first_imgRev. John D. Romas held together the small congregation of St Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church in Lower Manhattan, destroyed on 11 September 2001, by the collapse of the World Trade Centre.The priest had moved his services to SS. Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Brooklyn until the reconstruction of the old church and shrine was completed. The construction of the new church did not begin until last year, at a site overlooking the National September 11 Memorial from an elevated park, designed by Santiago Calatrava to evoke the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul.Unfortunately, Father Romas won’t be present to perform the first liturgy. After battling pancreatic cancer, he died on January 24, as announced by the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of New York.He was ordained in 1984 and had been leading St Nicholas since 1987 and until 11 September 2001, when Archbishop Iakovos appointed him the pastor. Parishioners worshiped on the ground floor of a modest four-story building at 155 Cedar Street. On the exterior, about the only indication of any religious function was a small bellcote at the parapet.St Nicholas Church downtown had been a spiritual retreat for office workers on weekdays and a parish church on Sundays for about 40 to 50 worshipers who commuted to Lower Manhattan from Brooklyn, the Bronx, Queens, New Jersey and Westchester County. That made Father Romas at times the public face of the broader redevelopment effort.Father Romas was survived by his wife, Lorraine Papachristou to whom he was married since 1952. Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img