NEWS RELEASE: Richard Wall
The Rev. Michael A. Adeniji
The Rev. Michael Abayomi Adeniji, 45, a former parochial vicar at St. Mary's Cathedral in Cheyenne, died of a heart attack in Great Falls, Montana, on Saturday, October 20,, 2012. Father Michael was born April 27, 1967, in Nigeria but had been working at the time of his death as a chaplain for Benefis Health System in Great Falls.
Father Michael was stationed at Saint Leo in Lusk before coming to St. Mary's in 2008, where he served as Director of RCIA and also provided hospital and pastoral care to the sick. He is perhaps best remembered for his work at St. Mary's as Chaplain to the Calix Society, an organization that helps members of various 12-Step programs to deepen their appreciation for the God of Catholic understanding. While in Cheyenne, Father Michael was available to those in need 24 hours per day, seven days a week, Catholic and non-Catholic alike.
After leaving Cheyenne in 2010, Father Michael took advanced coursework in chaplaincy before moving to Montana.
Father Michael was ordained to the priesthood at St. Benedict Cathedral in Osogbo, Nigeria, on October 5, 1991. He served as Librarian and Acting Prefect at the Seminary of Saints Peter and Paul in Nigeria, where he also worked as an associate pastor and a chaplain to youth, charismatic groups and a Bible apostolate. Father Michael was also the Assistant Coordinator of the Justice, Development and Peace Commission of the Osogbo Diocese.
In addition to his seminary studies in Nigeria, Father Michael obtained a Bachelor of Theology and a Masters in Theology and Christian Ministry at the Franciscan University of Steubenville in Ohio. He also did graduate work at Fordham University in New York.
Father Michael's Requiem Mass will take place at 3 pm today at Holy Spirit Catholic Church in Great Falls, with the wake beginning one hour prior to the funeral Mass. Burial will take place at Ede Pastoral Center in Osogbo, Nigeria. Holy Mass in memory of Father Michael will also be offered in Cheyenne at a date to be announced later.
Survivors include his brothers, Anthony Adeniji of Mira Loma, Calif., the Rev. John Adeniji of Hisperia, Calif., and sisters Patricia Ojuolape of El Mirage, Ariz., Mary Taiwo and Elizabeth Oyinlola, both of Osogbo, Nigeria, and Rose Adeniji of Wardell, Ariz.