Greek church in Cardiff pledges donation for shrine at Ground Zero


Saints Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Church of North County San Diego will support building the St. Nicholas National Shrine at the World Trade Center through a pledged donation. The local parish, which hosts the annual Cardiff Greek Festival, will donate 10 percent of festival profits and stewardship donations from parishioners in 2015.

The St. Nicholas National Shrine is being erected at Ground Zero, replacing the small Greek Orthodox Church of St. Nicholas that was destroyed on Sept. 11, 2001, when the South Tower fell. While the new church is also Greek Orthodox, it will welcome people of all faiths to visit while touring the 9/11 Memorial and the Memorial Museum at the World Trade Center.

“Through an inspired faith and vigilant prayer, our parishioners chose to honor those who have lost their lives and those who protect our freedom by helping to provide a place of worship and peaceful reflection for all at the site of the horrific tragedy that forever changed us all,” said Father Michael Sitaras, pastor at Saints Constantine and Helen.

Designed by world-renowned architect Santiago Calatrava, the St. Nicholas Shrine building will blend the traditions of Byzantine architecture with the aesthetic of the steel and glass structures in the surrounding area. The upper level of the church will include a non-denominational bereavement space, also open to all.

Likewise, Saints Constantine and Helen welcomes the San Diego community to its many faith, fellowship and educational programs. The parish also hosts the annual Cardiff Greek Festival the weekend after Labor Day, inviting the San Diego community to experience Hellenic cuisine, entertainment and hospitality.

Information on the Saint Nicholas National Shrine is available at