Category Archives: Church Life

Benefiting the heart and soul of the parishioner.

In Memory of Nicholas Demis

Nicholas Demis
Nicholas Demis 1919-2006

Nicholas P Demis was born on March 29, 1919 in Lowell, Mass., and came to Venice from there in 1991. He founded N.P.Demis Mechanical Contractors in Lowell, where he was a member of the Hellenic Orthodox Holy Trinity Church. He was with the Army’s “A” Company, Tank Battalion, Third Infantry Division during World War II and was a member of the DAV and the 756 Tank Battalion Association. He attended St. Barbara’s Greek Orthodox Church in Sarasota and the Holy Spirit Orthodox Church in Venice. Throughout his life, Nick was well known for his generosity and his philanthropic support.

Nicholas P Demis died at home November 9, 2006. Survivors include his wife Barbara; son, Nicholas P. Jr. of Townsend, Mass; and daughter, Mary of Flagstaff, Arizona.

Barbara continues in her leadership role at Holy Spirit Church and Nick’s charitable and philanthropic endeavors.

May Nicholas’ Memory Be Eternal!

Nick with his wife, Barbara.
Nick with his wife, Barbara.
Nick loved to do Greek dances.
Nick loved to do Greek dances.
Nick at a dinner reception.
Nick at a dinner reception.

About HSOC

We are a parish of the Orthodox Church in America dedicated to making disciples of Jesus Christ. We are glad you found us. I hope this website proves helpful to and we invite your correspondence. We welcome you to come and visit us and learn more about us and the Orthodox Faith.

Holy Spirit Orthodox Church Directions

700 Shamrock Blvd
Venice, FL 34293


Email: Pastor V. Rev. Fr. Stephen Lourie



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Those who would like to learn more about our ancient Christian faith should  contact us.


Who’s Who


Altar Servers


Mike Aymie, Stephen Sturgis.





Barbara Demis and Dennis Poney.





Sub-deacon Demetrios (Mitri) Moussa, Nora Moussa, George Jacobs,  Jeff Constant





Nora Moussa, Jeff Constant






Holy Spirit Orthodox Church ministers to members, friends, and visitors.  We help build our congregation and set a good example by coming to the aide of communities suddenly impacted by by extreme weather conditions or inhumane conditions such as hunger.

2010guild 1THE GUILD

The Guild supports the work and outreach of the parish community. HSOC collects food for those in need through individual donations from parishioners. The Guild also organizes the Sunday coffee hour Volunteers. Ladies Guild President: Rosalie Hardman.  Access more Guild info here.



The Baking Team is made up of women and men who bake and cook.  This food including: pierogies, holupki, nut, poppyseed rolls and homemade bread. Food sales take place every third Friday of the month and also at our annual boutique and rummage sales in December and February. Don’t forget our bakers can also prepare your Easter Paska.




Bible study and adult religious education classes are conducted by the Father Stephen.  The parish also invites various guest speakers to minister to the community. Check bulletin for current schedule.





parish councilPARISH COUNCIL

Holy Spirit Parish Council meets on a regular basis to address the needs of the church. The Parish Council and Women’s Guild work together to plan for educational efforts.  Church Council members and other interested parties meet to discuss buildings, grounds and other future improvements to promote growth.

President: Jeff Constant, Vice-President: Barbara Demis, Treasurers: Marie Maruskin and Rosalie Hardman, Secretary: Chris Khourapis, Members: Al Maruskin, Nora Moussa, Stanley Theodosion.


Father Stephen


Father Stephen Lourie and Matuska Nancy joined the Holy Spirit Parish in August 2013.

Questions may be directed to Father Lourie at 941-685-0623 or




Archbishop: His Beatitude, The Most Blessed Tikhon,  Archbishop of Washington, Metropolitan of All America and Canada.

Bishop: His Eminence, The Most Reverend Nikon, Archbishop of Boston. Locum Tenens of the Diocese of the South.

Diocese of the South Chancellor: Archpriest Marcus C. Burch

Southwest Florida Diocean Council: Dean Father Philip Reese


Our First Iconostas
Our first iconostas with paintings by Tatiana McKinney.

The history of our parish began with a zealous missionary effort but most importantly with the work of the Holy Spirit. Through good times and hard times, the parishioners of Holy Spirit Church have proclaimed the Gospel of Jesus Christ and vigilantly toiled in the Orthodox Christian Faith, to serve our Lord, our church, and our community.

Bishop Dmitri celebrates the Divine Liturgy during Great Lent.
Bishop Dmitri celebrates the Divine Liturgy during Great Lent.

A small group of Orthodox Christians in the Venice area was determined to worship regularly in their orthodox tradition using the English language. This group included full-time residents and winter visitors of many nationalities and backgrounds. In 1984 this group was blessed to receive the Very Reverend Father Lucian T. Grafton. Father Lucian was appointed to serve the Sarasota-Bradenton-Venice area by His Eminence, Archbishop Dmitri of the Diocese of Dallas and the South (Orthodox Church in America – OCA).

Parishioners observe the raising of a new cross in December of 1991.
Parishioners observe the raising of a new cross in December of 1991.

The first Memorial Service, including Divine Liturgy, was celebrated by a small contingent of the faithful on September 8, 1984. By word-of-mouth and advertising, the faithful came together and the number of worshipers increased. Soon, services were being held at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Venice. Father Calvin Davis (Rector) and all the people of St. Mark’s, are remembered with deep gratitude for their Christian hospitality during this crucial growth period. Services were held various locations in the early years and religious articles, icons and music, among other things necessary for the celebration of Divine Liturgy, were faithfully relocated for every service.

It became clear that a nucleus of Orthodox faithful had formed and Father George A. Gladky, then Diocesan Chancellor (Diocese of the South – OCA), met with the Venice faithful on January 21, 1985 to explore “mission status”. This meeting resulted in a petition by the faithful , dated January 23, 1985, to the Diocese of the South requesting formal reception and recognition as a Mission of the Diocese. On January 30, 1985, then Bishop Dmitri, informed the Venice faithful that formal mission status was granted under the care of Father Lucian T. Gafton, Priest-in-charge. The mission was attached to the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour Church in Miami, Florida. Christ the Saviour Church was instrumental in the success of the new mission.

Barbara Demis and Lee Ann Bochnak welcome faithful parishioner, Mary Konfederak to the church.
Barbara Demis and Lee Ann Bochnak welcome faithful parishioner, Mary Konfederak to the church.

Archbishop Dmitri advised that when the time came to choose a Patron Saint or Pastoral Feast Day, that the name should be selected after careful consideration and prayer and by majority vote. The members of the mission selected Pentecost Sunday as the parish feast day. The name chosen by the majority of parishioners was “The Decent of the Holy Spirit Orthodox Mission”. During his canonical visit on March 20, 1985, Archbishop Dmitri approved the name and inscribed that name on the Holy Antimension. The fellowship became known as the Holy Spirit Orthodox Mission.

The years 1985 through 1991 were precarious but witnessed steady growth. In late 1985, the general membership and Father Lucian began to examine the overall direction of the new mission and determined that a permanent church building was necessary. A broad committee was in established in 1986 to begin planning. Many temporary locations were used as the mission matured and served the community. In August of 1988 the mission was granted tax-exempt status by the State of Florida. This allowed the mission to get serious about a permanent church. After a number of attempts to establish a permanent place of worship fell through, the Shamrock Boulevard location came open.

Greg Bochnak and Jeff Constant read the hours before the Divine Liturgy.
Greg Bochnak and Jeff Constant read the hours before the Divine Liturgy.

On June 30, 1991 Mike and Mary Konfederak learned of a now closed bank building that with work could serve as a parish. By August 6, 1991, with Diocesan approval, the property and building at 700 Shamrock Boulevard in Venice was purchased. An architect was selected and plans for a new church building were formulated. On September 8, 1991, even though renovation was not yet complete, Father Lucian assisted by Father David Milligen and Father Stephen Plumlee, blessed the Holy Cross and placed it on the church building. Holy Spirit Orthodox Church of Venice, Florida was born. The Certificate for Occupancy was received on October 30, 1991 and the first Divine Liturgy was celebrated by Father Lucian on November 10, 1991. Our first wedding service was held on the evening of the same day. Holy Spirit Orthodox Church was officially consecrated on February 15, 1992 by Archbishop Dmitri.


The Womens Guild holds their monthly meeting.
The Guild holds their monthly meeting.

The Guild of Holy Spirit Church (formally known as ‘The Women’s Guild) was founded on January 9, 1986 and the original by-laws of the organization were approved and accepted on March 13, 1986. The inaugural meeting of The Guild was presided over by Mrs. Mary Pavluchuk. The first officers were Madge Mansour (President), Souad Gadah (Vice-President), Mary Pavluchuk (Treasurer), and Marlise Tyler (Secretary).

The main focus of The Guild is to promote interest among women in the teachings of Orthodox Christianity and to be of service to Holy Spirit Orthodox Church. The Guild also supports the work and outreach of the parish community.

[catlist name=womens-guild orderby=date catlink=yes date=yes ]


Holy Spirit Orthodox Church of Venice, Florida.
Holy Spirit Orthodox Church of Venice, Florida.

Holy Spirit Church is located in Venice, FL at 700 Shamrock Blvd, between Center Rd and Bypass 41.

From the South
Take I-75 north to exit 193 (Jacaranda Blvd).  Turn left on Jacaranda, go under the bridge, and proceed to the fourth traffic light.  Turn right onto Center Rd, and then at the first light, turn left onto Shamrock Blvd.  Our church is 4 blocks away from Center Rd on the left hand side.

From the north
Take I-75 south to exit 193 (Jacaranda Blvd).  Turn right on Jacaranda and proceed to the third traffic light.  Turn right onto Center Rd, and then at the first light, turn left onto Shamrock Blvd.  Our church is 4 blocks away from Center Rd on the left hand side.

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