Lord, I never wanted to be separated from You.

Cardinal’s dying wish: More men would join priesthood

A news article by Philip C. Tubeza from the 
Philippine Daily Inquirer/ March 11, 2012

Having served as the Catholic Church’s point-man for diocesan priests around the world, the late Jose Cardinal Sanchez had one dying wish—that more men join the priesthood.

His nephew Manolo Sanchez said on Saturday that even on his deathbed, his uncle urged those close to him to make donations to help seminarians finish their schooling.

He was always praying for more priests. He would always say that. He said we should donate instead to those who wanted to become priests because when he was in the Vatican, he looked after priests around the world,” Manolo said.

Cardinal Sanchez served from 1991 to 1996 as prefect of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Clergy, the office in charge of diocesan priests and catechists.


P3-M trust fund

Manolo said the cardinal put up a P3-million trust fund in his home province of Catanduanes for those who want to become priests.

In our province, it is a matter of pride for every family to have at least one priest. It is an honor for us to send somebody through the priesthood,” Manolo said.

He said, ’I think it was God’s will that I become a priest.’ He came from an ordinary family and was sponsored by a bishop. When he first visited a seminary as a sacristan, he was wearing slippers. He would always talk about his humble beginnings,” Manolo said of his uncle.


‘Die a natural death’

Manolo said the cardinal had told his relatives that he wanted to “die a natural death.”

He gave specific instructions to us and the hospital that if he should pass out, we were not to revive him. He did not want those instruments put on him because he said they were not natural,” Manolo said.

He said he should also not be embalmed but we could not follow that because he would then have to be buried within 24 hours,” Manolo said.

He was prepared. He said, ’If I go, I don’t want to be a burden.’”

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