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Steven J. Lopes

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Steven J. Lopes
Bishop of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of Saint Peter
Lopes in 2019
ChurchCatholic Church
DiocesePersonal Ordinariate of the Chair of Saint Peter
SeeHouston, Texas
AppointedNovember 24, 2015
InstalledFebruary 2, 2016
PredecessorJeffrey N. Steenson
OrdinationJune 23, 2001
by William Levada
ConsecrationFebruary 2, 2016
by Gerhard Ludwig Müller
Personal details
Born (1975-04-22) April 22, 1975 (age 49)
Fremont, California, United States
DenominationRoman Catholicism
Alma materUniversity of San Francisco
Saint Patrick's Seminary and University
Pontifical Gregorian University
MottoMagna Opera Domini
("Great are the works of the Lord")
Styles of
Steven Joseph Lopes
Reference style
Spoken styleYour Excellency
Religious styleBishop

Steven Joseph Lopes (Portuguese pronunciation: [ˈlɔpɨʃ]) (born April 22, 1975) is an American Catholic prelate. He is the bishop and ordinary of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of Saint Peter, a community for clergy and laypeople who celebrate according to the Anglican Use within the Catholic Church.

Early life and education[edit]

A native of Fremont, California, Lopes was born on April 22, 1975, the only child of José de Oliveira Lopes and Barbara Jane Lopes.[1][2] His father was from Portugal and his mother from Poland.[3] He was educated at Catholic schools in California: St. Pius School in Redwood City, St. Edward's School in Newark, and Moreau Catholic High School in Hayward.[4]

Lopes studied at the St. Ignatius Institute at the University of San Francisco, and also pursued studies at the University of Innsbruck in Austria.[5] His philosophical studies and preparation for the priesthood took place at St. Patrick's Seminary in Menlo Park, California, before he was assigned to study theology in Rome. There he obtained a licentiate at the Pontifical Gregorian University while living at the Pontifical North American College.[5]

Ordained ministry[edit]

Lopes was ordained to the diaconate on October 5, 2000, during a Mass at St. Peter's Basilica, Rome.[6] He was ordained a priest on June 23, 2001, for the Archdiocese of San Francisco by William Levada during a service at Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Assumption, San Francisco.[2][5][7][8] He served in two parishes in California as an associate pastor; St. Patrick's Catholic Church, San Francisco, and St. Anselm Catholic Church in Ross, California.[1]

Lopes returned to Rome to obtain a doctorate in sacred theology from the Gregorian University.[1][5][9] Since 2005, he has served as an official of the Holy See's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, while also serving as a professor of theology at the Gregorian. During that time, he served as a personal aide to William Cardinal Levada, who was prefect for the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith from 2005 to 2012.[10] On July 10, 2010, he was appointed a Chaplain of His Holiness and therefore was then addressed as "Monsignor".[6] Starting in 2012, Lopes served as the secretary of the Vatican commission Anglicanae Traditiones, which was formed with the goal of developing a missal that would blend Anglican and Roman Rite liturgical elements for the use of the personal ordinariates.[2][10]

Episcopal ministry[edit]

Lopes at the end of a Solemn Pontifical Divine Worship liturgy

On November 24, 2015, the Holy See announced that Pope Francis had appointed Lopes as the first bishop of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of Saint Peter, a church structure for Catholics in the US and Canada who were mostly formerly Anglicans.[2][5][9] This announcement coincided with the first Sunday on which the ordinariates began celebrating Mass using Divine Worship: The Missal, developed while Lopes was serving on the Anglicanae Traditiones commission in Rome. As ordinary, Lopes succeeded Jeffrey N. Steenson, a former Episcopal bishop appointed by Pope Benedict XVI in 2012.[5][2][11]

On February 2, 2016, Lopes was consecrated a bishop in Houston and took canonical possession of the ordinariate.[9] His principal consecrator was Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller, with Cardinal William Levada and Cardinal Donald Wuerl as co-consecrators.[8] He is the first bishop to lead any of the three ordinariates, with the other two being led by a priest as their ordinary.[5] In November 2021, he was elected chairman of the USCCB's Committee on Divine Worship.[12]


  1. ^ a b c "Pope Francis Names First Bishop to Lead Catholics Nurtured in the Anglican Tradition" (Press release). Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter. November 24, 2015. Retrieved November 27, 2015.
  2. ^ a b c d e "American Ordinariate given its first bishop". The Catholic Herald. November 24, 2015. Retrieved November 27, 2015.
  3. ^ "The Ex-Anglicans of America Say No To Communion for the Divorced and Remarried". February 14, 2017. Retrieved February 21, 2017. Its bishop is Steven J. Lopes, 42, born in California to a Portuguese father and Polish mother, who for ten years, since 2005, has been an official of the Vatican congregation for the doctrine of the faith, and was promoted to his present role by Pope Francis on November 24, 2015.
  4. ^ "Biographical Summary". The Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter. Retrieved January 4, 2016.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g Harris, Elise (November 24, 2015). "Pope names first Catholic bishop to oversee Anglican ordinariate". Catholic News Agency. Retrieved November 25, 2015.
  6. ^ a b "Monsignor Steven J. Lopes - Curriculum Vitae" (PDF). The Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter. November 2015. Retrieved January 4, 2016.
  7. ^ "Fast Facts: Bishop-elect Lopes". Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter. Retrieved February 3, 2016.
  8. ^ a b "Bishop Steven Joseph Lopes". Catholic-Hierarchy.org. David M. Cheney.
  9. ^ a b c Barned-Smith, St. John; Turner, Allan (November 24, 2015). "From Houston, new bishop will reach out across the nation". The Houston Chronicle. Retrieved November 27, 2015.
  10. ^ a b Allen, John L. (November 25, 2015). "Anglican appointment reveals continuity between Pope Francis and Benedict". Crux. Archived from the original on November 28, 2015. Retrieved November 27, 2015.
  11. ^ Wooden, Cindy (November 24, 2015). "Pope names Vatican official head of North American Anglican ordinariate". The Catholic Register. Retrieved November 27, 2015.
  12. ^ "U.S. Bishops Elect New Conference Treasurer, Committee Chairmen, Board Members for Catholic Relief Services, and a General Secretary at Fall General Assembly in Baltimore". USCCB. November 16, 2021. Retrieved November 17, 2021.

External links[edit]

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of Saint Peter
Succeeded by