Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church receives Hierarchical dedication and blessing as the parish begins a new chapter in its spiritual life
Lombard, IL, December 20, 2023 – Nearly five years after foreclosure and bankruptcy proceedings created an uncertain future for a long-time faith community, parishioners of Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church gathered on Wednesday, December 20, to witness a Hierarchical dedication and blessing of their church by His Eminence Metropolitan Nathanael of Chicago.
Metropolitan Nathanael was joined by His Eminence Cardinal Cupich of the Archdiocese of Chicago; Fr. Robert Schultz of St. Beatrice Catholic Church; Mayor and Village President of Schiller Park Mr. Nick Caiafa; Schiller Park Director of Police Mr. Thomas Fragakis; His Grace Bishop Timothy of Hexamilion; and Archdeacon Vasilios Smith.
The ceremony follows the announcement by the parish in late September that it had successfully closed on the acquisition of property in Schiller Park, Illinois. Holy Trinity permanently occupies the location at 10050 Ivanhoe Ave. in Schiller Park, formerly the St. Maria Goretti Roman Catholic Church.
“Having finally reached this day, the joy of our parishioners is beyond words. We are truly blessed to have known the kindness and generosity of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese, the leadership and guidance of the Metropolitan Nathanael, and, above all, the deep and abiding faith of our parishioners who never lost hope throughout this tumultuous period for our parish,” said James Lakerdas, Parish Council President.
Following the resolution of the foreclosure and bankruptcy proceedings, parishioners, clergy, staff and volunteers vacated the church building at 6041 W. Diversey Avenue, Chicago in January 2020. Limited services with a small number of parishioners were held at a number of locations in the intervening months until the parish entered into an agreement with the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago for the lease and later the purchase of the St. Maria Goretti church campus.
“During this Advent season of hope, I am filled with joy to know that this parish, which was dear to many Catholics over several decades, will continue to be a place where Christ is encountered and the Gospel is proclaimed. May the unique gifts found in this community of faith assist in bringing Christians closer together in the unity that Christ desires for all of his disciples,” said Cardinal Cupich of the Archdiocese of Chicago.
“I continue to be deeply moved by the faith, hope, and love of the people of Holy Trinity over the last five years. I see this day as a sure sign that Christ, whose love for us endures forever, never abandons us—even in the hardest of times. I am also humbled and deeply indebted to Cardinal Blase Cupich and the Archdiocese of Chicago. Without such examples of Christian solidarity and friendship, this day would not have arrived,” said His Eminence Metropolitan Nathanael of Chicago.
At the ceremony, His Eminence Metropolitan Nathanael announced that the Metropolis of Chicago will collaborate with the Archdiocese of Chicago to establish a shrine to honor the legacy of St. Maria Goretti.
Approximately 130 families, or nearly 220 people, participate in liturgy, ministries, and programs at Holy Trinity. The parish continues to manage programs that support local food banks, organize clothing drives, and provide financial assistance to low-income residents in the area. For more information, visit: https://www.holytrinitychicago.com.
Timeline of Events from 2019-2023:
- December 29, 2019: The Holy Trinity parish holds its last Divine Liturgy at its Diversey Avenue campus.
- January 5, 2020: Parish begins holding services at the St. Lazarus cemetery chapel in Park Ridge.
- February 1, 2020: Parish begins search for new spiritual home.
- March 22, 2020: Due to COVID restrictions, parish moves services to Holy Transfiguration chapel at Elmwood Cemetery in River Grove.
- April 22, 2021: Parish leases the St. Maria Goretti campus in Schiller Park.
- October 2022: Parish begins negotiations for purchase of the St. Maria Goretti campus.
- May 1, 2023: Parish receives a full-time priest. Ministries and programs for Sunday school, athletics, women’s group expand.
- July 1, 2023: Parish raises more than a half-million dollars toward the cost of acquiring a permanent church location.
- September 22, 2023: Holy Trinity closes on the acquisition of the St. Maria Goretti Roman Catholic Church campus.
About the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Chicago
Tracing its roots back to the early 1920s, the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Chicago is the bishopric of Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, northern Indiana, and central Missouri, consisting of 58 parishes and two monastic communities. The Metropolis is one of nine eparchies in the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America and is presided over by His Eminence Metropolitan Nathanael of Chicago. The general offices of the Metropolis are temporarily located in Lombard, Illinois. For more information and to get involved, visit our website and/or sign up to receive Metropolis news. For further information, contact the Metropolis of Chicago at: email@example.com or 312-736-2280.