Oakland A's recruit hangs up jersey to don habit
Vocations Director Fr. Ambrose Criste. Credit: Nobertine Fathers' St. Michael Messenger.
Vocations Director Fr. Ambrose Criste. Credit: Nobertine Fathers' St. Michael Messenger.
Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest Addthis

.- Last Friday, 23-year-old Grant Desme, a minor league baseball player and top prospect for the Oakland A's, announced he was retiring from the sport to pursue the higher calling of the priesthood. According to the Norbertine Fathers' vocations director, Desme chose the order because of its religious life and its educational and liturgical orthodoxy.

The A's noted recruit plans to begin his seminary studies at St. Michael's Abbey in Silverado, Calif. this coming Fall. Speaking to CNA on Monday, Nobertine Fathers' Vocations Director Fr. Ambrose Criste said that he and the community are “just very grateful to God for blessing us with new vocations.”

Desme announced his decision to leave minor league baseball on Friday and told reporters in a news conference that he is “doing well in baseball,” however, “I had to get down to the bottom of things, to what was good in my life, what I wanted to do with my life. Baseball was a good thing, but that felt selfish of me when I felt that God was calling me more.”

“It took awhile to trust that and open up to it and aim full steam toward Him … I love the game, but I'm going to aspire to higher things.”

Desme was ranked as the Oakland A's eighth-best prospect by Baseball America after hitting a .288 batting average with 39 home runs and 89 RBI's. He was also just named MVP of the Arizona Fall League.

Desme told reporters in the news conference that he had been considering the call to the priesthood for some time, since in 2008, he dislocated his shoulder and spent time recuperating and thinking more deeply about his life goals.

“My injuries, I would say, would be the biggest blessing God's ever given me,” he said on Friday. “For my entire life, baseball's been my life. I define myself as a baseball player, and when it was taken away from me, it was an eye opener. God blessed me.

“I had a really strong feeling of a calling and a real strong desire to follow it, (but) I just fought it.”

Speaking to MLB.com, Desme added, "I want to give my life completely to God out of love because of everything He's done for me. Something like this is even very little compared to what He's done for me."

According to Fr. Criste, he first met the baseball player last Fall and Desme applied to the seminary just before Christmas of last year.

St. Michael's Abbey of the Norbertine Fathers is an autonomous seminary Orange County, Calif. When asked why Desme chose their monastic community, Fr. Criste said that Desme was attracted to “the religious life that we live here” as well as “the orthodoxy of both of our education and of our liturgical life.” 

“We're keeping very low key about this,” Fr. Criste added. “It's no different from our perspective whether he comes from professional baseball or whether he comes from a university or whether he comes from a simple working life, he's going to be living the same life as all of the other young men who come here.”

“He's really quite overwhelmed right now,” Fr. Criste said lightheartedly, and commented that Desme is “doing a very good job of navigating this media hype at the moment.”

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages


Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google

Featured Videos

Cardinal Luis Tagle to Pope Francis
Cardinal Luis Tagle to Pope Francis
Pope Francis in the Philippines: Manila Welcomes the Pope
Pope Francis in Sri Lanka: Highlights
Pope Francis in Sri Lanka: Interview with Cardinal Ranjith
Pope Francis in SriLanka: Inter-religious Faith Meeting
Little Sisters of the Poor press conference in Denver
Family thrilled to see Pope Francis in Istanbul
Syrian Refugee, Sara, 14, Before Meeting Pope
Ebola orphans thousands of children in West Africa
One year after Haiyan: Philippines rebuilds homes, lives
An Indian contribution to the Vatican's Synod on the Family
Christ Cathedral CNA video Sept 2014
Alejandro Bermudez of CNA accepts ice bucket challenge
'The Real Albania,' remembering those who fled
Pope Francis in Albania, "one of the most important visits of the post-communist era in Albania"
Pope Francis greets paralyzed man who risked all to see him
Franciscans on the banks of the Tiber in Rome, working for the New Evangelization
Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Testimony of young Indian who met Pope in Korea
Preparations of the Closing Mass of 6th Asian Youth Day

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mk 4:1-20


Daily Readings

Saint of the Day

St. Romuald »


Homily of the Day

Mk 4:1-20