Thursday, February 11, 2010
Father Tim's Catholic Cousin
A few years ago, I picked up the first book in Jan Karon's Mitford series at the library and was instantly drawn in by the warm characters, the sometimes funny situations and the cozy atmosphere of Mitford. I read all the books and eventually even bought my own set of them.
Last week, while in the library looking for something to read, this book caught my eye. I glanced at the book jacket quickly and figured, "why not?" I began reading it yesterday evening and finished up this afternoon. This book begins a series of books that take place in Dorsetville, Ct and center around the parish of St Cecilia and is written by Katherine Valentine.
These books are the Catholic equivalent of the Mitford books. The characters are loveable and quirky. The town is small and filled with people you can relate to. Father James is the pastor of St Cecilia's and boy, does he have problems! The old furnace keeps going out at the church and things are so jerry-rigged that it's a fire hazard. The parish can't afford to replace it due to the aging of its parishioners and the fact that the town is in an economic slump. Father Keene, the elderly priest in residence has been having some aging issues of his own and something needs to be done. On Ash Wednesday, Father James is summoned to the Archbishop's and is given the news that St Cecilia's will to be closed due to economic issues and that Father James needs to find a nursing home to care for Father Keene, all by Easter.
The ensuing Lent brings several surprises and miracles for the parish of St Cecilia's, including a missing priest, a conversion, an emotional change of heart, a bone marrow donor, and a Marian apparition. Everything is nicely tied up at the end and I have to admit, I am looking forward to reading more.
I am sure that the author was influenced by Jan Karon's books, in fact, in one scene, a character is mentioned to be reading "At Home In Mitford". Great literature, it's not, but a pleasant read and lots of fun.