Resquiescat in Pace: Brian Bergkamp

Saturday, August 6, AD 2016




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.

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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.

    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.