Fr Peter C. Sanders, 1953-2022

Fr Peter C. Sanders, Cong. Orat., S.T.L., in the Holy Spirit Chapel. Photo courtesy of New Pentecost Catholic Ministries / Facebook.

MONTEREY – On Friday, 2 December 2022, the Rev. Peter Charles Sanders, Cong. Orat., S.T.L., died at the age of 69.

Born on 28 May 1953, Fr Peter Sanders was a member of the Confederation of the Oratory of Saint Philip Neri and the director of New Pentecost Catholic Ministries.

According to a 8 December 2022 post on the New Pentecost Catholic Ministries‘ Facebook page, Fr Sanders “was recently diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease). Two months after his diagnosis the disease became so aggressive that he was taken to the hospital. It became too difficult for him to breathe, and early in the morning on December 2 at Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula, Fr Peter Sanders went to God“.

In 1984, Fr Sanders received a Master of Divinity in Theology, Sacred Scripture, Pastoral Theology, and Church History from the Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology in Berkley. In 1985, he received a Master of Arts in Religious Education from the University of San Francisco.

In 1987, Fr Sanders received a Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology from Santa Clara University, followed by a Licentiate in Sacred Theology (S.T.L.) from the Jesuit School of Theology Berkeley in 2000.

Since June of 1990, Fr Sanders was the rector, provost, and major superior of the Oratory of Saint Philip Neri in Monterey.

The Confederation of the Oratory of St. Philip Neri (Latin: Confoederatio Oratorii S. Philippi Nerii), also known as the “Oratorians”, is a society of apostolic life founded in 1564 by Saint Philip Neri († 1595). The confederation is made up of autonomous congregations of secular priests living in community under obedience but without vows.

The Oratorians were founded in the City of Monterey on Christmas Day of 1967. On dedicating its public oratory, the Most Rev. Harry A. Clinch, 1st Bishop of Monterey in California, gave it the name Holy Spirit Chapel… The chapel serves the diocese and beyond by being a center for the celebration of the sacraments, prayer, reflection on the word of God, and spiritual guidance. The priests of the Oratory, together with consecrated lay people, dedicate themselves to the purposes of the chapel under the spiritual mantle of the spirituality of St. Philip Neri. Originally, members studied for graduate degrees in religious education (catechesis) and served in the diocese as catechists. In addition to pursuing professional qualification as psychological counselors, they also served the local military community as chaplains.

The Oratorian community in Monterey also oversees the Monterey Newman Institute for Historical and Religious Studies. Named in honor of Blessed John Henry Newman, the institute is the largest theological library on the Central Coast. The Holy Spirit Chapel is also the principle seat of New Pentecost Catholic Ministries, a covenant of both clergy and lay leaders in several countries dedicated to service in healing, teaching, prayer, and evangelization ministries.

~ Geoffrey W.M.P. Lopes da Silva, Grace upon Grace: A History of the Diocese of Monterey in California (Éditions du Signe, 2017)

Visitation will be held on Monday, 12 December 2022, from 4pm until 5pm at The Paul Mortuary Chapel, 390 Lighthouse Avenue in Pacific Grove. A vigil service will take places on Monday, 12 December 2022 at 6pm.

Funeral Mass will be celebrated on Tuesday, 13 December 2022, at 10am at San Carlos Cathedral, 500 Church Street in Monterey.

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