Rev. Father Nicholas Dahdal
Father Nicholas Dahdal, was born Suheil, on June 10, 1950 in Jerusalem, Palestine, the youngest of four children. His family comes from the town of Taybeh, near the city of Ramallah, where his grandfather was the Moukhtar (Mayor) for 56 years.
After teaching at the Greek Orthodox School in Ramallah for two years, Father came to the United States to further his education. He received an Associate’s Degree from Beckley College, West Virginia, a Bachelor of Arts degree from Iona College, New Rochelle, NY. And finished his theological Study at St. Vladmir Seminary, in Crestwood, NY in 1977. Father was ordained to the Holy Diaconate by His Beatitude Patriarch Elias IV of Antioch and all the East on July 24, 1977. On August 14, 1977, he was ordained to the Holy Priesthood by Bishop Elia of blessed memory who later became Metropolitan of Hama, Syria. Since his ordination, Father has served as the pastor of two parishes, Saint George Antiochian Orthodox Church in Jacksonville, Florida and for the past 33 years, 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, and the admiration of his fellow priests and hierarchs.
Since 1986, Fr. Dahdal 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. 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 (the highest church rank for a married priest in the Antiochian tradition) by His Grace Bishop ANTOUN, Bishop of the Diocese of Miami and the Southeast.
In 1994 The Icon of the Virgin Mary on the Iconostasis mordaciously started to weep. The phenomenon was declared a miracle by His Eminence Metropolitan PHILIP of blessed memory, and hundreds of thousands of people came to venerate the Icon for the last 25 years. Fr. Nicholas made sure the icon is accessible to all who would like to come and receive its blessings.
In 2016, Fr. Dahdal embarked the iconography project which was done in 20018 by painting the life of the Virgin Mary on the ceiling of the church. The iconography of the ceiling was written by the hand a very devout Orthodox Iconographer Camille Rahhal of Lebanon.
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 four grandchildren, Marissa, and Anthony (Zayed) Nicholas, and Matthew (Dahdal)
Fr. Dahdal was awarded the Antonian Gold Medal of the Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese of North America.
In addition to the above Father held and supported:
a- Dean of Central States deanery.
b- Held the position of president of the Chicago Orthodox Clergy Association for 12 years.
c- President of the Council of Christian Muslim Religious leaders of Chicagoland.
4- Member of the board of directors of Noursat USA. A global religious Satellite TV station.
5- Member of the Advisory Council of the HCEF (Holy Land Ecumenical Foundation}.
6- The Order of St. Ignatius of Antioch Spiritual Advisor.
7- Hosted the Antiochian Archdiocese bi-annual conventions of 1999 and 2011.
8- Hosted three regional Parish life conferences.
9- The national director of OCCHY Orthodox Coalition for Healthy Youth.