This is the first in a series of three profiles of the men to be ordained new priests for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia on May 18.


Rev. Mr. Gregory Miller

When he was a second grade student, young Gregory Miller told his parents that he was going to be a priest when he grew up. Now, Transitional Deacon Gregory Miller will be ordained a priest May 18 at the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul in Philadelphia.

Miller was born in 1996 in Kansas City, MO. He is the youngest of four children born to parents George Miller, who worked for Boeing at the time, and Teresa Miller, an occupational therapist.

In 2000, the family moved from Wichita, KS to the Philadelphia region, where Miller’s father started working for a software company.

The Miller family are parishioners at Sacred Heart Church in Royersford, and all four Miller children attended Sacred Heart’s parish school.  The family found much inspiration from the late pastor, Father Thomas Doyle Though it was the parish’s fourth pastor, Father Peter J. DiMaria, who Miller says “really helped and inspired” him to enter the seminary.

Father DiMaria was assigned to the Montgomery County parish when Miller was a seventh grade student.  Knowing Miller’s desire for the priesthood, Father DiMaria gave him books about saints – including Saint Dominic Savio, Saint Philip Neri, and Saint John Bosco – to help guide his spiritual journey and his path of vocational discernment.

As a teenager, Miller attended Archbishop John Carroll High School in Radnor, where he enjoyed learning about engineering.  His interest in that subject was also peaked by living near the Limerick Generating Station.  He thought perhaps he might want to be a nuclear engineer instead of a priest.

As a student, Miller enjoyed running on cross country track teams in both grade school and high school.  In high school, on a whim, he tried a new sport, Ultimate Frisbee, and fell in love with it.

In the Spring Semester of his junior year at Archbishop Carroll, Miller saw the excitement of his classmates applying to colleges, but he “didn’t feel that same joy,” he said.

It was then he remembered his earlier desire to become a priest, and he “started praying about that more and more.”  He says his pastor, Father DiMaria, was very helpful during this time, giving Miller opportunities to serve at Masses, and taking Miller to visit Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary.

At the close of their final semester each member of the Ordination Class of 2024 was “clapped out” by the Seminary’s student body, faculty, and staff on Friday, May 3. (St. Charles Borromeo Seminary)

One evening, Miller went to the church’s perpetual Adoration chapel and prayed.  He remembers he “asked God if He wanted me to be His priest” and Miller “felt Christ just asking me to trust Him to do this.”  Afterwards, Miller called the seminary’s Vocation Director – then Father Stephen DeLacy – and started the admission process.

While at the seminary, Miller found he enjoyed working in young adult ministry.  It started through his love for Ultimate Frisbee.  Father DeLacy invited Miller to help with the annual Ultimate Frisbee tournament held by the seminary for young adults throughout the archdiocese.

“I was happy to do it,” says Miller.  “It’s been a great event, and it’s grown every year.”  It started with 120 young adults and has grown to over 350 now.”  Miller feels organized sports are an important component to young adult ministry, along with spiritual opportunities like retreats and Theology on Tapevents.

As a transitional deacon, Miller was assigned to Saint Andrew Catholic Church in Newtown the largest parish in the archdiocese.  Miller says he learned a great deal from Monsignor Michael Picard, who has served as the pastor at the Bucks County parish for 35 years.  Miller had the opportunity to perform 34 Baptisms, and to  officiate his brother Tom’s wedding last October at Sacred Heart Parish in Bridgeport.

Miller’s first Mass as a priest will be at his home parish, Sacred Heart Church in Royersford, on May 19 at 2:30 p.m.  Father DiMaria will be the homilist at Miller’s first Mass.

Reflecting on becoming a priest, Miller says, “I love the people in the parish.  That gives me a lot of hope and joy as I move into ministry and assignment at a parish.”

On his advice for any young man who may be thinking about the priesthood, he says, “I would encourage them to pray, and then take it to the Blessed Sacrament and Adoration.  It really helped me in my discernment process.  It takes a lot of courage, but don’t be afraid to follow Christ.  He’ll take you to great places.”