Cardinal Sanchez was born in Pandan, Catanduanes on March 17, 1920 and ordained priest in Naga City on May 12, 1946. He rose from Assistant Pastor, San Raphael Parish, Legazpi City to Vicar
General, Diocese of Legazpi to Auxiliary Bishop of Caceres to Bishop of Lucena to Archbishop of Nueva Segovia. He was appointed Secretary to the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples and
later as Prefect of Congregation for the Clergy on July 1, 1991.