By ARTURO I. SANCHEZ
When I was asked to write this article, I thought to myself, “How in the world am I going to show the people of my Diocese who I am?” My answer: Just by being myself.
My parents, Arturo and Martha Sanchez, raised three children: Diana, myself, and the little one, Martha. Growing up, my parents worked to put food on the table, helped us with our homework, and nurtured us with their love. The five of us live in a loving environment with its difficult moments, like everyone else, but those moments of struggle brought us closer as a family. We’re not a perfect family and I guess that makes us normal.
-When did you first think about becoming a priest? I first thought of becoming a priest when I was eight years old in second grade. I was captivated by the Mass. That year, my teacher, Sister Andrien, was preparing us for our First Holy Communion and she taught us that the priest was Christ at the Last Supper.
-Did you have a priest you looked up to in your youth? Yes, many! Two great priests that helped me discern my vocation were Father Manuel Fragoso and Father Eduardo Romo. I’ve always admired them for the love and dedication they have for the Church. I thank them for their example and their continued inspiration!
-What do you envision your priesthood to be? God willing, my priesthood would revolve around Christ’s Priesthood and in serving the Church with all my heart, all my soul, and all my strength. All I want is to serve God and to carry out His Will in everything I do.
What is your greatest joy as you contemplate the priesthood?
I find great joy in thinking about helping people get closer to God; being a bridge for people to God.
What do you tell someone who is considering the priesthood?
First, I would thank him for even considering the priesthood. Then, I would tell him to grow deeper in love with Christ Jesus in the Holy Eucharist, in prayer, and in those around him. Also, I would remind him that when we are thinking about this sacred calling we must always have God’s Will in our minds and hearts.
-How do you relax? Do you have a favorite vacation and/or retreat spot? I simply relax by spending time with my seminarian brothers and sharing many laughs over a warm cup of coffee. I also tend to relax by reading a good book.
-Describe a good day at the seminary. A good day usually consists of starting with prayer and Mass, then going to class and learning new things, and finally spending time with my seminarian brothers. It’s pretty simple, but I can assure you that simple days like these are all you need—good friends, good moments, good God.
-Finish this sentence: It would surprise people to know I … really enjoy philosophy! I find the study of how humanity thinks to be intriguing. To grasp the ideas of those of ancient times and see their effect in our day and age is completely amazing! Philosophy for me is man trying to understand the world around him and in him, but at the same time searching for absolute truth—God.
On a final note, being a seminarian is both amazing and challenging. Therefore, I ask you to please keep us in your prayers and pray for more vocations to the Holy Priesthood. Thank you and God bless you.
Arturo I. Sanchez is a first-year college seminarian at Mount Angel Seminary in St. Benedict, Ore.