When a new highway threatens to bypass the town of Rossmore and cut through Whitethorn Woods, everyone has a passionate opinion about whether the town will benefit or suffer. But young Father Flynn is most concerned with the fate of St. Ann’s Well, which is set at the edge of the woods and slated for destruction. People have been coming to St. Ann’s for generations to share their dreams and fears, and speak their prayers. Some believe it to be a place of true spiritual power, demanding protection; others think it’s a mere magnet for superstitions, easily sacrificed.
Father Flynn listens to all those caught up in the conflict, as the men and women of Whitethorn Woods must decide between the traditions of the past and the promises of the future.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
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|Title of eBook: Whitethorn Woods|
|Release Date: 03-06-2007|
|Allowed Countries (hover)|
|Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group|
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|Parent title||Whitethorn Woods|
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Father Brian Flynn, the curate at St. Augustine’s, Rossmore, hated the Feast Day of St. Ann with a passion that was unusual for a Catholic priest. But then, as far as he knew he was the only priest in the world who had a thriving St. Ann’s well in his parish, a holy shrine of dubious origin. A place where parishioners gathered to ask the mother of the Virgin Mary to intercede for them in a variety of issues, mainly matters intimate and personal. Areas where a clodhopping priest wouldn’t be able to tread. Like finding them a fiancé, or a husband, and then blessing that union with a child.
Rome was, as usual, unhelpfully silent about the well.
Rome was probably hedging its bets, Father Flynn thought grimly, over there they must be pleased that there was any pious practice left in an increasingly secular Ireland and not wishing to discourage it. Yet had not Rome been swift to say that pagan rituals and superstitions had no place in the Body of Faith? It was a puzzlement, as Jimmy, that nice young doctor from Doon village, a few miles out, used to say. He said it was exactly the same in medicine: you never got a ruling when you wanted one, only when you didn’t need one at all.
There used to be a ceremony on July 26 every year, where people came from far and near to pray and to dress the well with garlands and flowers. Father Flynn was invariably asked to say a few words, and every year he agonized over it. He could not say to these people that it was very near to idolatry to have hundreds of people battling their way toward a chipped statue in the back of a cave beside an old well in the middle of the Whitethorn Woods.
From what he h