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 June 4, 2023

files/Bulletin-June-4-2023.pdf (13304kb)

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

On the Feast of Pentecost, many Christians are accustomed to extending birthday greetings to the Church - birthday cake and all in celebration of the Church's Birthday. After all, who does not like birthday celebrations?  Plus, anything with icing tends to be pretty popular with the kids. But is Pentecost really the birth of the Church?

The Epistle reading for the feast (Acts 2: 1-11) describes the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Holy Disciples and Apostles, empowering them to go forth and proclaim the "mighty works of God." However, the Church was established with the incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ. The Church dwelt among us as the Gospel of John teaches us "full of grace and truth." (John 1:14). When our Lord ascended into heaven, He promised that He would not leave his followers orphaned, that He would send from His Father the Comforter - the Holy Spirit to dwell within them. It is the Holy Spirit who is co-eternal with the Father and the Son.  It is the same Holy Spirit that we call upon to change the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ during the Divine Liturgy; It is the same Holy Spirit that sanctifies the waters of Epiphany and the baptismal waters of those to be baptised.  In the Orthodox Church, when one is Chrismated with the Holy Chrism, that person is "sealed with the Gift of the Holy Spirit." From that moment on, the Holy Spirit takes us its dwelling within us. The Holy Spirit is ever present and fills all things with God's love.

The Feast of Pentecost is not the "birthday of the Church." It is more than a remembrance of the day of Pentecost. It is a reminder that the Holy Spirit is the moving presence of God in our life.

Fr. Peter's Notes:

  1. Attached to this email is The Weekly Bulletin. Please take a few minutes to read through it.
  2. THIS COMING SUNDAY - JUNE 4th is 'Graduation Sunday." We will acknowledge our graduates in prayer, present them (and our Sunday School Children) with a special gift, and have a special Coffee Hour in their honor.
  3. Please join us in prayer this coming week:

**SATURDAY, JUNE 3rd - Soul Saturday Divine Liturgy and Trisagion (Memorial) Prayers for the Departed at 9:00 AM.

**SUNDAY, JUNE 4th - Feast of Holy Pentecost. Matins begin at 8:50 AM, followed by the Divine Liturgy at 10:00 AM. The Kneeling Prayers of Pentecost will be prayed at the conclusion of the Divine Liturgy.

**WEDNESDAY, JUNE 7th - Vespers Service at 6:30 PM.

"No matter how much we may study, it is not possible to come to know God unless we live according to His commandments, for God is not known by science, but by the Holy Spirit. Many philosophers and learned men came to the belief that God exists, but they did not know God. It is one thing to believe that God exists and another to know Him. If someone has come to know God by the Holy Spirit, his soul will burn with love for God day and night, and his soul cannot be bound to any earthly thing."  +Saint Silouan the Athonite

With love in Christ,

Fr. Peter


Sunday, May 28, 2023

files/Bulletin-May-28-2023.pdf (13206kb)

Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Christ has Ascended in Glory!

This coming Sunday we hear the Gospel lesson from John 17: 1-13 in which Jesus Christ prays to His Father to ask for protection for those who follow Him and His Word. In particular, He asks that those that God has given Him "may be one, even as We are one." Christ prays this because he is aware that the evil one will seek to separate them from God. 

Our true enemy is the devil, who tempts us and desires our destruction. He hates God. There is nothing he desires more than to get you to listen to the lies he whispers to us. As Christians, we need to expect that the devil will do everything he can to get us to abandon God. The devil tempts us not to forgive those we have had disagreements with the sin of pride and self righteousness; Encourages us to stir up dissension between one another through gossip and lies; Tells us that by embracing the things of this world over God, we will be happy; Plants the seeds of doubt and fear in our hearts. All of these are sins planted by the devil and not of God.

To be successful in overcoming the influence of the devil in our lives we must be willing to engage everyday in spiritual warfare. How do we undertake spiritual warfare?

  1. Prayer and the reading of the Holy Scripture - daily. Fast when called for by the Church - not only from what we take in our mouth, but allow your heart and mind to fast as well so it may be ready to receive God. 
  2. Stop being selfish. The world does not revolve around you! Seek only the things that are needful for your salvation.
  3. Be mindful that your sin separates you from God. 
  4. Remember that the devil is your enemy - not your friend.
  5. Confess your sins. Confession makes you accountable for your sins. 
  6. Come to church. Pray with and for one another. Receive the Holy Mysteries (Communion).

This list is not exhaustive, but is the tip of the spear when undertaking spiritual warfare against the devil. It is through this and with the help of Christ and the All-Holy Spirit, that we overcome the devil and become one with God.


  1. Please read the attached Weekly Bulletin.
  2. The deadline for registering for the Parish Life Conference has been extended to June 2nd. More information is available in the bulletin. The PLC is in Miami this year. Let us make every attempt to participate!
  3. May 31st (Wednesday) is the deadline to submit the names of 2022-23 graduates. We will honor all our graduates on Sunday, June 4th.
  4. Pray with us this coming week:

*Sunday, May 28th: Orthros at 8:50 AM, followed by the Divine Liturgy at 10:00 AM.

*Wednesday, May 31st: Vespers Service at 6:30 PM. 

“Are you fighting against your passions? Fight, fight, and be good soldiers of Christ! Do not give in to evil and do not be carried away by the weakness of the flesh. During the time of temptation, flee to the Physician, crying out with the Holy Church, our mother: “O God, number me with the thief, the harlot, and the publican (i.e., with the repentant), and save me!”  +Saint Anatoly of Optina

In the Ascend Lord,

Fr. Peter

Sunday, May21, 2023

files/Bulletin-May-21-2023.pdf (10832kb)

Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Christ is Risen!

The following are words by Saint Theophilus of Antioch in light of this coming Sunday being the Sixth Sunday of Pascha, and  'The Sunday of the Blindman.' 

“Show me your God,” I will say to you, “Show me what kind of person you are, and I will show you my God.” Show me then whether the eyes of your mind can see, and the ears of your heart hear.

It is like this. Those who can see with the eyes of their bodies are aware of what is happening in this life on earth. They get to know things that are different from each other. They distinguish light and darkness, black and white, ugliness and beauty, elegance and inelegance, proportion and lack of proportion, excess and defect. The same is true of the sounds we hear: high or low or pleasant. So it is with the ears of our heart and the eyes of our mind in their capacity to hear or see God.

God is seen by those who have the capacity to see Him, provided that they keep the eyes of their mind open. All have eyes, but some have eyes that are shrouded in darkness, unable to see the light of the sun. Because the blind cannot see it, it does not follow that the sun does not shine. The blind must trace the cause back to themselves and their eyes. In the same way, you have eyes in your mind that are shrouded in darkness because of your sins and evil deeds.

The souls of all persons should be clean, like a mirror reflecting light. If there is rust on the mirror their faces cannot be seen in it. In the same way, none of those who have sin within them can see God.

But, if you will, you can be healed. Hand yourself over to the doctor, and He will open the eyes of your mind and heart. Who is to be the doctor? It is God, who heals and gives life through His Word and wisdom. Through His Word and wisdom He created the universe, for by His Word the heavens were established, and by His Spirit all their array. His wisdom is supreme. God by wisdom founded the earth, by understanding He arranged the heavens, by His knowledge the depths broke forth and the clouds poured out the dew.

 If you understand this, and live in purity and holiness and justice, you may see God. But, before all, faith and the fear of God must take the first place in your heart, and then you will understand all this. When you have laid aside mortality and been clothed in immortality, then you will see God according to your merits. God raises up your flesh to immortality along with your soul, and then, once made immortal, you will see the immortal One, if you believe in Him now.


  1. Attached to this email is The Weekly Bulletin. Please take a few minutes to read through it.
  2. The Ladies Society will meet this coming Sunday at 11:45 AM, in the Hall. This will be the last meeting of the Ladies until the Fall.
  3. This Tuesday (May 22nd), is the last day to register for Parish Life Conference in Miami. Please review the details in this week's bulletin.
  4. June 4th is the last day of Sunday School classes. We will recognize all of our graduates following services as well as a Coffee Hour in their honor, and for all our Sunday School Children and Teens.
  5. Join us in prayer this coming week:

**Sunday, May 21st: Orthros begin at 8:50 AM, followed by the Divine Liturgy at 10:00 AM.

**Wednesday, May 24th - Celebration of the Feast of the Ascension of our Lord: Orthros begin at 5:30 PM, followed by the Divine Liturgy at 6:30 PM.

In the Risen Lord,

Fr. Peter

Sunday May 14, 2023

files/Bulletin-May-14-2023.pdf (13177kb)

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Christ is Risen!
Each year on the Second Sunday of May, we pause to remember and celebrate our mothers. Back in the day it would not be uncommon to have difficulty telephoning your mother because the circuits would be overloaded with people trying to call their mothers to wish them a 'Happy Mother's Day.' Next to Valentine's Day, Mother's Day has always been the busiest day of the year for florists and restaurants. But Mother's Day should be much more than telephone calls, flowers and taking mom out to eat. From the beginning, motherhood is about sacrifice. When a child is conceived, the mother offers her body to bear the child as it grows and develops. She experiences the pain of childbirth.  She gives up her sleep, and offers up her energy, her free time, most of her social life – and in reality her whole life – to care for the newborn child.
We have in the Church an example of the most perfect mother - the Theotokos and Ever-virgin Mary. She offered herself. She raised and followed her Son, Jesus Christ, even to the cross. She lamented in His sufferings and rejoiced in His Resurrection, all along remaining faithful and obedient to God. In reality, she is no more different as a mother than the mothers of today in her experiences  of motherhood.
We should never forget that being a mother is a blessing. Mothers are co-creators with God in bringing life into this world. It is a life of sacrificial love for others. Let us all honor our mothers, celebrating and remembering them in our prayers not only on Mother's Day, but each and everyday.
1. Attached to this email is The Weekly Bulletin. Please take a few minutes to read through it.
2. The registration deadline for this year's Diocese of Miami Parish Life Conference being held in Miami is May 22nd. Details on how to register may be found in the bulletin. Let us all make an effort to attend and participate, and welcome for the first time to our diocese Metropolitan Saba.
3. The Enthronement of Metropolitan Saba will take place this Saturday, May 13th, at 11:00 AM, at Saint Nicholas Antiochian Orthodox Cathedral in Brooklyn, NY. It will be live-streamed on the Archdiocese Facebook Page, as well as Noursat.
4. Join with us in prayer at Saint Mary's this week:
**Sunday, May 14th: Matins begins at 8:50 AM, followed by the Divine Liturgy at 10:00 AM.  
    - 5 Year Trisagion Prayers will be offered for the repose of James Harrell, father of Melinda Johnson. Memory Eternal!
    - Sunday School Classes will be held following Communion.
**Wednesday, May 17th: Vespers Service at 6:30 PM.
"Having children is a matter of nature; but raising them and educating them in the virtues is a matter of mind and Will."                                                                                                                                                                                                                              +Saint John Chrysostom
Blessed Mother's Day to all our Mother's!
In the Risen Lord,
Fr. Peter
Sunday May 7, 2023

files/Bulletin-May-7-2023.pdf (11770kb)

Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Christ is Risen!

The Gospels are filled with stories of how Jesus Christ cured the physical ailments of men, women and children. Even more important was the healing of the afflictions of the soul. This is emphasised in the concluding verses of this Sunday's Gospel lesson (John 5: 1-15). After Christ healed the paralytic, he commanded him to "...Sin no more, that nothing worse befalls you” (v. 14). As the paralytic lay by the Sheep Gate in Jerusalem for 38 years, he suffered from not only a physical paralysis, but a spiritual paralysis as well.  To this day, many people suffer from the same spiritual paralysis without knowing it.  And, since many are unaware of their affliction, few look for a cure. The root cause of the paralysis of the soul is spiritual indifference: being perfectly happy with continuing to live in sin. 

To eliminate this paralysis, we need to recognize and quit making excuses for sin. Many choose to do nothing about confronting sin because the medicine can be unpleasant.  Even worse, many refuse to admit that they are sinners. To be healed from paralysis of the soul requires action, for the longer we hang on to our sins, the more difficult it is to remove the sins from our lives and find healing.

The Holy Fathers of the Orthodox Church quite often refer to the Church as a "Hospital for our Soul," where we can find healing from the illnesses of the soul - spiritual paralysis. We cannot find healing on our own because doing so leads to a lack of accountability which will eventually plunge us back into sin. If we are to be healed, we need the Church. We need the Mysteries of Confession and Communion; the Prayers of the Church; the spiritual guidance of the priest and time-tested wisdom of the Holy Fathers; and being immersed daily in the Holy Scripture - the Word of God. Let us not be like the paralytic in indifference, but actively seek healing from the Church which is the Body of Christ.



  1. Attached to this email is The Weekly Bulletin. Please take a few minutes to read through it.
  2. Join us in prayer this coming week:

**Sunday, May 7th: Matins begins at 8:50 AM; Divine Liturgy at 10:00 AM.                                                                                                                Fr. Peter will offer his monthly Children's Sermon.                                                                                                                                                            At the conclusion of the Divine Liturgy, 1 Year Trisagion Prayers will be offered for Thomas Eissey and Margo Fankhauser. 

**Wednesday, May 10th: Vespers Service at 6:30 PM.

"The spring of all wickedness and of all sin is love for oneself! Love for oneself is the irrational love for the body, and it is the most difficult and most subtle of all the passions that enslave human nature. From love of oneself are born self-pity, the sparing of oneself, self-justification, praise of oneself, self-content, self-opinion, and all the other sins, known and unknown."   - Elder Cleopha of Romania

In the Risen Lord,

Fr. Peter

Sunday, April 30, 2023

files/Bulletin-April-30-2023.pdf (9038kb)

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,


The Third Sunday of Pascha is dedicated to the Myrrhbearing Women, as well as the remembrance of the Pious Joseph of Arimathaea and the Righteous Nicodemus. The Church remembers in particular the Myrrhbearing Women for it was they who became the first to proclaim the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The Gospel lessons for both Matins (Luke 24:1-12) and the Divine Liturgy (Mark 15:43-16:8) on this Sunday give the account of the women going to the tomb of Christ to anoint His body. As they went to the tomb, they knew nothing about the resurrection.  They knew their Lord had been crucified and that the authorities were threatening anyone who followed Jesus.  Their early morning journey to the tomb was one of courage, duty and love under the threat of being punished. 

The act of love of the 'Women Disciples of the Lord' is something all of us should strive for. As we meditate on their act of love, we should ask ourselves; Do we possess the same courage, love and commitment when it comes to living the Gospel in today's world? 


  1. Attached to this email is The Weekly Bulletin. Please take a few minutes to read through it.
  2. Join us for a Falafel Luncheon this coming Sunday (April 30th), following the Divine Liturgy. Donation: Adults $10.00 / $5.00 Children under 12 years of age.
  3. This year's Parish Life Conference is in our backyard. Our sister parish Saint George Cathedral, Coral Gables, FL, is hosting the PLC June 14-17, at the Embassy Suites by Hilton Miami International Airport. Event Registration deadline is May 22nd. For detailed information, please go to the conference website
  4. Join with us in prayer this coming week:

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

*Wednesday, May 3rd: Vespers Service at 6:30 PM.

"It seems that we do not understand one thing: it is not good when we return the love of those who love us, yet hate those who hate us. We are not on the right path if we do this. We are the sons of light and love, the sons of God, his children. As such we must have His qualities and His attributes of love, peace, and kindness towards all."  - The Elder Thaddeus

In the Risen Lord,

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.