Dear St. Augustine family,
Many of you if not all, may know that I am leaving soon to receive my Diploma in Anglican Studies at the Episcopal Seminary of the Southwest in Austin, Texas.
Is not a secret that I served as a Roman Catholic Priest for seven years after 11 years of preparation in Rome, Mexico and other countries. I was a very young man, at 19 years old starting my religious life, leaving my parents and my homeland.
I graduated from Philosophy on 2004 in Mexico, served in Argentina in Mission for a year, and graduated again from Theology in Rome on 2008. Finally, I was ordained on July 2011 in Rome, a whole roller coaster of studies seemingly to bring me to my complete life as a servant of God.
However, as the time passed, to me the missing part was the need to live the priestly ministry having a home and a family. When I realized the Episcopal Church had that option, I started to look for answers.
After a long time of reflection, meditation and prayer, under the guidance and inspiration of the Holy Spirit, on 2018, I met Bishop Morris Thompson, who opened the doors of the Episcopal Church to me. And from that point, my new story began surrounded by an amazing family, all of you!!; with the unconditional guidance from Father A.J. a great human being, leader and friend, full of conviction and faith.
My life in this community has been not too long, but very rich in knowledge and growth, since the Vestry, Fr. A.J., Bishop Thompson and Cannon Manning, have been open to offer the Mass in Spanish.
This has been a long journey, but one fruitful and also one of my personal dreams solidified. Since I started my life as a parishioner here at St. Augustin, I felt welcomed, appreciated and received by the most caring and opened community. Most of all, I feel touched for the way on how the spirituality and the sense of unity are practiced constantly. Now I know the feeling of having someone by your side, watching you grow, and someone who you would like to share your life with, someone to care for, to love, now it is different and makes sense to me.
I would like to express my deepest appreciation and thanks for the kindness you have shown to me during this time, for showing your love and support to us. Your prayers that are most highly value and needed. I feel that I am carrying the name of St. Augustine with me to Austin, and my dear family I hope I can make you very proud when I get back.
Thank you so much for your support, prayer and blessings.
Benjamin Sanchez is a Postulant for Holy Orders in the Episcopal Diocese of Louisiana sponsored by St. Augustine's. After one year of study at The Episcopal Seminary of the Southwest in Austin, TX, it is hoped that his orders will be received in the Episcopal Church and he will function as a priest in this Diocese. Please keep Benjamin, Paula, and Nicholas in your prayers during these days of formation and transition.