NEW YORK – As 2018 comes to an end and we ring in the New Year with the best wishes for peace, health, and prosperity for all, The National Herald takes a look back at the stories that captivated our readers’ attention.
The articles on church issues were among the most closely followed this year, with the financial woes of the Greek Orthodox Church in America and the lack of progress at the St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church and National Shrine at the World Trade Center capturing TNH readers’ attention and concern. The articles also drew many comments online as well as Letters to the Editor.
One of the most popular stories was John A. Catsimatidis Calls on Archbishop Demetrios to Resign which drew thousands of hits online and many heated comments from TNH readers and subscribers. Some were angered by the billionaire’s open letter, while others applauded his point of view.
Another article that captured attention was Fr. Gerasimos Makris’ Mysterious Departure from Brooklyn’s Holy Cross. Fr. Makris’ subsequent return to Holy Cross also drew readers as did the response to his return from nuns who made allegations against him concerning improper behavior.
Concerns about the health of His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew drew readers to the article Patriarch Bartholomew Hospitalized in Constantinople, published in May. The hospitalization for dizziness was brief as Patriarch Bartholomew underwent some tests and returned home the next day.
The year’s most popular article was TNH’s 50 Wealthiest Greek-Americans 2017 List, published February 24 in the special issue and online shortly thereafter. As noted in the introduction to the list, Americans love rankings, and Greek-Americans are no different. Our annual 50 Wealthiest Greek-Americans edition is, year after year, our most popular special issue of all.
In the world of politics, Prof. Anthony Pappas Running for Congress and the eventual crash of his campaign was a top story, especially after the defeat of incumbent Congressman Joe Crowley by Democratic Socialist candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in the Democratic primary.
Clinging to a Rope in the Sea: Desperate Hours for Capsized Greek-Americans and Greek Coast Guard Hunts for Missing Greek-American Off Chios, both published in August, were also top stories of great interest to TNH readers especially with so many Greek-Americans visiting Greece in the summer.
Published in April, the article about Trezoros: The Lost Jews of Kastoria Airing on PBS, highlighted the deep interest in the historic Greek Jewish community.
Among the tragic news, Spiro Trataros Died Suddenly at Age 32, shocked family and friends of the promising young man with roots in Lemnos on his father’s side. Kind, dignified, good-hearted, with a sense of humor, always willing to help, and always with a smile, Trataros spent many of his summers on the island. Relatives and friends on Lemnos who could not make it to New York in time for the visitation on August 13, bid farewell to Trataros in their own special way. They chose to climb Kakavos, a mountain on the island located in the village of Thanos, to the chapel of Panagia Kavaviotissa where they honored the memory of the young Greek-American. May his memory be eternal.
In Greek community education news, the top story of the year was Stavros Niarchos Foundation Donates $25 Million to Astoria’s St. Demetrios Day School. The funds, which Andreas Dracopoulos, Stavros Niarchos Foundation Co-President, described as “not a donation, but an investment,” will go to bolster infrastructure, operations, and faculty personnel. To date, St. Demetrios School has received $500,000 of the pledged donation, which was used for improving specific infrastructure and also improving computer technology. The donation will undoubtedly inspire others to also invest in education and the community’s most precious resource, its children who are, of course, its future.