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 arriving in Birmingham in 2007, Bishop Baker built upon the legacy of his predecessors and also started several new initiatives, including bringing the Cenacolo Community to the 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.