Archbishop Flores of San Antonio, First Hispanic Bishop in U.S., Dies

Archbishop Flores of San Antonio, First Hispanic Bishop in U.S., Dies

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Archbishop Flores of San Antonio, First Hispanic Bishop in U.S., Dies

SAN ANTONIO (CNS) – Retired Archbishop Patrick F. Flores, 87, the first Mexican-American bishop in the United States, died of pneumonia and congestive heart failure Jan. 9 at Padua Place Residence for retired priests in San Antonio. The bishop, who dropped out of school to be a migrant farmworker, was known for his support for farmworkers, Mexican-American civil rights and his love of his culture and heritage. Funeral arrangements were pending, but services will be held at San Fernando Cathedral in San Antonio. Los Angeles Archbishop Jose H. Gomez described Archbishop Flores as his good friend and mentor and “a pioneer and role model not only for me but also for a generation of Hispanic priests and Latino leaders.” He said the archbishop of San Antonio, who retired in 2004, “knew the struggles of Hispanics in this country, and he was a friend to the farmworker and a voice of conscience for dignity and human rights. He taught all of us to celebrate our heritage and traditions and encouraged us to share our faith and values proudly and to become leaders in our communities.”