A forbidden relationship results in the birth of a horribly disfigured child. Father Frederic Harris calls the nearby abbey to provide a caretaker for the infant. At first Sister Elizabeth finds the child’s appearance repulsive but with each passing day her heart is filled with compassion. The child is hidden away in an upper room of the cathedral. As the boy grows older the nun discovers that he is blessed with a beautiful singing voice. In an effort to revive the struggling old historical church the nun compels the priest to let the child sing during Christmas Mass. The results are nothing less than miraculous. Now keeping the boy safe beneath hooded tunics becomes harder, especially when word begins to spread nationwide. People crowd the streets to hear the singing monk of Saint Matthew’s Cathedral. After meeting a kind and beautiful young lady by the name of Cynthia, young Luke’s restless spirit stirs with desire to be normal and leave his stone imprisonment. Sister Elizabeth has come to love the boy dearly but knows that such a thing would be impossible. Especially for someone who looks like a monster. Father Harris is firmly set against Luke leaving the safety of the cathedral. Yet God works in mysterious ways and Luke will find his incredible calling when he discovers that Cynthia’s life is in jeopardy and time is running out!
Excerpt from first chapter:
Thy Sins Shall Find Thee Out
“Father Harris! Father Harris, are you here?” Lisa Evans shouted within the sanctuary of Saint Matthew’s Cathedral. In a panic she rushed for the back of the church where the vicar’s office was located. She needed his help, they needed help. Father Harris stated “Lisa, what a pleasant surprise.” as he appeared from a side door. Lisa ran across the large sanctuary and threw herself in his arms. “We have a problem. I’m pregnant.” She gasped with tears. “Oh my, that is a problem. How do you wish to proceed?” he asked as he directed her to have a seat on the front pew. As she sat down Father Harris looked all around to be certain they were alone. “Proceed?
What do you mean?” Lisa inquired with confusion. “Well, do you wish to keep the child?”
Father Harris asked as he locked eyes with her. “What? You know as well as I that abortion is not an option!” she snapped with blind fury. Father Harris took her hand and held it in his as he spoke “Of course not, but there are other options. You know this poses a problem with my ministry. Nobody can find out about this or my work here will be ruined, as would your reputation.” Lisa buried her head in her hands as she cried profusely. “Let’s face the truth Lisa, we have committed sin my child and now we are paying the price for it.” Father Harris said softly as he thought for a way to handle the matter. “I know,” Lisa’s voice trembled as she spoke without raising her head “My parent’s will disown me the moment they find out. We’ll both be excommunicated. How can we find a way out of this mess?” An idea came to Father Harris and he cautiously presented it to Lisa “Perhaps you can go to Italy to study in one of their many convents. I believe I can make the arrangements rather quickly. You’ll stay there until the child is born. When you go into labor they’ll contact me and I’ll rush to be by your side. The child however will need to be put up for adoption before your return home. Nobody here will ever know and you can get on with your life as if it never happened.” Lisa raised her head and said
“Adoption?” Father Harris nodded “I’m sorry but it’s the only logical way; otherwise our lives will be ruined. I don’t see that we have any other choice.” Lisa wiped away her tears and asked
“What if you left the ministry? We could run off and get married, move somewhere far away from here.” Father Harris looked away. Lisa was barely eighteen and just out of high school. He was a thirty two year old Catholic priest; such a scandal would rock the community. After a moment he replied “Such an abandonment of God’s will for my life would surely bring a curse
upon us both. No, that is not an option.” They sat silent for a few minutes then Lisa stated “I’ll do it. I’ll go to Italy and have the child and return here without it.” Father Harris lowered his head before speaking “Very well, I’ll make the arrangements. Oh, there is one other thing my dear Lisa. After the child is born we shouldn’t see one another again. To do so would bring the same temptations upon us. I for one am too weak to resist such compassion.” Lisa leaned forward and buried her face into his chest. She cried bitterly. Father Harris whispered “I am so sorry I have brought this upon us.” as he embraced her lovingly for what he knew would be for the very last time.
A few days later Father Harris met Lisa at a small diner near the cathedral and discussed the plans he had made. “You’ll be staying at the historical Abbey of Saint Scholastica, also known as Subiaco Abbey. It is within the province of Rome. I understand their midwives are the finest in all of Italy and the facility sits upon the ridge of a beautiful river forge. I can tell your parent’s it is an opportunity of a life time and that they would be foolish to deny you such an educational experience. You’ll be on your way before you start showing and not return until you have your beautiful figure back.” Lisa listened quietly until he was finished then she asked “What will you tell them I am there to study?” Father Harris smiled “Ancient Roman Catholicism and cathedral architecture. The nuns at Saint Scholastica specialize in these studies and many of them speak English. However, it wouldn’t hurt for you to learn a little Italian while you’re there.” The two of them exchanged weak smiles then Lisa spoke with a sad heart “I have a passport but I will need to get a plane ticket. When are they expecting me?” Father Harris calmly gathered the pamphlets and placed them back into the folder. He gently placed it in her hand as he replied “Within the week. I have already purchased you plane ticket. Your flight leaves in three days.” Lisa’s eyes grew wide as she realized she didn’t have much time to prepare. Father Harris pulled the plane ticket from the inside pocket of his dress coat and handed it to her. “Aren’t you afraid it will rouse my parent’s suspicion for all of this to suddenly be thrown at them?” Father Harris smiled as he spoke “Let me handle that. Tell your parent’s I will be dropping by to discuss the matter shortly after dinner tonight. Okay?” Lisa gave Father Harris a weak smile and responded with remorse “Very well then, after dinner tonight.” Lisa gathered up the folder and her purse as they stood up. “Let me say once more how sorry I am but I feel sure things will turn out for the better in the long run. Who knows you may fall in love with Italy and decide to stay.” Lisa nodded and replied “Perhaps, I’ll see you this evening.” The two exchanged an awkward hug then Lisa walked away with tears in her eyes.