On February 2, Fr. Steven Joseph Lopes, 40, was ordained as the first bishop of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter. This has been described as “a structure equvalent to a diocese for Roman Catholics who were nurtured in the Anglican tradition.”

Bishop Lopes has said that he was nurtured in his faith by Fr. Marvin Steffes, C.PP.S. From childhood, he said, “I wanted to be a priest like Fr. Marvin Steffes,” who was his pastor at St. Edward Church in Newark, Calif.

“As a pastor, Fr. Steffes was renowned for his kindness, attentiveness and paternal love for the people,” according to an article in the Ordinariate Observer.

Fr. Steffes encouraged the young man in his faith, inviting him to be a sacristan in the parish and talking with him about his vocation. “I think my own sense of vocation grew simply by working alongside him and seeing how he would minister to us,” Bishop Lopes said. “Marvin was just a very good man and very at ease around people. He has alwasy been the model of priesthood for me.”

Bishop Lopes was ordained to the priesthood for the Archdiocese of San Francisco in 2001.

Fr. Steffes, who died in 2011, was a native of Detroit. Formerly a member of the Province of the Pacific, he served for many years in California and later joined the Cincinnati Province.

Photo: Fr. Marvin Steffes, C.PP.S., with then-seminarian Steven Lopes.

Missionaries of the Precious Blood