(CNN) – The first Mexican-American bishop in the United States died. Patrick Flores first became bishop in 1970 and touched many people during his four decade long career.
His travels and activism brought impact that was felt well beyond his archdiocese in San Antonio. “A very humble man of god;” San Antonio remembers former Archbishop Flores as a man of the people.
A woman, who did not want to be identified said he was someone who left a mark; “If you want to show how god can raise you up from any situation he was, he was living proof.”
Flores passed away on Tuesday after developing pneumonia and suffering heart failure. The woman said, “I was surprised but I knew that he had been in ill health for some time.”
The former Archbishop was staying at a retirement home for priests, he was previously hospitalized at Baptist Medical Center.
The loss is being felt throughout the Archdiocese of San Antonio. Archbishop Gustavo García-Siller said, “Was a man of charity and man of great endurance, and someone who loved especially the poor. He was kind and merciful.”
Flores retired back in 2005. He had served more than 20 years as Archbishop, being the first Mexican-American elevated to the position. From his travels to Cuba, Europe, to his support of various churches to assess needs, his timeline is rich in history.
Archbishop García-Siller said, “We are so blessed to have known him and to know his stories of stories as a man, as a Hispanic man and opened the road for many, including me.”
Even those without a personal connection said his achievements will always be remembered. He will be missed greatly
Archbishop Flores was well known as a fighter for civil rights and supporter of farm workers. Many will also remember him for his love of music, which he often displayed by breaking into song whenever a mariachi band was near.