Message from Father Andreas Vithoulkas
Proïstamenos and Archiepiscopal Vicar of the Saint Nicholas National Shrine
The coming Consecration of the Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church and National Shrine is an exciting prospect for the Community of Saint Nicholas. It has been nearly twenty-one years since we have had a Temple of our own to pray in. The Consecration brings a powerful spiritual resonance to the Church that has worked to be rebuilt these past two decades. The impetus to commence the full liturgical life of the Parish is very much present within the Parish, which has survived these many years by enjoying the hospitality of the Ss. Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Brooklyn, just across the bridge of the same name from Lower Manhattan.
The iconographic program will installed over the summer, with the arrival of Father Loukas from Mount Athos and the Icons that he has devotedly painted within his monastery of Xenophontos. Having this connection to the Holy Mountain is just one more blessing that will make the Shrine very special indeed. I believe this will be the only Orthodox Parish in the Western Hemisphere whose entire iconography will have been executed by a monastic father from Mount Athos and on Mount Athos.
Even as the icons are being installed, we will take the blessing of the Consecration as our sign to prepare for a full ministry of the Parish and the Shrine. Although each has different ministries, they both inhabit the same space of the Church. As the months go by, we will be keeping everyone abreast of the all the developments since the Parish will begin functioning again and the Shrine will commence functioning for the first time.
I look forward to welcoming you to your National Shrine, the Church dedicated to Saint Nicholas the Wonderworker at Ground Zero.
Faithfully in Christ,
Father Andreas Vithoulkas