A very important member of the community died Dec. 22: Nicholas J. Bouras.
He was born in the United States of immigrant parents who seem to have profoundly influenced his life.
After working at U.S. Steel for 20 years, together with his late wife Anna, he created his own successful business in the same field.
The biography of Nicholas Bouras of blessed memory includes a special entry: he donated huge sums to the church, both his local parish, the Church of the Holy Trinity of Westfield, N.J., and to the Archdiocese. Indeed, the Archdiocese’s message in response to his passing made reference to “practical” significance of his contributions.
People in the know insist that Bouras paid the salaries of the staff of the Archdiocese on more than one occasion when it was unable to make its payroll.
We also note, for the sake of transparency and to express our gratitude, that he happily responded to The National Herald’s invitation to offer holiday greetings in its Christmas and Easter insert.
It is a pity that he did not also consider it necessary to fund the establishment of a daily school, in Manhattan or in New Jersey, where he lived.
It is clear, nevertheless, that he made significant philanthropic contributions to society at large and to the Greek-American community in particular.
Perhaps Bouras’ most important contributions, reflecting his character, were made anonymously. His death confronts us with a major issue, however, regarding the future of our Church:
The Archdiocese has based its economic survival on a very small group of wealthy members of the community. And that, apart from the other issues that has generated – and despite the undoubtedly good intentions of the donors – may constitute a ticking time bomb deep in its foundations.
It should be more than obvious that it is better for the church to be based on 100,000 “poor” people rather than on 10 very rich families.