by Patrick Healey ’17
These past two weeks on campus have been veiled with sadness for many students and faculty as Rev. Adrian G. Dabash, O.P., passed away at the age of 85 on Friday, January 27.
George James Dabash was born in Brooklyn, New York, on February 22, 1931 to Greek Melkite Catholic parents who were originally from Lebanon. Fr. Dabash attended the University of Virginia for one year before his five-year period of service in the U.S. Navy, where he specialized in aviation maintenance, from 1950 to 1955.
After spending two years studying at Fordham University and working in the Bronx, Fr. Dabash came to Providence College. He believed that PC would prove to be a special place for him, and he was certainly special to the College.
From 1957 to 1959, Fr. Dabash attended PC as a pre-ecclesiastic student. In 1960, Fr. Dabash entered the Novitiate of the Dominican Friars in Ohio, where he also received his religious name, Adrian.
In the early 1960s, after moving from Ohio, Fr. Dabash studied in Massachusetts at St. Stephen’s Priory, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and art and a master’s degree in philosophy. He then received a Ponitifical bachelor’s degree in theology in Washington, D.C., and was then assigned to begin his teaching career at PC in 1966, where he became a professor of art.
In 1971, Fr. Dabash was officially ordained as a priest at St. Pius V Church, which is right across the street from the College. He then left PC briefly to receive a master’s in theology and liturgy at St. John’s University in Minnesota, as well as a master’s in art, painting, and fine arts at the University of Dallas.
In 1974, Fr. Dabash came back to PC, having received many degrees through many different institutions, and proceeded to teach art and art history for over 30 years. He was specifically known for his design and sculpture classes, and was described as a gentle soul by people who knew him.
Fr. Dabash also served as assistant chaplain and chaplain in his years at PC, as well as being involved in and moderating various student clubs across campus. While he was extremely active and generous on campus, he also took his extensive knowledge and love for art to other places in Rhode Island, such as mental health facilities.
Fr. Dabash had been retired from his positions at PC for the last seven years, and his presence will be sorely missed. Fr. Dabash spent so much of his life making this campus a better place through his preaching and sharing of his passion for art with students and faculty alike. He was a beloved and long-standing member of the PC community and is remembered for his service to his country. While his passing surely saddens the campus, students and faculty might find solace in celebrating a life well lived and a spirit that will live on forever here at PC.