Father Timothy Kavanagh has been asked for many things in his priestly duties over the years, but when his bishop calls and offers him another position as Vicar, Father Timothy is flattered and excited to be back in active duty to his Lord. The retired Episcopal priest has been called to shepherd and revive a mountain church that has been closed for forty years. Requiring repairs and supplies, the congregation soon forms a tight bondm and most everything is acquired through their cooperation. The reader is introduced to new characters from the mountain area where his new “flock” lives. These new characters are as endearing and real as their predecessors.
Meanwhile back in Mitford, he’s now sent on a hunt for the money Miss Sadie hid to keep from losing it on the stock market (to the tune of $9,000), and two beloved friends are called to come home to the Lord. Father Tim, with wife Cynthia, as always proceeds with devotion, love, and generosity. Cynthia and Tim are farm- sitting for friends who have left the country for a year. As they adjust from city dwelling to country living, they find themselves in a variety of new situations. Missing chickens, delivery of numerous heads of cattle and sheep, and a collapsed chimney are all included in the mix.
Brief appearances are made by Dooley, Sammy, and (of course) the vicar’s famous dog, Barnabas, who is no longer an “only dog.” Cynthia’s cat Violet continues to be the subject of her artwork, and her editor is breathing down her neck to complete pictures for an upcoming calendar.
The couple are trying to decide when to tell Dooley he has been left a lot of money by Miss Sadie. Dooley is in college now, and being rich is quite a responsibility for one so young who was raised in poverty until Father Tim took him in. Dooley asks to be adopted by Father Tim and Cynthia, which could be a sticky situation with Dooley’s biological father still alive.
Living sometimes frantic lives with so many demands on their time, and so many lives to be touched by the love of God, the couple find they can meet each new challenge head on, together.