SAN DIEGO (CNS) — Bishop Cirilo B. Flores of San Diego died Sept. 6 of complications from prostate cancer. He was 66.
On Sept. 4, Bishop Flores had been transferred from the cancer center of the University of Southern California to Nazareth House in San Diego for hospice care.
The bishop’s prostate cancer was disclosed Aug. 25 by the diocese. Bishop Flores had been ailing since mid-April, when he suffered a stroke four days before Easter.
Funeral information for Bishop Flores was incomplete as of early Sept. 8.
Bishop Flores was one of the growing number of “late vocations” — men who had established careers in other fields before hearing the call to priesthood. He had spent one year in a seminary after graduating from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, spent a brief time teaching, then went to law school and spent 10 years as a lawyer before reconsidering a priestly vocation.
He re-entered the seminary in 1986 and was ordained to the priesthood in 1991 for the Diocese of Orange. In the Orange Diocese, Bishop Flores served as vicar for charities and as a member of the diocesan finance council, the bishop’s Council of Priests, the Priests Personnel Board and the editorial council of the Orange County Catholic diocesan newspaper.
He was appointed auxiliary bishop of Orange in 2009, spending nearly three years in the post before being appointed coadjutor bishop of San Diego in 2012.
When Bishop Robert H. Brom of San Diego turned 75 last year, Bishop Flores automatically succeeded him. However, Bishop Flores spent less than one year as diocesan bishop before he died.
Bishop Flores had served on the U.S. bishops’ subcommittees on Latin America and Hispanic Affairs. He also served on the board of Catholic Relief Services. For the California Conference of Catholic Bishops, he had been chairman of the Committee on Religious Liberty.
“It’s a great loss to all of us, and to everyone in the diocese,” said Rodrigo Valdivia, diocesan chancellor, to the San Diego Union-Tribune newspaper. He described Bishop Flores as open, gregarious and supportive of activities around the diocese.
Bishop Flores was born in Corona in 1948, which at that time was part of the relatively new San Diego Diocese that had been formed in 1936; Corona is now part of the Diocese of San Bernardino, which was created in 1978. He was confirmed by Bishop Charles F. Buddy, the diocese’s founding bishop.
He was the fifth bishop of San Diego, and its first Hispanic bishop.
At the time he succeeded Bishop Brom last year, Bishop Flores said he hoped to “continue to build on what is positive and strong in our diocese,” mentioning charitable outreach, faith formation, youth and young adult ministry, priestly and religious vocations, and cultural diversity, as areas of particular emphasis.
He praised the efforts of those who work to protect children, support marriage and promote respect for dignity of all human life, assuring them that they will have his support. He told the nearly 1 million Catholics in the diocese, “We have much of which to be proud as the Diocese of San Diego, and much work to do as disciples of Our Lord. Asking the intercession of Our Lady, let us pray that whatever we do will be always for the greater glory of God.”
In a time to build, CatholicPhilly.com connects people and communities
As society emerges from the loss and separation of the pandemic, CatholicPhilly.com works to strengthen the connections between people, families and communities every day by delivering the news people need to know about the Catholic Church, especially in the Philadelphia region, and the world in which we live.
By your donation in any amount, you join in our mission to inform, form in the Catholic faith and inspire the thousands of readers who visit every month.
Here is how you can help:
- A $100 gift allows us to present award-winning photos of Catholic life in our neighborhoods.
- A $50 gift enables us to cover a news event in a local parish, school or Catholic institution.
- A $20 gift lets us obtain solid faith formation resources that can deepen your spirituality and knowledge of the faith.
- A small, automated monthly donation means you can support us continually and easily.
Won't you consider making a gift today?
Please join in the church's vital mission of communications by offering a gift in whatever amount that you can ― a single gift of $40, $50, $100, or more, or a monthly donation. Your gift will strengthen the fabric of our entire Catholic community.
Make your donation by credit card here:
Or make your donation by check:
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103