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: www.berardinellifuneralhome.com
Published by Santa Fe New Mexican on Jan. 24, 2012.