From a luke-warm altar server to a young priest on fire for his faith, Fr. Samuel Miller is proof that God doesn’t call the equipped, He equips the called.
Fr. Miller was ordained to the priesthood on June 1, 2019, following eight years spent in seminary. He is an alumnus of Warwick High School, in Lititz, PA, and was raised in St. James Parish, Lititz.
“In high school, I wouldn’t say I was a great Catholic. I was a luke-warm altar server. I mean, I didn’t hate it. I played football, I was in orchestra and choir. I played the violin, but not well,” Fr. Miller recalled.
“Then, between my junior and senior years, I was dating a girl. We went to the Steubenville Conference in Atlanta. I am a cradle Catholic. I thought I had seen all that the Church offers; but this was the first time I’d seen people on fire for their faith. I had always wanted to defend the faith, but felt that I couldn’t,” Fr. Miller said.
After that conference, he felt his worldview shift. He and his girlfriend separated as he began to discern his calling to the priesthood.
“After Christmas, I met with the vocations director. I went to visit St. Charles Borromeo Seminary, and spent a weekend there, where I actually met Fr. Morrelli,” Fr. Miller said.
“I liked seminary. I could see myself there, I could see myself being happy there. I applied to seminary. After I graduated from high school, I spent four years at St. Charles Borromeo and then four years at Mount Saint Mary’s,” he explained.
While at The Mount, he was the chaplain of the women’s rugby team, on which his younger sister played.
Following his ordination, he was assigned to Good Shepherd in Camp Hill, before being assigned to Delone Catholic as chaplain and St. Joseph in Hanover as parochial vicar.
“I knew it would be awesome. For the students, this is such a formative time for them, and I’m looking forward to being a good, guiding light. I want to be here for the whole Delone Catholic family, staff and faculty, too,” he said.
Because of COVID, all the diocesan priest reassignments were delayed, meaning priests are moving during busy times of year.
“When I left, Good Shepherd was really picking up the pace, really moving and shaking,” he said. “The pace here hasn’t been overwhelming, in terms of the workload,” a fact he attributes to how busy he was at Good Shepherd.
“I really missed the kids after Good Shepherd closed due to COVID. Once you crack the shell on kids, they open up to you and are wonderful. Kids spell love T-I-M-E, and when they see you giving that to them, they just open up,” he said.
As he begins his ministry at Delone Catholic, he reflected on saints whom he has seen working in his life.
“I love St. Alphonsus Ligouri. He has played a subtle role in the background. His specialty was moral theology, which is what I majored in at seminary,” he said. He also credits intervention from St. Therese Lisieux. “At age 9, I prayed a Novena to her, after I found her photo. My aunt found out I was praying a novena to her, I don’t know how, and gave me roses at the end,” roses, of course, being the sign of St. Terese of Lisieux, who is also known as The Little Flower.