Resquiescat in Pace: Brian Bergkamp

Saturday, August 6, AD 2016

 

 

seminarian_kansas

A successful vocation:

 

Police in Kansas have announced that a body found last week in the Arkansas River near one of the city’s park is the body of Brian Bergkamp, a seminarian from the Diocese of Wichita.

The Wichita Eagle Daily newspaper reported that a fisherman had spotted a piece of life vest floating in the water with a rosary attached to it. That discovery led to finding the body of the missing seminarian. The coroner confirmed it was Bergkamp and his family was given the news first.

Bergkamp, who was studying for the Kansas diocese at a Maryland seminary, had been missing since he saved the life of a woman who fell into the Arkansas River on 9 July. Three days later, he remained missing and was presumed to be dead.

Bergkamp, 24, was among five people travelling in separate kayaks when all got caught in turbulent waters. According to The Wichita Eagle, Bergkamp jumped from his kayak to save the woman before getting pulled under himself. He was not wearing a life jacket. The other kayakers made it to shore.

His family said his funeral and burial would be private. “Our prayers continue to be lifted up for the consolation of Brian’s family as they take the next step to honour the memory of their son and brother,” the Wichita Diocese said in a statement this week.

The diocese expressed “gratitude to God for his abundant graces offered to strengthen all impacted by Brian’s death, to the members of the recovery team and personnel of the Wichita Fire and Police departments, and to those others who have helped in any way throughout this tragedy”.

“Brian’s diocesan family is also thankful that his mortal remains will be able to be laid to rest and have a place at which continued prayers may be offered for his eternal well-being,” the statement said.

 

Go here to read the rest.  My prayers and admiration for his family.  They raised a good and heroic man.  God must have important work that awaits him in Heaven.

Did you mark how naturally – as if he’d been born for it – the earthborn vermin entered the new life? How all his doubts became, in the twinkling of an eye, ridiculous? I know what the creature was saying to itself! “Yes. Of course. It always was like this. All horrors have followed the same course, getting worse and worse and forcing you into a kind of bottle-neck till, at the very moment when you thought you must be crushed, behold! you were out of the narrows and all was suddenly well. The extraction hurt more and more and then the tooth was out. The dream became a nightmare and then you woke. You die and die and then you are beyond death. How could I ever have doubted it?

As he saw you, he also saw Them. I know how it was. You reeled back dizzy and blinded, more hurt by them than he had ever been by bombs. The degradation of it! – that this thing of earth and slime could stand upright and converse with spirits before whom you, a spirit, could only cower. Perhaps you had hoped that the awe and strangeness of it would dash his joy. But that is the cursed thing; the gods are strange to mortal eyes, and yet they are not strange. He had no faintest conception till that very hour of how they would look, and even doubted their existence. But when he saw them he knew that he had always known them and realised what part each one of them had played at many an hour in his life when he had supposed himself alone, so that now he could say to them, one by one, not “Who are you?” but “So it was you all the time”. All that they were and said at this meeting woke memories. The dim consciousness of friends about him which had haunted his solitudes from infancy was now at last explained; that central music in every pure experience which had always just evaded memory was now at last recovered. Recognition made him free of their company almost before the limbs of his corpse became quiet. Only you were left outside.

He saw not only Them; he saw Him. This animal, this thing begotten in a bed, could look on Him. What is blinding, suffocating fire to you, is now cool light to him, is clarity itself, and wears the form of a Man. You would like, if you could, to interpret the patient’s prostration in the Presence, his self-abhorrence and utter knowledge of his sins (yes, Wormwood, a clearer knowledge even than yours) on the analogy of your own choking and paralysing sensations when you encounter the deadly air that breathes from the heart of Heaven. But it’s all nonsense. Pains he may still have to encounter, but they embrace those pains. They would not barter them for any earthly pleasure.

CS Lewis, The Screwtape Letters

 

4 Responses to Resquiescat in Pace: Brian Bergkamp

  • That was a beautiful eulogy, TAC.

    Character is tested in the fire of a crisis. We don’t really know what we are made of until then. We all thnk we would jump into the river, but we don’t know.

    There was a Christendom College professor, Thomas VanderWoude, who witnessed his Downs Syndrome affected child fall into an open septic tank. He didn’t think twice. He immediately jumped in after him. He stood on the floor of the septic and raised his son above his head ….. Which was under the septic fluid. His son was rescued from that position. Mr. VanderWoude was not. His character was tested in an instant and found satisfactory by God.

    https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/man-drowns-saving-son-with-down-syndrome

    May I never value life as much as character and honour. May I always be ready to lay down my life, however it is required, for the sake of what God asks from me every moment of every day.

    Well done, Mr. Bergkamp! Godspeed! All the time spent in Seminary; all the time lost serving others as a Priest was redeemed in that one, shining moment of Truth that makes demons tremble in fear.

  • “Character is tested in the fire of a crisis. We don’t really know what we are made of until then. We all thnk we would jump into the river, but we don’t know.”

    Correct Brian. That is why courage is a precious virtue indeed, since it is often necessary if other virtues are to manifest themselves.

  • Conversation with my husband on this one was pretty short:
    Greater love has no man….

  • I hope in heaven he continues in his spirit of doing what he can to help.
    Saint Peter talked about us building and strengthening virtue
    2 Peter 1.4-11
    4 Thus he has given us, through these things, his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may escape from the corruption that is in the world because of lust, and may become participants in the divine nature.
    5 For this very reason, you must make every effort to support your faith with goodness, and goodness with knowledge, 6 and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with endurance, and endurance with godliness, 7and godliness with mutual* affection, and mutual* affection with love. 8 For if these things are yours and are increasing among you, they keep you from being ineffective and unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

    11For in this way, entry into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ will be richly provided for you.