Statement on Rebuilding of Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church and National Shrine at World Trade Center


St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox National Shrine at Ground Zero in New York City

Source: American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association (AHEPA)

WASHINGTON (December 13, 2017) — As a donor organization to the rebuilding of Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church and National Shrine at World Trade Center, AHEPA Supreme President Carl R. Hollister has issued the following statement:

“We are deeply disappointed that construction of St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church and National Shrine at World Trade Center has come to a halt and regret the inadequate transparency provided thus far about the project’s construction status.

“We have been in communication with His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios and members of the Archdiocesan Council to convey our concerns about Saint Nicholas. We encourage the Archdiocese to provide complete clarity to the community about the challenges the project faces and provide a comprehensive plan to move forward so that it may be completed in a timely fashion.  This is not a time to lay blame.  Rather, all stakeholders must come together to complete this most noble undertaking.

“Regarding our members, we value the countless hours of volunteer time, energy, and resources that helped to bring us to the cusp of AHEPA’s $1 million capital campaign fund drive goal. In addition, the AHEPA family, which includes the Daughters of Penelope, Sons of Pericles, and Maids of Athena, each have raised funds for Saint Nicholas.  We have all our volunteer members’ interests at heart.

“We will continue to monitor the situation and remain in communication with the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. We will proceed with the balance of our commitment at the appropriate time when our concerns are resolved.

“We remain supportive of the rebuilding of the only House of Worship destroyed on September 11, and we remain confident it will rise again and be a beacon for peace.”

Founded in 1922 in Atlanta, Georgia, on the principles that undergirded its fight for civil rights and against discrimination, bigotry, and hatred felt at the hands of the Ku Klux Klan, AHEPA is the largest and oldest grassroots association of American citizens of Greek heritage and Philhellenes with more than 400 chapters across the United States, Canada, and Europe.

AHEPA’s mission is to promote the ancient Greek ideals of Education, Philanthropy, Civic Responsibility, and Family and Individual Excellence through community service and volunteerism. For more information, please visit


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