"Where I am, there will my servant be" - Diaconate ordination of Titus Mary Sanchez, OP

North Texas Catholic
(Mar 26, 2024) Local

Deacon Titus receives the book of the Gospel

Deacon Titus Mary Sanchez, OP, who grew up in the Diocese of Fort Worth, receives the Book of the Gospel from the Most Reverend James Massa, auxiliary bishop of Brooklyn, at the Crypt Church of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C. Deacon Sanchez and six others were ordained to the transitional order of deacons for the Dominican Friars of the Province of St. Joseph on March 16, 2024. (courtesy photo)

WASHINGTON, DC — Deacon Titus Mary Sanchez, OP, recalls growing up being more preoccupied with Sunday football games than the events of Mass at St. Andrew Church in Fort Worth. But while attending Southern Methodist University, the young man, then known as Adam Sanchez, began feeling called to preach the Gospel. At a FOCUS Catholic trip in Alaska, he met a Dominican friar whose piety and masculinity embodied his own personal aspirations as a man and potential priest.

"[Fr. Bill] was humble, firm, and confident in the truths that our faith is founded upon,'" he recalled. "He was willing to take on unforeseen sacrifices for the sake of [these students]. He was this authentic, confident, masculine preacher of the Gospel who was devoted to the sacraments."

At the end of the trip, Fr. Bill invited him to consider life as a friar, not knowing holy orders were already in his heart. Sanchez made his decision soon after visiting the Dominican House of Studies in Washington, D.C., for a vocations weekend.

Now, seven years later, he and six fellow brothers were ordained into the transitional diaconate March 16 at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. They are preparing for ordination to the priesthood June 5, 2025.

At his ordination, Dcn. Sanchez found himself pondering John 12:26: "If anyone serves me, He must follow me; and where I am, there shall my servant be also ..." In Greek, the word 'servant' is the same word as 'deacon', he explained.

seven newly ordained deacons
Deacon Titus Mary Sanchez, OP, (far right) and six others were ordained transitional deacons on March 16, 2024. (courtesy photo)

Christ's deeper meaning then became apparent at that moment: "I looked upon the Lord on the cross in the processional crucifix. It was Jesus speaking from the cross, saying, 'Where I am, there will my servant be.'" He realized, "'Oh, you mean there, too.'"

Dcn. Sanchez has, in fact, given himself totally over. "I decided that pursuing the priesthood was worth my life," he said. "I've received a great, great gift from God and St. Dominic. I get to do this. I have vowed myself to be totally dedicated to teaching the Gospel so that people may believe and have eternal life and be saved."

Michael Sanchez, Dcn. Sanchez' father, loves to see his son speaking, especially with children back home at St. Andrew Catholic School. "He's filled with the Holy Spirit. He just lights a fire."

Dcn. Sanchez has already seen God working through him teaching RCIA, noting that "the output doesn't compute: The gap between what I'm causing and the conversion is the grace of God."

Through sacraments and Scripture, Dcn. Sanchez looks forward to completely becoming an instrument of God.

"The words of Christ are like arrows in the hands of a warrior," he explained. "They strike at the heart and cut where the archer wants them to cut. I pray and hope and ask God every day that He make me like an arrow in the hands of a mighty warrior. I pray every day that God use me and prepare me well to fly true and that He send me forth."

Deacon Titus Mary Sanchez, OP, Transitional deacon, Dominican, Diocese of Fort Worth, Adam Sanchez, trending-english