Father Ted Lopez: The First Bicolano Gregorian Parish Priest in Rome

AKO BICOL Partylist extended their warmest congratulations to Father Bonifacio “Ted” Lopez who will be installed as the First Bicolano Gregorian Priest and Third Filipino to become Parish Priest at the Sister Elizabeth Parish and Zachary, Vatican City, Rome on October 29, 2017 at exactly 10:30 in the morning.

Father Ted2b

“Knowing that another Filipino will be installed as a parish priest in Rome is already in itself great news and to also learn that he came from Bicol is something that we are extremely proud of,” AKB Representative Rodel Batocabe said commending Father Ted Lopez in his new milestone of serving the Catholic Church.

Lopez was born and raised in Ligao City, Albay. After completing his high school studies at St. Gregory the Great Seminary, he went to Rome to finish a college degree and fulfill his childhood dream of becoming a priest according to his seminarian classmates.

On December 1994, he was officially ordained to priesthood. Lopez has been living in Italy for 30 years and serving the Roman Catholic Church for 22 years. He recently served the Parrocchia Nostra Signora di Lourdes (Our Lady of Lourdes), Diocese of Rome.

On January 2015, Lopez was part of Pope Francis’ Delegation during his visit in the Philippines where they went to Tacloban for spiritual support to the victims of Typhoon Yolanda.

Also, AKB Representative Christopher Co expressed his delight to Father Ted’s installation as a new Bicolano Parish Priest to serve the Catholic Community in Rome. He remembered a Latin adage, “when Parish Priests are outside Rome, they are considered as Bishops. Because inside Rome, the Pope himself serves as Bishop.”

In a statement, Fr. Lopez is thankful for the trust that was given to him by their Bishop, no another than Pope Francis himself. He said that this has a greater meaning, which is to guide a part of his flock.

“Since I’m a Filipino, privilege din lahat ng mga pilipino na magkaroon ng parish priest na pilipino sa Roma. Nung unang panahon, the European (Spanish), (sila ang) nagdala ng faith sa Philippines. Now, ang mga pilipino naman ang magdadala ng faith sa Europe.” He added.

Fr. Lopez is following the footsteps of his fellow Bicolano, the late Bishop Jose Barlin – the first Filipino Bishop in Catholic Church who was anointed as 28th Bishop of Nueva Caceres by Vatican on December 14, 1905. Barlin’s Episcopal consecration was held on June 29, 1906 in Manila.



History on the Birth of the Quartiere and the Parrocchia SS. Elizabeth and Zacc.

Year 1971

  • In the Via Valle Valley area there were 4 farmhouses with about 25 families belonging to the Parish of Ss. Urbano and Lorenzo.

Year 1975

  • I started building up former agricultural areas and the first abusive constructions. Families became 100.
  • A garage of about 80 square meters, offered free of charge, became the first “place of worship” on Sunday. In the same year the Parish of St. Alfonso M. dei Liguori was established in Via della Giustiniana and the area of Valle Muricana passed under his jurisdiction.

Year 1978

  • The “place of worship” was moved to Lomazzo Street, another garage offered for free use by a family of the area. An apartment was rented to accommodate the Immaculate Sisters assigned to the neighborhood. With the arrival of the Sisters, the first Christian community was formed, which, by plebiscite vote, took the name of “San Francesco” Community , in honor of which the first patron festival was organized. The families were about 300.

Year 1979

  • On November 1, Cardinal Ugo Poletti made a pastoral visit and celebrated the Mass.

Year 1980

  • On March 18, Cardinal Poletti visited the parish and held a meeting with the inhabitants of the district.

Year 1982

  • On February 7, Bishop Plotti visited the community and celebrated the Mass.

Year 1983

  • The area grew to a great extent; the locals, at that time in use for worship, were requested by the legitimate owners; the Vicariate purchased the premises for the Community of “St. Francis”.

Year 1985

  • On October 28, the Parish of the ” Saints Elizabeth and Zaccaria ” was born. The name of the parish was established by the Vicariate by taking it from a Parish of the center of Rome closed to worship. He was named pastor Don Eulogio, former parish priest of S. Alfonso de Liguori in Via della Giustiniana. Don Eulogioi was entrusted with the task of simultaneously managing the two parishes.

Year 1986

  • On 2nd February, he was appointed parish priest Don Remo Colpi, on that occasion all parishioners organized a feast for the transfer of deliveries from Don Eulogio to Don Remo Colpi. Families had become about 1,107, for a total of about 3,500 inhabitants.

Years 1986 to 1994

  • The parish went on under the guidance of the pastor, supported by the capillary and inexhaustible work of the Sisters of the Immaculate Conception. In 1993, the sisters were recalled in their home, generalized for lack of vocations. The departure of the sisters caused discontent in the community and despite the introduction of the first lay people in catechesis, parish activities were limited.

Year 1993

  • He was assigned as deputy parish priest Don Giorgio Cara. The Vicariate rented an apartment in via Lomazzo for catechesis.

Year 1994

  • On October 28, he was appointed parish priest Don Giorgio Cara. The Pastoral Council, the Economic Council, and a more structured catechesis were set up.
  • The first census of the inhabitants of the area found about 9,000 souls scattered across the vast territory of the parish. The interior of the church was crumbling; The pastor and the pastoral and economic council developed the idea and the project of modernizing the interior of the church. The work was carried out with the help of parishioners during the year 1995, with a total expenditure of about 31 million lire.
  • Father Ted ordained priest in Vatican last December 22, 1994.

Year 1995

  • On March 2 there was the visit of Cardinal Camillo Ruini, celebrated the Mass.
  • On the occasion of Lent, the parish priest, in addition to the blessing of the houses, organized a prayer meeting between families in the streets of the neighborhood. In the same year, with the community of the parish of S. Galla, the first training and spiritual seminary of catechists was organized.
  • He began the experience of school camps for children and catechetical boys.

Year 1996

  • During Advent and Lent, the first catechetical meetings for adults took place and a retreat for catechists in Verona was organized to experience the experience of the Little Fraternity. The committee reintroduced the feast of Saint Francis and the young group set up the living crib. Throughout the year, fifteen-year training sessions and spirituality for catechists took place.
  • The formation and spiritual seminary of the catechists was organized with the community of the parish of St. Galla .
  • In December, Don Cipriano arrived in the parish, a Nigerian collaborator.

Year 1997

  • During the Lent there were meetings of preparation for Easter. On the occasion of the blessing of the houses there was the visit of the ” missionaries ” and the delivery of the Mark’s Gospel to the families.
  • During the summer, a trip to Brazil was organized with some young people in the parish. An important missionary experience to know and share the daily lives of the poor of the favelas of Salvador and the villages of Northeast.
  • The activities of school camps developed and during the year two camps were organized with a large attendance by children and young people of the Parish.
  • The formation and spiritual seminary of the catechists was organized with the community of the parish of St. Galla .
  • On October 26, 1997, the Holy Father John Paul II visited the parish celebrating Holy Mass: a moment of great joy for the whole parish community.

Year 1998

  • In the Lenten period the Nigerian collaborator left. For the summer period Benedetto, a Ugandan student, was assigned to the Parish.
  • The formation and spiritual seminary of the catechists was organized with the community of the parish of St. Galla.
  • On November 3, he was assigned to the parish, as Vicar parish priest, Don Marcello.

Year 1999

  • On July 1, Don Marcello was transferred to the Pediatric Hospital of the Bambin Jesus of Rome.
  • During July some young people from the parish relocated with the pastor Don Giorgio and a layman the experience of Brazil.
  • Even in 1999, the usual school camp took place with about 80 boys aged 6 to 15.
  • The formation and spiritual seminary of the catechists was organized with the community of the parish of St. Galla.
  • Advent-time meetings of adult catechesis took place on the gospel of Mark.

Year 2001

  • The school camp, with about 50 children between the ages of 6 and 16, took place in San Martino d’Ocre (?)
  • On September 1, Cardinal Camillo Ruini appointed pastor Don Roberto Paoloni, replacing Don Giorgio Cara.

Year 2002

  • The school camp, with about 40 boys aged 6 to 16, took place in Montefiascone in the province of Viterbo.
  • On 1 September Cardinal Camillo Ruini appointed Priest Don Santiago Alonso and Parish Vicar Don Dario Criscuolo, who was ordained deacon on 6 November of the same year

Year 2003

  • On May 11, Don Dario Criscuolo was ordained a priest.
  • The school camp was held in Montefiascone in prov. of Viterbo involving about 60 boys between the ages of 6 and 14.

Year 2004

  • The school camp took place in Collelongo (AQ) and involved about 100 children between the ages of 6 and 16.

Year 2005

The school camp took place in Vitorchiano (VT) and involved around 150 children aged 6 to 16.

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