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A Miracle for St. Cecilia's (Dorsetville)

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  390 Ratings  ·  60 Reviews
In the New England town of Dorsetville, the citizens are poor in worldly goods but rich in faith and compassion. For generations-long before the last woolen mill closed five years ago-Dorsetvillians have been bound together by the massive St. Cecilia's Catholic Church, slated to close after mass on Easter Sunday. On a bitter cold Ash Wednesday morning, Father James Flahert ...more
Paperback, 278 pages
Published June 24th 2003 by Penguin Books (first published August 5th 2002)
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Sarah Grace
Jan 31, 2017 rated it it was ok
Didn't finish this one. I started it, and I looked to have some potential, but there was some language\inappropriateness, and a lot of Catholicism, which isn't my cup of tea. Disappointing, because I think I would have enjoyed the story.
Okay, first, you must remember what kind of book this is. It's goody-goody, cozy and non-excitable. I loved the fact it was about Catholics AND it wasn't portraying us in a bad light, just ordinary Christians, practicing their faith. I thought the author did a commendable job of gently explaining "Catholic Stuff". The premise of the story was awesome. The only failure here was she could have taken it a little further. For example: Dear wifey, working, taking care of her cancer suffering husband, ...more
Mar 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A sweet story about a church that due to disrepair and member attrition due to death, was going to close...God had other plans. This one will make you smile. -- In the New England town of Dorsetville, the citizens are poor in worldly goods but rich in faith and compassion. For generations-long before the last woolen mill closed five years ago-Dorsetvillians have been bound together by the massive St. Cecilia's Catholic Church, slated to close after mass on Easter Sunday. On a bitter cold Ash Wed ...more
Dec 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
I loved the message of this book. It's definitely a gentle read and a feel good vibe! My only complain/criticism is an excessive use of similes such as "face as white as the sheets used to cover summer furniture on the side porch..." Sometimes less is more and it's ok to leave the description "white as a sheet". I found that to be a little distraction and once I noticed it I couldn't stop noticing it.
That being said it is definitely worth reading if you enjoy stories about quirky small towns or
Nov 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
What heartwarming story of faith and miracles. Very enjoyable with some spiritual inspirations.
Jul 17, 2017 rated it liked it
What a lovely little book. No it is not literature but exactly what one wants to read on a lazy summer day. I liked the Catholic slant also. Will definitely look for book 2 in series soon.
Susy Skidmore
Dec 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is a very sweet book. I loved the characters and the emphasis on faith.
Sep 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone
Very inspiring faith-filled book.
Margaret Hardie
Mar 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
This whole series is just sweet, inspirational, funny, . . . but not too fast paced. If you need fast paced, these are not the books for you. But just so good.
Aug 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was just a cute, feel good kind of book. It made me chuckle and occasionally guffaw. It was pretty cheesy but still warmed this grouchy young lady's heart.
Feb 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
Father James has only been at St. Cecilia's for three years but the parish and the town of Dorsetville, New England has become home. Most of the parish is elderly. All of the townspeople are suffering the loss of the last wool mill that closed five years earlier. But in spite of their hardships, their crusty outsides, and their strong opinions on every subject under the sun, they are also the most giving and compassionate group of people you would want to meet. And, they love their crumbling, co ...more
Mar 30, 2009 rated it it was ok
In "A Miracle for St. Cecilia's," you won't find one main character who seems to tell the story.

Much to Father James and his church-goers' chagrin, St. Cecilia's isn't bringing in enough funds to keep it going and is scheduled to be shut down. The church is in great disrepair with leaky roofs and a heating system that regularly needs fixing. Father James has much concern for his parishioners' needs, both spiritual and otherwise. He was directed to find a nursing home for long-time Father Keene,
A story of faith and of God's working in circumstances in ways we do not understand, to care for His people. The story, set in the Connecticut River Valley town of Dorsetville, opens on Ash Wednesday, upon which Father James Flaherty and his congregation learn that the archdiocese has determined to close their beloved St. Cecelia's Church. The town has fallen on hard times since the woolen mills shut down, church membership has declined as younger families have moved out of town in search of wor ...more
Feb 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
It was so beautiful and heartbreaking and sweet and I cried I burst out crying, I don't think that has ever happened to me while reading a book. I had to put the book down and grab tissues. But it still left me smiling at the end.

And it really renewed my faith.
Kind of Mitford-esque, but CAtholic, not Episcopal. I did get a kick out of a holograph of Mary as an idea for a substitute for a statue. Someone will probably try it some day, but I hope not in my parish!

In the New England town of Dorsetville, the citizens are poor in worldly goods but rich in faith and compassion. For generations-long before the last woolen mill closed five years ago-Dorsetvillians have been bound together by the massive St. Cecilia's Catholic Church, slated
May 18, 2013 rated it liked it
A gentle kind of novel with a lot of people, most of whom attend a Catholic Church. All of them have their problems... and the church itself is in danger of closing down. Meanwhile, a somewhat nerdy teenager who has been suspended from school for hacking, comes up with a rather unusual idea that gets somewhat out of hand, and an elderly priest goes missing in a snowstorm.

It makes pleasant reading, somewhat in the style of Jan Karon, although there was no main character and I found it very hard t
Donna Zigmont
Aug 09, 2015 rated it liked it
Two things drew me to this book.Its set in Connecticut where I lived most of my life and it was centered on A Catholic church.I'm a lifelong Catholic.I found it rather interesting because I see lots of Christian fiction but very seldom any Catholic Fiction.I enjoyed the book and thought it was well written.The characters and their stories were very believable. Eventhough the town is ficticious I can tell where in the state the town is.And I liked the fact that not every thing was sugar coated.Yo ...more
Jul 29, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: novels
I came across this book at the used book sale room in our local library. I have to admit that I was drawn in by the cover of the book. Priced at one dollar, I knew I had to take it home. I loved this book. As many have stated, if you like the Mitford books you will love the people of St Cecelia's. I passed this book on to my friends and they enjoyed it as well. After reading this novel, I purchased the rest of the books in the series and they all reside on my bookshelf just ready for me to pull ...more
Aug 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I thoroughly enjoyed this book, the first in the Dorsetville series. It’s kind of a Catholic version of the Mitford books. Valentine has created lovable characters, people we’ve all known in our own lives. References to differences between religious denominations are presented with humor – I laughed out loud quite a few times. All important, the Christian message comes through loud and clear as Father James meets challenge after challenge in his parish. I will read the next in the series.
Apr 19, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: christian
The story of a Catholic church in a small New England town that is dying from age and lack of funds, but is alive in faith and good works. Similar in theme to Jan Karon's Mitford books, if you like them you will probably enjoy this book too. I didn't feel that the characters in this book came to life quite as much as the people in the Mitford series, but I definitely did enjoy it, and will look for other books about St Cecelia's.
Sue Flanagan
Feb 17, 2010 rated it really liked it
Loved this book because of the faith of the different characters. Loved the way that the disciples' faith was conveyed - "No matter how those fisherman suffered, not one of them ever renounced their testimony. And thru 2000 years- many reliable witnesses testify to the transforming power inherent in Christ!"
Dec 05, 2014 rated it liked it
It was difficult for me to get into the story but once I did, I definitely wanted to finish it. It is a story of a small Catholic parish in a small New England town. It is a story of people facing life's struggles but relying on their faith to get them through. The story makes one evaluate one's own faith.
Sep 08, 2010 rated it really liked it
This is a Catholic version of the Mitford series. The similarities are many, including a quote in book two by the sheriff, "Dorsetville takes care of its own." The author writes much more openly about the supernatural than Jan Karon does. If you can get past the rosaries, Hail Marys, and genuflecting, you'll enjoy being transported to a quaint New England village. Definitely a "gentle read."
Sandra Kent
Sep 19, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
What a fabulous book this was to read. It was a bit tough at the beginning but as you met the characters and got to know them, the story began to flow. This book will go to my list of favorite stories!!
Jan 24, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: catholic
I really enjoyed this uplifting, faith filled book. It is filled with lovely characters and seemed to me to be a realistic portrait of a close community. I cried with sadness and with joy throughout the book. It's message of hope and faith came at a perfect time for me.
Feb 19, 2013 rated it liked it
This book about the people in Dorsetville trying to save their church from closing had appealing characters. Nevertheless, I found the book altogether too preachy. This book was supposed to be a novel but it read like a religious tract.
Apr 07, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
I was happy to find an inspirational fiction book centered around Catholicism because they are hard to find. It was a quick read, full of dialogue. It was a heartwarming story with kind and thoughtful characters. Lighter, gentle reading that wasn't overly preachy.
Sherry Edwards
Apr 04, 2013 rated it liked it
It was a little too religious for me, but I finished. I probably won't read another one by her. I liked the characters and the story was pretty good. At least it kept me reading so I could see how it would turn-out. Everything was a little too perfect.
May 15, 2010 rated it really liked it
St. Cecilia's has been in Dorsetville forever, but with a dwindling population and no money for upkeep, it's time for the church to close. Catholic-based, lots of prayers, but a warm story of the people who make up the community.
Jul 03, 2008 rated it really liked it
I first read this series about 5 years ago and loved them all. This one was just as good the second time around. Some have called them a "Catholic Mitford" series. I haven't read the Mitford books but the characters in this series are very endearing.
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