Lowell’s Historic Holy Trinity Cuts Contribution to Archdiocese in Half

The historic Holy Trinity Church of Lowell, MA. (Photo by TNH/Theodoros Kalmoukos)

BOSTON, MA – The parish council of the historic Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church of Lowell, MA decided to cut its annual contribution to the Archdiocese in half, from $48,000 to $24,000. Only two members abstained from the unanimous vote. Also, the issue of $650 per month for the priest’s pension plan was discussed.

Holy Trinity is the only parish in New England that sustains a Greek Day School, and has for the past 108 years. But now the school has only 106 students enrolled, which includes Kindergarten, and less than 25 students are from the parish.

In December, the assembly voted closing down the school, but at the last minute gave it a one-year extension. Recently, the principal suddenly resigned. Fr. Nicholas Pelekoudas is the parish priest, and he is also supervisor of the Greek Education of the Metropolis of Boston.

Parish Council President George Kontos confirmed to The National Herald the reduction of funds for the Archdiocese and that he would provide a more extensive interview soon. In a subsequent telephone conversation, he told TNH that it would be a month, and declined at that point to comment further on the matter.

Fr. Nicholas Pelekoudas, presiding priest of the Holy Trinity parish. Shown are Fr. Tom Chininis from the Transfiguration parish in Lowell, George Christopoulos, and George Zaharoolis, former parish council presidents. (Photo by TNH/Theodoros Kalmoukos)

Community members told TNH that the parish is dwindling. One prominent member, who chose to remain anonymous, said the number of parishioners has dwindled to 595 after having consisted of 1200 families. The congregation on an average Sunday is between 60 and 100 people. Congregants told TNH that on the parish’s Feast Day of the Holy Spirit, only 40 people were in church.

The annual membership dues are $400 for families, $350 for individuals, and seniors pay whatever they can afford.

Lowell has two additional parishes: Transfiguration and St. George. About five miles away is the town of Drake, where there is the parish of the Dormition of the Mother of God.

At some point years ago, Lowell was a vibrant area in terms of Orthodoxy and Hellenism. The withering in recent years of parishes, some contend, is because of the behavior of the local hierarch of Boston, whom they say chased away volunteers, such as from the Transfiguration parish.

Hundreds of families have left the parishes generally and thus Lowell today is in a critical state.
As for Archbishop Demetrios, his presence in the Lowell area over the past 19 years has been virtually nonexistent.

9 Comments

  1. Perhaps every parish in the Archdiocese shoudl take notice . I have been advocating for some time now that every Parish in the Archdiocese should open special accounts to deposit their contributions into and withhold direct contributions to the Archdiocese until which time financial transparency and fiduciary accountability are established, at which time the funds held in these accounts can be released to the Archdiocese. Watch how fast change is effected if this ever comes to fruition…..

    1. Sadly I think the only thing that will get the attention of our greedy Metropolitans will be withholding funds. When the first class tickets to Greece and Turkey and the rest of the gravy train slows down perhaps they will take notice. No more money until we get transparency and accountability.

  2. Thank you National Herald and Mr. Kalmoukos for continuing to educate the communities at large.

  3. The metropolitans are chasing away good people. They need to go! We never had this problem until the patriarch decided to elevate the metropolitans to equal status of the archbishop. They are draining the donations from the parishes. Every day there’s more bad news how much can we take of this? I feel a lot of the problems started with the huge ST Nicholas budget at ground zero by choosing the wrong architect with a design that is so costly and excessive that it will never be completed.

  4. Only time will tell if Holy Trinity and its priest are treated the same way St. George in Lynn and its priest were treated when they objected to an increase in their annual assessment from $70,000 to $80,000. The parish and the priest were not allowed to participate in any church activities. Fr. George Tsoukalas could not participate in any services except in his parish of St. George. Other priests were barred from attending any service at St. George’s. Someone brought up the issue at a national clergy laity congress at a general assembly and he was told by the chair that he was out of order and to sit down. Of course the synod backed Metropolitan Methodios and the Metropolis of Boston. What if such an idea spread? What would happen if the gravy train ceased to produce gravy? It will be very interesting to see how this is handled, because, as in the Lynn community’s case, it is the laity that is objecting.

    1. Just as the fish rots from the head down, the rot in the Boston Metropolis began with Methodios and is infecting many parishes. If he is not replaced by a better leader with a Christ-centered heart, the parishes will start disappear. Imagine a bishop who announced the replacement of a popular priest in a letter while the bishop vacationed in the Greek islands??? Methodios is a disgrace.

  5. And when the phonies come at us with , “we will excommunicate you and your parish council unless…”, the answer should be , “we excommunicate you, we refuse your authority, like the early church, you need our assent to be governed by you and we now revoke that assent. We pay our priest and we will ask him to lead us.”

    Chew on that, Archie and Metros !

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