Our Bishop: The Most Reverend Steven J. Lopes
- 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.
2018 Chrism Mass Homily
Ordinariate of the Chair of Saint Peter
In the Gospel for the Chrism Mass, our Lord unrolls the scroll of the Prophet Isaiah and proclaims the Jubilee commission: The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring glad tidings to the poor, to proclaim liberty to captives, to announce a year of favor from the Lord. In applying this prophetic passage to himself, our Lord announces that this Scripture is fulfilled in their hearing. Indeed, this fulfillment is why we have gathered this evening, for the saving Mysteries of Christ’s life have passed into the sacramental life of the Church. Every time the Church gathers in sacramental worship, the work of our salvation is fulfilled and accomplished.
The Lord has anointed me. The rich symbolism of anointing informs our celebration. The Church in her sacramental liturgy has adopted the Old Testament use of oil for the consecration of kings, priests, and prophets precisely because these prefigured Christ, the Anointed One of God. But the sacramental liturgy impels us even deeper into the Mystery, for the great work of the Spirit conforming us to Christ is not only symbolized by holy anointing, it is effected by it.
Tonight, we will do something different than what we have done at our first two Chrism Masses. In the past, we have exercised the option of blessing the Oil of Catechumens, the Oil of the Sick, and consecrating the Sacred Chrism as they are presented at the Offertory. Tonight, we will return to the much more ancient, Roman practice of blessing the Oil of the Sick during the great prayer of the Roman Canon itself. This pattern dates from at least the 7 th century, and what an insight it reveals. At the very heart of the Church’s liturgical prayer, the sacramental representation of the Paschal Mystery, the sick are brought in so that healing anointing may flow from the Risen One through the body of the Church to the members in need of that blessing.
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A PRAYER OF THANKSGIVING
for our Bishop, Steven J. Lopes
May the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ bless you on the occasion of the second anniversary of your consecration as a bishop in Christ's One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church!
~ With the affection of Christ,
Fr. Treco, parishioners & friends of Saint Bede's