Adapted from the Ordinariate’s website

Pope Francis has named the Rev. Monsignor Steven J. Lopes as the first bishop of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter, a structure equivalent to a diocese for Roman Catholics who were nurtured in the Anglican tradition.

With this appointment, Pope Francis affirms and amplifies Pope Benedict’s vision for Christian unity, in which diverse expressions of one faith are joined together in the Church. By naming Bishop-elect Lopes, the pope has confirmed that the Ordinariate is a permanent, enduring part of the Roman Catholic Church, like any other diocese — one that is now given a bishop so that it may deepen its contribution to the life of the Church and the world.

The appointment comes just five days before the Ordinariate begins using Divine Worship: The Missal, a new book of liturgical texts for the celebration of Mass in Personal Ordinariates worldwide. The texts were approved by the Vatican for use beginning on the first Sunday of Advent, Nov. 29.

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Steven Joseph Lopes, 40, is a Catholic priest of the Archdiocese of San Francisco. As the bishop-elect of the Ordinariate, he will live in Houston.

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. He was named a monsignor in 2010.

Bishop-elect Lopes follows Msgr. Jeffrey N. Steenson, who was named the first ordinary of the Ordinariate when it was established in 2012. Msgr. Steenson’s retirement from his position as ordinary is effective Nov. 24, upon Pope Francis’s appointment of Bishop-elect Lopes. Msgr. Steenson will serve as the Ordinariate’s administrator, overseeing its daily activities until Feb. 2.

Lopes is the first bishop to be named for any of the three Personal Ordinariates in the world: Our Lady of Walsingham in the United Kingdom, the Chair of Saint Peter in the United States and Canada, and Our Lady of the Southern Cross in Australia. His ordination is scheduled for Feb. 2 in Houston.

Biretta tip: Ordinariate News