Fr. George Kaloudis Priest of 57 Years at Holy Trinity Chicago Speaks to TNH

Fr. George Kaloudis who has served at the Holy Trinity parish of Chicago for 57 years, holds the Greek flag along with Fr. Nicholas Jonas, the current presiding priest. (Photo provided by Fr. Nicholas Jonas)

BOSTON – Father George Kaloudis is priest emeritus of the Holy Trinity parish in Chicago after pastoring there for more than half a century –since 1961. In a telephone interview with The National Herald he offered his own views of the events unfolding at the parish. Replying to questions about what is going on at Holy Trinity – Presiding Priest Fr. Nicholas Jonas recently announced on Facebook that the nave and other buildings will be foreclosed on December 14, 2018– Fr. Kaloudis said “There is a small problem but I don’t think [foreclosure] is going to happen because we are in negotiations with the bank and we are trying to prevent it.”

Asked why things have progressed to this point, Fr. George said, “The community has become bankrupt. There are problems that will be resolved with discussionsand negotiations; the matter is very complicated.”

When we asked him why the church’s properties went into foreclosure, he said, “Because its members have spread out a lot; they have gone to the suburbs and we don’t have the income that we had in the past.”

According to Fr. Kaloudis the parish consists of between 75 and100 families and added, “It is not blossoming as it did in the past.”

Regarding the time frame of the occurrence of the financial problem, he said it began “two years ago.”

When we asked him if things were going well when he was the presiding priest,he said “Things were good. When I first arrived we did not have much money, but things got to a point where the community didn’t have any financial or ethical problems, I mean, nobody interfered or jumped in the middle of thingsto get the parish tangled in debt. Now the parish is in debt.”

Regarding the extent of the parish’s debt, he said, “I don’t know the amount, only the treasurer knows –it is about $12.0 million dollars.”

To the follow up question about what happened to the money, he said, “You know we had a school whichwas named the Socrates School. They took a lot of moneythat they spent and now they are called the Hellenic American Academy and it is not doing well at all, and we have an issue with them because they spent a lot of money. They scattered money here and there, spending on luxuries, etc.”

When asked who those people are, he said they were part of the wider community. “They are people of the community but most of them are not members of Holy Trinity. The community felt an obligation towards the Academy, so they divided up the chips – that’s what they spent. Spending without any logic, and now the community is a little confused about things, but not so much.”

Asked if the Socrates school, now named Hellenic American Academy– is a separate entity, Fr. George said, “Certainly it is separate.”When he was asked whether the parish is responsible for the loans taken out for the Socrates school, he underscored, “the parish is in debt for those loans.”

When asked if both he and Fr. Nick Jonas are salaried by the parish, he said, “Yes we are, but I don’t get the money that the current presiding priest gets. I get something for my living. But I am a responsible person. I also bring money in – but the money they give me is not as much as Ibring in.”

Regarding the questions whether a parish with 75 families needs two priests and why the parish appointed Fr. Nicholas Jonas, he said “Because we wanted a second priest. I amnow almost 83 years old and there should be a priest to continue after me. He is American born, we work together and we have understanding. I have no differences with Fr. Jonas. He is there for some things and I for others – I am of the old school.”

When we asked him how he feelsabout the community’s property being in foreclosure and that title will have to be deliveredto MB Financial Bank on December 14, Fr. Kaloudis said, “I feel that I have done all I could in my life, not that I failed – but I can’t even tell you how it ended up like this.”

6 Comments

  1. Why are they carrying the Greek flag? Are they in Greece or America?
    Apparently Greece. Maybe they can get Greece to help them? And don’t call the US military when you need liberation, call the Greek military with no money for bullets.

    1. Don’t you know? We are not the Church of Jesus Christ. We are the Church of the Divine Glory of the Hellenic Republic. Until we put our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ ahead of our fetish for everything Greek, we will continue to tilt at windmills and move no closer to our salvation.

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