Cirilo Flores, auxiliary bishop of the Diocese in Orange County for the past three years, was named by Pope Benedict XVI as Diocese of San Diego’s coadjutor bishop, a move signaling that the former is in line to be the successor to current San Diego Bishop Robert Brom, upon his retirement.
“I thank our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, for this wonderful and challenging assignment and I extend my gratitude to Bishop Robert Brom, who has been most supportive and welcoming,” Bishop Flores said in a prepared statement by the Diocese of Orange. “I look forward to working with Bishop Brom and assisting him during this time of transition, which will be a time for me to learn about the local church of San Diego and Imperial counties.”
A Mass to officially welcome Bishop Flores to San Diego will be held on Feb. 13.
Bishop Flores comes to the Diocese of San Diego, which covers counties with a total population of 3.1 million and nearly 982,000 Catholics. Among the diocese’s nearly 100 local parishes is The Immaculata, located on the University of San Diego campus. The Immaculata was dedicated in 1959 by USD co-founder Bishop Francis Charles Buddy, who was the San Diego Diocese’s founding bishop.
Flores, 63, was born and raised in Corona and graduated from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles (BA), Stanford University Law School (JD) and St. John Seminary (Master’s of Divinity) in Camarillo, Calif. He practiced law for a decade before entering the seminary in 1986. He was ordained a priest in the Diocese of Orange on June 8, 1991.
After ordination, Flores served as paraochial vicar at St. Barbara Parish in Santa Ana, Calif., St. Joachim Parish in Costa Mesa, Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Parish in Newport Beach and Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish in La Habra. He was pastor for St. Anne Parish in Santa Ana and served as a member of the diocesan finance council and editorial board of the Orange County Catholic diocesan newspaper.
Pope Benedict appointed Flores as auxiliary bishop of Orange on Jan. 5, 2009 and he was ordained a bishop on March 19 of that year. Flores has served on the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ subcommittees on Latin America and Latino affairs. He is chairman of the California Conference of Catholic Bishops’ committee on religious liberty.
Brom, 73, has been bishop in San Diego since 1990, following his being named coadjutor bishop in 1989 for Bishop Leo Maher. Brom was ordained a priest of the Diocese of Winona, Minn., in 1963 and was appointed bishop of Duluth, Minn., in 1983.
— Inside USD staff