New York City, December 8, 2022
More than two decades after the tragedy of 9/11, the new St. Nicholas Church and National Shrine at Ground Zero was officially opened on the feast of St. Nicholas on Tuesday.
A much simpler St. Nicholas Church used to stand on the same spot, but it was destroyed by falling rubble on 9/11. In 2010, Church leaders reached an agreement to build a new church, and after more than a decade of starts and stops, the church held its first Liturgy, on its patronal feast, celebrated by Bishop Apostolos of Medeia, reports Ekathimerini.
“Today is a joyous day for America and for New York,” said Michael Psaros, Chairman of the Friends of St. Nicholas, which raised funds for the church. “We invite all of America to please come visit, to come to the cenotaph that was created and built in memory of 3,000 people who were martyred and murdered on September 11.”
“To see it back up like this, to see it so close to the Statue of Liberty, which represents all the immigrants who helped make this church, is very moving to all of us,” said Maria Yatrakis, a parishioner of the old St. Nicholas Church.
In all, the church cost about $95 million said Fr. Alexander Karloutsos, the former Vicar General of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese.
The doors of the church were opened by Patriarch Bartholomew in November 2021, and the church was consecrated by Archbishop Elpidophoros this summer.
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