Thanks, Fr. Helms


To the Editor:
We, the members of St. Thomas More Parish in Coralville, wish to take this opportunity to thank our pastor, Father Walter “Wally” Helms, for his 13 years of dedicated service to our parish.
Fr. Helms has been a wonderful, caring priest, welcoming new parishioners, very supportive of his parish staff, offering guidance to our parish council and many commissions and subcommittees.
He provided leadership while encouraging participation, stewardship and collaboration so that we parishioners had a say in what happened in our parish.
He always welcomed and valued our ideas and suggestions. When Bishop William Franklin requested that St. Thomas More move to the North Corridor, Father diligently supported us during that difficult time of planning, fund raising, building and moving to our current location.
Fr. Helms deeply cares for each of his parishioners. Like Christ, the Good Shepherd, who laid down his life for his sheep, Father donated one of his kidneys to a parishioner in need of a transplant.
In addition, Fr. Helms has been very active in our community. He celebrates monthly Mass at Lantern Park Care Center and Oakdale Prison, holds a Vespers service for Oaknoll Retirement Center residents, serves on the Ecumenical Consultation of Churches and is involved in many social action programs.
Fr. Helms is strongly committed to our Regina Catholic Education Center (Iowa City) in fostering our youths. He received the Regina Distinguished Award in 2011.
Parishioners enthusiastically comment:
“Fr. Helms embraces the spirit of Vatican II.”
“He is the epitome of collegiality on committees.”
“He firmly believes there will be ice cream and pizza in heaven, and possibly, chocolate.”
Fr. Helms will be retiring on Sunday, June 30.  He will offer his last Mass as pastor at 2 p.m. A reception will follow.  Please come and celebrate with him as he bids us farewell.
Parishioners of St. Thomas More Parish

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