A noted folk artist debuts with a warmly affirming story, the first in a series, of a congregation's attempts to save its church from being closed down. As in the popular Mitford novels, the setting is a fictional small town where everyone knows and cares for everyone else and even the curmudgeons have hearts of gold. In Dorsetville, in New England, the Catholic Church is St. Cecilia's, and its priests are Father James Flaherty and his elderly assistant, Father Keene. Dorsetville was once a prosperous mill town, but the congregation has shrunk, and on a bitterly cold Ash Wednesday morning, when the ancient furnace, as usual, is not working, Father James gets a call from his superior requesting a meeting to discuss the church's fate. Father James is a good and caring priest, and he's concerned that, if the church closes down, his elderly flock will be bereft of the comfort and community it offers, and aging Father Keene will have to go into a retirement home. Told that the church must be closed on Easter Sunday, Father James realizes that only a miracle will save it. As he worries, prayers are answered in unexpected ways: much-liked parishioner Bob, ill with cancer, undergoes a successful bone marrow transplant; Father Keene, lost in a snowstorm, is found sheltering in widow Harriet Bedford's house; and Harriet, who has been visiting her sister, a Mother Superior, is reunited with her long-lost granddaughter. St. Cecilia's itself still needs a miracle, which it seems to get when a hologram of the Virgin Mary, created by young computer whiz Matthew, appears in the church. Though crowds flock to see it, Easter Sunday is only hours away. But fittingly, on Easter morning Father James receivesa letter that in its way offers a miraculous solution to his problems. A beguiling mix of characters in a sunny story that faithfully emphasizes the positive. Sweet soulfood only.