Two City Greek Orthodox Congregations Welded Together By 9/11
As new buildings sprout up at the World Trade Center site, the parishioners of St. Nicholas Church, which was lost on 9/11, are still waiting for their temple to be rebuilt and attended Sunday services in Brooklyn. NY1's Shazia Khan filed the following report.
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Since the events of September 11th, parishioners from Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church have been attending services here at Sts. Constantine and Helen Cathedral in Brooklyn Heights.
"It says in the Psalms, 'brothers united in unity is truly a blessing,'" said Father John Lardas.
St. Nicholas was destroyed on 9/11, collapsing under the weight of the South Tower. Fortunately, no one was killed. Its priest, Father John Ramos, recalls seeing his tiny church, that stood for nearly 80 years, reduced to debris.
"I kneeled down and cried and I said, "St. Nicholas, we'll rebuilt back in a year," said Ramos.
Ten years later, it has yet to be rebuilt. The land St. Nicholas stood, in the shadow of the former World Trade Center, is owned by the Port Authority. The decade-long battle to rebuild is now pending litigation.
For now, Ramos joins Lardas in Brooklyn every Sunday to preside over services, including Sunday's memorial service for the victims of 9/11.
About a dozen parishioners from St. Nicholas worship at Sts. Constantine and Helen, and nearly 10 years they are now more than guests.
"It feels special to be able to give them a home and welcome them and have them as a family within a family," said one parishioner.
"We would like to have both churches. It's really nice to have St. Nicholas. We need it because it was there," said another.
One can only guess as to where St. Nicholas' congregation will be 10 years from now.