Cirilo Flores

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His Excellency The Most Reverend
Cirilo Flores
Bishop of San Diego
Bishop Flores of San Diego.jpg
Flores in 2013
See San Diego
Appointed January 4, 2012 (Coadjutor)
Installed September 18, 2013
Term ended September 6, 2014
Predecessor Robert Brom
Successor Robert W. McElroy
Ordination June 8, 1991
by Norman Francis McFarland
Consecration March 19, 2009
by Tod Brown
Personal details
Born (1948-06-20)June 20, 1948
Corona, California
Died September 6, 2014(2014-09-06) (aged 66)
Nazareth House, San Diego, CA
Nationality American
Denomination Roman Catholic Church
Previous post
Motto For the Greater Glory of God
Coat of arms {{{coat_of_arms_alt}}}
Styles of
Cirilo Flores
Mitre (plain).svg
Reference style The Most Reverend
Spoken style Your Excellency
Religious style Monsignor
Posthumous style not applicable

Cirilo B. Flores (June 20, 1948 – September 6, 2014) was an American prelate of the Roman Catholic Church who served as the bishop of the Diocese of San Diego in California, a position he held from September 18, 2013 until his death on September 6, 2014. He previously served as coadjutor bishop of San Diego from 2012 until 2013 and as auxiliary bishop of the Diocese of Orange from 2009 until 2012.

Early life[edit]

Cirilo Flores was born in Corona, California; one of six children, he has three brothers and two sisters.[1] His father was from Sinaloa, Mexico.[2] He attended the Corona Unified School District and St. Edward School. After graduating from Notre Dame High School in Riverside in 1966, he studied at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. In 1968 he entered the novitiate of the Society of Jesus, but left to pursue a legal career. He completed his Bachelor's degree at Loyola Marymount University in 1970. Flores later said, "I went in conflicted to begin with. I couldn't decide if I wanted to be a priest or a lawyer."[3]

He studied at Stanford University School of Law, earning his Juris Doctor in 1976. He then practiced in Southern California for ten years, focusing on business litigation.[4] He also worked at firms in Beverly Hills and Newport Beach. Feeling a returning call to the priesthood, he entered St. John's Seminary in Camarillo in 1986, receiving a Master of Divinity (M.Div.) degree, the prerequisite to presbyteral ordination.[5]


Flores was ordained a priest by Bishop Norman Francis McFarland on June 8, 1991.[6] Then-Father Flores served as parochial vicar at St. Barbara Parish in Santa Ana and at St. Joachim Parish in Costa Mesa.[5]

After briefly serving as the administrator of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Parish in Newport Beach, Flores became parochial vicar of Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish in La Habra in 1997. He was named pastor of St. Anne Parish in Santa Ana in July 2000, and later of St. Norbert Parish in Orange in September 2008.[5]

Flores was also a member of the Diocesan Finance Council, Clergy Personnel Board, and editorial board of the Orange diocesan newspaper, the "Orange County Catholic".[7]

Flores was a Commander of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem.

Episcopal career[edit]

Auxiliary Bishop of Orange[edit]

On January 5, 2009, Flores was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Orange and Titular Bishop of Quiza by Pope Benedict XVI.[6] He received his episcopal consecration on the following March 19 from Bishop Tod Brown, with Bishops Dominic Mai Luong and Norman McFarland serving as co-consecrators, at St. Columban Church in Garden Grove.[6] He selected as his episcopal motto: "For the Greater Glory of God."[8]

Coadjutor Bishop of San Diego[edit]

On January 4, 2012, the Apostolic Nuncio to the United States announced that Flores had been named the coadjutor bishop of the Diocese of San Diego in California, with immediate right of succession to San Diego bishop Robert Henry Brom, who reached his mandatory retirement age in 2013.[9]

Bishop of San Diego[edit]

On September 18, 2013, Pope Francis accepted the resignation of Bishop Brom, and Flores automatically succeeded him as bishop of San Diego.

On April 16, 2014, Bishop Flores suffered a stroke in his office at the Pastoral Center and was rushed to a hospital, where he was said to be "alert and in good spirits". Flores was expected to receive "treatment for a few days before his release," the diocese announced in a statement signed by Msgr. Steven Callahan, the vicar general. The statement asked for prayers for the bishop's "speedy and full recovery".

On September 4, 2014, it was reported that the bishop was suffering from aggressive cancer. He was not considered a good candidate for treatment and instead was receiving palliative care in San Diego.[10]

Bishop Flores died at 2:47 pm on September 6, 2014, at Nazareth House in San Diego. At his bedside were his cousin Dr. Tom Martinez, Msgr. Steven Callahan and Sisters of Nazareth.[11]


Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
José Guadalupe Torres Campos
Bishop of Quiza
Succeeded by
Genadijus Linas Vodopjanovas
Preceded by
Robert Henry Brom
Bishop of San Diego
Succeeded by
Robert W. McElroy