He was born in Donostia-San Sebastián on the 10th of June 1945. He first studied at the choir school “Escolanía de Santa María”. Later on, he finished studies in Humanities, Philosophy and Theology at the seminars in Saturrarán and Donostia-San Sebastián (1958-71), in Education at the “San Pedro Regalado” school in Valladolid (1968) and in Religious Studies at the Catholic University of Paris (1978-81).
He was ordained to priesthood in San Sebastián in 1971 and ministered at the Gurutzeaga parish in Aiete and Del Sagrado Corazon de Jesús parish in Loiola (both in San Sebastian). He served as Formator and Head of Studies at the Seminar and the Institute for Theology and Pastoral Work in Donostia-San Sebastián between 1982 and 1999. Nowadays, he works as a parish priest at the Iesu church in Donostia-San Sebastián.
Jesús María Zabaleta will participate in the dialogues “Encargos divinos” [Divine Contracts] along with Edorta Kortadi and Mario Sangalli.