Chicago’s Holy Trinity Church Receives Judgment of Foreclosure

Holy Trinity Church in Chicago. Photo: holytrinitygocchicago.com.

ΒΟSΤΟΝ – The historic 121 year-old Greek Orthodox parish of Chicago has somnambulated into bankruptcy. As a result, the MB Financial Bank will take its nave, the school building and the rest of the premises on December 14, 2018 at 10:30 in the morning.

The sad story was broken on November 28, 2018 on Facebook by presiding priest Nicholas Jonas who was appointed to the parish a year and one half ago. Priest emeritus Fr. George Kaloudis has been serving at the parish for 57 years.

The National Herald immediately attempted to communicate with Metropolitan Nathanael of Chicago but he was out of the United States because he is a member of the Holy Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate and had to travel to Constantinople.

The Metropolis was closed when we called at 5:45 Boston time and the voice mail of Chancellor Archimandrite Chrysostomos Panos was full and we could not leave any message. Nathanael responded to our e-mail from Constantinople saying that he was abroad, and the following day, November 29, the Metropolis of Chicago issued an official News Release.

The news releases of both Fr. Nicholas Jonas and Metropolitan Nathanael follow.

Fr. Jonas News Release:
“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 the 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!”

Metropolitan Nathanael’s News Release:

“On November 29, 2018, the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Chicago made thefollowing statement:“The Metropolis is aware that Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church of Chicago will be auctioned on December 14 and finds the situation regrettable anddisappointing.

“Since his enthronement in March, His Eminence Metropolitan Nathanael hastreated Holy Trinity’s foreclosure as a top priority. Though it has limited power incivil matters like this one, the Metropolis has and continues to devotesubstantial time and resources in a good faith effort to find the best path forwardfor Holy Trinity.

“Regardless of the outcome of the auction on December 14, the Metropolis willcontinue to work with the parish, and if necessary, find a spiritual home forparishioners so worship, stewardship and the ministries of the Church continue inearnest. We ask the faithful of the Metropolis for their prayers and to remainmindful of the words of the Apostle Paul: “when one member suffers, all suffertogether” (1 Cor. 12:26).”

9 Comments

  1. No where is it listed how much money is owed the bank or how much needs to be raised to keep this church open. We can’t help if we don’t have any information.

  2. I look at the magnificent church in the photo. What a shame. And this is in a major metropolitan area, not in some rural place with a small handful of worshipers.

    In the cold, cruel world of the housing market, what value could this building have, except as a church? That might work to the advantage of the parish if the matter goes to auction. Maybe a parish member or friends of the parish could make a bid for it; perhaps even a nationwide fund could be created.

    Unless, of course, the site would be desired simply for the land itself, with the church being torn down.

    So sad…and the faithful nationwide will want to follow this story to get more information. Could this happen to more parishes?

      1. Has your anger actually reached the point whereby you are ready to see our churches fold up? Interesting.

  3. I am greek living in Bulgaria now but I know USA including Chicago and the Paulos Heights St Spirydon church that i attended over one lovely Holy Week. I was impressed by the priest and the move to remove the organ.

    How has this financial situation happened? Seems to be a pattern. Is it simply that the number of believers is reducing as no longer believe but the burden of church remained as was?
    I feel that greek Orthodoxy must put aside it’s triumphalism, in Greece too, and face reality.
    The Church does here in Bulgaria.

    1. Oh, there he goes again, Nikos Stone, the Komtatzis who deserves the Tsimiskes eye treatment. The Greeks who first came to Chicago fled the Bulgarians during the East Roumelia catastrophe. Impressed by removing the organ? Then let the Skotpozy Russians circumcise their women, too. This is exactly why thos eof us born here are leaving the church in droves.

  4. Father Kaloudis and his family ran this church into the ground. For years Father Kaloudis has consistently put his personal interests before the church and its parishioners. Father Kaloudis has milked this church into bankruptcy. Father Kaloudis, out of jealousy and spite, refused to talk to or have anything to do with Father Malamis who was very much liked by the people of Holy Trinity, ultimately running him out of Holy Trinity to preserve his hide. The Archdiocese needs to address priests who think the Church is there to serve them, rather than the priest is there to serve the Church. Father Kaloudis takes no responsibility for the fall of this church, and is actively engaged is a misinformation, and disinformation campaign to distract people from the true cause of the current state of affairs. Shameful!

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