SAN ANTONIO – Archbishop Patricio Fernandez Flores, former archbishop of the San Antonio Roman Catholic archdiocese and the first Mexican-American to rise to bishop in the U.S. Catholic church, has died at the age of 87.
In a lengthy statement, the San Antonio archdiocese said Flores died Monday of pneumonia and congestive heart failure at a San Antonio assisted living center for retired priests.
Flores was born in the small Texas Coastal Plains farming town of Ganado. He was ordained in Galveston in 1956, became a bishop in 1970 and was appointed head of the El Paso Catholic diocese in 1978. He was appointed San Antonio's archbishop the following year and served until his retirement in 2004.