Devoted followers of Archbishop Emeritus Patricio “Patrick” Fernandez Flores, San Antonio’s fourth archbishop and the first Mexican-American bishop in the United States, will have the opportunity to celebrate his life and legacy with masses and a vigil at San Fernando Cathedral from noon until 10 p.m. Monday, Jan. 16. Services will resume Tuesday morning, with the funeral Mass set for 1 p.m.
All services will be open to the public.
Seating at San Fernando is limited, so a tent that can accommodate up to 1,000 people will be erected in Main Plaza, where video screens will simulcast the funeral mass.
“The length of the funeral is due to the outpouring of emotion and needing to allow opportunity for attendance for the most people possible,” said Jordan McMorrough, director of communications for the Archdiocese of San Antonio. The numerous events and services aim to accommodate the busy schedules of the people whose lives Flores touched during his tenure.
“The [funeral’s] length is really … extraordinary,” McMorrough added.
Funeral services are scheduled to begin Monday at 11:30 a.m. when the body of the former archbishop, who died Jan. 9, is taken to the Cathedral. At 12:05, Archbishop Gustavo García-Siller will read the Mass for the Dead and Cathedral Rector Fr. Victor Valdez will give the homily.
Visitation will follow from 1-6:30 p.m., with various groups praying rosaries on the half hour.
Msgr. Lawrence Stuebben, former archdiocesan vicar general, will conduct a vigil service at 7 p.m., and Fr. David Garcia, former cathedral rector and current director of the Spanish-colonial Missions, will give the homily.
Rosaries and visitations are planned to continue until 10 p.m.
Visitation will resume at 8 a.m. and continue until 11 a.m. Tuesday, when the Cathedral will close in preparation of the funeral Mass. Archbishop Gustavo will celebrate the Mass and give the homily. Fr. Lawrence Christian, vicar general, will express gratitude on behalf of the Archdiocese.
At 3 p.m., vehicles will proceed to San Fernando Cemetery II for the interment. The procession, traveling south on South Flores Street to Guadalupe Street, and west to the cemetery, will move slowly to allow people to pay final respects to Flores.
Archbishop Gustavo will preside at the rite of committal, and Msgr. Stuebben will provide the reflection.
Flores was one of nine children of illiterate migrant workers and served as archbishop in San Antonio from 1979 to 2004. He passed away Jan. 9 at his residence, Padua Place, a home for retired priests in need of medical assistance on the city’s near-Northside, after being hospitalized for pneumonia and congestive heart failure the week before. Flores’ legacy includes a number of leadership roles both in the church and in the greater community.
For a full schedule and more information on the forthcoming services, click here.