Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew is expected to visit the United States next November and will inaugurate Saint Nicholas Church and National Shrine at “Ground Zero” in Manhattan.
This news was confirmed by Archbishop Elpidophoros of America during his sermon in the church of St. Nicholas in Flushing, New York, on Sunday, January 17.
Specifically, the Archbishop of America in his speech, among other things, said the following: “This year is the year in which the vow that our nation made, the Greek and Orthodox Nation here in America, to reconstruct the Church of St. Nicholas that collapsed on September 11, becomes reality with God’s will and we fulfill it thanks to you. Thanks to the support of our faithful, our people. Our Patriarch will come on November 2 to be here at the opening of this large and important church of ours of the National Shrine of Saint Nicholas”.
Archbishop Elpidophoros stressed also that “not only the community of St. Nicholas can be proud, but also the entire Holy Archdiocese of America, all Orthodox and all Hellenism in America can celebrate this fulfillment of the vow because God heard our prayers, spoke to the hearts of the people who had to work and help and we are now able after much effort and pain to prepare for this great day”.
It is emphasized that the Ecumenical Patriarch will visit the Holy Cross School of Theology in Boston, as well as Washington, where Ηe will be received by the new President of the United States Joseph Biden and other senior officials of the American capital.
The Patriarchal visit was scheduled to take place in May 2020 but was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic. It is estimated that by November the pandemic will have subsided to make possible the visit of the Ecumenical Patriarch. The last time the Ecumenical Patriarch visited the United States was in October 2009.