NEW YORK – His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew honored Andreas Dracopoulos, Co-President of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation, with the ofikion of Megas Ritor (Grand Rhetorician) of the Ecumenical Throne.
The ceremony took place in the Chapel of St. Paul at the Archdiocesan Headquarters in Manhattan on November 1.
In the official Patriarchal Letter, His All-Holiness praises Mr. Dracopoulos for his dedication and valuable service to the Ecumenical Throne and to the Holy Archdiocese of America.
Mr. Dracopoulos also had a private audience with the Ecumenical Patriarch.
Dracopoulos was also among the guests at the special ceremony of the Thyranoixia or opening of the doors ceremony, presided over by His All-Holiness, at St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church and National Shrine at the World Trade Center in Manhattan on November 2.
The original St. Nicholas Church at the World Trade Center was completely destroyed in the attacks of September 11, 2001. It was the only house of worship destroyed on that tragic day. Now, more than 20 years later, a new St. Nicholas has been built near the same site to serve as a church, national shrine, and community center open to all.
The new St. Nicholas, which will welcome the public in the months to come, was designed by renowned Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava. The structure, which includes a Greek Orthodox church and a dedicated bereavement space, will host remembrance programs for family members of those who lost their lives on 9/11 as well as cultural and interfaith education programs.
The Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) provided a major grant to support the project, as it has for other efforts to rebuild and memorialize at the World Trade Center site, namely the 9/11 Memorial & Museum and the Perelman Performing Arts Center.