St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church at Ground Zero

World Trade Center Church Will Be Rebuilt
Deal reached between Greek Orthodox and Port Authority means there will be a place

NEW YORK — Ten years after 9/11, plans have been settled to rebuild the only church that was destroyed during the attacks on the World Trade Center.

The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America has spent the last decade in a tug-of-war with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which owns the land under the World Trade Center, over the future of St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church. The small church sat in the shadows of the Twin Towers but was crushed when they collapsed on Sept. 11, 2001.

On Oct. 14, both parties announced that they had finally reached an agreement.

According to Father Mark Arey, director of the Office of Inter-Orthodox, Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations, St. Nicholas was founded in 1916 at a time when Lower Manhattan was still an immigrant neighborhood made up of mostly Greeks and Syrians. New York was an active port city at the time, and St. Nicholas is the patron saint of those who travel, particularly sailors. Local families pooled their resources and purchased an old tavern at the location of 155 Cedar St.

After its destruction on 9/11, the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America and the 70-family congregation of St. Nicholas immediately pledged to rebuild.

While the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese understood that because of reconstruction efforts at Ground Zero it would not be possible to rebuild at the original site, much of the controversy in recent years has been over negotiating a land swap for the church to still be able to rebuild at Ground Zero. In 2008, a tentative agreement was made for a nearby location, 130 Liberty St. The Port Authority then claimed that the proposal to relocate the site would cost “tens and millions of public dollars,” and the deal was called off, prompting the archdiocese to file suit against the Port Authority on Feb. 14.

Recently, however, Greek Orthodox Archbishop Demetrios had dinner with New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who agreed to mediate the negotiations between the archdiocese and the Port Authority. The final agreement will allow for St. Nicholas to be rebuilt on the proposed 2008 site on Liberty Street, with the Port Authority paying for the site work on the below-ground infrastructure and the archdiocese paying for the construction of the church. The site will also include an interfaith prayer center for visitors of any religion, with a slated completion in 2014.

In a statement from Cuomo’s office, he noted that “Rebuilding St. Nicholas Church, with a nondenominational bereavement center, is not just good news for the Greek Orthodox community, but for all New Yorkers. With this agreement, we are continuing New York’s collective healing, restoration and resurgence.”

Catholic Connection

A few short blocks away from St. Nicholas Church stands St. Peter’s, the oldest Catholic parish in New York City. It was a temporary morgue for victims on 9/11 and was the place where firemen carried the body of Franciscan Father Mychal Judge, the first recorded death during the attacks.

When asked to comment about the rebuilding of St. Nicholas, the pastor of St. Peter’s, Father Kevin Madigan, remarked, “It will be a wonderful thing for them to have a church presence. They have a loyal constituency. Many people don’t realize this, but the parishes of St. Nicholas and St. Peter’s have a shared history.”

He explained that St. Joseph’s Chapel, a mission of St. Peter’s, was St. Joseph’s Church until the early 1980s. “St. Joseph and St. Nicholas used to actually share the same wall,” he said. “During the construction of the World Trade Center, the original plan was to destroy both and build another tower. St. Nicholas remained, but St. Joseph’s Church was demolished.”

Religion at Ground Zero

Ground Zero has been a politically sensitive area and already the site of several clashes between political and religious leaders. On Sept. 22, part of Park 51, an Islamic cultural center formerly known as Cordoba House, opened two blocks away from the former World Trade Center site. The center was the topic of heated debate, as many of the 9/11 victim families believed its presence to be insensitive to the memory of their loved ones. The attacks on 9/11 were carried out by fundamentalist Muslims.

Also, during the memorial service to mark the 10th anniversary of the attacks this year, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg did not invite any clergy to attend the occasion. While the Bloomberg administration claimed that this was simply due to space constraints, many religious leaders viewed this as an effort to exclude religious practice from the memorial events.

For Father Arey, the agreement to rebuild St. Nicholas is a victory for religious liberty and a special privilege for the Orthodox community to live out their faith. “St Nicholas will be the only church on Ground Zero, because it was the only church to begin with. … We are going to be a witness at Ground Zero. It’s a very special opportunity for Orthodoxy in America, where we are a very small minority of Americans.”

Thanks to Elisa who suggested this post.


See the original article from February 2011 here...


Law of Uninteded Consequences.

Man's folly hath enhanced the value of gold and silver because of their scarcity; whereas nature, like a kind parent, hath freely given us the best things, such as air, earth, and water, but hath hidden from us those which are vain and useless.— St Thomas More, Utopia, Bk 2. (1516)

Protestors complain of being robbed (er, having their property redistributed) by other protestors...


St Edmund Campion, Martyr

October 25, St Crispins day and Azincourt

When I was in the Marine Staff Academy so many years ago a portion of the class was dedicated to the following soliloquy:

...We few, we happy few, we band of brothers; For he to-day that sheds his blood with me, Shall be my brother; be he ne'er so vile, This day shall gentle his condition: And gentlemen in England, now a-bed Shall think themselves accursed they were not here, And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks, That fought with us upon Saint Crispin's day... (4.3.43)

I was reminded that today is St Crispins Day which of course reminded me of one of my all time favorite films being the 1944 version of William Shakespeare's "Henry V" played by Sir Laurence Olivier. A consummate actor, he is to me the Henry. A portion of the soliloquy from the play is quoted above.

It was on this day in 1415 that the English lead by King Henry V defeated the flower of he French Nobility at Agincourt or Azincourt in what is northern France. (Pas de Calais). In the period that followed, the daughter of King Charles VI of France Catherine of Valois, was married to Henry V, as a move to bring peace to the two nations that had been at war for more than 80 years; the couple's firstborn son was named as heir to the throne of France, in contradiction to Salic law which states that the Heir to France my only pass through male linage.

In France, Charles VII (Valois) became Dauphin upon the death of his father, Charles VI, but his legitimacy was placed in question by his mothers repudiation of him, being made feasible by her numerous and notorious affairs.

Henry V died while his son, Henry VI, was merely an infant, and the power struggle over control of the French throne led to renewed hostilities in the Hundred Years' War for a further 30+ years, highlighted by the capture of Orleans by Joan of Arc in 1429 and culminating in the final victory over the English at the Battle OF Castillon on 17 July 1453.


October 25 Feast of the Forty Martyrs

In St Andrews Catholic School in Chicago our Sisters (of Providence) would regale us with stories of the martyrs. I used to think how it would be to be prepared to give ones life for the faith. To give ones life for the faith is to renounce the world and all it's vanities and be killed in order to proclaim the good news with ones death. History is replete with the stories of these martyrs who refused mercy so that they may be united with Jesus in heaven. I recall the story of one sister who when told she would be spared death if she just repudiated her faith ran up the stairs to the guillotine to share in the glory of her companions. Thus it was for these humble martyrs on whose day we celebrate their martyrdom. Are we prepared to be martyred for the Faith?..

Today in England is the feast of the Forty Holy Martyrs of England and Wales (in Wales this is a memorial), a group of forty men, women, religious, priests, and lay people who were canonized by Pope Paul VI on October 25, 1970. These people were executed for the Faith during a period of anti-Catholicism from 1535 to 1679. The Martyrs who were canonized were among more than two hundred martyrs who had been beatified by various earlier popes. Some of the common "crimes" of these people were being priests, harboring priests, or refusing to take the Oath of Supremacy. This group of saints includes some well-known saints, such as St. Alban Roe, and St. Edmund Campion. Many of these saints are recognized on the days of their martyrdom, but as a group, they are recognized on the day they were canonized. find more here...



A colonial recipe

An October fall day. What is better on a fall day than to eat a nice and juicy apple? Remember when the gracery stores used to prepare caramel apples in the october? In Colonial times it was no different. Refridgeration unknown then, required that apples harvested must be eaten before they rotted.

Here is a quick and easy way to use those pommes from Colonial Sense.

Apple Snowballs a Colonial dessert

Time: 1/2 hour to boil the rice separately; 1/2 to 1 hour with the apple.


2 teacupfuls of rice
moist sugar


Boil the rice in milk until three-parts done; then strain it off
Pare and core the apples without dividing them
Put a small quantity of sugar and a clove into each apple
Put the rice round them, and tie each ball separately in a cloth
Boil until the apples are tender
Take them up, remove the cloths, and serve

Source: The Book of Household Management by Isabella Beeton (1859)



See the comments below Sarah from Australia has sent a link for apple dumplings. :-{p

The Third Way...Vatican document calls for global authority to regulate markets

"Too much capitalism does not mean too many capitalists, but too few capitalists."

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- A Vatican document called for the gradual creation of a world political authority with broad powers to regulate financial markets and rein in the "inequalities and distortions of capitalist development."

The document said the current global financial crisis has revealed "selfishness, collective greed and the hoarding of goods on a great scale." A supranational authority, it said, is needed to place the common good at the center of international economic activity.

The 41-page text was titled, "Toward Reforming the International Financial and Monetary Systems in the Context of Global Public Authority." Prepared by the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, it was released Oct. 24 in several languages, including a provisional translation in English.

The document cited the teachings of popes over the last 40 years on the need for a universal public authority that would transcend national interests. The current economic crisis, which has seen growing inequality between the rich and poor of the world, underlines the necessity to take concrete steps toward creating such an authority, it said.

One major step, it said, should be reform of the international monetary system in a way that involves developing countries. The document foresaw creation of a "central world bank" that would regulate the flow of monetary exchanges; it said the International Monetary Fund had lost the ability to control the amount of credit risk taken on by the system.

The document also proposed:

A woman carries bananas to market in Nyei, South Sudan, in this 2009 file photo. In a new document the Vatican called for reforming international monetary systems to address the economic crisis which has fueled the gap between the world's rich and poor. (CNS/Paul Jeffrey)

-- Taxation measures on financial transactions. Revenues could contribute to the creation of a "world reserve fund" to support the economies of countries his by crisis, it said.

-- Forms of recapitalization of banks with public funds that make support conditional on "virtuous" behavior aimed at developing the real economy.

-- More effective management of financial shadow markets that are largely uncontrolled today.

Such moves would be designed to make the global economy more responsive to the needs of the person, and less "subordinated to the interests of countries that effectively enjoy a position of economic and financial advantage," it said.

In making the case for a global authority, the document said the continued model of nationalistic self-interest seemed "anachronistic and surreal" in the age of globalization.

"We should not be afraid to propose new ideas, even if they might destabilize pre-existing balances of power that prevail over the weakest," it said.

The "new world dynamics," it said, call for a "gradual, balanced transfer of a part of each nation's powers to a world authority and to regional authorities."

"In a world on its way to rapid globalization, the reference to a world authority becomes the only horizon compatible with the new realities of our time and the needs of humankind," it said. Helping to usher in this new society is a duty for everyone, especially for Christians, it said.

While the Vatican document focused on financial issues, it envisioned a much wider potential role for the global political authority. The agenda also includes peace and security, disarmament and arms control, protection of human rights, and management of migration flows and food security, it said.

Establishing such an authority will be a delicate project and will no doubt come at a cost of "anguish and suffering" as countries give up particular powers, the document said. The authority should be set up gradually, on the basis of wide consultation and international agreements, and never imposed by force or coercion, it said.

The authority should operate on the principle of subsidiarity, intervening "only when individual, social or financial actors are intrinsically deficient in capacity, or cannot manage by themselves to do what is required of them," it said. Countries' specific identities would be fully respected, it said.

The authority should transcend special interests, and its decisions "should not be the result of the more developed countries' excessive power over the weaker countries" or the result of lobbying by nations or groups, it said.

"A long road still needs to be traveled before arriving at the creation of a public authority with universal jurisdiction. It would seem logical for the reform process to proceed with the United Nations as its reference," it said.

At a news conference Oct. 24, the Vatican spokesman, Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, emphasized that the document was "not an expression of papal magisterium," but instead was an "authoritative note of a Vatican agency," the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace. In that sense, he said, it would not be correct to report that "Pope Benedict says" what's in the document, he said.

The document did make a point of quoting from the teachings of several popes, however, including those of Pope Benedict XVI, who in his 2009 encyclical "Charity in Truth" ("Caritas in Veritate") said there was "an urgent need of a true world political authority" that could give poorer nations a bigger voice in financial decision-making.

The document also cited Blessed John Paul II's 1991 warning of the risk of an "idolatry of the market" in the wake of the failure of European communism. Today his warning "needs to be heeded without delay," it said.

In fact, it said, the primary cause of the current global crisis has been "an economic liberalism that spurns rules and controls" and that relies solely on the laws of the market.

Cardinal Peter Turkson, head of the justice and peace council, said the Vatican document could be a useful contribution to the G-20 summit in France Nov. 3-4, which is looking to reform the international monetary system and strengthen financial regulatory measures.

The document noted that the G-20 includes developing countries and said this represented progress from the time when there was just a G-7, a group of seven industrialized countries that shaped economic policies.

In general, over the last 30 years there was a tendency to define the strategic directions of economic policy "in terms of 'clubs' and of smaller and larger groups of more developed countries," it said. While this approach had some positive aspects, it appeared to leave out the emerging countries, it said.


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