When a young priest makes some bad choices, it becomes a blight on his vocation that follows him all his life. Father Bernard made some bad choices. Jennifer was one. Helen, another, although Helen began as an innocent mistake that got out of hand. After twenty years as an assistant pastor at Immaculate Conception Church on the west side of Chicago, Father Bernards vocation has deteriorated, not only because of his moral lapses but also from its lack of substance and value. His duties have become tedious and distressing; the sin, dying, dishonesty, and infidelity drains him. Deepening his distress is his life at a rundown, disintegrating parish, with an outdated liturgy and a pastor, Father McElroy, who is a rude, spiteful, and offensive old man. His attempt to save himself from his cheerless, desolate life leads him down a dangerous path, one that puts him in direct conflict with his vocation. Can he salvage his failing vocation and repair his troubled soul? Can he find the strength to restore the spiritual meaning and substance that once guided him as a priest?