Methuen — Father George M. Dagher fell asleep in the Lord Thursday, November 8, 2012, having been visited and surrounded by family, members of his Basilian Salvatorian Religious Community, and loved ones. He was 92 years old and was ordained a priest for 69 years and lived in religious vows for 75 years.
Father George was born in Majdalouna, Lebanon. After completing seminary studies in Lebanon, he did his graduate studies in Sociology at London University, England. While in England from 1950 to 1961, Father served as Chaplain to people of the Eastern Rites in England and Wales.
In 1961 Father George was missioned to the United States and served as pastor at Saint Joseph Melkite Catholic Church in Lawrence, Massachusetts until 1972. He is remembered for building the new rectory as well as the Plains Community Center and introduced the Divine Liturgy completely in English. In 1974 Father Dagher was assigned to Saint Basil Seminary in Methuen, where he lived until his death. While at Saint Basil’s, Father George served in various capacities including Novice Master, Local Superior, and Regional Superior of the Basilian Salvatorian Order.
In his almost 40 years at Saint Basil’s, Father George helped countless people spiritually and emotionally through his counseling program. He was a religious adviser and mentor for the Massachusetts Marriage Encounter Program. He also greatly experienced the love and power and majesty of God in the outdoors. Father George planted a vegetable garden every year and planted many fruit and nut trees on the grounds of Saint Basil’s. He was also responsible for building the shrine to Our Lady of Tenderness on the grounds of the Seminary.
He is survived by his dear sister Mounira Bassil of France and was predeceased by his brothers Ibrahim, Wadieh, Fouad, Emile, and Bahjat Dagher. Father George has several nephews and nieces who live in Canada, Brazil, France, Dubai, and Lebanon. In the US his nephews and nieces are: Fouad Dagher and his wife Sarah of Methuen, MA; Ibrahim Dagher and his wife Rania of Pelham, NH; Alma Korbey and her husband John of York, ME; Nada Eid and her husband Nemer of Louisville, KY. His great nephews and nieces living in the US are: Adelle, Brendan, Andrew, Maria, Lily, Emile, Samer, Gabi, Bahjat, Brandon, Christopher, Mark, Ryan, and Sabine.