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Youthful Father Chuck O'Malley led a colorful life of sports, song, and romance before joining the Roman Catholic clergy, but his level gaze and twinkling eyes make it clear that he knows ...

Father Fitzgibbon has been the parish priest at St. Dominic's in New York City for forty five years. The parish faces financial and social problems which the diocese believes cannot be solved by Father Fitzgibbon's traditional and conservative approach to running the parish. The bishop appoints progressive Father O'Malley, originally from St. Louis, to, on the surface, assist Father Fitzgibbon at St. Dominic's. In reality, Father O'Malley has been appointed to lead the parish out of these problems, something that Father Fitzgibbon is unaware, and something that Father O'Malley does not want to divulge in letting Father Fitzgibbon continue his work in dignity. Father O'Malley's task is made all the more difficult as Father Fitzgibbon does not approve of Father O'Malley's ways, both as priest and as a person. In general, Father Fitzgibbon takes a rather strict approach typical to the traditional ways of the church, whereas Father O'Malley takes a more compassionate humanistic approach, he who wants to bring people back to the church through more contemporary means rather than the old "fire and brimstone" preachings. However, even Father O'Malley's humanism may not be able to deal with the fact that Ted Haines Sr., representing the Knickerbocker Savings and Loan, is thinking of foreclosing on the church's mortgage for non-payment, money which the church does not have and which it needs to get out of this problem.


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