About Bishop Nicholas
Bishop Nicholas was born in Damascus, Syria, in January 1963 to an Antiochian Orthodox family. He attended the French Lycée Laïque elementary and middle school, and the Omia High School. For the first 18 years of his life, he attended the Antiochian Orthodox Patriarchal Cathedral of the Dormition of the Virgin Mary in Damascus.
In February 1981, Bishop Nicholas emigrated to the United States, where he began a course of study at Northeastern University. He earned several degrees, including Bachelor of Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering, Master of Science in Computer Engineering, and a Specialization Certificate in Object-Oriented Design, Architecture, and Coding. He has also attended many professional engineering conferences, as well as courses and conferences on psychology and human behavior.
Bishop Nicholas worked for nearly 20 years as a Computer Engineer at several companies in the Electronics Design Automation industry, such as ViewLogic Systems and Synopsys Co. He was also promoted to the highest technical ranks as a Lead Software Architect, Principal Software Engineer, and Software Engineering Manager. He represented his companies to many conferences in Sweden, France, England, Germany, Italy, and USA, and also served as a lecturer in Electronics Circuitry, Circuit Theory, and Digital Computers at the Wentworth Institute of Technology, Boston, MA.
Bishop Nicholas also holds a Master of Divinity degree, awarded with Highest Distinction, from studies undertaken between September 2002 to May 2005 at Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology in Brookline, Massachusetts. He speaks Arabic and English fluently. His second language in Syria was French, which he had used, along with Hebrew, Ancient Greek, New Testament Greek, and Modern Greek, to conduct research on theological subjects.
Bishop Nicholas was ordained to the Holy Diaconate by His Eminence Metropolitan Philip on April 23, 2004, and to the Holy Priesthood by His Grace Bishop Antoun on January 9, 2005. Upon graduating from Holy Cross Seminary, he was assigned by His Eminence Metropolitan Philip to St. Philip Antiochian Orthodox Church in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, where he served from August 2005 to December 2011. He was elevated to the dignity of Archimandrite by His Eminence Metropolitan Philip on February 14, 2010, and was consecrated to the bishopric as the Bishop of Brooklyn on December 11, 2011 at the Church of the Dormition of the Theotokos in the Patriarchal Monastery of Our Lady of Balamand, Balamand, Lebanon. Bishop Nicholas has visited Mount Athos several times for contemplation and spiritual rejuvenation.
Starting December 2011, Bishop Nicholas has been residing at the Archdiocese Headquarters in Englewood, NJ, serving as the Bishop of Brooklyn, managing the Diocese of New York and Washington, DC, and being the Assistant of Metropolitan Philip. At the Archdiocese Headquarters, Bishop Nicholas has been performing numerous tasks:
- Chairman of the Archdiocesan Ordination Review Board
- Overseer of the Department of Clergy Insurance and Benefits
- Overseer of the Department of Missions and Evangelism
- Overseer of the Department of Internet Ministry
- Overseer of the Department of Publications
- Advisor to the Symposium Committee
- Serving on the Archdiocesan Finance Committee of the Department of Finance
- Directly responsible for all seminarians, their assignment to, and their performance at their respective parishes
- Responsible for making recommendations to the Metropolitan regarding clergy appointments and transfers
- Representative of the Metropolitan at various Archdiocesan and external events
- Bishop of the Diocese of New York and Washington, DC
- Responsible for reviewing and recommending approval of amended parish constitutions
- Managing the Archdiocesan office at Headquarters while the Metropolitan is away
- Managing and resolving Archdiocesan problems/issues on behalf of the Metropolitan (i.e. problems between clergy and parish councils or parishioners)
- Participating in the Local Synod meetings and Archdiocesan Board of Trustees Meetings
- Performing various translations for the Metropolitan to/from the Arabic, English, and French languages
- Holding spiritual retreats for adults, teenagers, and children
- Spiritual Father of the Convent of St. Thekla, Glenville, PA
Since January, Bishop Nicholas has been given the task of reviewing and approving all Archdiocesan and Diocesan invoices. Since early March, Bishop Nicholas has been taking care of all Metropolitan Philip’s correspondence.
Bishop Nicholas plans to complete, by the year 2016, the Doctor of Ministry program at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. His name day is December 6 (St. Nicholas the Wonderworker).