Letter to the Editor: On TNH’s 50 Wealthiest List and St. Nicholas

St. Nicholas National Shrine Church at the World Trade Center. (Photo by TNH/Kostas Bej)

To the Editor:

The special insert of the 50 richest persons of Hellenic descent was very impressive.

What is dismaying, however, is that with all that wealth available, the funding and building for the St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church and National Shrine at the World Trade Center site has not been accomplished and the structure remains unfinished, to the embarrassment of all those of Hellenic descent.

Such a shrine church would be spectacular and any major benefactor would be honored for centuries. This structure would be lasting and marveled at, akin to Notre Dame Cathedral, because it would be a reminder of the unforgettable September 11 tragedy.

Why have none of these Hellenes come to the rescue?


Paul M. Ladas

Muskegon, MI


  1. Because they’re smart businessmen and they see a stupid deal with no limits to bad mismanagement and future never-ending maintenance expenses at the hands of scheming hierarchs.

  2. Dear Mr. Ladas ~

    “Wake up and smell the coffee!”

    At this point in time, NOBODY wants to be involved or associated with this disaster known as the Greek Orthodox Church and Shrine of St. Nicholas at WTC/NYC, since it was great folly from the get-go.
    Compounded by mismanagement of funds, etc., it is a blighted endeavor in every respect.

    It seems that St Nicholas the Wonderworker does not want this to be, unless those who are responsible for all the mishaps are held responsible and brought to justice.
    No miracles will happen.

    Such a so-called “shrine” is nothing more than a tourist attraction, and a vehicle of publicity a la P.T Barnum, that has been hatched by the GOA.

    There is absolutely no historic significance to the original structure,or it’s historic religious input in that particular area of Manhattan.

    Do not compare this awful structure with the wonderful and historic Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris.
    Get out of MI; purchase a ticket to Paris, then do a stop-over in New York to view both edifices, then get back me to me.

    $80.Million dollars for this so-called mausoleum of a church that is not much larger than the chapel located on the Campus of HC/HC in Brookline, MA !? – c’mon , who are we kidding!?
    Totally over-priced and unwarranted.
    NOT a good deal!

    However, if you feel so strongly about it, please do make a generous donation to this particular cause.
    I’m sure the GOA will be appreciative of every penny it can get.

  3. Lamentably, the archdiocese has burned too many bridges with their financial mismanagement. Wealthy Greek Americans prefer to give to non-Greek institutions where they feel their monies will be well spent. It is not just the archdiocese that is to blame. Wealthy Greeks in the past have chosen to overlook the lack of transparency for fear that somehow to raise a voice of concern will bar them from heaven. Seems silly that grown men and women would subscribe to such fears.

    We are not alone in bungling things. Look at the Armenian genocide museum that is being “built” near the White House. The Armenians have purchased some great real estate near the White House but can’t seem to make much progress. Shame on all of us.

    1. Nick, wealthy Americans of Greek descent prefer to give to American institutions because they are Americans and live in America, not Greece, and certainly not in a city that doesn’t exist—- Constantinople. The guys in robes just don’t get that.

    2. Nick, wealthy Americans of Greek descent prefer to give to American institutions because they are Americans and live in America, not Greece, and certainly not in a city that doesn’t exist—- Constantinople. The guys in robes just don’t get that.

  4. Spiro not everyone feels like you do. I prefer to give to Greek American charities and churches of my liking. Hanging on of the dream of what was Constantinople is in the heart of many Greeks. My tax money is more than enough to add to the local and fed governments coffers. Your trash talking of everything Greek Doesn’t make you a more patriotic American

  5. Hellenism and Orthodox Christianity are two completely different things.
    Until the GOA is willing to drop the “Greek” from “GOA” and refrain from appealing to the low-hanging fruit of ethnic pride and start working towards the future of the Orthodoxy in America, misguided campaigns like this will be the result.
    It’s a shame, as the only Christian Church destroyed by the evil of 9/11, the chapel of St. Nicholas could have been a beacon calling all Americans to come and see the original Church of Christ.

  6. Let’s make one thing crystal clear for everyone. They will find a way to finish the construction of the St. Nicholas Shrine. I will almost guaranty it. The stigma attached to this colossal embarrassment is a burden that they can figure out and salvage. Here is where they are helpless and will not correct for a number of reasons:
    1. They will not get those who have left to come back;
    2. They will not build back the lost respect for the institution that was sacrificed by the tenures of Hierarchs such as Archbishop Spyridon, Archbishop Demetrios, Metropolitan Iakovos of Blessed Memory, Metropolitan Alexios of Atlanta or Bishop Demetrios of Mokissos.
    3. The will not undo the damage done by the “Cult Worshiping” clergy who only have allegiance to their fellow EPHRAIMITES and its now embedded (within the Church) leadership;
    4. They will not understand, nor will they even acknowledge how to rebuild a beautiful religion with a decayed institution that has only caused it to lose adherents, adherents lost forever!

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