Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Rebuilding NYC's Tiny Greek Orthodox Church

Read this nice story about the rebuilding of St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church at "Ground Zero".

The church was crushed when the Twin Towers collapsed on that infamous day of "9-11" 6 years ago.

The link below also provides video of the piece.


Contributors From Connecticut Come In And Save Day

CBS) NEW YORK Of all that was lost on 9/11, it might have been too easy to forget the tiny white-washed building that was crushed by the falling towers.

The Greek Orthodox Church of St. Nicholas, framed against the massive steel giants before the attack, was a refuge for the frenzy of the financial district. Fr. Alexander Karloutsos remembers that people from many faiths would find solace in the quiet, candle-lit interior.

"You'd find Catholics, Protestants, Jews, Muslims who would come in there because they just loved that sense of the small sacred space," he recalled.

But all that ended when the towers fell. All that survived of the narrow four-story building are some prayer books, icons, and the battered brass bell that once summoned the faithful to prayer.

The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America immediately vowed to rebuild and although it got support from the displaced parishioners, it also picked up support from an unexpected source.

Archbishop Demetrios recalls that the packet of sixteen checks arrived just about Christmas time that year, but when he opened them he was amazed that not one of them contained the name of a Greek-American. Names like Remole, McPhee, Reed, Von Stupenagel, Frank; not one Greek. Then he looked at the addresses. Every one of the donors lives on St. Nicholas Road, in Darien Connecticut.

Marilyn Church says the idea just popped into her head when she read about the damage near Ground Zero. She was hosting the block's Christmas party that year and pointed it out to her neighbors.

"The name of the church! And I thought 'we live on St. Nicholas Road, let's do something about that here!'"

The image of the little church the way it was before the attack struck the residents of St. Nicholas Road profoundly.

"It says that faith can be there in the middle of anything," Dana Dunlop told us. ' in the midst of progress and large skyscrapers; In the middle of disasters."

Jim Long told us there was no hesitation. "Yes, it's a little Greek Orthodox church, but you know, it resonated. People supported the idea.

"Archbishop Demetrios, the Greek Orthodox Prelate of America believes it was divine inspiration at work. "It's an exhibit of human solidarity," he told CBS 2. "It's a wonderful thing."

It is also something that will be remembered. It's expected the church will be re-built on 2011 at Greenwich and liberty Streets just a short distance from the original site on Cedar Street, 500 feet from Ground Zero. It will remain a Greek Orthodox church, but will also house a non-denominational chapel where people of all faiths can meditate and pray and an exhibit about the original church which will contain include copies of the checks and the letter fro the people on St. Nicholas Road in Darien. It is the only overtly religious component of the entire 9/11 reconstruction project.

SOURCE(with video):

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