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John Andrews (left) and Deacon Luis Sanchez (right)

Bishop Alberto Rojas has made two new appointments to diocesan leadership positions, both effective Sept. 7. John Andrews has been named Vice Chancellor for a term of three years, while Deacon Luis Sanchez has been named the Director of the Department of Ecclesial Services.

Andrews joins Maria Echeverria as the Diocese’s second Vice Chancellor and will continue his current ministry as Director of Communications and member of the Diocesan Curia. Deacon Sanchez was also appointed a member of the Diocesan Curia and will continue to serve as the Director of the Office for Deacons with some modifications.

Andrews said he was “stunned and humbled” when receiving the Bishop’s invitation to become Vice Chancellor. “I did not initially see how my skills, my gifts, could serve the position of Vice Chancellor, but I trust that God has something for me to contribute to the Diocese in this role at this time,” said Andrews.

Andrews has been the Director of Communications for the Diocese since August 2008. He has also served on the Diocesan Curia, the Bishop’s Senior Staff, the Public Policy Advisory Committee, the Diocesan Education Initiative and the Justice for Immigrants Committee and has been an instructor in the Diocese’s Building Intercultural Competencies for Ministers program.

The Vice Chancellor assists the Bishop and the Chancellor in leading the Diocese, acting as an advisor and right-hand man to the Bishop and Chancellor.

Andrews said he thinks that his background in communications will serve him well in his new role. “The pandemic has created a lot of stress and posed some real communication challenges between the Diocese and the parishes, between diocesan ministers and clergy; the isolation has made us less familiar each other’s realities.

“As a minister of communication, I have some ideas on how we can reconnect, how we can strengthen our dialogue and collaborate more fully again in building the Kingdom here in San Bernardino,” said Andrews.

Like Andrews, Deacon Sanchez said that receiving the news of his new position as Director of the Department of Ecclesial Services was a “humbling experience” for him. “I know that it’s a lot of responsibility. But I believe that, with the good team that’s here in the Department, it won’t be something that I cannot do. Everybody here works very hard and likes to collaborate,” said Deacon Sanchez.

He said he gets confidence from knowing that other Diocesan employees are always there to help each other. “At any time, I know I can go to other departments [in the Diocese] if I need help ... it makes you feel that this is a team,” said Deacon Sanchez.

Deacon Sanchez said that moving forward, some of his priorities will include a more focused ministry to the wives of deacons and being more proactive in promoting the Permanent Diaconate within the Diocese’s ethnic communities and within vicariates that have a shortage of deacons.