About Fr. Vitalis E. Anyanike
Father Vitalis Ejike Anyanike became our new pastor beginning July 1, 2021. He was born to Ignatius and Virginia Anyanike, a Nigerian family who relocated to the Unites States. With the family’s long history of Catholic faith, Father Vitalis pursued a vocation in the Catholic priesthood under the sponsorship of the Catholic Archdiocese of Omaha.
Father Vitalis obtained his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from St. John Vianney College Seminary and the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota. He then proceeded to graduate studies in Theology at Kenrick-Glennon Seminary in St. Louis, Missouri. He earned a degree in Philosophy, and two master’s degrees in Divinity and Theology. He also earned a postgraduate diploma in Educational Leadership at the University of St. Thomas. Father Vitalis speaks English and Igbo, and he is also able to celebrate Mass in Latin and Spanish.
Following his graduation from the seminary, Father Vitalis was ordained a priest on June 1, 2002, at Saint Cecilia Cathedral by Archbishop Elden Curtiss and incardinated into the Archdiocese of Omaha. His priestly vocation took him to several diverse parish communities in the Omaha Archdiocese. He has pastored in urban, rural, suburban, and inner-city parishes, each requiring a different skill set. He began his pastoral ministry as the Associate Pastor at St. Pius Parish, Omaha (2002-2005), followed by St. Columbkille Parish, Papillion (2005-2007). He then served as the Pastor of St. Rose of Lima, Hooper and St. Lawrence, Scribner from 2007-2011. In June 2011, he became the Pastor for St. Benedict the Moor and St. Therese of the Child Jesus Parishes, and the following year (2012) he also took on pastoring Holy Name Parish until June 2020.
Over a decade ago, Father Vitalis founded a Catholic religious order named Ad Gentes Missionaries. The Mission provides education and promotes cultural and interreligious relations along with evangelization with a focus on rural and inner-city communities. The Ad Gentes community of sisters, brothers and priests actively work in the United States and in the African countries of Burkina Faso, Cameroun and Nigeria.
Father Vitalis, or Father V, as some fondly call him loves being a priest and would not trade it for anything else. He feels blessed to be able to serve our communities here at Our Lady of Lourdes – St. Adalbert and St. Andrew Kim Taegon Community!