I was thrilled to see Father Vitolds Valainis’ picture on the front page of The Catholic Messenger’s Sept. 23 issue.
He and Father Bill Kaska provide a valuable service to many who may be going through very difficult times. When our 20-year-old daughter was 16 months old, she was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy and spent three weeks at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City, including 12 days in the pediatric intensive care unit. Our first couple of days there were extremely frightening and stressful since we didn’t know what to expect.
We were referred to Fr. Valainis and although it was very late that first night at the hospital, he came and prayed with us and gave our daughter the sacrament of the anointing of the sick. He checked on her every day, which was very comforting since my husband and I were not able to be there 24/7 with her. I will always be grateful for the support he provided. Our daughter received wonderful care from all of the doctors and nurses at UIHC; however, I know that it was also the prayers offered up and the healing power of God that helped her get well and become the loving young woman she is today.
I hope everyone realizes how important the Annual Diocesan Appeal is to fund ministries such as the chaplains at UIHC and other various programs. Thanks for the informative article.