A miracle just before Christmas: that’s what it will take to keep the Holy Trinity church in Belmont Craigin neighborhood open.
Ornate, warm and inviting, the Greek Orthodox house of worship has ministered to the Chicago community for 121 years.
"A lot of people started from here," Maria Rigas said. "They came from Greece."
Rigas is a long time member and the church’s secretary.
U.S. & World
She’s seen the church in its heyday and now, as the property heads into foreclosure.
"It was a loan that started accumulating," she said.
The church president, Stanley Andreakis, told NBC 5 by phone they're in need of a "Christmas miracle" to come up with $7.9 million.
"The auction date is set for Dec 14. We’re hoping that by some miracle we can come up with a substantial amount of money to settle with the bank," he said. The full 7.9 is not what they’re looking for but the judgment is for 7.9. So it is a Christmas miracle but there’s a lot of hard work."
A GoFundMe page has only raised a few thousand so far.
So the church is asking anyone who’s gotten married there, had a funeral, baptized a child, attended Socrates school, or mass, to remember their roots and give back.
"We want to keep the church going for more generations to come," Andreakis said.
On Dec. 13, the church will have a prayer service.