Pope Benedict XVI appointed Bishop Cirilo B. Flores to help shepherd the Diocese of San Diego as a coadjutor bishop.
“I am delighted to know that my next home will be San Diego,” said Bishop Flores, who currently serves as the auxiliary bishop of the Diocese of Orange, California.
The appointment was announced on Jan. 4 by Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, the apostolic nuncio to the United States.
As coadjutor, Bishop Flores will assist and then automatically succeed the current bishop of San Diego, Bishop Robert H. Brom, upon his retirement.
At age 73, Bishop Brom has two years before he reaches the normal retirement age for bishops.
Rodrigo Valdivia, chancellor of the diocese, told CNA that Bishop Brom had requested an auxiliary bishop after Bishop Salvatore Cordileone, the diocese’s previous auxiliary, was appointed as bishop of Oakland in 2009.
In a Jan. 4 statement, Bishop Flores said that he was surprised by the appointment but welcomed the “wonderful and challenging assignment” before him.
Born on June 20, 1948 in Corona, Ca., Bishop Flores graduated with a bachelor’s degree from Loyola Marymount University, as well as a doctorate from Stanford University Law School. He practiced law for ten years before entering St. John’s Seminary in Camarillo, Ca., where he earned a masters of divinity.
After being ordained a priest for the Diocese of Orange on June 8, 1991, Bishop Flores served as pastor and parochial vicar of several parishes. He also held a position on the diocesan finance council and the editorial board of the diocesan newspaper.
He was appointed by Pope Benedict as auxiliary bishop of the Diocese of Orange on Jan. 5, 2009 and was ordained at St. Columban Church in Garden Grove, Ca. on March, 19, 2009.
During his time as auxiliary bishop, he served on the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Subcommittee on Latin America.
Although he will miss the Diocese of Orange where he has spent his entire priesthood, Bishop Flores said that he looks forward to meeting the people of his new diocese.
He noted that he anticipates working with and assisting Bishop Brom during the period of transition before the bishop’s retirement and that he will use this time to “learn about the local church of San Diego.”