St Bede's @ Holy Family

Our Bishop: The Most Reverend Steven J. Lopes

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  • Steven Joseph Lopes was born in Fremont, Calif. in 1975.
  • He is the only child of Barbara Jane Lopes and the late Dr. José de Oliveira Lopes. His father was Portuguese and his mother is Polish. His father emigrated to the U.S. in the early 1960s and became an American citizen in 1970. His mother was born and raised in Detroit, where much of her family still resides.
  • Both his parents were educators. José taught languages and history at the university level. Barbara taught in Catholic schools for 47 years before her retirement. She specialized in middle school education and received a national recognition for excellence from the National Catholic Educational Association in 2006.
  • His family includes his mother; his step-father, Abilio Dias; five step-brothers; and a step-sister.
  • Bishop Lopes was educated entirely in Catholic Schools in the Golden State: St. Pius School (Redwood City, Calif.); St. Edward School (Newark, Calif.); Moreau Catholic High School (Hayward, Calf.); and the St. Ignatius Institute at the University of San Francisco, where he majored in theology and minored in philosophy and German.
  • He studied philosophy and liturgy at the University of Innsbruck. He then earned three degrees – including a doctorate – in sacred theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, where he has also served as an adjunct faculty member.
  • Bishop Lopes has also taught at the Pontifical North American College in Rome and in the summer sabbatical program for the Council of Major Superiors of Women Religious.
  • In 2001, Cardinal William J. Levada (then Archbishop Levada) ordained Bishop Lopes a priest.
  • Bishop Lopes spent the first several years of his priesthood as an associate pastor at two parishes: St. Patrick Catholic Church in San Francisco and St. Anselm Catholic Church in Ross, California.
  • Since 2005, he has served as an official of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, the Vatican office responsible for promoting and preserving Catholic teaching. For seven of his 10-plus years at the Vatican, he served as secretary to the Cardinal Prefect.
  • He was named a Chaplain of His Holiness with the title of “Monsignor” by Pope Benedict in 2010.
  • He speaks fluent Italian and German.
  • He is a chaplain in the Order of Malta, and remains deeply committed to the Order's service to the sick and the poor.
  • Bishop Lopes is the first bishop for the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter and the first bishop for any of the three Personal Ordinariates in the world. (The other two are located in the United Kingdom and Australia.)
  • For his motto, Bishop Lopes has selected the Latin phrase, “Magna Opera Domini,” or in English, “Great are the works of the Lord.” By these words, our new bishop expresses his awe of God’s grace in drawing His people to the fullness of Eucharistic communion.
  • A biographical summary, photos, statements from Bishop Lopes and Ordinary Emeritus Msgr. Steenson and other materials are online here.
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A PLEDGED TROTH: A Pastoral Letter on Amoris Laetitia
By the Most Reverend Steven J. Lopes, STD
Bishop of The Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of Saint Peter