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Metropolis Council and Holy Trinity Parish Council Take Action to Secure a Future for Parishioners Amid Church Foreclosure

ELK GROVE VILLAGE, IL, May 23, 2019 – The Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Chicago and Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church of Chicago today announced a series of steps designed to raise awareness and appeal to the faithful of the Metropolis concerning the church’s ongoing bankruptcy proceeding.

The announcement follows a joint meeting between the Holy Trinity Parish Council and the Metropolis Council on the evening of May 13, where the parties met in the latest of a series of meetings to discuss and respond to the Bank’s decision to auction Church property. The Church property is collateral for a loan obtained twelve years ago to finance the relocation of the Church and her school. The joint meeting was originally scheduled a month earlier but was postponed due to a medical emergency.

“The idea that one of our parishes would lose her church home is profoundly upsetting to me. Numerous volunteers, clergy and I have invested and continue to invest, countless hours and Metropolis resources to assist Holy Trinity. Though the challenges are daunting, and the Metropolis ‘ powers are limited in secular matters like these, I am inspired by the selflessness and devotion of our faithful,” said His Eminence Metropolitan Nathanael. “I encourage the clergy and the laity of the Metropolis to extend their moral and fraternal support to their sister church and her members.”

Following the meeting, both the Holy Trinity Parish Council and the Metropolis Council determined the following steps:

  • Establish June 2, 2019 as “Pray with Holy Trinity Sunday” in which clergy leaders of all parishes in the Metropolis will appeal to the faithful to support Holy Trinity
  • Selection of June 2 for a General Assembly to inform parishioners about actions taken and planned contingencies for all possible scenarios
  • Continued day-to-day support of Holy Trinity by volunteer subject -matter experts of the Metropolis

Last week, the Bank extended the period for auction of the Chicago property by 90 days to September 3. Fr. Nicholas Jonas, Pastor of Holy Trinity, reacted to the decision.

“Who is so great a God as our God? You alone are the God who works wonders. By the grace of God alone, Fifth Third Bank has extended the June 7 auction date by three months. We are ever so grateful to them!” said Fr. Jonas.

Since His Eminence’s enthronement, the Metropolis accelerated efforts to help the parish plan for the future. In accordance with the Archdiocesan Uniform Parish Regulations, the Metropolis established an Ad Hoc Committee to address the core issues, engaged with Fr. Jonas and members of the Holy Trinity Parish Council on an ongoing basis, and supported the formulation of alternative plans for the future of the parish. All Holy Trinity parishioners are strongly encouraged to participate in the General Assembly meeting to be held on June 2. Details will be forthcoming from the parish. The Bank’s foreclosure action began in May 2015, and the Church filed a bankruptcy petition in December 2018. A timeline of events related to foreclosure action and Holy Trinity’s bankruptcy can be found here.

For More Information:

Chris Varones

About Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church

Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church was founded in 1897 and is one of the oldest Greek Orthodox churches in the Midwest. Based in the Belmont Cragin neighborhood, Holy Trinity is presided over by Fr. Nicholas W. Jonas and serves the Greek Orthodox faithful on the Chicago’s northwest side. For more information, visit

About the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Chicago

Tracing its roots back to 1923, the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Chicago is the diocese of Greek Orthodox faithful in Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin as well as northern Indiana and southeastern Missouri consisting of 58 parishes and two monastic communities . The Metropolis is one of nine regions in the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America and is presided over by His Eminence Metropolitan Nathanael. The general offices of the Metropolis are temporarily located in Elk Grove Village, Illinois. For more information, visit To sign up for news from the Metropolis, visit: .

Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church of Chicago Timeline of Events – Foreclosure and Bankruptcy Proceedings

1897 – The faithful in Chicago form the Parish of Holy Trinity Orthodox Church of Chicago {“Holy Trinity”). 1960’s and 1970’s – As a result of exercise of eminent domain, and through the acquisition of parcels of land over the years, a church is built and Haily Trinity relocates to 6041 West Diversey Avenue, Chicago, Illinois {“Chicago Property”).

2004 & 2006 – Holy Trinity acquires ownership of 1085 Lake Cook Road, Deerfield, Illinois (“Deerfield Property”) for the purpose of building a schooil (eventually known as the “Hellenic American Academy”) and moving its parish there . Holy Trinity finances the acquisition with a $3,100,000 Mortgage Loan, and later a $1,400,000 Junior Mortgage loan from North Community Bank. The loans are secured by {the collateral for the loan) a mortgage on the Deerfield Property and on the Chicago Property. At all times including May 2019, Holy Trinity, not the Academy Foundation, maintains ownership of the Chicago and Deerfield Properties.

2007 – Holy Trinity pays off the loans from North Community Bank and obtains new financing in the amount of $12,191 ,000 (“2007 Loan “) with MB Financial Bank NA (“Bank”). The HellenicAmerican Academy Foundation, NFP {“Academy Foundation”) guarantees the 2007 Loan. The Loan is secured by a mortgage upon the Chicago Property and the Deerfield Property.

2010 – The 2007 Loan is modified to reduce it to $6,910,466 from the original $12.1 minion Loan amount. Under the modified loan documents, the Academy Foundation becomes the Borrower and Holy Trinity becomes the Guarantor , but the Bank maintains its mortgage lien upon both the Chicago and Deerfield Properties.

2013 – 2014 – Beginning in 2013, the Bank makes demands for payment on the Loan, which go unsatisfied. In December, the Bank declares the 2007 Loan in default. Numerous attempts are made by the Academy Foundation and Holy Trinity to settle the default with the Bank but all settlement offers are rejected by the Bank.

2015 – In April, because the Academy Foundation, as the Borrower, was unable to pay the Loan, the Bank files a foreclos ure lawsuit (“Foreclosure Complaint”) after successive demands for full payment of the Loan go unsatisfied. The Foreclosure Complaint identifies a loan balance of $6,033,566.86 as of April 7, 2015, with interest accruing at the rate of $719.86. per day. The Foreclosure Complaint only seeks foreclosure of the Chicago Property and not the Deerfield Property; both properties having been pledged to the Bank by Holy Trinity as the guarantor of the Loan. In June, on the eve of the Circuit Court appointing a Receiver for the Chicago Property, Holy Trinity files a Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceeding in the Northern District of Illinois.

2016 – During the course of the bankruptcy proceeding, Holy Trinity files a Motion seeking to reject the purported lease of the Academy Foundation as well as its right of first refusal to purchase the Deerfield Property to enable Holy Trinity to sell the Deerfield Property unencumbered by any leasehold or other interests of the Academy Foundation. In turn, the Academy Foundation files an adversary proceeding in the bankruptcy case seeking a determination that its interests were paramount to both Holy Trinity and the Bank. Ultimately, the Bankruptcy Court rules that the Academy Foundation holds only a license to use the Deerfield Property which had terminated on June 15, 2016. Thereafter the Court approves the sale of the Deerfield Property to Gilbane Development for $5,400,000 and Holy Trinity obtains an eviction order against the Academy Foundation effective January 15, 2017.