NEW YORK – Greece’s Deputy Foreign Minister Responsible for Hellenes Abroad Konstantinos Vlasis during his February 3-9 visit made stops in New York City and Washington, DC.
The first stop on February 3 was the Hellenic Classical Charter School in Brooklyn where Deputy Minister Vlasis had the opportunity to tour the dynamic educational institution. He was accompanied on the tour by Consul General of Greece in New York Konstantinos Koutras who also joined him on a visit later that day to the St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church and National Shrine at the World Trade Center in Lower Manhattan.
Also with Vlasis and Koutras at Ground Zero was Andrew Veniopoulos, Project Executive at St. Nicholas for the Archdiocese of America.
“I am here today in the sacred Church of St. Nicholas, which, after 19 years, I can finally see is one step away from its completion,” Vlasis told The National Herald.
“And as His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros said in September, in 2021 we will do the ‘thyranixia’ [Grand Opening] of this church, which symbolizes so much. It symbolizes brotherhood, it symbolizes peace, and here where the heart of Hellenism beats, the heart of Orthodoxy beats, the heart of globalization beats. I am really glad that such a great project is finally one step away from completion and, indeed, in the 20th anniversary year of 9/11, when the ‘thyranixia’ will take place, we will also be celebrating the 200 years since the Greek Revolution. Next year, we will commemorate these two great events here,” the Greek Deputy Foreign Minister noted.
On February 5, Vlasis visited St. Demetrios in Astoria and toured the school with Consul General Koutras, Nick Andriotis, and Dean of St. Demetrios Cathedral Archimandrite Nektarios Papazafiropoulos.
On February 6, the Deputy Foreign Minister attended the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, DC and then returned to New York for Cosmos FM’s 24th Phidippides Award Dinner Gala at Terrace on the Park in Flushing, honoring His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros of America.
*The building site at the St. Nicholas National Shrine Church at the World Trade Center remains quiet while fundraising efforts are underway to finally complete the construction by September 2021. The western facade/narthex is the least complete part of the building. At www.stnicholaswtc.org/en/architecture the renderings may be seen.