Fr. Mark Lopez is a Filipino Jesuit missionary who has worked in Cambodia since 2009 and is now doing Doctoral Studies under the Educational Leadership for Social Justice Program of the LMU School of Education. He has an undergraduate B.S. degree in Management Engineering (1996) and an M.A. in Theology (2015), both from the Jesuit-run Ateneo de Manila University in the Philippines. He has published research on Social Justice issues, Moral Theology, and the parallels of Ignatian Spirituality and Buddhism. He was also previously Editor-in-Chief of The Windhover (a multi-awarded Philippine Jesuit Magazine).
Prior to enrolling at LMU, Mark served as Vicar Delegate for Planning and Development and Co-Chair of the Care for Creation Advocacy desk of the Apostolic Prefecture of Battambang and as Parish Priest for 6 communities under the Good Shepherd parish in Kampong Thom, one of the most economically-challenged provinces in Cambodia. Jesuit superiors have indicated their intention to have Mark help in the Jesuit Mission work to improve the quality of basic public school education in Cambodia and thus missioned him to doctoral studies in preparation for this work. Prior to joining the Society of Jesus in 2004, Mark had worked for several non-profit organizations in the Philippines including the United Nations Development Programme, helping to manage poverty alleviation projects for indigenous, fisher and agrarian communities for eight years.
In his younger days, he enjoyed dabbling in photography, liturgical music and vegetarian culinary arts, and was blessed to be a member of the Jesuit Volunteers Philippines (JVP), as well as Hangad and Himig Heswita (popular church choirs in the Philippine liturgical scene and recording artists under the Jesuit Music Ministry label). Now he mostly just enjoys eating, planting trees, exploring sustainable living projects, and tending to gardens during his free time. While he sometimes still misses friends, family and his native hometown of Makati, Philippines, he has no regrets taking-on missionary life in an area of such great need.