CURRENT BISHOP — Most Rev. Steven J. Raica
The Most Reverend Steven John Raica, J.C.D. was appointed fifth bishop of the Diocese of Birmingham in Alabama on March 25, 2020 and was installed at the Cathedral of St. Paul on June 22 of that same year. Bishop Raica was born on November 8, 1952 and grew up in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. He was ordained a priest on October 14, 1978 for the Diocese of Lansing, Michigan. He previously served as bishop of the Diocese of Gaylord, Michigan, where he received episcopal consecration on August 28, 2014. During his years as a priest he had a wide range of parish and other pastoral experiences in Michigan; he also served for six years as superior of the Casa Santa Maria in Rome, Italy, the post-graduate residence for American priests. Bishop Raica obtained his doctorate in Canon Law from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome. He is fluent in English, Italian, American Sign Language, and is conversant in Polish.
Bishop Raica’s episcopal motto is “Sursum corda” – “Lift up your hearts”, one of the oldest phrases in the Liturgy of the Mass.
BISHOP EMERITUS — Most Rev. Robert J. Baker
The Most Reverend Robert Joseph Baker, S.T.D. was appointed fourth bishop of the Diocese of Birmingham on August 14, 2007 and was installed at the Cathedral of St. Paul on October 2 of that same year. Bishop Baker was born on June 4, 1944 and grew up in Ohio. He was ordained a priest on March 21, 1970 for the Diocese of St. Augustine, Florida. Among the many pastoral experiences he had as a priest in Florida were working with university students as a campus chaplain, starting soup kitchens and other initiatives to assist the poor, and helping to bring the Cenacolo Community (a Catholic drug rehab program) to the United States. On July 12, 1999 he was named Bishop of Charleston by Pope John Paul II. On September 29, 1999 he was ordained a bishop. Since coming to Birmingham in 2007, Bishop Baker built upon the legacy of his predecessors and also started several new initiatives, including bringing the Cenacolo Community to our diocese, overseeing a comprehensive renovation of Camp Tekakwitha, promoting the service of the poor and the pastoral care of immigrants, and convoking a Eucharistic Congress for the Diocese’s 50th anniversary in 2019. His retirement as bishop was accepted by His Holiness, Pope Francis, on March 25, 2020, and he chose to remain in the Birmingham area.
Bishop Baker’s episcopal motto is “Rejoicing in Hope”, inspired by Romans 12:12.