Father Nicholas Palis
Since 2006, Father Nicholas Palis has been our beloved spiritual pastor at Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Cathedral.
Father Palis was born in 1956 and raised in Rochester, NY, where he attended Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church. As a young boy, he first began thinking about the priesthood after a trip to the seminary sponsored by his church for the altar boys. Fr. Nick visited Greece every summer with his family and often camped out in Aegina. After graduating from high school, he attended Hellenic College in Brookline, MA. After graduation, he went to Greece on vacation and ended up enrolling in the Aristotelian School of Theology at the University of Thessaloniki, from which he graduated in 1983.
Fr. Nick then did post-graduate work on the "prayer of the heart" according to St. Gregory Palamas. He also counseled at Ionian Village in Greece. During this time, Fr. Nick also made many trips to Mt. Athos.Father met Fr. Paisios of blessed memory on a number of occasions in Greece. He also met Fr. Philotheos Zervakos exactly one year before his repose. Fr. Nick absolutely loves St.Phanourios, and at one time owed St. Phanourios 26 pites!
While in Greece, Fr. Nick was informed by Orthodox elders that it was his calling to return to America and tell people about Orthodoxy, monasticism and the saints. Father returned and worked at Sts. Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Washington, D.C. in 1983 as a chanter, secretary, Greek School teacher, and catechism teacher. Fr. Nick then moved on to Holy Trinity Cathedral in Camp Hill, PA as a chanter, lay assistant, youth director, Greek School teacher, and catechism teacher.
Father officially met Presvytera, then known as Irene Frangeskos, at an altar boy retreat in York, PA in 1986. Fr. Nick and Irene were married on Sunday September 27, 1987 at Annunciation Church in Lancaster, PA with Metropolitan Maximos officiating and 12 priests co-celebrating. Fr. Nick began work at Annunciation Church in August of that year, was ordained a deacon on June 17, 1989, and was ordained a priest on October 14, 1989 at Annunciation Church in Lancaster, PA. Fr. Nick was made a Father Confessor by Metropolitan Maximos in 1989. Father and Presvytera have been blessed with five beautiful children- Panayiota, Theodosios ,Evangelia, Emmanuel, and Nektaria Taxiarhia.
Fr. Nick was transferred to Kimisis Tis Theotokou Church in Aliquippa in July of 1993, and was later elevated there with the rank of Stavrophoros and Economos by Metropolitan Maximos. One reason the Palis family was excited about moving to Aliquippa was because of its closeness to the new Nativity of the Theotokos Greek Orthodox Monastery in Saxonburg, PA, where they have very strong ties
Father was on the initial committee to organize an Orthodox school in the Pittsburgh area. He was so excited when the Three Hierarchs Eastern Orthodox School opened, that he tried to enroll Evangelia in Kindergarten, despite the fact that she was already in first grade! Father has always believed in the importance of instructing the children about their faith; consequently, he always gives a children's sermon after the Gospel at each Sunday Liturgy..
Fr. Nick has many "favorite saints" and a deep love and respect for the saints and holy fathers of our church. He believes strongly in passing on their wisdom and has spent numerous hours researching and preparing for sermons and Bible Study classes. Because of his great respect for holy people, he has translated many works from Greek to English, including books, pamphlets, bulletins and magazine articles.Several of Father's translations have been published in the U.S. and overseas.
Father loves listening to the news from Greece and sometimes to the BBC on the shortwave radio [and now the internet]. During his years in Aliquippa - and now in Bethlehem - he often visits the homes of parishioners, particularly the homebound, to adust settings on their radios whenever the Greek radio stations would change frequencies. Father helps many homebound parishioners locate spiritually beneficial websites with services, children's programs, articles and speakers on their computer systems.
Since his assignment here in 2006, the Saint Nicholas Community in Bethlehem feels very fortunate - and certainly very blessed - to have a spritual leader like Father Nicholas Palis in our midst - as well as his wondeful Presvytera and family!