Bless me father
A confession or a killer and the hope for forgiveness gives this story unique beginning with Father O’Keefe facing an ethical dilemma. Does he stay silent and honor the sanctity confession or just he uses a different type of moral and ethical judgment to reveal what he knows?
Damien Dolan has just been promoted to Monsignor of a different parish and from the start meeting the Bishop of this parish leads him to believe that this change was not what he expected or might have wanted. As a lawyer in the past he is being asked to possibly deal with legal matters that the church needs handled. What is implied is that charges against priests for inappropriate behavior need to be dealt with, disappeared and the priest sent to some far-off parish hopefully never heard from again.
Damien Dolan was born with a bit if’s conscience and heart. Molly a former Nun and childhood friend has reentered his life and now runs the shelter hoping the bishop will send some funds her way. Events are not as cut and dry when you hear the conversations between Damian and Molly and then interject Father O’Keefe whose presence brings back an event from the past that might connect to the confession he heard from a killer and the disappearance of a young girl named Monica I the past.
When a detective confronts the Bishop about the death of Father Smith a noted pedophile and charges processed and yet he’s sent away, the detective things his death in the home was murder due to overdosed grapefruit juice interacting with a medication .
As Damien reflects on his new position Father O’Keefe comes to join him and Molly for a breakfast that takes a negative turn. Words pass and apologies accepted but the tension remains. Damien realizes that the disappearance of Monica Rossetti holds the key to his anger and decides to take a chance finding his way to Molly’s at a late hour. Thoughts discussed and decisions made as they talk out the situation and devise a plan to hopefully find out who took her, the mystery of the red shoes that haunts him and car that is planted in his memory as the vehicle that might have been the one the kidnapped victim was in. Things get heated and Damien decides to try and find the car first using the fat the one assigned to him lacks the registration information. With the help of Mrs. Goldstein, the bishop’s Secretary he gains access to the vehicle registration forms and gathers more about others in the past that might hold the key to what happened to Monica.
Father O’Keefe visits Molly and she realizes that her request for funding goes to the deaf ears of the Bishop.
Information is shared Inspector Johnson meets with the Bishop and then Father O’Keefe and gets two opposite accounts of the day Monica disappears and the mood swings of both Father Smith and the Bishop. Father O’Keefe presents the Inspector with detailed account of his actions that day plus a timeline of events and articles that might help .
Things get tense and we begin to suspect that Mrs. Menendez knows something that she is not sharing but what? Why confess falsely and why take penance for things she never did?
Added in Father O’Keefe relates the confession of a man who claimed to kill a priest and has more deaths in mind to cleanse the church but was this a priest or someone pretending? So why does the Father want Damien to leave the church and follow a different path? Life’s experiences teach us many things what does his past hopefully change for him in the future?
Molly and Monica which one has the tightest pull in Damien and why?
Damien visits Mrs. Menendez in her shop to and learns about a man who bought a plain black cassock and she knew he was not a priest, but will Damien get the receipt, or will something happen to her? Added in he did not know that both Molly and Monica served mass that day.
Things get more complicated when Inspector Johnson learns about the fourth Priest that was involved in the scandal of this church. Father Smith, Father Battaglia and the Bishop along with Father Richards the fourth priest were there that day but what exactly happened and how was this related to the missing young Monica? Added in the killer is now coming face to face with Damien and someone decided to make sure those that were guilty pay was it the homeless man named Matthew, Charlie or was it someone hiding in plain sight that was a victim too?
Just who had something to gain from the deaths of these Priests and who would be the next victim? The ending is priceless and the takedown of the killer so perfectly orchestrated by author Tom Walsh that you won’t see it coming but it will bring a smile to your face when you see just who manages to foil this person.
Damien meets with the Bishop and his fate is sealed so if not in the church where will he wind up and what happens when he learns about a young child named Angelica? Is he the father?
Molly and Damien have come to a strong crossroads in their lives as they both reflect on where they want their futures and why the Church was not where they belonged as far Nun and Monsignor or Priest. Where does that leave Father O’Keefe and what about the present Bishop? The ending lets you know that some endings are new starts, some bring hope to the women who need the shelters and the services that Molly provides and some learn that there are those who will help restore a new life if they want it.
Author Tom Walsh brings to light an issue that is often in the news and the fact that young children and others might be defiled at the hands of a priest is chilling and the issues brought to light of trust, sanctity of the church, children’s safety and rights and the thought that the Church might hide it all and cover it up is enlightening as Mrs. Melendez meets the latest new addition to her parish and once again she might way going to confession: Bless Me Father For I have Sinned. A plot that is well defined, characters that are solid and the hope that the author will bring O’Keefe back again along Damien and Molly in new roles.
Fran Lewis: Just reviews
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