Fire at Grigoriou Monastery
Emergency Appeal following fire at Grigoriou Monastery
The Mount Athos Foundation of America (MAFA) is issuing an emergency appeal on behalf of Grigoriou Monastery following a fire at the Monastery on July 9, 2019. MAFA was founded by members of the Friends of Mount Athos in the Americas in 2017 to provide support to the Holy Mountain when needed.
The Monastery has informed us that the fire completely destroyed the building housing its electromechanical equipment and all the equipment within.
The total cost of restoring this facility is estimated at €405,000 ($450,000), including €205,000 ($225,000) to repair damage to the electromechanical equipment and €200,000 ($220,000) to construct a new building to house this facility. The estimates were developed by a Thessaloniki-based company (www.technomat-shop.com) that has a good track record of work on Mount Athos, and have been reviewed and accepted by MAFA. Fortunately the destroyed building was located outside the perimeter of the Monastery’s historic old buildings, which were undamaged.
The impact of the fire most noticeable to pilgrims visiting the Monastery has probably been the noise and pollution created by the generators. The Monastery continues to welcome pilgrims with the traditional Athonite hospitality in spite of this major setback, but the fathers at Grigoriou are now harder pressed to keep things going.
The Mount Athos Foundation of America call upon all who read this to help. Has your life been enriched by pilgrimage to the Holy Mountain? Have you received the hospitality and spiritual blessing of that experience? Or are you perhaps looking forward to a future pilgrimage? You can take this occasion to give back by helping in a time of need.
Some Unseen Effects of the Fire
The timing of this setback is creating added financial stress for the Monastery. The Greek economic crisis had already delivered a major blow to the monastery’s income. Reduction of funds from governmental sources has added to the financial stress on the monasteries of Mount Athos. Finally, because the damage in this case was not to its historic buildings, the Monastery cannot draw upon European Community funds for restoration. The cost of borrowing to replace the lost electromechanical facility and the building will result in serious cash-flow issues for years to come. This drain on Grigoriou’s financial resources will, in turn, impact the Monastery’s ability to maintain its historic buildings, precisely at a time when preservation funds from outside sources are becoming scarcer.
You Can Help
A member of the MAFA Board of Directors who has been a pilgrim to Grigoriou has generously pledged to match all donations up to a limit of $8,000. This is his way of “giving back” to the monastery that has meant much to him. Perhaps you, too, are a grateful pilgrim who has experienced the living spiritual legacy of the Holy Mountain, or perhaps you are someone who views this World Heritage site as a treasure to be maintained and appreciated. You can help, and your donation will be doubled by this member’s generous donation.
The cumulative result of many donations, large and small alike, will help us reach our goal of restoring the Monastery’s loss. Together, we can help the Monastery weather this storm at a time when its resources are already significantly compromised by world events.
Please donate to help the Monastery recover from this destructive fire.
Click on the Donate Button below and choose Grigoriou Monastery Emergency Appeal in the list.