By Anne Marie Amacher
The Catholic Messenger
IOWA CITY — Father Symphorien Lopoke, a priest from the Diocese of Tshumbe in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Africa, has a new assignment as parochial vicar at St. Mary Parish in Iowa City. Bishop Thomas Zinkula announced the assignment last week.
Father Lopoke, 54, attended schools in Africa and completed his studies at Christ-Rio Kabwe and the Catholic University of Congo. He also completed a canon law degree from the Catholic University of Congo.
On Aug. 21, 1994, he was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Albert Yungu in Lodja CR Congo. Father Lopoke served as a parochial vicar at St. Dominique in Kinshasa, director of Foyer Universaitair Pere M’Veng in Kinshasa, canon law teacher at John Paul II of Lodja and Christ-Rio of Malole seminaries. He also served as judicial vicar for the Archdiocese of Kananga; pastor of St. Joseph the Worker, associate pastor at St. Lambert and as secretary for clergy, seminaries and vocations for the National Conference of Catholic Bishops of DR Congo.
Father Lopoke has permission to serve in pastoral ministry in the Diocese of Davenport for five years. Since his arrival in 2022, he assisted at St. Mary Parish in Iowa City and St. Thomas More Parish in Coralville.