St. Nicholas Shrine Grows Through Concrete and Outreach

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Congressmen Gus Bilarakis and Luke Messer and their families pose for a photo at St. Nicholas.

Congressmen Gus Bilarakis and Luke Messer and their families pose for a photo at St. Nicholas.

Source: The National Herald

NEW YORK – The creation of the St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox National Shrine is a labor of love, but it is also a complex endeavor involving construction, fund raising, and outreach, and each element is proceeding apace through the Christmas season.

The Archdiocese’s Executive Director of Administration Jerry Dimitriou and Andrew Veniopoulos, who is the project assistant, are constantly conducting tours of the site and making presentations  for Greek and non-Greek individuals and organizations.

The day before St. Nicholas’ December 6 Feast Day Veniopoulos escorted Congressmen Luke Messer from Indiana and Gus Bilirakis to the Church’ site at the World Trade Center. They were in New York for the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) meeting.

Dimitriou also spoke to a gathering at the 9/11 Tribute Center the evening after the Feast Day . According to its website, the Center “offers visitors to the World Trade Center site a place where they can connect with people from the 9/11 community. Through walking tours, exhibits and programs, the 9/11 Tribute Center offers “Person-to-Person History,” linking visitors who want to understand these historic events with the people who experienced them.”

The presentation included moving photos of the beloved Church before that fateful day and beautiful renderings of the new Shrine.

The period leading up to the Feast of St. Nicholas was designated a special period of fundraising across the nation and Veniopoulos told TNH the totals are being tabulated and should be released by the New Year.

Readers can follow the construction progress live at www.stnicholaswtc.org/webcam and TNH was told everyone is excited about the imminent pouring of the concrete for the church floor. The platform will cover the interstitial space housing the heating and ventilation systems that can clearly be seen in the remarkable live feed from the site.

The current stage of construction, which includes building a staircase, made a service at the site on the beloved Saint’s feast day impossible this year, but 2016’s celebration should take place within the shell of the new Church that is expected to have its grand opening the summer of 2017.

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