MESSAGE FROM THE FRIENDS OF ST. NICHOLAS
Dear Supporters of the St. Nicholas National Shrine,
As you will read in the message of our Archbishop, we are fast approaching the Consecration of the Shrine, after which we hasten to complete the adornment of the interior of the Church and the Iconographic Program. This is truly a milestone for the Friends of Saint Nicholas, who, with the generosity of so many of you, have led the way to bring about the completion of the Shrine. It is a moment of great joy and relief, because we have yearned to bring to a good end the mission that we set out to do, and to which we were called.
Consecrations usually take place years after a Church edifice is constructed. Our trajectory is somewhat inverted, but this should be of no surprise to anyone. Bringing the full blessing of God to the site through this ancient action of prayer and dedication, reinforces our sense of what the Shrine will be. And not only for the people who lost loved ones on 9/11, or even the greater City of New York.
We have said in the past that the Memorial and Museum embodied two of the great Three Christian Virtues, Love and Hope. Love, because the names and memories of those that unjustly perished that day are so worthily remembered at the Memorial and in the Museum. And Hope, because the World Trade Center has been rebuilt. But the Virtue of Faith was lacking. Not just our Greek Orthodox Faith, but the faith that makes the human aspire to the Divine that is found in every religion and culture.
In consecrating the Saint Nicholas Shrine, we affirm the Orthodox Christian Faith that the Shrine embodies, but we also pay tribute to the spiritual aspiration in every human being. In a place where hatred and destruction ripped our world apart, we are weaving a narrative of healing and remembrance that will benefit anyone who comes through our doors.
We thank you for your willingness to support us and accompany us on this journey, and we pray that all of you will visit the Shrine soon and behold it in all its glory.
Father Alex Karloutsos