Ascent Into Hell Author:Andrew M. Greeley As he so movingly revealed in the bestselling The Cardinal Sins and Thy Brother's Wife, Father Andrew Greeley knows the tragedy and the frustration, the power and the glory, of the priest's role in contemporary life. In his new novel, Ascent Into Hell, he illuminates the pain of choice --- the dilemma of a priest catapulted by changing times int... more »o rethinking his chosen pathway through life.
On the day Hugh Donlon is born, his father pledges, in gratitude for his wife's survival through the difficult birth, that his son will enter the priesthood. And if Hugh's prestigious Chicago family structures and manipulates his life and experiences so that he genuinely feels a vocation, they do so with love for him and confidence that it is right for him. Of course they arrange for the beautiful, sensuous teen-ager Maria Manfredy, who tempted their son when she visited one summer, to be removed from his life. With their help he stifles his awakening love for her and dedicates himself to his seminary studies.
But life as a priest is not the idealistic service Hugh envisioned. A St. Jarlath's he labors under a quixotic pastor whose selfishness, disregard for his congregation's spiritual needs -- even madness -- goes unquestioned by the Church's hierarchy. Hughe's dissatisfaction grows as he witnesses the harsh treatment of a progressive young nun and endures his own public humiliation. He is ripe for the revolution of the sixties.« less