St. Mary's Antiochian Orthodox Church
1317 Florida Mango Road, West Palm Beach Florida 33406

Welcome, and thank you for visiting St. Mary Orthodox Church online. We hope that our website highlights the wide variety of worship, fellowship, ministery and education opportunities available. Please feel free to read more about our church on this site, or come join with us in prayer. We would love to greet you and share with you our love for Jesus Christ and for you, our neighbor.

Sunday, December 3, 2023

files/Bulletin-December-3-2023.pdf (12085kb)

Beloved in Christ,

Over the next few weeks as we draw near to the Feast of the Nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ, I will present meditations on the Nativity by various saints and authors. There is an abundance of spiritual treasures regarding the Birth of Christ available to us. This week's spiritual treasure is from +Saint Justin Popovich, entitled 'God Entered into the Depths of Human Life.'

"The Nativity of our Lord is before you, before me, before us, brothers and sisters: God is born as a man, “so that we would receive life through Him” and thus be filled in soul and body with God. And this is most readily acquired by prayer and fasting. They cleanse and purify the body and the soul, so that wondrous joy would settle into them, and the sweetest God-infant, our Lord Jesus and God would fill completely our human existence, all of its enumerable infinities. It is for this reason, O man, that your body and your soul were created—to be filled with God and to live with God in the divine world on high. Our God-given teachers in this work are humble prayer and humble fasting—these holy foundational Gospel virtues. May they fly with us, may they precede us and ceaselessly announce to all people throughout the world the all-saving and all-joyful glad tidings: Christ is Born!"


1) Attached to this email is The Weekly Bulletin. Please take a few minutes to read through it for this Sunday's scripture reading, liturgical hymns and announcements.

2) This coming Sunday (December 3rd) will be a first for our church community as we celebrate the Feast of Saint Barbara (Eid il-Burbara). A brief account may be found in this week's bulletin. Join us afterwards in the hall for traditional foods, treats, a Chrstmas movie and a visit from Santa.

3) Our Christmas/Nativity Pageant is just around the corner (Sunday, December 17th). Practice for the pageant has been ongoing and continues this Sunday following Sunday School Classes.

4) There are still a few Angels on the Angel Tree for adoption. If you have not done so already, select an Angel from the Angel Tree located in the Church Narthex this coming Sunday.

5) Join us in prayer this coming week:

  • Sunday, December 3rd: Matins begin at 8:50 AM, followed by the Divine Liturgy at 10:00 AM. The monthly 'Children's Sermon' will be offered prior to Communion.
  • Wednesday, December 6th: Vespers at 6:30 PM, followed by our weekly spiritual discussion.

Prophecy from Isaiah (61:1) on the birth of Jesus Christ

“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me,
Because the Lord has anointed Me
To preach good tidings to the poor;
He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to the captives,

And the opening of the prison to those who are bound."  

With love in Christ,

Fr. Peter

Sunday, November 26, 2023

files/Bulletin-November-26-2023.pdf (10403kb)

Beloved in Christ,

In the Gospel for this coming Sunday, we read that Jesus Christ told a rich young man that though he has kept the commandments, the one thing he must do to inherit eternal life is to sell all that he owns, distribute the money to the poor, and then come, and follow Him. The Evangelist Luke writes, “But when he heard this, he became sad; for he was very rich. Jesus looked at him and said; ‘How hard it is for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God! Indeed, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.'" (Luke 18: 18-27) +Saint Clement warns us not to interpret this gospel lesson to mean that wealth will keep us from the kingdom of heaven. He writes that it is the attitude of the soul that is important. It is the passion for wealth, not the wealth itself that condemns a man.

Christian stewardship of our souls and bodies is the offering of our entire self to God, attaching our desire to Him rather than to the world. Throughout the Gospels, Jesus shows us that the only lasting wealth is spiritual wealth, which comes from God. We bear witness to Christ by the way we set our priorities in life. This is a time to re-examine those priorities -- the way in which we share our time, our talents and our possessions. 

During the Divine Liturgy we are repeatedly invited to “commend ourselves and each other, and our whole life to Christ our God.” Are we commending our 'whole life' to God?


I hope you had a blessed Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving extends beyond the Fourth Thursday of November each year. Let us be thankful to God each day.

1) Attached to this email is The Weekly Bulletin. Please take a few minutes to read through it for this Sunday's Scripture readings, liturgical texts and announcements.

2) There are NO Sunday School Classes on Sunday, November 26th. Classes will resume on Sunday, December 3rd.

3) Bible Study for the Fall will conclude this coming Tuesday, November 28th. Class is held from 7:00 to 8:00 PM in the Conference Room. Led by Jim Gavrilos, the Gospel of Mark is the topic of study. All are welcome to attend.

4) Join with us in prayer this coming week:

  • Sunday, November 26th: Matins begin at 8:50 AM, followed by the Divine Liturgy at 10:00 AM.
  • Wednesday, November 29th: Great Vespers Service at 6:30 PM, followed by a Spiritual Discussion led by Fr. Peter.

"It is only necessary to seek one thing: to be with Jesus. The man who remains with Jesus is rich, even if he is poor with regard to material things. Whoever desires the earthly more than the heavenly loses both the earthly and the heavenly. But whoever seeks the heavenly is the Lord of the whole world."                +Saint Ignatius Brianchaninov

With love in Christ,

Fr. Peter

Sunday, November 19, 2023

files/Bulletin-November-19-2023.pdf (19025kb)

Beloved in Christ,

This coming week we celebrate the great American feast: Thanksgiving. We remember our Pilgrim forefathers who struggled against all odds, but yet overcame many adversities. After harvesting their crops and preparing for another winter season, these Pilgrims would pause to give to God for preserving them. 

  Thanksgiving is an important part Christian life (it is mentioned in the scriptures 140 times). It is an acknowledgement that  all things come from God.  It is the act of thanking Him for the multitude of gifts we receive – many of which escape our notice. Fr. Thomas Hopko of blessed memory once said that an ungrateful person is DEAD; they may be existing, but they are not LIVING!! Fr. Alexander Schmemann, who preached his very last sermon on Thanksgiving Day 1983, began it by stating, “Everyone capable of gratitude is capable of salvation and everlasting joy”!

While we can recognize that everything comes from God, in our daily lives we often forget this. We take for granted the things which God has given us. We go through life assuming they will continue to happen. In addition, we often give ourselves the credit for our accomplishments and successes. Taking things for granted, or giving ourselves credit are in many ways delusional. Anything we do is as a result of what God has given us. God sustains us each moment of each day. For this we give thanks!

As we set our tables for this great American feast, as we gather around them and offer our gratitude,  let us ask God to give us the grace to thankfully live out whatever circumstances life presents to us. “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”  (1 Thessalonians 5: 16-18)


1) Attached to this email is The Weekly Bulletin. Please take a few moments to read through it for this Sunday's scripture and liturgical readings, as well as activities at Saint Mary's.

2) This coming Sunday (November 19th) during Coffee Hour, we will be assembling the Thanksgiving Boxes for distribution to the needy in our community. All are welcome to help out.

3) Christmas/Nativity Play rehearsals continue this Sunday in the church after Sunday School Classes.

4) Join us in prayer this coming week:

  • Sunday, November 19th: Matins begin at 8:50 AM, followed by the Divine Liturgy at 10:00 AM.
  • Monday, November 20th: Vesperal Divine Liturgy for the Feast of the Entrance of the Theotokos into the Temple at 6:30 PM.
  • Wednesday, November 22nd: Great Vespers Service for Thanksgiving at 6:30 PM. 
  • Friday, November 24th: Saint Catherine Greek Orthodox Church (110 Southern Blvd) will celebrate Great Vespers at 6:30 PM for their patronal feast day. Let us join with them in prayer and celebration of their feast day.

"O give thanks unto the Lord for He is good!"

With love in Christ,

Fr. Peter

Sunday, November 5, 2023

files/Bulletin-November-5-2023.pdf (16553kb)

Beloved in Christ,

This coming Sunday's Gospel reading of the Parable of 'The Rich Man and Lazarus' makes clear that there is a "chasm" or a divide between heaven and hell. From the parable we read that Lazarus dwelt in Abraham's bosom and the rich man suffered in torment with no possibility of crossing over from either side. For some, this parable brings up an interesting question as to the teaching of  the Orthodox Church on Heaven and Hell. 

Many Orthodox Christians - and people in general have a romanticised understanding of what heaven and hell is. Quite often I will hear sentiments from family and friends when a loved one falls asleep in the Lord similar to "Well, mom and dad are together again in heaven and are enjoying their nightly card games." Or we have the vision of hell being the devil and his demons in the midst of fire and brimstone chasing people who have been consigned to hell with pitchforks. The reality is that neither of the two images are remotely correct. To understand Heaven and Hell it is important to know that God loves everyone equally. The damned and the saved, the good and the bad. The evil one exists because he chose not to love God, and desires that we abandon our love for God. Heaven and Hell, as most people understand them, do not exist from God’s point of view, but from ours. Both exist unto eternity. Both reside within the sight and presence of God. The only difference is the state of our soul. If we are hard of heart, selfish, sinful and unrepentant, God’s presence will be like a consuming fire. On the other hand, if we seek the cure for our sinfulness – repentance – and strive to do God's will, God’s presence will be Paradise.

According to the Holy Fathers of the Church, Heaven and Hell are not physical places. They are instead different experiences of God’s love. When we see God’s glory with unselfish love, with a pure heart and contrite soul, we will experience Heaven. However, the same glory will be eternal fire and Hell for those who have chosen to remain in their selfishness.

Fr. Peter's Notes:

  1. Attached to this email is The Weekly Bulletin. Please read through it for this Sunday's liturgical texts, scripture readings and announcements.
  2. Please remember to set your clock back one hour before you go to bed this Saturday evening (November 4th).
  3. This Sunday (November 5th) is our 'Appreciation Luncheon' sponsored by the Parish Council to thank everyone who has given of their time, treasure and talent to our church community over the past year. The lunch is complementary and is being catered by Sandy James Catering.
  4. Practice for our forthcoming Christmas/Nativity Pageant begins this coming Sunday following Sunday School. Practice will be held in the church. All children are invited to participate.
  5. Don't forget your donation to the Annual Thanksgiving Food/Basket Dive. Details are in the bulletin.
  6. Bible Study continues this coming Tuesday (November 7th), 7:00 - 8:00 PM, in the Conference Room. The topic is the Gospel of Mark.


Join us in prayer this coming week:

Sunday, November 5th: Matins begin at 8:50 AM, followed by the Divine Liturgy at 10:00 AM. The Monthly Children's Sermon will be offered prior to Communion.

Wednesday, November 8th: Vesper Service at 6:30 PM, followed by a Spiritual Discussion.

From this coming Sunday's Gospel lesson: "...remember that you (the rich man) in your lifetime received your good things, and Lazarus in like manner evil things; but now he is comforted here, and you are in anguish. And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, in order that those who would pass from here to you may not be able, and none may cross from there to us.’ (Luke 16: 19-31)

With love in Christ,

Fr. Peter

Sunday, October 29, 2023

Beloved in Christ,

Family Fall Festival

Sunday, October 29th, 11:30 AM

Saint Mary's Banquet Hall

Hamburgers, Hot Dogs, Mac & Cheese, Potato Salad, Baked Beans, French Fries, Corn on the Cob, 

Chips, Popcorn, Apples, Apple Cider and Sweets;

Fun and games for the whole family!

(NOTE: Many individuals have asked about costumes. Please leave the costumes at home! This is an opportunity for 

our church family to be with each other in fellowship.)


**For this week only, Bible Study will be held on Monday, October 30th, from 7:00 to 8:00 PM, in the Conference Room. The topic of our Bible Study is the Gospel of Mark. All are welcome to attend.


**Donations of non-perishable food items are being received for our Thanksgiving Baskets. Please drop off your donated items in the box in the Church Narthex.


**Sunday, November 5th is the Appreciation Luncheon immediately following the Divine Liturgy. This luncheon catered by Sandy James, is a means of the church showing appreciation to all who have given of their time, treasure and talents to our church over the past year.

**Join with us in prayer this coming week:

Sunday, October 30th: Matins at 8:50 AM, followed by the Divine Liturgy at 10:00 AM.

Wednesday, November 1st: Vespers Service at 6:30 PM, followed by a Spiritual Discussion led by Fr. Peter.

With love in Christ,

Fr. Peter

Exciting News!

files/2023-Christmas-Nativity-Play.pdf (217kb)

This coming Nativity Season, Saint Mary's will present a long-awaited Nativity (Christmas) Pageant. Circle the date: Sunday, December 17th, as the day our children and teens will present this pageant as a gift to our church community.

To prepare for this, there will be rehearsals (for the children) and meetings (for the parents). This coming Sunday (October 15th) following the Divine Liturgy, there will be an  INFORMATIONAL MEETING in the hall. We would like the participation of as many parents as possible (and anyone else who would like to volunteer). To prepare you for this meeting, a form is included in the email with more details and a request for information. Please download the form; complete it; and bring it with you this Sunday.

Thank you in advance for your participation!

Sunday October 15, 2023

files/Bulletin-October-15-2023.pdf (20398kb)

Beloved in Christ,

Being a parent is difficult. I speak with some experience sharing the responsibility of raising three children with my wife. Like many other parents, everyday our home was filled with joy, laughter, successes, as well as disappointments and tears which were - quite often unbeknownst - blessings from God. As a parent we become co-creators with God. We bring life (our children) into this world. We are given the responsibility by God to love and nurture our children, teaching them to become responsible and productive in our world, but most importantly giving them the tools to work out their salvation before God.

Saint Theophan the Recluse lived an ascetic and prayerful life, achieving closeness with God that led to much wisdom. His writings and teachings about young people written nearly 200 years ago have been preserved in the book 'Raising Them Right.' The following are a few excerpts from Saint Theophan's teachings directed towards parents:

“It is necessary that in the gaze of the parents there should be not only love, which is so natural, but also the faith that in their arms there is something more than a simple child. The parents must have the hope that He who gave them this treasure under their watch as a vessel of grace might furnish them also with sufficient means to preserve him. Finally, there should be ceaseless prayer performed in the spirit, aroused by hope according to faith.”

“Parents often speak among themselves; children overhear and almost always assimilate not only the ideas, but even turns of speech and gestures… Let parents talk with their children and explain to them either directly or, best of all, by means of stories… Or let them ask the children what they think of one thing or another, and then correct their mistakes. In a short time, by this simple means, one may communicate sound principles for judging about things, and these principles will not be erased for a long time, and may remain for life.”

Saint Theophan, please pray for us and for the children in our care.

Fr. Peter's Notes:

  1. Attached to this bulletin is The Weekly Bulletin. Please take a few minutes to read through it.
  2. Our Ladies Society will meet this Sunday (October 15th), at 11:45 AM, in the Banquet Hall. All the ladies of Saint Mary's are welcome to participate.
  3. There will be an information meeting regarding the forthcoming Christmas/Nativity Play this Sunday after the Divine Liturgy. Details will be emailed to you.
  4. Join us in prayer this week:
  • Sunday, October 15th: Matins begin at 8:50 AM, followed by the Divine Liturgy at 10:00 AM.
  • Wednesday, October 18th: Vespers Service at 6:30 PM.
  1. As noted in The Weekly Bulletin, I will be away on vacation from Sunday evening, October 15th until Friday, October 27th. As noted in the bulletin, all liturgical services will be held as usual, presided over by Fr. Elia Shalhoub. In the event of a pastoral emergencyhis contact information is in the bulletin.

With love in Christ,

Fr. Peter

Sunday, October 8, 2023

files/Bulletin-October-8-2023.pdf (12650kb)

Beloved in Christ,

We are born with the consequences of sin, which are erased with our Baptism and Chrismation. However, we regularly fall into sin again during our earthly life.  Sin is the disobedience to God’s teachings, and each time we sin, we remove ourselves from communion with Him. As members of the Church we do not live on an island. When we sin, we cause a wound to the Body of Christ, the Church, of which we are members. In the early Church, during the Divine Liturgy, the Christians would confess their sins in front of all the faithful; then the Bishop would grant forgiveness. However, this practice was abused, and the Church did not want to shame the people publicly, hence the practice of  hearing confessions privately came into being.

The Church views sin as an illness or a disease that needs to be healed, rather than a crime that needs to be punished. The Sacrament of Confession is offered as a means for this healing, as an opportunity to repent and get back on the desired path. We confess our sins to the priest who at the moment of our confession is in the place of Christ. He prays the prayer of absolution over us, by which the forgiveness of God is pronounced and bestowed. Therefore, it is not the priest who forgives, but God Himself through the priest. 

An Orthodox Christian should go to Confession regularly. In the Orthodox tradition, one confesses face-to-face with the priest, who through his pastoral love guides us on a path of spiritual healing and growth.  It is customary to go to Confession during the fasting periods of the Church. However, one may go to Confession anytime one feels the need. Having a clear conscience is an absolute prerequisite for receiving Holy Communion. 

At Saint Mary's, Confessions are heard 30 minutes prior to the start of church services, and by appointment.


  1. Attached to this email is The Weekly Bulletin. Please read through it for the announcements and schedule of services and activities at Saint Mary's.
    2. October is Youth Month. This Sunday (October 8th), following the Divine Liturgy, our Teen SOYO will host a luncheon to benefit the Antiochian Village Camp Scholarships. Requested donation is $7.00 per person.
  2. Join us for Bible Study on Tuesday, October 10th, from 7:00 to 8:00 PM. The topic of study is the Gospel of Mark. (Please note that Bible Study for Tuesday, October 31st has been moved to Monday, October 30th)
  3. Following Vespers each Wednesday, Fr. Peter leads a 'Spiritual Discussion' on a topic pertaining to our spiritual growth. Each discussion is 20 to 25 minutes in duration. All are welcome to participate.
  4. As a reminder, Sunday School classes are held each Sunday morning following Communion. Please bring your children so they may participate.
  5. Join us in prayer this coming week:
  • Sunday, October 8th: Matins begin at 8:50 AM, followed by the Divine Liturgy at 10:00 AM.
  • Wednesday, October 11th: Vespers Service at 6:30 PM.

Youth Month Wisdom from the Holy Fathers of the Church:

"It’s true that the contemporary methods of upbringing make children more inclined to willfulness. I’m often surprised at how arrogantly and heedlessly young children behave in the presence of their parents, while the parents appear to be too indecisive to touch them."      +Saint Philaret of Moscow

With love in Christ,

Fr. Peter

Sunday, October 1, 2023

files/Bulletin-October-1-2023.pdf (13337kb)

Dear Beloved in Christ,

The month of October is Youth Month in our church community, as well as throughout our Archdiocese. It is an opportunity to shine the light on the youth of our Church and remember that the youth are not only the "future of our Church" as is quite often stated, but they are the "present." Ensuring that our youth are the "present" and participating in our Church begins at their baptism. One of aspect of our child's baptism that is quite often forgotten about after the service is the role of Godparents.

The institution of Godparents (sponsors) is one that dates back to the first century of the Christian Church. Anyone approaching baptism, be they infant or adult, was required to have a Godparent. The Godparent is charged by the Church with the duty to make sure the newly baptized is instructed in the teachings of the Church, remains a frequent communicant within the Church and remains active in the Church. In the case of a child, it is to the Godparents that the parents entrust their child, knowing that the Godparent will remain actively supporting the child within the life of the Church. The person chosen to act as a Godparent must be someone willing to honor their commitment to the newly baptized for a lifetime, and willing to help nourish the spiritual life and development of the child throughout their life. Thus, it is not a good idea to pick someone as a Godparent simply because they are a good friend or a family member.  

Because baptism has been called Illumination, and brings us out of the darkness of sin and into the light of Christ, the role of the Godparent is critical. The Godparent must ensure that the Light of Christ continues to shine in the soul of the child, and together with the child's parents, keep the child connected to the Church.  The role of a Godparent is not a one day event, but an eternal commitment.


  1. Attached to this email is The Weekly Bulletin. Please take a few minutes to read through it.
  2. Bible Study continues this coming Tuesday (October 3rd), from 7:00 to 8:00 PM in the Conference Room. Jim Gavrilos is leading the study of the Gospel of Mark. Last Tuesday, there were 25 participants. Will you be one of them this coming Tuesday? 
  3. Pray with your Church Family this coming week.
  • Sunday, October 1st: Matins Service at 8:50 AM, followed by the Divine Liturgy at 10:00 AM. A One Year Trisagion (Memorial) Service will be prayed for the repose of Dr. Ernest Shwayri, offered by his wife Joan and family. +Memory Eternal!  Fr. Peter will offer his monthly 'Children's Sermon' prior to Communion. All children will be invited to the front of the church to participate.
  • Wednesday, October 4th: Vespers Service at 6:30 PM. Following the service, Fr. Peter will offer a 'Spiritual Discussion' (15 - 20 minutes in duration) in the church on a subject pertaining to our spiritual growth.

In closing, some wisdom from the Holy Fathers of the Orthodox Church:

“The primary lesson for life must be implanted in the soul from the earliest age. The primary lesson for children is to know the eternal God, the One who gives everlasting life.” +Saint Clement of Alexandria

With love in Christ,

Fr. Peter

Sunday, September 24, 2023

files/Bulletin-September-24-2023.pdf (6845kb)

Dear Beloved in Christ,

Have you ever wondered about the Christian tradition of saints? The Orthodox Church considers all Christians “saints” when they receive the Holy Spirit and are baptized in the name of the Holy Trinity. The Apostle Paul in his epistles referred to early believers as "Saints" because of his belief of their high calling as followers of Christ. The Church also refers to the saints as "holy" (in Greek 'Agios). Being 'Holy' - or being a 'Saint' is a goal all of us as Christians strive for by being imitators of Christ. The Orthodox Church believes a saint is someone who lived a holy life and reflected the light of Christ in the world. 

When an Orthodox Christian “prays to” a saint, we are asking that saint to pray for us, to intercede before God for us and our salvation.  We do not worship saints, for such devotion belongs to God alone. Instead, we merely ask the saint to pray for us, just as we would any other human being (2 Corinthians 5:20; Philemon 1:19; James 5:16). We ask the saints to pray for us because they dedicated themselves to God. They serve as examples of how we, too, should fulfill our baptism through service to Christ and His Church.

Because of their righteousness, the prayers of the saints have great favor before God. We know that God hears our prayers. How much more so would He hear the prayers of His Holy Ones!


  1. Attached to this email is The Weekly Bulletin. Please take a few minutes to read through it.
  2. Sunday School Classes are held each Sunday following Communion. All children are welcome to attend.
  3. The Ladies Society will have their first meeting of the fall this coming Sunday, September 24th, at 11:45 AM, in the hall. All ladies are asked to attend.
  4. Bible Study continues this Tuesday, September 26th, from 7:00 to 8:00 PM. The topic is The Gospel of Mark.
  5. Join us in prayer this coming week:

Sunday, September 24th: Matins begin at 8:50 AM, followed by the Divine Liturgy at 10:00 AM.

Wednesday, September 27th: Vespers Service at 6:30 PM, followed by a Spiritual Discussion.

Some words from the Holy Fathers of the Church:

"When we call upon the Saints in prayer, if we pronounce their names from the heart, it already means that we bring them near our heart itself. Therefore ask their prayers and intercession for yourself."  +St. John Kronstadt

Faithfully in Christ,

Fr. Peter

Sunday, September 17, 2023

files/Bulletin-September-17-2023.pdf (7084kb)

Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
This coming Sunday - September 17th, the Orthodox Church commemorates Saint Sophia and her three daughters, Faith Hope and Love. The story of their lives is included in The Weekly Bulletin. Their story - their witness to Jesus Christ, provides a model for all parents to follow in the raising of their children. Raising children to love God, passing on to them the Orthodox faith is a precious gift. It is a gift that parents and all mature adults will have to account for on Judgment Day. God will ask us; "Where are your children? What did you do with them?" Will every father and mother be able to stand in front of God and say, "Here am I and the children whom the Lord has given me."? (Is. 8:18) The salvation of every father and mother is directly related to the salvation of his or her children. There are many parents whom the Lord punished, because they neglected their duty in raising their children. Eli the priest offers us the perfect example. Although he was a righteous man, yet the Lord punished him, because of his children’s evil actions, since he did not raise them well  (I Samuel 2).
Saint Sophia raised her children to love God and to put their trust in Him at a time that was dangerous to be a Christian. She encouraged them with faith and prayers as they endured martyrdom. If we as Orthodox Christians, pray for our children, pray with our children, talk with our children about God, and bring them to Church more, then we give our children a firm foundation as they grow and face this world.
1. The Weekly Bulletin is attached to this email. Please take a few minutes to read through it.
2. Thank you for your donations to the 'Summer Boxes of Love.' 18 boxes of non-perishable food items and baby supplies were delivered to Boca Helping Hands.
3. Our sympathies to Maureen Samra and the entire Samra Family on the falling asleep in the Lord of Roy Samra on Wednesday, September 13th, in Worcester, MA. Roy and his wife Maureen were longtime winter parishioners of our Saint Mary's Church. +Memory Eternal!
4. Sunday School Classes continue each Sunday following Communion. Classes are from ages 4 to 18 years.
5. Bible Study on the Gospel of Mark continues this Tuesday (September 19th), from 7:00 to 8:00 PM, in the Conference Room.
6. Join us in prayer this week:
  • Sunday, September 17th: Matins begin at 8:50 AM, followed by the Divine Liturgy at 10:00 AM. A 40 Day Trisagion (Memorial) Service for the repose of Paula Slattery will be offered by her sister Nadine Smith.
  • Wednesday, September 20th: Vespers Service at 6:30 PM, followed by a Spiritual Discussion led by Fr. Peter concerning our spiritual life and the Orthodox faith.
To close this email, some words by +Saint John Chrysostom on Raising our children:
“Let everything take second place to our care of our children, our bringing them up to the discipline and instruction of the Lord. If from the beginning we teach them to love true wisdom, they will have greater wealth and glory than riches can provide."
Faithfully in Christ,
Fr. Peter
Sunday, September 3, 2023

files/September-3-2023-Bulletin.pdf (5604kb)

Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

On September 1st, Orthodox Christians celebrate the 'Church New Year' which is also referred to as the 'Ecclesiastical New Year.' According to Holy Tradition, Jesus Christ entered the synagogue on September 1st to announce His mission to mankind (Luke 4:16-22). Quoting Isaiah 61:1-2, Christ proclaimed, “The spirit of the Lord is upon Me; because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to proclaim release to captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord...” 

It is also a time that we re-consecrate ourselves to God, being thankful for what the Lord has done, and ask for His continued lovingkindness and protection for the days yet to come. 


  1. Attached to this email is The Weekly Bulletin. Please take a few minutes to read through it. It is in a different format. Because of internet and photocopy issues, there will be no printed version of the bulletin for distribution on Sunday. There will be no bulletin on Sunday, September 10th.
  2. YOUR HELP IS NEEDED! On Saturday, September 2nd, volunteers are needed to move the pews and church furniture back to their original places. Volunteers will meet at the church between 8:00 and 8:30 AM, and be finished by 10:00 AM. 
  3. Phase 2 of the installation of new floors in the church should be complete by the end of this week. New carpet and floor tiles are being installed to enhance the beauty of our church.
  4. BIBLE STUDY resumes on Tuesday, September 12th, from 7:00 to 8:00 PM in the Conference Room. Led by Jim Gavrilos, the Gospel of Mark will be the topic of study. All are welcome to participate. Please bring your bibles.
  5. SUNDAY SCHOOL CLASSES begin September 10th. More information can be found in the bulletin.
  6. Join with us in prayer this week.

*Sunday, September 3rd: Matins at 8:45 AM, followed by the Divine Liturgy at 10:00 AM. 40 Day Trisagion Prayers and Coffee Hour will be offered for the repose of Jennifer Zichi by Judy & Leon Chalhub.

*No Vespers Service on Wednesday, September 6th.

  1. I will be out of town for a wedding and vacation from August 30th until September 8th. In the event of a pastoral emergency, please contact Fr. Elia Shalhoub. Fr. Gustavo Alfonso will preside over the Divine Liturgy this coming Sunday.

Faithfully in Christ,

Fr. Peter

Organizations, Ministries and Education

Our parish organizations, which include Amen, the ladies Society, Teen SOYO, young Adult Ministry, Sunday School, and the Order of St. Ignatius of Antioch, we welcome your participation

Our Mission
The mission of St. Mary Orthodox Church of West Palm Beach is to live out and proclaim the gospel message of our Lord Jesus Christ through worship, witness, fellowship and service.

Father Peter Shportun, Priest/Pastor


Sunday Morning Services:


    Confessions 8:30 AM to 9:00 AM

    Matins at 8:45 AM

    Divine Liturgy at 10:00 AM.

    Wednesday Service:

       Vespers at 6:30PM


Feast Day Services are as announced in the Sunday Bulletin and the Church Website.


Schedule of Services
8:30am - Sunday Morning Service

Confessions 8:30 AM to 9:00 AM

Matins at 8:50 AM

Divine Liturgy at 10:00 AM.<

6:30pm - Wednesday Vesper Service:
  - Feast Day Services

Feast Day Services are as announced in the Sunday Bulletin and the Church Website.