Joyful Missionary Disciples

Juanita Sanchez

Parish: Ste. Anne, Detroit

What does it mean to live out the Gospel?

Living out the Gospel is reaching out to those who need Jesus, so they can encounter His love. To me, being a disciples is my mission. To be a disciple is to get to know Jesus first, then share him with others.

Detroit — Juanita Sanchez is working to bring new life to an old parish. The oldest parish in the archdiocese, to be exact.

Since July 1, Sanchez has been the coordinator of catechesis, evangelization and worship at Ste. Anne de Detroit, after working as the parish secretary.

Sanchez felt motived to take the position to bring new life and new hope to the parish, established in 1701, and the surrounding southwest Detroit neighborhood.

Incorporating the faith with community service is big part of Sanchez’s plan for evangelization at the parish, including a new young adult ministry called “Corazon Puro,” Spanish for “Pure Heart.”

“We’re merging the young adult ministry into outreach with a program influenced by John of God,” Sanchez said. “It consists of having Mass and Holy Hour each month, then going out with sandwiches to feed the homeless.”

Sanchez is focused on taking Ste. Anne’s ministry outside the parish’s walls, starting with the plaza in front of the historic church, which she wants to turn into a meeting ground for the surrounding community.

“We’re doing something called ‘Aliento,’ similar to Encounter last year. We’re doing the first Tuesday of the month at 7 p.m.,” Sanchez said. “People are very thirsty, they want to be near Jesus, like water to quench a thirst. So we’re going to be out in the plaza, open to the neighborhood. We’ve had people walking around, looking at us praying and conversing and coming out to talk to us.”

—Dan Meloy