mother of God and
remained there for three days, their prayers unceasingly being accompanied by angelic hymns.6 In conformity with
a disposition of divine Providence, one of the Apostles (Thomas, according to some), was not at the funeral. He
only reached Gethsemane on the third day, and was inconsolable at not having a last sight of the deified body of
the All-Holy. The Apostles therefore, with one accord, decided to open the tomb in order to let him venerate the
holy body. When they raised the stone that closed the entrance, they were all filled with amazement on finding
that the body had disappeared and that only the shroud remained, empty and keeping the shape of the body. It
was an irrefutable proof of the translation to heaven of the Mother of God: her resurrection and the ascension of
her body, united again with her soul, above the skies in the close company of her Son, to be our representative and
advocate before God.7
Mary, ‘daughter of Adam,’ but having become truly ‘Mother of God’ and ‘Mother of Life’ in giving birth
to Him who is the Fullness of Life (cf. Jn 14:6) thus passed through death, but her death was no dishonor, for
overcome by Christ, who submitted to it by His own will for our salvation, the condemnation of Adam became a
‘life-giving death’ and the principle of a new existence. The tomb of Gethsemane, as well as the Holy Sepulcher,
appeared as a ‘nuptial chamber’ where the wedding feast of incorruptibility is solemnized.
It was fitting, indeed, that conforming in all things to Christ our Savior, the most holy Virgin should follow
all the paths trodden by Christ to spread sanctification throughout our nature. After having followed Him in His
Passion and having ‘seen’ His Resurrection, she now had the experience of death. As soon as she was parted from
the body, her most pure soul found itself united with divine Light; and her body, having lain a short time in the
earth, was soon raised by the grace of the risen Christ. This “Spiritual Body’ was received into heaven as a the tab-
ernacle of God-become-Man, as the throne of God. It is the most significant part of the Body of Christ, and had
often been likened by the holy Fathers as the Church itself, the dwelling-place of God among men, the first-fruits
of our future state and the source of our divinization. Through the womb of Mary most chaste, the Mother of
God, the Kingdom of heaven has been opened to us, and this is why her translation to heaven is a cause of joy for
all believers, having thus acquired a guarantee that, in her person, it is the whole of human nature, having become
a Christ-bearer, that is called to abide in God.
1As is the case on the other feasts in the cycle of the Mother of God, the liturgical and iconographic tradition has largely been taken from the apocryphal
writings: (the Pseudo John the Theologian and the Pseudo Meliton), correcting their doctrinal errors. Celebrated at first in the month of January in Jerusalem,
this feast was fixed on 15 August and made obligatory in the whole of the East by Emperor Maurice (582-602). The practice spread widely, thanks to the
eulogies given by the holy fathers and great Church orators on this feast: SS Andrew of Crete, John Damascene, Germanus of Constantinople, Theodore
the Stoudite, Gregory Palamas, etc.
2Some say this was the Archangel Gabriel, as at the Annunciation. It is thought that this took place about eleven years after the Resurrection, when the
Mother of God was fifty-nine years old.
3According to many writers, she lived in the house of St. John the Theologian on Sion.
4Cf. The account of the Deposition of the Robe of the Mother of God on 2 July.
5A detail recorded in the works attributed to St. Dionysius the Areopagite: Divine Names 3, 2 (PG 3, 681-4).
6It is said that, on returning from the funeral, the Apostles gathered for a fraternal meal, and in Christ’s place, they put a triangle of bread. At the mo-
ment of elevating it while invoking the Name of Christ, as was their custom, they heard from highest heaven the All-Holy saying: ‘Rejoice, for I am with
you to the end of the ages!’ In the greatest joy, the Apostles cried out with one voice: ‘Most holy Mother of God come to our aid!’ This is the origin of
the Office of the Elevation of the Panaghia, celebrated in monasteries at the end of meals on feast days (cf. Great Horologion)
7According to the Apocryphon of Pseudo-John, the body of the holy Virgin was first of all taken to Paradise, beside the Tree of Life, and it was there that the
Archangel Michael went to reunite her soul and body. The holy Fathers were, however, not willing to dogmatize on this question, which remains a sub-
mect of devotion in the Church and not a theological definition. They preferred to contemplate, in this mystery of the ‘translation’ (metastasis) to heaven
of the Mother of God, the fulfillment of the Redeemer’s work in the ‘co-resurrection’ and ‘co-glorification’ of the holy Virgin, Reserving the title of
‘resurrection’ (anastasis) for that of the Savior.
The term ‘Assumption,’ that was recently adopted as dogma by the Roman Catholic Church (1950), as a corollary to the Immaculate Conception (1854),
leaves the ambiguous question that the Mother of God, having been free of the heritage of Adam (original sin and its consequence, death), did not die,
but was taken body and soul to heaven.
Readings taken from “The Synaxarion” Volume Six, written by Hieromonk Makarios of Simonos Petra, translated
from the French by Mother Maria (Rule) and Mother Joanna (Burton).
THE MINISTRY Page 22
Dormition of the Theotokos Cut and Color Page for the Children
V. Rev. Archimandrite Constantine Mersinas Cate Staid
Newsletter Layout & Design: Photography: Proof-reading:
Melanie Arguello Demos Kukeas and Linda Hatzis
Cate Staid Dr. Michael Kontos
All article submissions and information for newsletter should be e-mailed
to the church office: email@example.com by the 1st of the month preceding the next issue.
If you are unable to send the information via email, please mail it to:
“The Ministry” Newsletter c/o St. Katherine Greek Orthodox Church
7100 Airport Road North, Naples, Florida 34109
All ministries are strongly encouraged to submit articles.