Showing posts with label St. Nicholas Church. Show all posts
Showing posts with label St. Nicholas Church. Show all posts

Thursday, December 9, 2010

St. Nick @ Ground Zero

The chilly St. Nicholas Feastday vespers at Ground Zero in Manhattan on December 5, 2010. I hid under my scarf, but the cameraman found me. Note the melted bell and waterlogged book and icon.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Mosque v. St. Nick

The mosque to be built two blocks from Ground Zero has created a national fury.
But the only house of worship destroyed on September 11, 2001, St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, remains in ashes. I try here to stick to explanatory facts - all links provide background.
Near Liberty Street 9/11/2008 by Dimitra
The church belongs to the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese based in Manhattan, but the party in power is the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which controls much Ground Zero land. The church waited to rebuild on promises of a larger piece of adjacent property. Talks stalled. Fox News offers this summary and Former Gov. George Pataki is among the politicians crying foul.
The church accuses the Port Authority of reneging on a multi-million dollar land swap, and excavating the church site without permission.
Port Authority spokespeople told the Wall Street Journal that "the church has the right to rebuild at any time" and told Fox News they offered up to $60 million toward reconstruction, but the church wanted more. The archdiocese, represented by Fr. Mark Arey, told Fox News "that is not true. The church never declined an offer from the Port Authority." Then the church issued a press release saying the Port Authority et al "excavated the original site without our consent, rendering it unusable, in flagrant violation of our legal rights."  The Port Authority told Fox News it will pay fair market value for the land underneath the church.
This brings us back to the mosque's legal right to renovate on private property, the position held by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg at a recent press conference in the New York harbor. Standing in support was Greek Orthodox Archdiocese representative Fr. Alexander Karloutsos. He is an archdiocese liaison to the Greek Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarch in Istanbul, Turkey. The Patriarch told 60 Minutes he feels "crucified" by the lack of religious freedom in Turkey. On August 15, for instance, Turkish authorities allowed the Soumela Monastery to hold a service for the first time in 90 years.
Score 1: Turkish church, 0 American church. More to come.

Notes:
* This 2008 seminarian video offers some perspective on the site and what parish priest Fr. John Romas expected at the time.
* The New York times wrote on hopes for a new building in 2007 and talks falling apart in 2009.
* The St. Nicholas Church Website.
* A Port Authority press release that says agreement was reached by both sides, in 2008.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Sept. 11, 2009

His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios of America held a memorial service today at Ground Zero in New York on the site of St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, which has not been rebuilt due to real estate politics, despite substantial donations. It was the only religious building destroyed in the 9/11 attacks; the archdiocese 9/11 Website has a budget and design plan.
Because our offices have moved to Midtown, this is the first year we didn't watch the memorial service live or wander past the flower-strewn aftermath.

These are photos I took on Sept. 11, 2008 on Liberty Street, near our former World Financial Center office and the firehouse that lost many men.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Oxi = No Day!


ATHENS, GREECE -- Today is Oxi Day, the national holiday honoring Greek resistance during World War II.
Today also was a day for Greeks to express frustration with their inability to control their economic destiny. The U.S. market's continued decline, the drop in interest rates, and the ongoing U.S. housing crisis, plus the impact on jobs and banks in Europe, and I could go on -- all these things are big in the news here, and fan the flames of discontent.
"We can't live in the horio," said one man interviewed for ERT TV. It was always true that the Greeks couldn't make a living in the village, however
We woke up to interviews with 1940s-era veterans who survived the German occupation. We went early to church for liturgy, where kids were dressed in their blue-and-white best, representing their elementary schools (all closed today.) They lined the center aisle of the church with their Greek flags as a bunch of dignitaries arrived, from the bishop (who mugged for photos) to the local mayor (a communist.)
It was like a U.S. holiday, except that as you walked the streets, you could smell the onions and meat cooking for afternoon supper as kids marched home with their cymbals and drums. Our hostess made an amazing moussaka with two salads, including one with pomegranate. Then we took a ride to Pasha Limani to see the cafes and watch the sun set over the sea. And then we had a coffee at a new port full of amazing yachts. Last night, I went for a drink with cousins and tomorrow we are going to their seaside rental on the coast outside Athens. It will probably be cold for a saltwater dip, but what a life!