POSTED: Tuesday, February 2, 2010 - 10:16am
UPDATED: Thursday, February 25, 2010 - 12:35pm
The Catholic Diocese of Brownsville named the new and only 6th Bishop to lead the congregation in the Valley, Bishop Daniel Flores.
It's the end of a 35 year-old era for Bishop Raymundo Pena as his young predecessor Bishop Daniel Flores gets ready to lead nearly 800,000 Catholics throughout the Rio Grande Valley. Valley residents were introduced to the new face of the Diocese in December when Bishop Pena announced his retirement. Bishop Flores is a Palaciso, Texas native and served as an Auxiliary Bishop for the Archdiocese of Detroit prior to his appoint here.
The United States Conference of Bishops calls Bishop Flores one of the youngest Bishops in the nation. Bishop Flores says he hopes to use his youth to his advantage in an area where the Catholic population keeps getting younger. Bishop Flores say there are many challenges that the Catholic church faces today, such as the lack of interest and the involvement by younger generations. He also sees how valuable family is to Valley Catholics and he hopes to focus on strengthening family unity as a way to strengthen the church. As Bishop of the Rio Grande Valley, Flores says he hopes to be a religious leader who will listen to people.
In light of the Haiti devastation that the people there are currently facing, Flores says God is a God that does not punish and now more than ever is the time for Catholics to reach out and help those in need.
Bishop Flores will lead 120 priests, 65 deacons and 175 religious brothers and sisters throughout the Valley. More than 2,500 people are expected at Tuesday's Installation Mass for Bishop Flores to witness the event. The mass will be at the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe of San Juan Del Valle from 6 to 8 in the evening.