Today, my former student, the Very Reverend Justin Ward, celebrated the last scheduled Sunday mass at Saint Stephen the Martyr Catholic Chapel on 12th Avenue South near UAB. The chapel will continue to be a site for campus ministry activities and for weekday masses. Opened in 1991 as non-territorial parish church for Birmingham’s colleges and universities, it was made a chapel of the Cathedral of Saint Paul some years ago and with the Very Reverend Bryan Jerabek, the rector of the cathedral, being made campus minister Sunday masses are suspended.
Since Martha and I were members of this parish community from 2000 to about 2007 and I’ve taken many classes of Samford students there to discuss its architecture, there is lots more I could say. My student Sidney Hearn wrote about a crucifix that was once display there for Magic City Religion last fall. My own early note on the crucifix is here. For right now, I will just provide those links and the photos below and say I hope that the church reopens for Sunday liturgies again. As the interior of the church has changed several times in its thirty-year history. For current photos see the chapel’s instagram account: @receivemyspirit
Click on the images in this gallery below to enlarge them.
I took the four twenty-first century pictures myself. I scanned the two earlier ones many years ago from prints displayed at the 10th anniversary celebration. The last image had been damaged prior to scanning.
Read this first post for more on this series on Birmingham churches and their cornerstones.