General News

St. Isidoros Community’s First Sunday Services after Fire (Video)

BETHPAGE, NY – Saint Isidoros Greek Orthodox Church held its Sunday services in a heated tent on February 26 for the first time since a January 24 fire caused extensive damage to the church building. Community members were eager to return for the Divine Liturgy on Cheesefare Sunday, the final Sunday before the start of Holy and Great Lent.

The community will continue to hold services in the heated tent until the church is restored and reopens. A GoFundMe campaign has been set up to help support the rebuilding process.

According to the GoFundMe page: “On January 24th, 2023, Saint Isidoros Greek Orthodox Church suffered a tragic fire.
Unfortunately, most of the interior of the church has been severely damaged. Most of the unique artwork and icons, some dating back to the 1800s were destroyed by the flames and smoke. The church that dates back to 1974, built by Bishop Petros of Astoria, is going to need total restoration.”

The statement on the GoFundMe page continued: “We have a very long difficult road ahead of us before being able to hold services again. We pray that with God’s help and with the help of our parishioners and community we will bring this chapel back to its former beauty.”

As of February 27, $50,250 has been raised of the $150,000 goal.

More information about donating to the GoFundMe page is available online: https://bit.ly/3DeGiKy.

It took around 75 firefighters to get the flames under control, officials said, News 12 reported at the time, noting that “News 12 video of the fire shows items from the church being carried out in an attempt to save them from the flames.”

“Leaders of the church raced to try and save what they could after the fire tore through the building,” News 12 reported.

“It’s very sad, it’s very disappointing that we weren’t able to catch it sooner,” church member George Katsaros told News 12.

“A religious icon of the church’s patron saint painted by the church’s founder was saved from the destruction even though Katsaros says it was close to the fire,” News 12 reported.

Saint Isidoros Greek Orthodox Church held its Sunday services in a heated tent on February 26 for the first time since the January 24 fire that caused extensive damage to the church building. Photo: Matthew Kalamidas

“It did bubble up, but the image itself is still visible, it’s one of the only icons that was not damaged that was that close to the fire,” Katsaros told News 12. “So, that in itself is a miracle to us.”

“He says holy relics of Saint Isidoros brought over from Greece were also saved from the fire,” News 12 reported.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation.


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