Meet Father Anthony
Catron County's newest Pastor is Father Anthony Dike (pronounced Dee-kee), who serves the Catholic Churches in Aragon, Datil, Glenwood and Reserve. He replaces Father Patrick Wedeking, who now serves the Catholic churches in the Shiprock area. Father Anthony, a 45year old priest from northeastern Nigeria came to this country five years ago on July 29, 2009, to the Diocese of Gallup, at the request of Bishop Olmstead of the Phoenix area. He then worked as a Pastoral Administrator at Our Lady of Guadalupe church in Holbrook. This was followed by becoming an Associate Priest at Sacred Heart Church in Farmington.
Father Anthony received all training in Nigeria. He is the fourth of six children, and is the first son. Father Anthony has a sister who is a nun and works in the United Kingdom. He lost his mother in 2003 and the rest of his family remains in Nigeria. While he misses his family a lot, he talks with them almost every day, using his cell phone.
Father Anthony has an extensive educational background. As a student in the seminary, he worked eight years in the seminary hospital. He majored in philosophy and theology in the seminary and was ordained a priest on July 25, 1998, at which time he became an associate pastor for some time. He also taught for two years and became pastor of St. Brendans for six years.
Father Anthony loves sports, especially running, which he did a lot, when he had the opportunity. He enjoys watching soccer and tennis on television. When asked about his preferences in food, he says that he prefers the foods of his country, which consists of a lot of rice, beans and plantains. In meats, he likes beef, chicken and especially goat. He likes his food very hot, preferring lots of Habanero peppers. He has tried the food from our country, but says he is still adjusting to it.
The climate in Nigeria is very warm, so he is not especially fond of our cold weather and snow. Driving has been a real challenge for him, as he has to drive to all four of his churches in all types of weather.
In talking with Father Anthony about Nigeria, I learned that there are over 300 tribes, each with its own language clothing and cap styles. He says you can tell what tribe someone is from by Looking at the hat, shirt and even the name. (In the picture, Father Anthony is wearing the shirt and cap from his tribe. The shirt has beautiful colors and the cap is red.)
Father Anthony has a great smile, a terrific singing voice and he is very personable. If you have the opportunity, get to know him, as it will enrich your life. We wish him good health and happiness during his time here.