Aleteia logoAleteia logoAleteia
Wednesday 27 September |
Saint of the Day: St. Vincent de Paul
Aleteia logo
Art & Culture
separateurCreated with Sketch.

Retired MLB player is ordained a Catholic deacon in California

J-P Mauro - published on 11/04/21

“If people are feeling called and want to serve, they should pursue their vocation, because it’s a great place to be.”

Former Major League Baseball player Darrell Miller Sr., who played for the California Angels, was ordained a Catholic deacon of the Diocese of Orange in California.

To commemorate the occasion, the Diocese of Orange tweeted out congratulations to Miller and the 12 other men who were ordained alongside him. Their addition to the diaconate brings the numbers up to 154 strong.

According to Black Catholic Messenger, Miller, 63, began discerning a vocation in the diaconate about 12 years ago. After hearing Miller speak at a dinner hosted by the Italian Catholic Federation of Orange County, Bishop Emeritus Tod Brown approached Millerand urged him to consider the diaconate.

Of his discernment, Miller told BCM: 

“The ordination process deepens that relationship that Christ established with you at baptism, and makes you feel the fullness of the Holy Spirit,” Miller said.

Catholic convert

Miller’s faith journey, however, did not start in the Catholic Church. A Catholic convert, Miller explains in a video produced by the Knights of Columbus that he only became introduced to Catholicism when he met his wife, Kelly. At that point, Miller said, he thought that Catholics were “lost” whether they knew it or not. 

It was only after Kelly began getting involved in faith formation groups that Miller’s perspective began to change. He said in the interview featured above: 

“The bottom line is I was intrigued by the Eucharist and that led to me asking more questions and more questions. That became the beginning of my conversion.” 

Miller soon began to strike up friendships with members of the Knights of Columbus, eventually joining the fraternal organization. The retired athlete can be seen wearing a KofC shirt throughout much of the video. 

First Black deacon of the Diocese of Orange

Today, Miller is serving as a deacon at St. Juliana Falconieri Catholic Church, in Fullerton. According to BCM, he will split his time between his duties as a deacon and his day job at MLB’s Urban Youth Academy, in Compton. There, he coaches young athletes and prepares them for possible careers in baseball. Miller has been working with the Urban Youth Academy since 2005.

Miller asked readers of the article written about him for the Black Catholic Messenger for prayers as he takes on his new position. He noted that the prayers of the faithful provide him with more opportunities to serve, and thus the need for “a second Black deacon.” 

He has this advice for young men on discerning a vocation within the Church: 

“If people are feeling called and want to serve, they should pursue their vocation, because it’s a great place to be.”

Read more at Black Catholic Messenger.

CatholicDiscernmentUnited States
Support Aleteia!

Enjoying your time on Aleteia?

Articles like these are sponsored free for every Catholic through the support of generous readers just like you.

Thanks to their partnership in our mission, we reach more than 20 million unique users per month!

Help us continue to bring the Gospel to people everywhere through uplifting and transformative Catholic news, stories, spirituality, and more.

Support Aleteia with a gift today!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...

Entrust your prayer intentions to our network of monasteries

Top 10
See More
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.