Robert Fortune Sanchez
Robert Fortune Sanchez Died January 20, 2012. He is survived by his brothers Julius and wife Angeline, Rozier and wife Victoria, nieces and nephews, Julieann Nipp, Angela Baas, Patrick Sanchez, Robert Sanchez, Paul Sanchez, Mary Sanchez-Lanier, Carol Johansen, Robert E. Sanchez, Catherine Sanchez-Praiswater, Linda Vigil and 14 grand nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, Julius and Priscilla Fortune Sanchez. Born March 20, 1934 in Socorro, NM, Robert attended Mount Carmel School, played basketball, baseball and saxophone, Socorro HS (1948-49), St. Mary's HS, Phoenix, AZ (1949-50), Immaculate Heart of Mary Seminary in Santa Fe (1950-54) and the Pontifical North American College in Rome (1954-1960). On December 20, 1959 he was ordained in Rome. His first assignment was teacher, counselor and later assistant principal at St. Pius X HS, Albuquerque, and assistant pastor at Church of the Annunciation, Albuquerque. He attended Catholic University, Washington, D.C., for Canon Law studies. Father Sanchez' wish for a parish was granted in 1968 with assignment to St. Joseph, Mosquero, and Holy Family, Roy, and the care of 8 missions. In 1971 he was named pastor of historic San Felipe de Neri, Albuquerque, which needed repairs, and his involvement in preservation led to his interest in preservation of all historic churches. The episcopal ordination of Robert Fortune Sanchez as 10th Archbishop of Santa Fe was July 25, 1974 at the UNM Pit. He was the first New Mexico-born priest to become archbishop. He was a dedicated and much loved pastoral leader. During his first year as archbishop he visited 77 of the 99 parishes. His programs assisting Hispanics and historic church preservation are considered models. He established other ministries for native Americans as well as changing the name of La Conquistadora to Our Lady, Queen of Peace. Nationally Archbishop Sanchez served as chairman of the Bishops Committee for Hispanic Affairs and was appointed by Pope Paul II to the Vatican's Commission for Immigration Affairs. His resignation in 1993 was a sad occasion for the Archdiocese. Always Archbishop Sanchez reiterated his "love and blessings always" for the Archdiocese of Santa Fe, her priests, people and his family. Observances will be at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi, Santa Fe, with public visitation on Wednesday, January 25, at 11 a.m. until Rosary at 6 p.m. and visitation continuing at 7 p.m. Mass of Christian Burial will be Thursday, January 26, at 10 a.m. In lieu of flowers those wishing may make contributions to Robert Fortune Sanchez Memorial, Catholic Foundation, Archdiocese of Santa Fe, 4000 St. Joseph Place, NW, Albuquerque, NM 87120. Berardinelli Family Funeral Service 1399 Luisa Street, Santa Fe, NM 87505 (505)984-8600 Please sign our guestbook for the family at:

Published by Santa Fe New Mexican on Jan. 24, 2012.
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9 Entries
To us he was Bobby the compassionate Archbishop who made a difference to New Mexicans. May he forever be remembered as our Bishop and friend. Our condolences to Julius and Rozier and families. Dr.Ciriaco Gonzales and family of Maryland and Socorro.
Ciriaco Gonzales
January 26, 2012
Dearest Archbishop Sanchez: You have been and will continue to be missed by all of us who were blessed to have met you. I always enjoyed your eloquent sermons, speeches and conversations. Your presence made the Archdiocese of Santa Fe and the city of holy faith a special place with your humility, gentleness, and love for its people. I pray that you are now at peace in the Eternal Home of God our Father, Jesus our Brother, the Holy Spirit, Mary our Mother, all the angels and saints, and your family and friends who have passed before you. God bless you ~
Carmen Ortiz-Gonzales de Martinez and Family
January 26, 2012
The blessings of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you at this time. To know that the greatest gift to give is God's love is what Archbishop Sanchez gave to the end. This gift is so precious that few fully recognize it. We are ever so grateful for his presence in our lives and that gift of Love. Thank you for sharing him with us. May he rest in peace, Amen. Alfonso & Vioma , Santa Fe, NM
January 25, 2012
My thoughts and prayers go to Archbishop Sanchez's family. He was a great man. He will be dearly missed! God bless you all during this time.
Margaret H.
January 25, 2012
I am with you in SPIRIT in celebrating dear Robert F. Sanchez...son, brother, uncle, priest, Archbishop, mentor, FRIEND...BELOVED OF GOD!!!
My love and prayers always,
Sister Pat Marie Bernard,SC
Former Director Villa Therese Clinic
New Mexican at heart
Sister Pat Marie Bernard,SC
January 24, 2012
May God's Peace be with our Shepard Robert, and with his family.
January 24, 2012
Buster, Rozier and families. Our prayers are with you today. "Bobby" was an inspiration in our lives. We loved him dearly and will always remember him. God Bless You, Lala and Jean Fraissinet
January 24, 2012
Dear Sanchez Family:

Please accept my very sincerest and deepest condolences at the absence of your family member, Archbishop Robert!
He was an invaluable mentor and role-model for many of us that benefited from his tireless encouragement in our lives. He was there for me when I requested letters of recommendation, encouragement, and motiviation in my career.
To this end, he was present when I went through difficult seasons in my life.
I have been privelaged and honored to be a recipient of his friendship.
Truly, my life is immeasurably the better for his presence in it!
With the largest of prayers,
Deacon Don L. Contreras and Family.
Deacon Don Contreras, Ph.d. Contreras
January 24, 2012
We have lost a good Christian man who was a genuine servant.
Pete Duran
January 24, 2012
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