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Obituary: Father Raymond G. Helmick, SJ, negotiator, professor, missionary


Father Raymond Helmick, SJ Pilot file photo

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When he was growing up in Arlington and attending St. Agnes School, he probably never dreamed that he would be a major contributor to building bridges and bringing peace to some of the most troubled spots of the world, but that is the legacy of Father Raymond Helmick, SJ who died at the Campion Healthcare Facility in Weston on April 21.

The middle child and first son of the late Raymond and Alice (Clancy) Helmick, his older sister Marie Barry lives in Peabody and his younger brother, Msgr. William M. Helmick, is pastor of St. Theresa of Avila Parish in West Roxbury. Recently Msgr. Helmick underwent surgery and at the generous invitation of the Jesuits he was invited to post-operative recovery at Weston so he could be with his brother Ray whose health was rapidly declining. Msgr. Helmick will continue his recovery at Weston.

After elementary school at St. Agnes, Raymond went to Boston College High School, in those days still at the old South End campus. Following graduation he entered the Jesuits at their novitiate in Lenox on his 18th birthday, Sept. 7, 1949. Illness interrupted his novitiate, but he resumed his Jesuit formation and following philosophy studies at Boston College and theological studies in Germany he was ordained to the priesthood in Frankfurt, Germany on Aug. 27, 1963. While a scholastic (1957-1960) he taught school in Jamaica and returned there following ordination from 1965-1967.

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