My-Brothers-Keeper-By-Chris-Calder

My Brother's Keeper

A priest suffers the torture of conflict between his duty and his ingrained beliefs.

A fifth of people on the planet profess the Roman Catholic faith, but the institution is losing followers, including ordained priests. Bishop Joseph Connell, concerned by the increasing number of priests who need help, sets up a covert department to deal with the problem and orders Dominic Barratt, a thirty-nine-year old priest with a degree in Psychology, to take on the task. Dominic considers himself unfit for the job.  He is tormented by his sexuality and unsettled by events within his own family that challenge the strength of his faith.

Years before, Dominic had an intimate relationship with Hazel Price, who believes that he made a mistake when he left her for the priesthood. She comes into his life again, determined to get him to resign and marry her. Hazel gets the job of secretary to the bishop and will now be around Dominic constantly, re-awakening in him memories of their intimacy.

As a boy, Dominic went to Holy Cross, the Jesuit school where he met Father Gerald Gough, with whom he formed a special bond. Gough, now retired, is Dominic’s confessor. Dominic’s mental torment and spiritual doubts are revealed through his confessions to Father Gough.

Dominic’s cases include a priest who is determined to conduct gay marriages and another who had sexual intercourse with a minor. Others needing help are a priest trying to deal with a cult of veneration of a person who is alleged to be performing miracles and an irascible elderly priest who talks to the spirit of a mediaeval monk. The covert department is working well, until Dominic learns that the bishop himself has been harbouring a secret.

The story follows Dominic Barratt who is torn between the vows he has taken and his powerful feelings for Hazel. It concludes with him being released from the priesthood and the door is left open for sequels so that Dominic can continue helping people in trouble.

"Although ‘My Brother’s Keeper’ is not a thriller like Mr Calder’s earlier novel ‘Payback’, it’s no less gripping, and the wonderfully dry humour that pervades Father Dominic Barratt’s existence makes this book a joy to read. Relevant, as well as being surprisingly sexy and action-packed, these glimpses into the life of a Catholic priest are never less than mesmerizing." - Doug Watts, Literary editor

Read the Blurb

Dominic Barratt, a priest who has a degree in Psychology, is ordered by his bishop to use his expertise to help other priests who have problems. Dominic is appalled. He has his own problems of conscience, but is bound by his vows to comply.

Before his decision to become a priest, Dominic was engaged to Hazel Price. She blames him for the break-up. Now, Dominic is tormented by thoughts about Hazel. He is also having doubts about his own faith.

Matters come to a head when Hazel gets a job in the Diocesan headquarters.

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