Pope Francis names Bishop Flores of South Texas to synod preparatory commission

March 28, 2023

Pope Francis meets with members of the preparatory commission for the general assembly of the Synod of Bishops in the library of the Apostolic Palace at the Vatican March 16, 2023. Pictured to the left of the pope are: Cardinal Mario Grech, secretary-general of the Synod; Jesuit Father Giacomo Costa, commission coordinator; Bishop Daniel E. Flores of Brownsville, Texas; Father Dario Vitali; and Msgr. Tomasz Trafny. (CNS photo/Vatican Media)

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Mario Cardinal Grech, secretary-general of the Synod, has named Bishop Daniel E. Flores of Brownsville, Texas and six others to be members of the preparatory commission for the general assembly of the Synod of Bishops in October.

Bishop Flores served on the priest formation faculty at St. Mary’s Seminary and teaching faculty with the University of St. Thomas School of Theology from August 2001. Named vice-rector in June 2022, he served the seminary until September 2005, when he was named rector of Corpus Christi Cathedral in Corpus Christi, Texas.

According to the apostolic constitution for the synods, the secretary-general establishes the commission “for further exploration of the theme and for the redaction of any documents that may be issued prior to the Synod Assembly.”

The Vatican released the names of the seven commission members on March 15, the same day all seven were meeting with Cardinal Grech and with Jean-Claude Cardinal Hollerich of Luxembourg, general relator of the upcoming synod.

The theme Pope Francis chose for the Synod is: “For a Church that Journeys Together: Fellowship, Participation and Mission.” It will meet at the Vatican Oct. 4 to 29. A second assembly has been scheduled for October 2024.

Mercedarian Sister Shizue “Filo” Hirota from Tokyo, Japan, was the only woman named to the preparatory commission. She is a consultant for the Catholic Council for Justice and Peace of the Japanese bishops’ conference of Japan.

The other members are Jesuit Father Giacomo Costa, who will serve as coordinator; Archbishop Timothy Costelloe of Perth, president of the Australian bishops’ conference; Bishop Lucio A. Muandula of Xai-Xai, Mozambique; Father Dario Vitali, a professor of theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome; and Polish Monsignor Tomasz Trafny, a member of the synod secretariat staff, who will serve as secretary of the commission.