Shrine to replace church destroyed on 9/11 nears completion

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The domed sanctuary rising in Lower Manhattan, where workers are busy installing translucent Greek marble in time for a ceremonial lighting on Sept. 10, bears little resemblance to the modest parish church that John Katsimatides had discovered years ago.

He often visited the old St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church to say a prayer and light a candle as he went to or from work nearby on the 104th floor of the World Trade Center’s north tower. The church stood as a quiet oasis amid the soaring financial district.

John Katsimatides “was thrilled that there was a Greek church right across the street from where he worked,” recalled his sister, Anthoula Katsimatides. “St. Nicholas was very special to him.”

In the immediate aftermath the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, John’s relatives held on to hope that he might have survived. They put up missing-person posters in Lower Manhattan and searched the streets and hospitals for him.

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