Meet Our Priests: Father Rudy Bullman

By Karina Fabian
Montana Catholic
January 16, 2004

Rudy Bullman had long felt a calling to the religious life. In his youth, he'd briefly studied to be a Lutheran minister, and after his conversion, the priesthood was still in the back of his mind. However, a good job at a lumber mill in northern Montana and a mother who needed his care kept him with the status quo. When downsizing led to massive layoffs including his own his priest reminded him of his interest.

In June 2000, Father Rudy was ordained and assigned to the Cathedral as an associate pastor. Now, he's pastor at Risen Christ Parish in Kalispell, a growing parish of about 300 families.

It's a job Father Rudy loves but didn't feel totally prepared for at first. The seminary, he explained, does not teach the nuts and bolts of administrating a parish, and he's had to learn by experience. "Thank goodness I have a staff that knows what they're doing and are willing to teach me," he said.

He added that one of the hardest lessons was understanding that he was the decision maker for the parish. "The first few weeks, I'd ask Virginia, our secretary, who makes this decision and she'd raise her eyebrows and say, 'Father, you do.' "

He's settled quite well into his position, however, and has enjoyed the challenge of administrating as well as ministering to a parish that is growing rapidly. Already he looks forward to the day when the number of people will exceed the church's capacity, and has set up a vision committee so that when that day comes, they will already have a good idea of what they want to do. "We're setting out some dreams and goals so that we can move quickly when the time comes to expand," he said.

For Father Rudy, becoming a priest is a dream come true. "The priesthood is an exciting and rewarding thing to do. The feeling that you're bringing God to people in a very special way is worth any sacrifices you make," he said.


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