Your Site Title

What is the Ordinariate?

Personal Ordinariate to the Chair of St. Peter

The Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter is equivalent to a diocese, created by the Vatican in 2012 for people nurtured in the Anglican tradition who wish to become catholic.

  • Founded to serve Roman Catholics across the U.S. and Canada, it is the first diocese of its kind in North America.

  • Based in Houston, Texas, this Ordinariate has more than 40 Roman Catholic parishes and communities across the United States and Canada.

  • The Ordinariate was created to provide a path for groups of Anglicans to become fully Roman Catholic, while retaining elements of their worship traditions and spiritual heritage in their union with the Catholic Church. The Ordinariate is a key ecumenical venture exemplifying the Second Vatican Council’s vision for Christian unity, in which diverse expressions of one faith are joined together in the Church.  

  • The Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter was established in response to repeated and persistent inquiries from Anglicans who over time, have come to identify the Catholic Church as their home. Those joining the Ordinariate have discerned they are truly Catholic in what they believe and desire full membership in the Catholic Church.

Parishes and communities in the Ordinariates are fully Roman Catholic, but retain elements of Anglican traditions in their liturgy, hospitality and ministries.

  • In the Second Vatican Council’s Decree on Ecumenism (Unitatis redintegatio), the Catholic Church specified what it would look like to bring all Christians together into communion. The Council said Christian groups would bring their own distinctive traditions to the Catholic Church; they would not be suppressed or absorbed. The Vatican’s remarkable ecumenical gesture in establishing the Ordinariates affirms the Catholic Church’s view that the patrimony of differing Christian spiritualities and liturgies is a treasure meant to be shared within the Catholic tradition. 

Called to be gracious instruments of Christian unity, members of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter are led by a bishop who is appointed by the PopeBishop Steven J. Lopes is the first bishop of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter. 

  • Like other bishops in the United States and Canada, the bishop serves under the direct authority of the Pope to build up the Catholic Church through mutual mission and ministry.

  • The bishop is a full member of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops

United States Conference of Catholic Bishops:

United States Conference of Catholic Bishops USCCB ▸

Ordinariate Form of the Roman Rite:


Apostolic Constitution from Pope Benedict XVI that establishes the Personal Ordinariates in addition to its Complementary Norms: