On Tuesday, February 2, Steven J. Lopes was ordained the first bishop of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter at Houston’s Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart. The North American ordinariate, which was established under the norms set out by Pope Benedict XVI in the apostolic constitution Anglicanorum Coetibus, is one of three such communities made up those from Anglican traditions who wish to worship in full communion with Rome.
Bishop Lopes worked for several years at the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, where he collaborated with those establishing the ordinariates and with many of the formerly-Anglican clergy who were joining them.
Below is a video of Bishop Lopes’ remarks during his ordination Mass (it also offers a taste of the glorious music from the Mass):
Addressing himself to the priests of the ordinariate, Bishop Lopes explained his episcopal motto, Magna Opera Domini, “Great are the works of the Lord.” He referenced an assembly for ordinariate clergy several years ago:
It was the first time for me to meet many of you and finally put faces to the spiritual autobiographies that I had been reading in the dossiers you had submitted to Rome. Yours were stories of faith and of courage and of a passion and zeal for the truth and the search for the truth in Sacred Scripture. And they were also often enough stories of sacrifice, suffering, and the anguish of leaving what was familiar and comfortable in order to embark on an unknown and sometimes lonely path toward the fullness of Catholic communion. It was the final Mass on that last day of the assembly and we were sitting together in silence after Holy Communion. I was in my Communion meditation simply looking around the chapel at each of you and moving from face to face, linking that in my own mind to the stories I already knew. … And in that moment, beholding, if you will, before me the great work of communion manifest in that chapel, my heart was moved to only one thought: we did not do this. God did this. This is the work of the Lord and great are the works of the Lord.
If you value the news and views Catholic World Report provides, please consider donating to support our efforts. Your contribution will help us continue to make CWR available to all readers worldwide for free, without a subscription. Thank you for your generosity!