USD remembers San Diego Bishop Cirilo Flores

By Kendall Tich

Flores USE

The Mass of the Holy Spirit today will commemorate those who lost their lives on Sept. 11, 2001 as well as remember the recent passing of a spiritual influence on our campus. Bishop Cirilo Flores, an influential leader for Catholics in San Diego and at University of San Diego, passed away Saturday from prostate cancer.

Bishop Flores has been continuously supportive of USD throughout the years, attending important events at the Immaculata with those involved in our community. Flores suffered a stroke four days before Easter, April 17, at which time he was found to have an aggressive form of prostate cancer. After attacking the bishop’s bones, the cancer left him too weak to undergo chemotherapy, leading to his passing at Nazareth House in San Diego at 2:47 p.m.

Bishop Flores began his studies at Loyola Marymount University, where he spent a year in a seminary followed by a path to pursue education. He later attended Stanford Law School, after which he practiced law for 10 years. His real interest in holy orders came later, following the funeral of one of his close friends. There, he was asked why he had not yet embraced holy orders, leaving him compelled to change his path and pursue spirituality and religion.

In 1986, Flores entered St. John’s Seminary in Camarillo, leading him into the Catholic holy order. In 1991, he became ordained as a priest in the Diocese of Orange, where he served as a priest for 10 years. In 2009, he became an auxiliary bishop, and in 2012, he was appointed coadjutor bishop of San Diego. He was put into office of the bishop on Sept. 18, 2013, where he served until his recent passing.

His role in our community was an influential one, and he was well involved in the Catholic life here at USD. He attended various services and events held at the Immaculata and became a part of the spiritual community on campus. He touched the lives of Catholics around San Diego, and also the lives of many USD students.

The Mass of the Holy Spirit today at 12:15 p.m., will honor and remember him as a spiritual leader for the Catholic community in San Diego, as well as the community here at USD.