WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Many call seminarian Brian Bergkamp’s act to save another woman in the Arkansas River this weekend heroic. He did not make it back to shore. Family and friends are holding each other up, in a very difficult time.
KSN News talked to those who know Brian, a man they say is selfless and giving.
“When I hear the words Brian Bergkamp, I think one of the most selfless individuals I ever met,” said seminarian, Jimmy Schibi.
That’s how people who work closely with seminarian Brian Bergkamp, view him, a very simple and faithful man.
“He said he just had a desire to help people, to save people. He thought about being a fireman or a paramedic or a policeman, but decided the priesthood was what he wanted to do and just minutes later, he actually saved someone,” said Lord’s Diner Director Jan Haberly.
Bergkamp was employed as an intern at the Lord’s Diner this summer, something he cherished so much.
“It’s a great opportunity to show compassion and love for those that are less fortunate than ourselves,” said Bergkamp during his internship.
Brian completed his second year at Mt. St. Mary’s Seminary, scheduled to be an ordained priest 2018. Those at Catholic Diocese of Wichita Vocations say Brian has a calling to be a priest.
“Brian’s kind of one of those guys that does have that smile that just draws you in and that personality that draws you into the conversation,” said Father Mike Simone.
His personality, spreading to others at his school. And his selfless act doesn’t come to a surprise for some.
“He would go out of his way to help someone and forget about his own, probably, self in the process. So what he did was a very natural thing for him,” said Mt. St. Mary’s University Vice Rector, Father Kenneth Brighenti.
That natural thing, wanting to help other’s, was known at the Lord’s Diner.
“I think this is a great opportunity for future priest because we understand more of where people are coming from,” said Bergkamp.
No matter what the outcome may be for Brian’s recovery.
“We know that he will be and continues to be at peace,” said Father Simone.
There will be a prayer service each evening at St. Anne Catholic Church, starting at 7 p.m. This is to pray for Brian, his family and the recovery team. Those services will continue, until he’s found.