The Sylvian Fissure
Father Jim Downs has many secrets, among them that he no longer believes in God. His only remaining wish is to be let alone—to forget, to brood, and to die.
His world turns upside down when he learns that a parishioner, a woman named Bernice who is dying of cancer, has been recruited into the biggest experiment of all time: government scientists will use her death to find out what exists in the hereafter—or what some might call Heaven.
Downs is shocked to learn that Bernice is not the only one from his parish who has been conscripted into the government’s project; he has too, and when he discovers the jarring reason why, he is forced to confront his own demons, and a dead loved one, head-on. Bernice guides Downs to a place he thought did not exist: a place inside his own self, where he must find redemption.