These Thy Gifts

These Thy Gifts

by Vincent Panettiere


Publisher CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform

Published in Literature & Fiction/Historical, Literature & Fiction

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Book Description


These Thy Gifts is a poignant new novel of faith, love and atonement. The story is epic in scope and told with unabandoned ferocity. With its colossal characters and compelling plot, These Thy Gifts is set in New York and Vietnam.

Sample Chapter

Years of celibacy had caused Monsignor Steven Trimboli, the new pastor of Queen of Peace, to get a grip on his physical impulses, allowing his intellect to flow freely. Perhaps that’s what they meant in the seminary about controlling the energy of the flesh in order to expand the mind. Approaching his seventieth year, he refused to accept that facile explanation as an epiphany. The unused energy of his flesh had become the fuel propelling his mind to create doubts and questions.

In the era of child-abusing priests, he wondered, could a priest or parishioner consider himself both an intelligent and a practicing Catholic? The first time he was exposed to the concept he scoffed, because it emanated from one of the typical array of talking heads perched on some cable news show. One guest, a woman, was the obligatory “defender of Catholicism”—thereby making the debate both fair and balanced. She averred that she was both “intelligent and a practicing Catholic.” At the time it meant little to him. It was just another example of rationalized babble which spread across the small screen like a plague of locusts devouring and obscuring more fertile discourse.

The woman’s words buzzed through his head again: I’m intelligent and a practicing Catholic.

Were they compatible concepts, intelligence and piety? What mattered to him was that distortions and aberrations could not be tolerated on an intellectual level.

The scandal of child abuse, he was convinced to the marrow of his bones, if not his soul, was the result of a continuous practice by the institution in which he’d devoted his entire life.

Morning brought a surge of adrenalin which he defused by rearranging his bookshelf for the fourth time in twenty minutes. He understood the jolt of energy was not from nerves or fear. It was the excitement a boxer might experience before entering the ring.

The doorbell rang. Let’s get it on, the internal electricity said.

In the last few days, he’d often asked himself if he had a choice. He was not trying to wriggle off the hook, but only reaffirming his actions, taking his moral temperature, consulting his moral compass, and all the other clichés which satisfied his conscience. At every turn he knew and was deeply convinced he’d made the only choice.

“Monsignor Trimboli, many demonstrators are protesting on the sidewalks in front of your church, Queen of Peace, and at your office here in the rectory as we speak. Can you tell me and our viewers why they are demonstrating?”

“From what I can conclude, they seem to be upset that a former priest in this parish has been removed from his pastoral duties,” Trimboli replied without a hint of subtext.

“You are referring to Father Dan Schaefer?”

Trimboli nodded, not wanting the name to pass his lips. The reporter persisted. “Exactly what does that mean?”

“It means he no longer has any duties in this parish and cannot function as a priest—saying Mass, giving the sacraments—until the charges brought against him, very serious charges, I might add, have been settled.”

“What caused you to take that action?”


“Which were…?” The reporter snapped off the return question. He’d regained his composure and was now in command.

This was not a delicate age, he thought. No reason to equivocate.

“Last Sunday, that priest celebrated the last Mass of the day. It started at twelve fifteen, and whoever says that Mass usually returns for Sunday dinner by two. When he had not returned by two thirty, I could no longer resist the stares of Bridie… her name is Bridget. She’s our cook and housekeeper. Bridie was convinced he was dead or had vanished in a UFO. “I went over to the church,” Trimboli continued, “entering by the side door nearest the rectory. There’s a room called the vestry where we put on our vestments before Mass. I found the door closed but heard muffled sounds from within and then what seemed like a groan of pain. I thought perhaps he’d had a heart attack or had fallen. Was he dazed? All manner of distress entered my mind instantaneously. But I could not know for certain what to think. I quickly opened the door to find him standing over one of our altar boys. I will not give his name. The boy was on his knees. Naked. Semen dripped from the boy’s lips and chin. The older man’s penis was exposed and semi rigid. The boy started to shake when he saw me. He started to cry and then urinated uncontrollably before kneeling in his urine.

“I could not abide it. He, and I call him he throughout the interview because his name will never cross my lips, he does not deserve to be a priest. He has committed a crime and a sin in God’s house. Those were the “improprieties.” Such a delicate word for such a vile act. That is why I took action.”

When the camera lights were shut off, he saw the reporter’s ashen face. “Get what you wanted?” Trimboli asked without a trace of sarcasm or malice.


Excerpted from "These Thy Gifts" by Vincent Panettiere. Copyright © 2016 by Vincent Panettiere. Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. Excerpts are provided solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
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Author Profile

Vincent Panettiere

Vincent Panettiere

Vincent Panettiere, is a Los Angeles author, began his writing career as a reporter for the wire service UPI; then wrote sports for The Boston Herald. Subsequently he was an executive with CBS-TV and later Twentieth Century Fox Television. Later he wrote several film scripts yet to be produced and served as a literary agent for television and film writers and directors, and as a sports agent for major league and professional baseball players. He is the author of THE INTERNET FINANCING SOLUTION, and while that book is an expose of Internet scams, it is also the experience of the author and his personal unfortunate experiences with the Internet global scams. A Woman To Blame is his first novel.

View full Profile of Vincent Panettiere

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