He is one of three auxiliary bishops that assist Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio in extending his presence to local communities. Sanchez also serves as the police-clergy liaison, and his work allows him to grow close relationships with the community he lives in.
For Sanchez, it is a top priority to interact with members of the parish.
“My energy really goes towards being present to people,” he said. “Pope Francis has a beautiful message about accompanying people and I hope that I am able to do that while I am here.”
In April of 2014 while in Italy, Sanchez met the pope, and while he only had short exchange with him, it left an indelible impression.
Speaking to the pope in Spanish, Sanchez said, ‘Thank you for your service to the universal church,” and the pope replied, “pray for me.” The simple conversation showed Sanchez the importance of interacting with people on a human level.
Sanchez works with other religious leaders to provide people with a way to connect despite their different faiths. He is currently working on organizing an interfaith service that invites worshippers from a variety of religions to pray together.
In April 2016, Sanchez will be making a pilgrimage to Rome.
“The people who come for the pilgrimage are so devoted, so it is a spiritual shot in the arm,” Sanchez said. “Being in the presence of the Holy Father is a wonderful experience.”