ORDAINED by Robert Leckie

ORDAINED

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Expect no troublesome tributaries from the career of Father Robert Cullen, ordained in 1936. The boyish, raw-boned and generally sunny priest; admittedly no scholar, does wrestle briefly with some doctrinal matters, but he never has one iota of doubt about the rightness of his vocation and its major demands. After some shaky beginnings in a parish, Father Cullen takes gladly to work in The Propagation of the Faith before being assigned to the Pacific theatre as a chaplain in the war. He gives aid and comfort, is admired by the men and rescues a young soldier from the execution ordered by a sadistic major. The highpoint of his tour in the Solomons is a reunion with a Dutch Marist whose later martyrdom brings Father Cullen to a spiritual crisis which he resolves. Returned home a hero, Father Cullen carries with him a ""miraculous"" shirt which belonged to his former superior, a saintly man of earthly failing. Father Cullen confers with the (then) Archbishop Spellman and in Rome with the future Pope John, who discourses on the evils of nationalism while kindly disposing of the ""relic."" In spite of the blithely naive use of historical personalities, and comfortably well-worn characters and dialogue, this is, like Father Cullen, restfully square and should please those who like their fictional priests pure and pacific.

Pub Date: Nov. 7th, 1969
Publisher: Doubleday