St Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church in lower Manhattan, destroyed in the 9/11 terrorist attacks, will reopen in 2016. Church and political leaders broke ground on the new building two weeks ago, which will stand on the corner of Liberty and Greenwich streets. Archbishop Demetrios Trakatellis, Exarch of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans and First Hierarch of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America (GOAA), recalled walking through the church site 13 years ago, after it was destroyed by rubble from the fallen towers. According to the HuffPo, he said during the groundbreaking ceremony, “We remember this very place filled with ruins, hiding under piles of debris, the pulverised remains of 3,000 innocent victims. Breathing a very heavy air, saturated with the dust of storm, wood, iron and with tiny particles of human bodies, we remember walking with heavy hearts to the specific place where our St Nicholas stood as a building. …The church wasn’t there. We stood there frozen, paralysed, and cried”.
The new church will be a 4,100-square-foot (380 square metres) domed building that can fit about 150 people… about twice the capacity of the old church. The space will also include a nonsectarian meditation area. Archbishop Demetrios said, “It’ll be a refuge for people in need of spiritual comfort, regardless of their specific beliefs or unbeliefs”. Former New York Governor George Pataki described the significance of rebuilding St Nicholas, “We had remembrance, we had commerce, but without St Nicholas, we didn’t have faith. Well, now, today, we have remembrance, we have commerce, we have that rock, we have faith, right here at St Nicholas. It was the Greek city-states that gave us our belief today in freedom. It’ll now be the Greek Orthodox Church that’s the rock of faith that anchors all that is done here at Ground Zero”.
St Nicholas raised 7 million USD (295 million Roubles. 43 million Renminbi. 430 million INR. 7.85 million CAD. 7.95 million AUD. 5.6 million Euros. 4.4 million UK Pounds) of the 38 million USD (1.6 billion Roubles. 233 million Renminbi. 2.33 billion INR. 42.6 million CAD. 43.2 million AUD. 30.3 million Euros. 23.8 million UK Pounds) needed to rebuild the church. You can make donations towards the rebuilding at the GOAA website.
30 October 2014