April 9, 2012

Larry talks about ... the importance of familial love

"The Priest and the Peaches" is a sad yet funny story about five kids, living in the Bronx, who, having already lost their mom to leukemia, unexpectedly lose their dad during the Christmas season of 1965. Suddenly confronted with having to plan a funeral, realizing that they have no money and discovering that the rent and utilities are all past due thrusts them into a world they are unprepared to confront---"grown-up world".

Teddy Peach is 18 and the oldest. He is determined to keep all of them together as a family. His sister is 17 and his brothers are 14, 10 and six years old. Outside forces are already at work determined to get the three younger boys into a "properly supervised environment."

Enter Father Tim Sullivan, the local parish priest. A tough, street-wise man from the "Hell's Kitchen" section of Manhattan, Father Tim also has a kind and gentle way about him and possesses a simple faith that allows him to see God's love working even amidst chaos. He uses his faith to help guide the Peach kids on their quest to remain together as a family.

This book shows the value and importance of familial love and how powerful it can be, especially when faced with crisis. It also teaches lessons in taking responsibility, being unselfish, caring about others and "loving your neighbor." Finally, it portrays the manner in which so many priests have stayed true to their faith and vocations by being there for so many in times of need.