Christmas has come early this year to the Catholics of South Texas.
Pope Benedict has named the young (48), charismatic auxiliary bishop of Detroit, Daniel Flores, to be the next bishop of Brownsville, Texas
Daniel Ernest Flores was born in Palacios, Texas, August 28, 1961. He studied for the seminary at Holy Trinity Seminary at the University of Dallas, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in philosophy and a Master of Divinity degree with a specialty in theology. He was ordained for the Diocese of Corpus Christi, Texas, in 1988.
Assignments after ordination included vice chancellor of the diocese, 1988-1992, episcopal vicar for priestly formation, 1992-1997, chancellor of the diocese, 2000-2001, vice-rector of St. Mary’s Seminary, Houston 2002-2006, and adjunct professor of theology at the University of St. Thomas School of Theology in Houston (2001-2006).
Bishop Flores was named an auxiliary bishop of Detroit in 2006.
In addition to degrees earned before ordination, Bishop Flores also holds licentiate and doctoral degrees in theology from the University of St. Thomas in Urbe (Angelicum) in Rome.
At the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), Bishop Flores has served on the Task Force for Faith Formation and Sacramental Practice.
Another bishop appointed with a great deal of seminary and educational experience.
Look at the demographics of the diocese:
The Diocese of Brownsville has 4,226 square miles. It has a population of 1,170,776 people, with 995,160, or 85 per cent, of them Catholic.
A million Catholics - most of them of hispanic descent.
While studying in Detroit I was privileged to have a class with and get to know Bishop Flores. He is a brilliant and convivial man. He is also, in many ways - and I'm being completely serious - a dead ringer for Frank Sinatra (minus the Crooner's well-known moral failings, of course).
You can read Bishop Flores' farewell message to the Archdiocese of Detroit here
All of us in Detroit knew that we wouldn't be able to hold on to Bishop Flores for long, but I am sure we are all happy to see him given a challenging assignment which will make full use of his many talents. Our prayers are with him and the members of the diocese of Brownsville.
Labels: Catholic Church in America, hispanic americans, new bishops