Deacon Eric Flores to be ordained a priest on May 18

North Texas Catholic
(May 2, 2024) Feature

Deacon Eric Flores shares a laugh with other deacons prior to the Chrism Mass on March 26, 2024 at St. Patrick Cathedral in Fort Worth. (NTC/Juan Guajardo)

Eric Flores was just 8 years old and a second grader at Our Lady of Victory Catholic School when thoughts of the priesthood began to bubble up in his impressionable mind.

“That priest has the coolest job in the world,” the youngster observed as he sat in front of the altar at St. Lawrence Church in San Antonio, about to make his first Communion.

The Fort Worth native is preparing for his May 18 ordination to the priesthood in St. Patrick Cathedral with prayer, reflection, and reading the Scriptures.

Deacon Eric Flores reads the Gospel during the ordination of Isaac McCracken to the transitional diaconate on March 19, 2023 at St. Maria Goretti Church in Arlington. (NTC/Juan Guajardo)

“I’m trying to get closer to Christ in that way,” said Deacon Flores, who received holy orders to the transitional diaconate last March. “I’ve been thinking a lot about my time in the seminary — what I’ve learned and taken away from that.”

A 2014 graduate of Nolan Catholic High School, the former Good Shepherd parishioner began to consider a religious vocation seriously as a freshman at Texas A&M-Kingsville. With the support of his parents, Homero Flores Jr. and Mary Regina Moore, he entered St. Joseph Seminary in 2015 and is now completing a master’s degree in divinity at the Assumption Seminary Oblate School of Theology in San Antonio.

As the date for his ordination approaches, the deacon is contemplating his future in sacred ministry.

“I hope to be the kind of priest that brings Christ to people and people to Christ,” he explained. “I want to show that Christ is at the center of everything and help those who don’t understand what their own relationship with Christ is like.”

One of his favorite prayers, St. Patrick’s Breastplate, embodies that intention. Attributed to Saint Patrick and his Irish ministry in the fifth century, the prayer is an incantation for protection on a journey or when faced with difficult decisions. A powerful reminder to put on the armor of Christ each day, it reads in part:

Christ with me,
Christ before me,
Christ behind me,
Christ in me,
Christ beneath me,
Christ above me,
Christ on my right,
Christ on my left,
Christ when I lie down,
Christ when I sit down,
Christ when I arise,…

“I guess that’s my own reflection on priesthood,” Dcn. Flores surmised. “I want to reflect Christ in the world for the people through my ministry and actions.”

In addition to his family and fellow seminarians, the soon-to-be priest is grateful for the support and guidance from Bishop Michael Olson and Vicar General Father Jonathan Wallis, calling the men “integral to my formation.”

Bishop Michael Olson hands the book of the Gospel to Eric Flores at St. Philip the Apostle Church in Flower Mound on March 25, 2023. During this act, the Bishop entrusts the new deacon with the responsibility of proclaiming, believing, teaching, and practicing the message of the Gospel. (NTC/Juan Guajardo)

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