SAN DIEGO (TheBlaze/AP) — The head of the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego has died.
The diocese says Bishop Cirilo Flores died Saturday in Mission Valley after a battle of cancer. He was 66.
Flores had been ailing since April 17 when he suffered a stroke, the U-T San Diego reported. While under treatment, he was diagnosed with prostate cancer.
“He had the common touch and people found him remarkably warm, like Pope Francis,” Hugh Largey, a leader with the local Knights of Columbus, a lay Catholic service organization, told U-T. “He had that engaging interest in people.”
Flores became the Diocese of San Diego's first Hispanic bishop nearly a year ago. The son of a Mexican immigrant, he began his administration by reaching out to homeless migrant workers.
A native of Corona, he received a bachelor's degree from Loyola Marymount University and a law degree from Stanford University.
He practiced law for a decade before being ordained in 1991 as a priest in the Diocese of Orange.