The magnificently rebuild Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church at Ground Zero in New York City was consecrated yesterday, on Independence Day in a special ceremony by His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros of America.
Attending the event were Representatives of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, Governor Kathy Hochul of New York, Mayor Eric Adams of New York City, the leadership of the Friends of Saint Nicholas, officials of the Port Authority of New York &New Jersey, and Greek Orthodox Faithful from around the United States.
"Though St. Nicholas is a Greek Orthodox House of Worship, we welcome all. It will be a place for everyone who comes to the Sacred Ground at the World Trade Center to imagine and envision a world where mercy is inevitable, reconciliation is desirable, and forgiveness is possible." noted Elpidophoros.
By connecting the Consecration to the Fourth of July – the Shrine is forever bound to what it means to be an American; tolerant of different beliefs and respectful of other faith traditions, while committed to a place for faith in the public square.
The re-building of this Church was an act of faith – faith in God and in the American vision of religious liberty. The Friends of Saint Nicholas and the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America are sponsoring the event, which will take place within the Shrine and in the surrounding Liberty Park.
The Consecration Service was performed in the context of the Divine Liturgy and included the sealing of the Holy Relics of Saint Nicholas within the Altar Table.