Cardinal Adolfo Antonio Suárez Rivera, Archbishop emeritus of Monterrey (Mexico), was born on 9 January 1927 in San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas, the son of Adolfo Suárez Solórzano and Alicia Rivera de Suárez (both deceased). He has five brothers and sisters.
He studied classical literature for four years at the conciliar seminary of Chiapas in San Cristóbal de las Casas. He studied philosophy for a year at the archdiocesan seminary of Jalapa and then for three years at the Pontifical Seminary of Montezuma in Montezuma, New Mexico, USA. He then began four years of theological studies at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, where he received a doctorate in theology.
He was ordained a priest in Rome on 8 March 1952 in the chapel of the Pontifical Latin-American College.
In 1962 he studied catechetic at the Latin-American Catechetical Institute in Santiago, Chile.
At the diocesan seminary of San Cristóbal de las Casas in Chiapas he served for 10 years as spiritual director and professor, first of classical literature and then of philosophy. In the Archdiocesan Curia he was a department head and secretary for 10 years. He also carried out an intense lay apostolate: diocesan adviser to the Christian Family Movement and to Catholic Action (youth division). He was particularly active in the field of catechesis as diocesan director of the Catechetical Office, a post he held for six years. He was chaplain of Our Lady of Ransom Church in San Cristóbal de las Casas for five years. He was a founding member of the interdiocesan pastoral ministry group, the Union for Mutual Episcopal Aid (UMAE), for the postconciliar updating of priests (four years, full time, 1964-1968). He was parish priest of St Bartholomew's (Venustario Carranza, Chiapas) for four years (1968-1971).
On 14 May 1971 he was named Bishop of Tepic and was ordained on 15 August 1971.
On 8 May 1980 he was transferred to Tlalnepantla.
He was appointed Archbishop of Monterrey on 8 November 1983.
Archbishop emeritus of Monterrey, 25 January 2003.
Due to illness, Cardinal Suárez Rivera was unable to participate as elector in the conclave of April 2005.
Created and proclaimed Cardinal by John Paul II in the Consistory of 26 November 1994, of the Title of Nostra Signora di Guadalupe a Monte Mario (Our Lady of Guadalupe on Monte Mario).