Press Release — Hellenic Orthodox Community of Astoria
May 3, 2023
The Hellenic Orthodox Community of Astoria, comprised of the Cathedral of St. Demetrios and Sts. Catherine and George Church ("St. Demetrios"), and the Archdiocesan District of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America (the "Archdiocesan District) have previously announced that there are numerous issues that have caused St. Demetrios significant financial harm over the past several years. As part of the process to address these issues, the parties jointly agreed to engage independent financial consultants to review the books and records of our parish including the school and the construction project of the mixed use day care center and rental units. The costs of the financial consultants are being paid for by the Archdiocesan District. The financial review is ongoing and the results will be shared when completed. There are numerous factors that led to the current financial condition of St. Demetrios so the development of a comprehensive plan to address these issues is underway.
The Archdiocesan District has already taken a number of steps to address these identified issues and to further support our parish. We wish to stress that the Archdiocesan District has not taken these steps for its own benefit, but rather to ensure our parish has optimal future operations. The steps taken by the Archdiocesan District include: (1) advancing the salary of one of our priests for many months; and (2) allowing St. Demetrios to not pay its Total Commitment to the Archdiocesan District for much of 2022 and 2023 due to its financial condition. In addition, the Archdiocese, in an unprecedented action, agreed to serve as a guarantor for a line of credit from its banking institution that will allow our parish to conduct its day-to-day business activities, including payments to employees and vendors. Financial oversight of the parish will also be provided by the Archdiocese. This assistance of the Archdiocesan District and the Archdiocese was of paramount importance, as was the need to have a reinvigorated parish council.
We ask all parishioners and members of our Hellenic Orthodox Community of Astoria to support this effort. Together, we can ensure that our historic parish continues to flourish for generations to come. We are truly grateful for His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros's Archpastoral love, and remain confident in the future of our beloved parish.