Confidential documents shared with The Pappas Post that circulated amongst members of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America’s finance committee reveal that Holy Cross Seminary and Hellenic College have been operating under multi-million dollar deficits since 2015.
A report that was circulated entitled “Summary of Endowment & Cash Flow Activities” revealed that the 80-year-old institution that has trained hundreds of priests that have served the Archdiocese of America is operating at unsustainable levels, with almost $7.5 million borrowed for operating costs against the school’s $20 million endowment.
Although ambitious efforts to reduce costs and operate the school on a “break even” level in 2018 have been projected, the report states that this is not likely to take place due to “less that targeted enrollment, institutional giving below expectations, and the achievement of the detailed operating expense reduction plan in doubt.”
This scenario would force more borrowing against the endowment and risk the sustainability of the school.
The matter has been circulating amongst numerous officials charged with the viability and sustainability of the school and some even worry that given the dire financial situation, trustees might not accept a new class of incoming students, if that class isn’t able to graduate.
The Pappas Post confirmed the validity of the financial document that was circulated with two members of the Archdiocese Council finance committee who each asked to remain anonymous, given their sensitive role.
“This isn’t about being tattle tales,” one said. “It’s about letting people know that those that have been charged with running our most sacred institution haven’t been doing a good job.”
The second individual, upon confirming these documents, noted in a confidential email that “We all care about our Seminary and these problems must be made public because it’s the only way to shake up the current leadership in New York who have done a terrible job running the Church and its institutions.”
The news of the operating deficit at Holy Cross Greek Orthodox Seminary in Brookline, Massachusetts is the latest of a string of revelations about major financial problems at the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America based in New York City, including the raiding of restricted funds to cover operations and excessive spending by Archdiocese officials that resulted in more than two dozen employees being fired.
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Close the college, make it just a seminary again. That’s what would be best for the men who are going there to prepare themselves for a life of service to God.
It’s more than just men in Holy Cross, though. Females and non-seminarian males are studying to pursue a life of lay ministry to the Church, which is also very beneficial to the life and functionality of Churches around the world. It’s critical that more than just priests understand and study our theology.
It may not be my business because I’m a Roman Catholic, but I hope that you don’t close the school. In fact, I hope you don’t reduce the number of majors either, because at this time in our nation we need such a school to help nurture and represent our collective faith. If one were to believe in Satin, I’m sure he loves all of what’s happening to Hellenic College and the Archdiocese. Please come together as one and don’t allow yourselves to be divided.