The American Hellenic Educational and Progressive Association (AHEPA), the nation’s largest organization representing Americans of Greek descent issued a stern statement regarding the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America’s handling of the St. Nicholas rebuilding project.
AHEPA had undertaken a nationwide fundraising campaign from its tens of thousands of members and chapters and has donated $1 million to the fundraising campaign, making the organization one of the largest single donors.
AHEPA issued the following statement on Thursday, December 14, 2017 regarding the rebuilding of Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church and National Shrine at World Trade Center from Supreme President Carl R. Hollister:
“We are deeply disappointed that construction of St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church and National Shrine at World Trade Center has come to a halt and regret the inadequate transparency provided thus far about the project’s construction status.
“We have been in communication with His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios and members of the Archdiocesan Council to convey our concerns about Saint Nicholas. We encourage the Archdiocese to provide complete clarity to the community about the challenges the project faces and provide a comprehensive plan to move forward so that it may be completed in a timely fashion. This is not a time to lay blame. Rather, all stakeholders must come together to complete this most noble undertaking.
“Regarding our members, we value the countless hours of volunteer time, energy, and resources that helped to bring us to the cusp of AHEPA’s $1 million capital campaign fund drive goal. In addition, the AHEPA family, which includes the Daughters of Penelope, Sons of Pericles, and Maids of Athena, each have raised funds for Saint Nicholas. We have all our volunteer members’ interests at heart.
“We will continue to monitor the situation and remain in communication with the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. We will proceed with the balance of our commitment at the appropriate time when our concerns are resolved.
“We remain supportive of the rebuilding of the only House of Worship destroyed on September 11, and we remain confident it will rise again and be a beacon for peace.”
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