- June 10, 1950 in Jerusalem, Palestine, youngest of four children born to Nicola and Badeah Dahdal, and was given the name Suheil.
Biography of Archpriest Father Nicholas Dahdal, Economos
Father Nicholas Dahdal, whose birth name is Suheil, was born on June 10, 1950 in Jerusalem, Palestine, the youngest of four children born to Nicola and Badeah Dahdal. His family comes from the town of Taybeh, near the city of Ramallah, where his grandfather was the Moukhtar (Mayor) for 56 years.
Father completed his primary and elementary education at the Greek Orthodox School in Taybeh and his secondary education at the Al-Ahlieh College in Ramallah. After teaching at the Greek Orthodox School in Ramallah for two years, Father came to the United States to further his education. Father received an Associate Degree from Beckley College, a Bachelor of Arts degree from Iona College and a graduate degree from St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary. In July 1977, Father was ordained to the Holy Diaconate by His Beatitude Patriarch Elias IV of Antioch and the entire East. On August 14, 1977, he was ordained to the Holy Priesthood by Bishop Elias, now Metropolitan of Hama, Syria.
Since his ordination, Father has served as the pastor of three parishes, Saint Michael in Greensburg, Pennsylvania, Saint George in Jacksonville, Florida and Saint George in Cicero, Illinois. He has achieved enormous success in all of his parishes and has earned the respect and admiration of the thousands of parishioners that he has served.
During his pastorate in Jacksonville, St. George prospered and was soon recognized as the leading parish of the South. Father was inspirational in more than tripling the membership of the church as well as in the purchase of a five-acre site on which the current church resides. He founded the Jacksonville Arabic Festival (attended by more than 20,000 people every year) and was responsible for revitalizing the mission of Saint Nicholas in St. Petersburg, Florida.
Since 1986, Father has succeeded in strengthening all aspects of St. George of Cicero. Early on, he utilized his unparalleled leadership and people skills and devoted all of his energy to help unite the troubled and divided parish. He has undertaken projects geared for the spiritual uplifting of the parishioners and the enhancement of worship in the Church. He has directly overseen the construction of the Sunday school and the rebuilding and expansion of the Church facilities. His efforts have been concentrated on bringing the community together on a spiritual level while simultaneously strengthening the social bonds of the parish. Father Nicholas’ enthusiasm and persistence is seen throughout all of the activities of the parish’s organizations. He has earned the love and respect of the entire parish and is truly considered both a spiritual leader and friend by the parishioners of Saint George.
On July 24th, 2011, the Very Rev. Fr. Nicholas Dahdal was elevated to the rank of Economos by His Grace Bishop ANTOUN, Bishop of the Diocese of Miami and the Southeast.
Outside of his service as a priest, Father has devoted countless hours to raising awareness of the conflicts of the Middle East. Recognized by religious and civic leaders as an expert on the topic, Father has worked fervently to raise money for humanitarian groups and educate the public about the plight of the Palestinian people. He has spoken numerous times on radio and television and has written many articles seeking justice for the oppressed. Father has traveled numerous times to the Middle East in furtherance of his mission.
Father is blessed with an extraordinary family, including his wife Diane, three children, Michele (Nadim), Nicole and Michael (Lonnie), and two grandchildren, Marissa and Anthony.
Feel free to email Father Nicholas Dahdal at FrDahdal@gmail.org.