Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and Archbishop Elpidophoros of America announced plans to resume the rebuilding of St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church and National Shrine at the World Trade Center, with the Primate of our Church in America to renew commitment for the church to be inaugurated on 9/11/2021.. This was the Governor’s first meeting with His Eminence since the Archbishop was elected by the Holy Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate as Archbishop of America to succeed Archbishop Demetrios in May and Andrew Cuomo officially welcomed him to New York State.
The project will be driven by a new non-profit organization with an independent, 13-member board – the Friends of St. Nicholas. The new entity has been formed to ensure that the sacred space is completed as expeditiously as possible and can begin welcoming visitors from around the world. The Friends of St. Nicholas will aim to resume construction with a two-year target to complete the church.
“The rebuilding of St. Nicholas Church that was destroyed on September 11 is a moment of coming together and healing not only for the Greek Orthodox community but for all New Yorkers who lived through that horrific day,” Governor Cuomo said. “This house of worship will serve as a reminder that our collective faith is something we can always count on to move past our painful memories and build a better tomorrow.”
Archbishop Elpidophoros said, “On behalf of the Greek Orthodox Faithful, we have made a commitment to open the doors of this National Shrine by September 11, 2021, the twentieth anniversary of that fateful day. I pledge to you, Governor Cuomo, and to all the people of New York, that we will be ready; we will be on time; and we will be open to all women and men of good will who wish to honor the memory of all who perished on September Eleventh.”