Chicago’s Holy Trinity Church Receives Judgment of Foreclosure

CHICAGO – As a result of burdensome economic and legal pressures, Chicago’s historic 121-year-old Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church has received a judgment of foreclosure.

The Church released a statement noting that on December 14, at 10:30 AM, the title of the property on Diversey Avenue must be delivered to MB Financial Bank.

The statement continues: “Our Church, together with the building that until a few years ago was Socrates School, will unjustly go into the hands of the bank.

Therefore, the evening before, Thursday, December 13, at 7 PM, a Paraclesis (Supplication) Service will be offered for our beloved home, our Holy Trinity at 6041 W. Diversey Ave. in Chicago, IL.

We plead that all of our members, past and present…

All of our friends…

All of those who were baptized and married here…

Those of you who prayed and attended Divine Services here, especially the Services of Holy Week and Pascha…

Those of you who studied at Socrates School and who took part in our various youth and athletic groups….

All of you…

Please come and offer up prayers to our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ through His All-Holy Mother…

Pray that the waves that have turned against us be ceased!”

26 Comments

  1. This should not come as a surprise to anyone. For 38 years, the Metropolis of Chicago suffered by a lack of leadership and a sycophantic culture, promoted by a weak Laity. The history of this once great Metropolis will indicate that between a “closeted” clergy and a severe Ephraimite influence caused Parishes to fail one by one. Keep your eyes open as there are about 10 Parishes that have serious financial issues. Several years ago it was the Appleton Wisconsin Parish that had to be sold due to a lack of adherents. The then Bishop could not wait to get on a plane and deliver a check for $100,000.00 to the St. Nicholas Shrine in New York. Truly we are watching a circus! Even our “clown college” is near financial death.

  2. Very sad news, indeed! The new and young Metropolitan has initiated investigative reforms, I’m not sure if they will go deep enough to uncover the abuses of the last four decades. This Metropolis needs real and fundamental renewal!

  3. The new Metropolitan is incompetent and should have never been made a bishop let alone a Metropolitan. He knows nothing about finances and helping parishes stay solvent.

  4. This is one milestone for Chicago, others will follow. Hundreds and hundreds of churches of all denominations are closing in America each year, just as in Europe where churches are just museums or restaurants with stained glass windows. The Greek Orthodox Church is in that vortex but it’s so-called leaders, clergy and lay, think that they will solve their problems by holding more awards dinners in NYC and having bigger Greek Festivals. They don’t get that America is finally done with religion thanks to Barack Obama and the tidal wave of socialist ideals he and his administration sowed into the fabric of our society and governance. The GOA is in big trouble at every level and no one has a plan to reform, right-size, and revive whatever is left. Meanwhile, Greece and the Patriarchate are on a different planet than our reality in the US. It’s like a nightmare from which we cannot awaken.

    1. “Our world has veered off from the true path God has prepared for us. People have lost their respect and love for our creator.” The Greeks are no different…
      The Greek Orthodox Church of America will continue to decline for three major reasons;
      1. Church is useless when we go out of obligation – which a lot of us do.
      2. Church offers no healing – no soul nourishment when it is not about Jesus Christ and only about money and gossip.
      3. Church is a waste of time when it is about the past and not about the present.

      We need to align ourselves with current winds that the Holy Spirit is bringing to us.

      Blessed holidays to all my brothers and sisters in Christ

  5. interesting they use the word “unjustly” anther PC mentality, they mismanaged their church and when the bank calls the note they becomes the victims, as Charlie Brown cried, “O good grief”

      1. Unfortunately, the lawsuit was unjust and directed by lawyers to initiate a 90 day stay on foreclosure that was going to happen in August. The 90 days are up and bank was tired of the antics this Church’s current administration has been pulling for the past 3 years. Numerous attempts to bail them out were rejected by this Parish’s council. At a recent meeting of their community the PC President told the members attending, less than 40, that although the defendant is a good man and has done so much in the Greek community, he was a prominent business man employed by a prestigious firm and is insured by them and personally. So if they can obtain a few dollars as a settlement to save the community, what harm is there? The harm of damaging the reputation on one ethical, hard working person who has dedicated his entire adult life to this community, Greek language and culture, Orthodoxy and be shat on, is a disgrace to everything our Church believes in. I am appalled that the hierarchy is allowing such frivolous lawsuit of a highly respected member of the Greek Orthodox community to save face of their own failures. SHAME. The defendant has given millions to those whom now turn their backs on them. SHAME that leaders of the church permitted this to go on for years. SHAME for not investigating the recent failures of their boards and issue sanctions.

  6. Please, Metropolitan Nathaniel is anything BUT incompetent. He has the unenviable duty of cleaning up a mess. I just wonder where the parish counsel of his historic parish has been and why it came to this without ringing alarms….

    1. Really George?! How about the allegation that the Metropolitan misused funds when he was working at the Archdiocese? That is a mess he created. We should be auditing his mess!

  7. The Metropolitan should investigate this and make changes in the Parish Council leadership…there is no reason for this to happen if financial foresight had been used. There are plenty of economists and budget people in this community who could have been called on to help and develop a plan to avoid this.

  8. We are deeply saddened to read about the imminent foreclosure of Holy Trinity in Chicago. Rather than respond with continued criticisms of why this crisis has happened and casting unfounded blame on Metropolitan Nathaniel, it would be more helpful to focus on realistic solutions and relevant decisions about the future of this historic church. Let’s begin with prayers for our faith and unity of purpose.

  9. Get your facts straight people. The church did not fail because it was the church’s fault. The note is being called in by the bank because the church was used as collateral to buy a piece of property and build a school, 20 miles away from the church. Yes, the people in charge at that time are the ones to blame. Even though they were “financial people” they couldn’t see that was a poor decision.

  10. Build a school? Who’s lamebrain idea was that? And 20 miles away from Chicago metro area? All the Greek-American schools in the country are seeing lower enrollment, along with HCHC. Who did the study and said this was feasible?

    1. This was the first Greek American school and has been historically acknowledged by all. In 2000 the school was left with only 54 students. By moving first to a Serbian community and later transitioning to Deerfield, the school tripled enrollment and had reached a break even point in 7.5 years of the 10 year plan it had. Until individuals began attempts to ruin it and started spreading false claims against it, their plan backfired and hurt them. The Church evicted the school from their building to sell it to some high bidder that failed. The risk taken hurt them. They had chances to reconcile but sided with greed. A year later, the school continues to progress. I give them credit for not giving up. Ironically, purely faith kept them alive.

  11. Chicago Greeks arrived in the 1880s fleeing the Komitatzides after the East Roumelia catastrophe. Ponticants like Bishop Nate are way too close to the Russians for their liking.

  12. Getting a loan is a classic American preacher fundraising tactic. Folks are more likely to donate if you present them with a huge debt instead of a funding goal. It was perfected by Oral Roberts in the 1970s.

  13. The whole story—-the late Iakovos Jr. (of blessed shame) , the Metropolis, the parish, the laity should be a sitcom entitled “The Stupid Hour”. The new guy needs to go on a diet and stop all the pastichio or he risks succeeding His Immenseness Fatangelo as the Biggest Metro with the Most Clogged Arteries.

  14. I am truly sorry for the parishioners. True many left the area but they still come back to their church.
    We do not know the real reason for this foreclosure. I’m sure there are many elements to the story. New school building? People moved away? Poor leadership? Bad financial planning? Sure all the above. It just saddens me that any church has to close for any reason. BUT it is becoming a reality of the United States. People want free things and that’s socialism. We are headed in that direction. Does that means churches will be the “new restaurant” “bar” “bank” or ”warehouse “? Hopefully not.
    New leadership is needed to save the orthodox faith.
    Amen.

  15. Why is this a surprise? Instead of a wise old cleric with experience to step in a deal with a crisis, our incompetent Patriarch Bartholomew gave us a yes man. He may be holy, he may be kind, but he is young and green and this shows his highest and best use is kissing Bartholomew’s ass. This is just the beginning of many similar messes to come.

  16. This mess has been going on for about 12 years, at least. Now they are calling for prayers so that they can keep their building? And people, do not blame the bank in this. They took collateral for a loan, a business transaction like thousands of others. The demographics did not support this church for a long time. Not unique to this religious brand. It is happening all over the country.

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