Deacons Russell Bergman and James O’Rourke will be ordained to the priesthood for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany by Bishop Edward B. Scharfenberger at a Mass and Rite of Ordination at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Albany on Saturday, June 18, at 11 a.m.
Deacon Bergman’s journey to the priesthood started at a young age but he said his first serious consideration came during his Confirmation class. “I was blessed with a very gifted and engaging priest who helped me to better appreciate my faith, what it meant to be a Catholic adult, intentionally living the faith.” That led him to contact the vocations office at the end of high school, but the priesthood for him was still years away. He went to college, got a job, bought a house, got married and was blessed to be married for over a decade, but, he says, it was not meant to be. The marriage ended in divorce and annulment. “While re-assessing and rebuilding my life after the end of a significant relationship, the call to the priesthood, which had been dormant inside me, came back to me in a powerful way.”
Deacon O’Rourke says his journey to the priesthood started in 2006. He was torn between discerning priesthood and serving as a Deacon permanently. “The call to priesthood was ever present and confirmed by several parishioners and priests in my diaconate experience.” He says the priests of the Albany Diocese are most inspirational to him. “Their hard work and prayerful attention to those they minister to has been most encouraging to me.”
You can learn more about Deacons Bergman and O’Rourke by logging onto the Seminarian Spotlight page of the Diocesan website https://www.rcda.org/seminarian-spotlight.
As for the Ordination, it is a beautiful and traditional ceremony. All are invited to attend in person or watch the Cathedral’s live stream at https://www.rcda.org/livestream.