US

1st Mexican-American to rise to Catholic bishop in US dies

  • FILE - In this Nov. 24, 2003, file photo, Archbishop Patricio Fernandez Flores is introduced before receiving his Spurs Championship ring during a ceremony at the Chancery office in San Antonio. Flores has died at the age of 87. In a lengthy statement, the San Antonio archdiocese said Flores died Monday, Jan. 9, 2017, of pneumonia and congestive heart failure at a San Antonio assisted living center for retired priests.(Nicole Fruge/The San Antonio Express-News via AP)

    FILE - In this Nov. 24, 2003, file photo, Archbishop Patricio Fernandez Flores is introduced before receiving his Spurs Championship ring during a ceremony at the Chancery office in San Antonio. Flores has died at the age of 87. In a lengthy statement, the San Antonio archdiocese said Flores died Monday, Jan. 9, 2017, of pneumonia and congestive heart failure at a San Antonio assisted living center for retired priests.(Nicole Fruge/The San Antonio Express-News via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this Sept 1987, file photo, Archbishop Patricio Fernandez Flores, front right, kneels and kisses Pope John Paul II's ring as the pope gets off an airplane at Kelly Air Force Base in San Antonio. Flores has died at the age of 87. In a lengthy statement, the San Antonio archdiocese said Flores died Monday, Jan. 9, 2017, of pneumonia and congestive heart failure at a San Antonio assisted living center for retired priests. (Robert McIeroy/The San Antonio Express-News via AP, File)

    FILE - In this Sept 1987, file photo, Archbishop Patricio Fernandez Flores, front right, kneels and kisses Pope John Paul II's ring as the pope gets off an airplane at Kelly Air Force Base in San Antonio. Flores has died at the age of 87. In a lengthy statement, the San Antonio archdiocese said Flores died Monday, Jan. 9, 2017, of pneumonia and congestive heart failure at a San Antonio assisted living center for retired priests. (Robert McIeroy/The San Antonio Express-News via AP, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this Oct. 14, 2010, file photo, the Most Rev. Archbishop Gustavo Garcia-Siller, left, and Bishop Oscar Cantu, right, listen as Archbishop Emeritus Patricio Flores, center, talks with them at Padua Place in San Antonio. Flores has died at the age of 87. In a lengthy statement, the San Antonio archdiocese said Flores died Monday, Jan. 9, 2017, of pneumonia and congestive heart failure at a San Antonio assisted living center for retired priests. (Jerry Lara/The San Antonio Express-News via AP, File)

    FILE - In this Oct. 14, 2010, file photo, the Most Rev. Archbishop Gustavo Garcia-Siller, left, and Bishop Oscar Cantu, right, listen as Archbishop Emeritus Patricio Flores, center, talks with them at Padua Place in San Antonio. Flores has died at the age of 87. In a lengthy statement, the San Antonio archdiocese said Flores died Monday, Jan. 9, 2017, of pneumonia and congestive heart failure at a San Antonio assisted living center for retired priests. (Jerry Lara/The San Antonio Express-News via AP, File)  (The Associated Press)

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.