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Meet Brice Berger

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Tell us a little bit about you personally: Where are you from, your home parish, what’s your family like, etc.

When someone asks me where I am from, I never know exactly what to tell them. To many in seminary, I am from the middle of nowhere. I grew up in the country in Yorkshire, Ohio (A place that no one has heard of. It has a post office, a stop sign (not a stop light), and a bar- that’s pretty much all). I usually never actually say I am from Yorkshire because no one knows where that is unless they are from my area, and even then, some do not know where it is. I went to school at Versailles Schools, so that is the town that I typically claim up north. My home parish is St. Nicholas in Osgood, Ohio. My family has a Hardware Store in Fort Loramie. Often I will use Maria Stein as a reference point for people because it is well known in the Catholic world for the Maria Stein Shrine. If they do not know where any of these places are, then I tell them I am two hours north of Cincinnati in the land of the Cross tipped Churches. I have four siblings: 3 brothers and 1 sister, and I am the middle child.

When did you first begin to discern your calling to the priesthood?

I was born and raised Catholic, but I never really thought about the priesthood until I was a senior in high school. That all changed when I read a book that was given to the entire Archdiocese by Archbishop Schnurr called Life’s Greatest Lessons. At this point in my life, I did not read books for leisure. I had enjoyed reading when I was younger, but at that point in High school I had not read a book for pleasure in years. I was busy with many other priorities in High school such as sports, the FFA, and other activities. My family brough the book Life’s Greatest Lessons home from Mass one Sunday, and it was placed on the coffee table in our living room. For some reason, I decided to pick the book up and begin reading it, and that book greatly changed my life. God used that book to set me on fire for my faith, and I wanted to grow deeper in my faith. I began to read more books on the faith, and it was at this point that I also started to consider a vocation to the priesthood. The book has nothing to do with vocations or the priesthood. It was a book about generosity and giving, but it led me to give of my life for Christ. This began my discernment for priesthood, but I kept it private for a while before I told anyone. I went to collage as I had planned, but throughout it all, I continued to feel the call to the priesthood. I knew I had to at least give the seminary a try in order to discern my vocation, and as they say, the rest is history.

Who has been a mentor for you along the way?

I have been greatly blessed throughout my years of formation to be supported by many people. My family has always greatly supported me, and they have been a great encouragement in my discernment. I have also been greatly blessed with great priests in my life who have been a great mentor to me and have helped me greatly in my discernment. My home pastor when I first began to discern a vocation to the priesthood was Fr. David Zink, and he was a great help and support to me as I first began to discern. He helped guide me to enter the seminary and has always been a great spiritual mentor to me. At seminary, I have been blessed to have Fr. David Sunberg as my spiritual director. He has played a monumental role in my vocation and discernment throughout my time at seminary. During my internship year, I served at Guardian Angels parish with Fr. Thomas King. He has been a great mentor to me and has exemplified for me what it means to be a priest and a pastor. After 50 years of priesthood, he has much wisdom and knowledge to share, and I am grateful for the example he has given me.

What are you looking forward to most about being a priest?

As a priest, I am most looking forward to celebrating the sacraments and ministering to God’s people. While I am excited to celebrate all of the sacraments, I particularly look forward to being able to celebrate the Sacrament of Penance. I know what it is like to be the sinner in need of God’s mercy in the confessional, and now I will be able to bring people the mercy and love of God through the forgiveness of their sins. To see people dead in sin brought to life through the mercy of Jesus Christ is a great gift. The celebrate the sacraments for God’s people is a great gift.

Do you have any particular favorite devotions or prayers?

Two devotions that played a large role in my discernment before seminary and continue to play an important part in my faith life are the rosary and Eucharistic adoration. Once I began to discern a vocation to the priesthood, I began praying the rosary more often and attending Eucharistic Adoration regularly. At seminary, we have Eucharistic adoration and pray the rosary as a community almost every day. We must rely upon our Lord and our Lady.

What’s a hobby or activity you enjoy?

One activity that I enjoy is hiking and spending time outdoors. I enjoy traveling with my friends to different state and national parks to spend time together and enjoy God’s creation. I also enjoy projects. I always seem to have a project of some kind going on if not multiple at a time. These projects can be anything from landscaping, renovations, restoration, etc. I enjoy a good project regardless of what it is.

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