SAN ANTONIO – Following are some quotes by San Antonio Archbishop Patrick Flores through the years. Flores died Monday of pneumonia and congestive heart failure. He was 87.
Sept. 11, 2002: Interfaith memorial service at the Basilica of the Little Flower
“God of perfect cause, violence and cruelty can have no part with you. May those who are at peace with one another hold fast to the good will that unites them; may those who are enemies forget their hatred and be healed. Awaken in our hearts the attributes you love best, and help us to be merciful, compassionate, forgiving, truthful, just, and patient with each other and with those around you. Let there be peace among us, among all peoples, changing the world one person at a time, one family at a time, one community at a time, one world. Make us worthy to be counted in the community of your beloved. May we rejoice in your mercy and praise you without end.”
May 31, 2002: Tribute to longtime assistant Jules Cappelli
“For many years while he was still working, he would come every afternoon and again on Saturdays and Sundays. He would go with me wherever I was going for one function or another. He would help me drive and then help me do whatever I was doing. This has continued during the course of the years until now, when he is celebrating his 80th birthday and I am celebrating 32 years of being in San Antonio. I feel that to some extent I have made it because Jules Cappelli has given me a helping hand every day.”
Oct. 1, 1993: Initiation of the Archbishop’s Appeal
“Once again I beg all of you to become participants in this annual drive, and I would encourage all of you to do the same. We know that not everyone can give everything, but everyone can give at least a little to make this campaign a success. This year we intend to support many wonderful and worthwhile projects. For example, Catholic television and radio, jail ministry, hospital ministry, the Catholic University of America, USCCB Communications. Locally, we want to continue with the programs for leadership development and to continue with our Bible studies and this year we hope to be able to buy land to build a facility at UTSA. More than 50 percent of the student body at UTSA is Roman Catholic. We need a facility where the apostolate directors can celebrate Mass and have classes with and for the Catholics at the University of Texas at San Antonio. These are a few of the many projects that will be helped, but in order to extend a helping hand into these areas I need your help. Be generous, may God love you."
Aug. 11, 1990: Upon return to San Antonio from a trip to Eastern Europe to assess church needs
“The churches have not had any kind of attention -- painting or cleaning. And while the churches are very solid, they look very depressing because they simply have not been attended to. The bishops are asking the new government to give them back their facilities. Well, the government is willing to, but the conditions of those facilities are so horrible that they can’t use them. A seminary that once houses 140 seminarians was occupied by the government for the soldiers for 45 years. It is now a horror and just an awful disgrace. The government wants the bishops to take it back, but they simply couldn’t use it. It would cost more to repair it than to replace it. Another problem is that because it is an old building the government doesn’t want it demolished. The bishops are telling the government that the building should be returned in the same condition in which it was taken from them. But the government says there is no money. The bishops are now getting candidates for the priesthood but they have no place to put them. And so that’s a big problem."
June 5, 1987: Comments on sixth anniversary of pastoral letter, “A New Pentecost: A Vision for the Archdiocese of San Antonio”
There are additional needs that have surfaced. One of these is for a more profound religious education at all levels. At one time we relied on educating the children, feeling that if the children got a good catechetical basis everything would be fine. Today we have to say that the child needs some help to help him live his childhood days, the teen-ager needs additional help because of the problems of the child are not necessarily those of the teenager. By the same token, the needs of a newlywed couple or a middle-ages couple are different from those of young people. So the church has to be alert to the needs of the people from the womb to the tomb. Now, perhaps, because of all that is being said which is opposite to our values, the church has to be attentive to a greater need for adult religious instruction."
April 1985: 15th anniversary of ordination as bishop supplement to Today’s Catholic
“If up to now I have been successful, it is because I was given the opportunity and the support I needed at crucial times during my life. No one can be successful without both the opportunity and the support of others. I give a lot of credit to the fine school teachers we had. They went as far as they were able to help us. They cared enough to lend us the books, trusted us to take care of them while we were away, and let us know they thought we were capable of doing the work.”
Oct. 5, 1983: World Synod of Bishops at Vatican City
“Today much is being said about the insignificant number from among the laity that is receiving reconciliation or penance. But it is not due in part to the fact that priests and religious are not receiving it either? Surely if we want Catholics to practice the virtue of reconciliation and penance, we the teachers-ministers must lead them, not only be word but by actions, not only by what we say they ought to do, but what they see us doing. It is an established fact that many priests are now receiving this sacrament only at long intervals if at all.”
Aug. 19, 1983: In preparation for the World Synod of Bishops at Vatican City
“I am president of the U.S. bishops’ Committee for Latin America. The Holy Father wants to discuss what we are doing to help economically and with personnel in those countries. He wants to see what are our priorities in helping there. Also, he wants to make recommendations about funding priorities. Interestingly enough while Central America is having many serious problems of oppression and persecution, it is nonetheless being blessed by God with many vocations to the priesthood. I feel that we could make no greater contribution than to assist in the formation of future priests.”
March 27, 1983: Holy Year procession at Holy Redeemer Church
“You are a beautiful sight! You have nothing to envy of Rome! Viva Jesus! Long live the Lord! Long live the Lord in our homes! Long live in the Lord in our country! Long live the Lord in the world! Viva Jesus, but above all in our hearts! Long live the Lord – Our Lord Jesus Christ, Savior and Redeemer!”
April 16, 1982: Singles Sunday in the archdiocese
“The single state is also a vocation which comes from the Lord. All of us must work together in building up the entire Body of Christ. I am confident that the many single Catholic people in the archdiocese will respond to this call and become more involved in the ministry of the Lord. I pray that all those now active in ministry in the church become more aware of the necessary and important ministry to single people.”
May 5,1970: Installation as an auxiliary bishop of San Antonio at the Convention Center Arena
“The church cannot remain neutral or passive since she is both the teacher and mother to all people. And as teacher and mother, the church wants all of her children treated with justice – and afforded their dignity befitting all sons of God. If minorities are seeking justice, the church need not be afraid to be present with them in their quest.”
Source: Archdiocese of San Antonio