St. Nicholas October 2020 Monthly Update

A Message from His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros 

My Beloved Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

I have good news to share with you! Thanks to the efforts of the Friends of St. Nicholas, and the cooperative work of our Archdiocese’s leading expert in Byzantine Iconography, Bishop Joachim of Amissos, and the renown iconographer, Father Loukas of the Holy Mountain (Xenophontos Monastery), we now are approaching – for the first time – an integrated and holistic iconographic program for the Saint Nicholas Shrine at Ground Zero. This has been a long time coming, because the vision of the interior of the Shrine is, in many ways, more important than even the exterior with its special architectural feature of illumination from within. Such ‘illumination from within’ is more pronounced in the Holy Iconography of the Church, as witnessed by the Παντοκράτωρ icon that you see here, that will adorn the interior of the dome.

Last week, Father Loukas traveled to New York from Mt. Athos, after working long-distance for weeks with Bishop Joachim to develop a program for the Church. Bishop Joachim prepared a remarkable presentation for the Friends of St. Nicholas, and together with Fr. Loukas, walked us (literally and figuratively) through the Shrine, in order to bring together the theological and aesthetic elements into a unified vision. For the first time, we now have inclusion of themes from 9/11 and the wondrous life cycles of St. Nicholas himself included in the Church.

It will be exciting to reveal this plan as it becomes finalized and the work of Father Loukas progresses on Mount Athos. Our Church is blessed to have two such talents – theological and aesthetical – who are working together to bring about the liturgical vision of our National Shrine, “on earth, as it is in Heaven.”

With paternal love and gratitude in Christ,

Archbishop Elpidophoros of America

A Message from the Friends of St. Nicholas

Dear Friends of our National Shrine,

As the Archbishop noted in his remarks, in this sprint to the finish line to complete the Saint Nicholas Church and National Shrine, we are now moving to finalizing the iconographic program for the interior of the Shrine. As you will see from the photos in this issue, we were at the site only last week to go through the painstaking process of evaluating the positioning the icons and conceptualizing the interior spaces of the Church.

The construction work continues, with particular attention to mitigate circumstances that were created by the abrupt halt in the project in December of 2017; some details follow. The installation of the T-rails for the rainscreen has been completed and the installation of the interior trims and waterproofing for the skylights has commenced. Concrete grinding has begun in the exterior of the church and the remaining rails for the rainscreen will be installed after grinding has been completed. The roofer and waterproofer have finished their work in the upper dome and are now working at the rainscreen cavities on the ground level. Lanmark, the Port Authority’s contractor, has begun the waterproofing work on the West side of the Church. After that is complete, the investigation in the interstitial space will begin.

We are very grateful for the generous commitment of Arthur and Denise Katsaros, whose faith and action continues to ensure our success. Just since the recommencement of construction on August 3rd, we have raised an additional two million dollars.

The outstanding pledges are $19.1MM and while we continue to encourage the fulfillment of all pledges, we are actively seeking additional gifts that will augment the Endowment for the Shrine.

Thanks to each and every one of you for your continuing commitment to the Saint Nicholas Church and National Shrine at Ground Zero.

Please continue to keep the Saint Nicholas Church and National Shrine in your prayers and as you are ready, willing, and able, please make a gift to this incredible ministry of the Church that will be the greatest missionary outpost of our Orthodox Christian Faith in the Western Hemisphere.

Dennis Mehiel

Michael Psaros

Arthur and Denise Katsaros Join the Million Dollar Donors to the Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church and National Shrine

Our Faith and our Church have always played a vital role in our lives and, together with all Greek Orthodox Christians, we are anxiously waiting for the historic opening of our beloved St. Nicholas Church. 

It is for this reason that we took the initiative, as Leadership 100 members, to reach out to Paulette Poulos to see how we can help to complete this project. God has granted us many blessings and it is time for us to respond to the mandate of St. Luke (12:48) “For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required.” 

We are so grateful that we are in a position to make this gift and we are honored to offer it in support to the St. Nicholas Church and National Shrine.

Help rebuild St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church at the World Trade Center by making your tax-deductible contribution:

Checks payable to:
Friends of Saint Nicholas
8 East 79th Street, New York, NY 10075