As the director of mission integration for our Northshore market, Rafael Flores, MAPL, primarily serves at Our Lady of the Angels Hospital.
“I have the joy of serving by helping ensure the mission of our health system is actuated across the Northshore region,” Flores says. His work includes leading the areas of formation, pastoral care, ethics and community benefit, and he’s been with our ministry for two years this November.
Before joining our health system Flores taught personal and social ethics within the Catholic Church’s educational ministry.
“Toward the end of my tenure, I felt an increasing call to not just teach but to do what I was teaching,” he says. That desire to serve those in need led him to work in healthcare as a ministry. “When the opportunity arose to work within healthcare I jumped at the chance and am endlessly grateful that I did!”
Honoring His Hispanic Heritage
Originally from Guatemala City, Guatemala, Flores immigrated to the U.S. in 1998 and became a citizen in January 2009.
Flores’ Guatemalan heritage is infused in his life naturally, such as through Spanish words he uses with his wife and kids at home.
“We also keep some holiday traditions such as staying up until midnight on Christmas Eve, saying a prayer of thanksgiving, and then opening a present,” he says. That family tradition is a standout memory for Flores.
Keeping Connections Through Food
Food is a way to connect, both to our own culture and to experience others’ cultures. “Much of the cooking I do at the house is Guatemalan and Latino cuisine,” Flores says.
His favorite cultural dish is frijoles volteados served with tortillas and topped with goat cheese.
“Hands down nothing tastes better,” Flores says. “It is a simple meal in terms of ingredients, but in terms of cooking it is a labor of love if you want to do it right.”
Our DEI Commitment
Our ministry’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion supports culturally competent care education for our team members all year long, including during Hispanic Heritage Month each September 15 to October 15.