Meet Fa­ther An­thony

Catron Courier - - Front Page - By Wilma Stan­ton

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.

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