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Priests

PASTOR & RECTOR — Father Bryan W. Jerabek, J.C.L.

Father Jerabek became Pastor & Rector of the Cathedral of St. Paul on July 1, 2016 and also currently serves as Chaplain for Birmingham-area university students, Chancellor of the Diocese of Birmingham in Alabama, Judicial Vicar of the Diocese, and a Missionary of Mercy of His Holiness, Pope Francis.

He originally comes from Portsmouth, New Hampshire and first moved to Birmingham in 1999 to work at a local bank. While in Birmingham he began to discern a call to the priesthood. After leaving the workforce to complete university studies, he was accepted as a seminarian for the Diocese of Birmingham by Bishop David E. Foley, D.D., attending Mount St. Mary’s Seminary in Emmitsburg, Maryland. Bishop Foley ordained him a transitional deacon on March 3, 2007 at Immaculate Conception Church of Corpus Christi Parish in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

On June 7, 2008 he was ordained a priest at the Cathedral of St. Paul by Bishop Robert J. Baker, S.T.D. Father Jerabek’s first assignment was at Holy Spirit Parish in Huntsville, Alabama, where he was Parochial Vicar, with particular responsibility for the parish’s large Hispanic community. During his first year he also covered English and Spanish Masses once a month at Our Lady of the Valley in Fort Payne, which at that time did not have its own pastor. He was also assigned as a Teacher, Associate Chaplain, and then Chaplain of the then-Catholic High School (now St. John Paul II Catholic High School) in Huntsville. While at JP2, Father was involved with the transition to its new campus; particularly, with the construction and design of its chapel.

After three years in Huntsville, Bishop Baker sent Father Jerabek to Rome to study Canon Law at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross (“Santa Croce”). Father completed his degree (ecclesiastical licentiate) in the Summer of 2014 and returned to be Administrator, later Pastor, of St. Barnabas and Holy Rosary parishes in Birmingham, with care also for the Hispanic community at Our Lady of Lourdes Parish.

In February 2016 Father Jerabek was named Chancellor of the Diocese of Birmingham, a position he continues to hold; Bishop Raica more recently also granted him the faculties of a Vicar General. He was named Pastor & Rector of the Cathedral of St. Paul on July 1, 2016.

Bishop Robert J. Baker tasked Father with being Chairman of the recent Diocesan Eucharistic Congress, June 28-29, 2019, as well as with the Installation of the new Bishop, the Most Reverend Steven J. Raica, June 22-23, 2020.

Father Jerabek was named a Missionary of Mercy of His Holiness, Pope Francis in late 2020. In this capacity, he has a special mandate from the Holy Father to hear confessions and preach on mercy; moreover, he has the faculty to hear confessions anywhere in the world and to remit the censures associated with certain ecclesiastical crimes that are otherwise normally reserved to the Holy See. 

On July 1, 2021, Bishop Steven J. Raica appointed Father Jerabek as Judicial Vicar of the Diocese of Birmingham in Alabama. The Judicial Vicar acts in the Bishop’s name to serve the ministry of justice in the diocese – principally, in the area of the Marriage Tribunal, but in other judicial processes as well, as determined by Canon Law.

On July 6, 2021, Father Jerabek was named Chaplain for Birmingham-area university students by Bishop Steven J. Raica. Chaplaincy activities take place at both the Cathedral of St. Paul and St. Stephen’s Chapel.

Father is a Knight of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem. He is also a Fourth-Degree Knight of Columbus. He enjoys traveling, sacred art and music, and visiting with his nieces and nephews. He speaks English, Spanish, and Italian. He may be contacted at fatherjerabek@stpaulsbhm.org.

 

PRIEST IN RESIDENCE — Father Justin L. Ward, S.T.L.

Father Justin Ward is Vicar for Sacred Liturgy and Episcopal Master of Ceremonies for the Diocese of Birmingham in Alabama, with residence at the Cathedral of St. Paul. Having completed his seminary formation at the Pontifical College Josephinum in Columbus, Ohio, he was ordained by Bishop Robert J. Baker, S.T.D. on June 1, 2019 (Memorial of St. Justin Martyr). Following priestly ordination, he completed his studies in Sacred Liturgy at the Liturgical Institute in Mundelein, Illinois and also served as Administrator of St. Leo the Great Parish in Demopolis, Alabama (and its missions). Father Ward established the Office of Sacred Liturgy of the Diocese of Birmingham in Alabama and, under the guidance of Bishop Steven J. Raica, is promoting liturgical excellence, formation, and training throughout North Alabama. Father Ward is also an accomplished organist. He may be reached at fatherward@bhmdiocese.org.