The Very Rev. Esequiel Sanchez was born in Chicago of Mexican Immigrant parents from Durango, Mexico. He is 4 of 7 kids in his family. He attended Chicago public schools and graduated from Curie High School. As he was working on completing his bachelor’s degree in Electronics Engineering from DeVry Institute of Technology when he found his real calling and entered the Catholic Seminary of the Archdiocese of Chicago where he earned a bachelor’s degree in Social Psychology. He then moved on to complete his graduate degree at the University of St. Mary of the Lake where he earned a Master’s in Divinity and an STB in Systematic Theology. He was ordained a priest in 1995 where he celebrated his first Mass at his home parish- St. Agnes of Bohemia Church.
His first assignment was to be the Associate Pastor of Our Lady of Grace parish from 1995-1998. He then was named Director of the Office for Hispanic Catholics of the Archdiocese of Chicago, where he served with distinction until 2004. He was founder and supporter of various initiatives within the Archdiocese e.g. establishing a sister diocese relationship with the Archdiocese of Mexico City, Organized a Diocesan wide Pilgrimage to the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe, developed leadership opportunities for Spanish speaking clergy, and organized the first Noche de Gala Hispanic Ministry Awards Banquet, which continues to recognize the great talent in ministry that is fostered in Chicago. During this time, he was also assigned as Administrator of St. Mark Catholic Church and the Pastor for Holy Trinity Croatian Church in Pilsen. At the end of his term, he returned to continue his studies in Systematic Theology in 2004 after, in which he was appointed to be Pastor of Mary Queen of Heaven in Cicero until 2011. Fr. Sanchez took a sabbatical after which he was named Pastor of St. Bede the Venerable Church on Chicago’s south side. There he was dedicated to reviving Catholic Education for the Hispanic community. In March of 2016 Cardinal Blase Cupich named him Rector of the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Des Plaines, IL where he currently serves, a ministry that serves over 400 thousand pilgrims for the December 12th Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe.
Fr. Sanchez has served in various other capacities, e.g., the Cardinal’s Administrative Council, the Archdiocesan Presbyteral Council. He served as Vice-Chair of the Archdiocesan Priest Placement Board, and the Archdiocesan Priest Sabbatical Board. He is Dean of Deanery F, Vic I that oversees nine parishes in northern Cook County and a member of the Vocations Committee for the Archdiocese of Chicago.
Fr. Sanchez’s efforts outside the Archdiocese has garnered some acclaim, specifically, Vice-President of ANSH (National Association of Latino Priests). He has served as Board member of the Cabrini Green Legal Aid Clinic and is currently a board member of Ascension Holy Family Hospital, CNLD (Coalición Nacional para-Latinos con Discapacidades) and chair of a developing new organization of “Dando La Mano.” In 2001, he was featured in and awarded the prestigious Crain’s Chicago Business Magazine on its “Top 40 under 40.” Fr. Sanchez is a Fellow of the Leadership Greater Chicago Program and is often cited as an accomplished leader in our community both by religious and civil leaders. He participated in specialized training in Advanced Pastoral Leadership offered by the Kellogg School of Management and the University of St. Mary of the Lake. In 2018 Fr. Sanchez receive the Illinois Secretary of State Humanitarian Award for his service to the community.