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Rather, Desme intends to enter a seminary in Silverado, Calif., in August. He said abbey members didn't seem surprised someone who would "define myself as a baseball player" was changing his life so dramatically.
Desme said he didn't consider pursuing his spiritual studies while also trying to play ball. His family backed his decision and he said the positive reaction to his future goal -- the surprising news spread quickly over the Internet -- was "inspiring."
"It's about a 10-year process," he said. "I desire and hope I become a priest." In a way, he added, it's like "re-entering the minor leagues."
Desme's first two years in the minors were beset by shoulder and wrist problems. He said his days off the field gave him time to think about what was most important to him, to read and study the Bible and to talk to teammates about his faith.
In retrospect, he said, those injuries were "the biggest blessings God ever gave me."
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