Greek Orthodox Cathedral, Miami
Renovation Capital Campaign
Renewing and restoring
our faith and our Cathedral
Saint Sophia Greek Orthodox Cathedral
It is now the task of the succeeding generations to
perpetuate the faith of your mothers and fathers. It
is our prayer that the spirit that kindles their lives
may burn within each of us; that we may find re-
freshment and comfort and peace in our church, a
challenge to service and strength to render it. May a
deep sense of renewal and commitment touch every
fiber of your being so that our daily living and spiritual growth may
reach the heights of truly consecrated Christians.
Very Rev. Demosthenes J. Mekras
November 25, 1973
Father Mekras served the Cathedral from 1944 to 1987 .
Pastor Emeritus 1987-2005
It has been over a quarter of a century since we have done
work on the cathedral that our ancestors left to us. Let us look
into our hearts and into our souls to see the beauty that is be-
fore us as well as the gifts which we have and find our way to
restoring our Faith and our Basilica.
Today, it is our turn!
Rev. Father Spiro D. Bobotas
January 1, 2020
Since moving to the Roads in 1949, the Cathedral of St. Sophia has been the home of
Orthodox Christians in South Florida. The Cathedral’s Byzantine structure has and will
continue to withstand the elements. Its beauty in design and its museums quality crafts-
manship has spiritually uplifted and motivated four generations in the faithful celebration
of Marriages, Baptisms, Funerals and spiritual illumination.
However, after gracefully serving Miami for 70 years in this location, sustained by your
generosity of time, work, and money, and powered by your faith, it needs a major restora-
tion. The effects of South Florida’s heat and humidity coupled with damage from
hurricanes, termites and the everyday wear and tear of 70 years of extensive use demands
our investment to bring back her beauty.
You have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to ensure that the beauty that is St. Sophia con-
tinues to be the beacon of Orthodoxy for the next century by investing in her renewal and
restoration. Even though we have raised a significant portion of the necessary funds, the
parish needs your help both in giving and in helping to raise the additional funds needed
to complete the entire project.
Interior Renovation Projects
Mold Removal and Interior Painting
Scaffolding and Painting $243,000
After years of high humidity issues, every wall of the interior of the
Cathedral, in addition to the dome will be stripped, filled, repaired,
caulked, sealed and primed to ensure that all surfaces match. All of the
existing sound system speakers will be removed, and any damage re-
paired. The cost estimate includes the scaffolding rental that is necessary
for all of the work on the dome, including the iconography, the paint-
ing, cleaning, and repairing of the chandeliers and costs associated with
some of the installation of the new sound system.
Iconography Restoration and New Icons
Damage from moisture and contact mold on the artwork in the
dome and on the walls adjacent to the altar, requires the icons
be removed, cleaned, and restored by qualified byzantine artists
We will also be adding new iconography to the church around the base
of the dome, and new icons of the Ascension, the Touching of Thomas
and of Pentecost over the Holy Altar.
Tile Replacement and Marble Installation
The floors of the Nave and Narthex will
be replaced with 24 x 24 inch Crema
Marsil Polished Marble.
These magnificent tiles will be installed
wall to wall in the narthex and Nave with
a beautiful center isle design in a Rojo
Alicante color leading from the Narthex
to the Solea.
The Altar, upper level and the choir loft
floors will be covered in a Kardian Washburn Colored LVT accom-
modating the thin variances of the altar floor and the terrazzo.
Projected Cost: $117,000
Replacement of Damaged and
Worn Episcopal Pews
After decades of heavy wear and termite
damage, it is time to replace the existing
pews with pews that will endure for a very
long time. The new pews, manufactured
of solid Northern Red Oak with a stained
finish, will have a traditional pew end with
Orthodox Cross, 2" thick.
Projected Cost: $118,000
Audio Presentation System
The 30-year-old existing sound system is not
capable of bringing the Church into the modern
era of communication. The new system will have
the benefit of being able to incorporate live
streaming services from the Cathedral. The inte-
rior architecture creates a difficult environment
for producing clear
sound heard through-
out the Church.
A state-of-the-art sound management sys-
tem will ensure a high-quality production
with the capacity for visiting priests, hier-
archs and other celebrants to have individu-
al wireless microphones.
We will also incorporate a state-of-the
-art video streaming system complete
with zoom cameras and remote acces-
sibility to enhance our online broad-
casts of services.
Projected Cost: $50,000
Installation of New Glass Doors
The glass doors that allow entry into the
sanctuary from the Narthex are too nar-
row and short to accommodate proces-
sions, including weddings, funerals, and
Good Friday's exit and re-entrance of the
Projected cost: $15,000
The future starts with the new generation and our future looks bri
Faith has been handed down from Christ to the Apostles and
With your help we continue to teach, to preach and to renew the
was left to us by our parents and grandparents.
ight! The Orthodox
d to the world.
Spiritual Home that
Cleaning and Repair of Chandeliers
The cleaning of dirt, de-
bris, and oil on all five of
the smaller chandeliers
and the large main chan-
delier in the sanctuary re-
quire a painstaking pro-
cess, carefully done to
avoid damaging the patina
and the crystals. There
will not be any polishing,
as the crystals will be
dried with high-pressure air. Damaged wiring will also be repaired.
Projected Cost: $20,000
Stained Glass Cleaning
We are very fortu-
nate to have some
of the most beauti-
ful stained glass
windows in Miami.
These pieces of art
created locally to
allow the natural
light to be trans-
formed as it enters
the Cathedral. By
cleaning and polishing the existing colorful panes, we will again
experience the transformation with the same intensity that our
— Projected Cost: $6,000
Beautiful Carved Pangaria will flank
the main entrance of the Narthex.
Projected Cost: $25,000
Exterior Power Washing and
Power washing and sealing the stone
will clean and protect, while new paint
will make the Cathedral’s exterior once
Projected Cost: $29,000
Projected Cost: Electrical Update
When the Cathedral was origi-
nally built, the hall and the
Church shared both a common
cooling system and electrical
boxes installed in the basement
of the cathedral.
To ensure safety and efficiency,
and to bring the buildings up to
code, the electrical system must
Handicapped and Weekday Restrooms
The existing bathrooms with showers at the back of the hall need to
renovated and adapted into accessible handicapped bathrooms. This
would also provide access to restrooms that we currently do not have
when school is in session.
Projected Cost: $55,000
Beautification of the Bell Tower Stairs
Replace the iron bars with a majestic wood
door that would surround the bell tower steps
and choir exit would enhance the appearance
of the front of the church.
Projected Cost: $20,000
A/C Replacement Phases 1 and 2
Completed Phase 1 Cost: $73,000
After many years of service, the old air-
conditioner was replaced by two 20-ton units.
This was phase one which has been working
wonderfully to cool and dry out the Nave.
Phase 2: $22,000
To complete the system we will add a smaller unit in the choir loft to fur-
ther enhance the system’s efficiency, remove additional humidity, and bring
more comfort to the Choir.
Terrazzo repair completed: $17,000
Giving Opportunities $100,000
Electrical overhaul $15,000
Scaffolding, Prep and Paint interior $17,500
New Narthex Doors $117,000
Pew Removal, Construction $37,000
Marble and Flooring $13,000
Sound System $30,000
Live Stream Camera System $25,000
1 Pantocrator $10,000
1 Icon of the Ascension $10,000
1 Icon of Pentecost $10,000
1 Icon of the Touching of Thomas $20,000
1 Border art around the lower Dome $6,000
Chandeliers Cleaning $6,000
Stain Glass Clean and Polish $15,000
Miscellaneous gold leaf restoration $118,000
5 Angels in the Dome, each $3,000 $25,000
76 Pews, each $1,550 $22,000
2 Pangaria, each $12,500 $55,000
Air conditioner Phase II $29,000
Handicapped Bathrooms $20,000
Exterior Painting $943,500
Bell Tower Door
History of the Parish of Saint Sophia in Miami
Saint Sophia, the Greek Orthodox Cathedral for the Southeast Florida
district, is a vibrant, Christ-centered parish in the heart of Miami that
provides for the sacramental needs of Orthodox Christians in the com-
munity and offers a host of outreach ministries. It also has a long his-
tory of religious, social, and cultural involvement in South Florida.
Many Greeks who arrived in the United States during the great wave of
immigration in the early 1900’s found their way to Florida.
The Greeks needed a church where they could worship and where their
children could learn the Greek Orthodox religion, language, customs,
and culture. On November 15, 1925, the first group of Greeks met to
legally establish a Greek Orthodox community. They pledged funds,
formed a committee, drafted a constitution to find a suitable church,
and purchased a small church located at 1501 N.E. 1st Avenue, which
served the needs of the community for the next 20 years.
As the community's needs grew, a decision was made in 1941 to pur-
chase a new site and construct a new church and community center. A
young architect was retained to design and supervise the construction
of the Byzantine church, and a community center, which was to house
an auditorium/gymnasium and several classrooms. The cornerstone of
the new church was laid on March 7, 1948, with His Grace Bishop
Germanos officiating. On August 15, 1949, the first church services
were held with His Eminence Archbishop Michael as celebrant, assisted
by Fr. Demosthenes Mekras. The community center was completed in
1952. The interior of the church was completed with the installation of
imported marble and mosaic icons as well as beautiful iconography —
making Saint Sophia one of the most beautiful and impressive Greek
Orthodox churches in the United States.
With God’s help and our Orthodox Faith, St. Sophia Cathedral will
continue to provide sacramental needs and spiritual guidance to all who
seek God’s Blessings. Your Sacrificial Gifts will continue the legacy of
a Cathedral built and maintained by love.