Set in 1968, one year after the riots that devastated Detroit, American Prophet tells the story of Thomas Gumbleton, a young man suddenly appointed to a position of great authority whose leadership must guide a community in a time of great upheaval and change. As the United States' newest--and youngest--Roman Catholic bishop, Thomas is faced with a city filled with uncertainty and a community divided by anger.
Amidst the tumultuous heights of the Civil Rights Movement, the anti-war Vietnam protests and ground shaking reforms within the Catholic Church itself, Thomas struggles to fulfill his new role and unite his community. But when the Archdiocese begins to desegregate the Detroit parochial schools, backlash from the churches turn into angry protests, forcing Thomas to stand his ground despite opposition from parishioners and even his fellow priests. When the rage over desegregation spills onto his personal life, Thomas must choose whether or not he can risk the demands of leadership, or remain silent.
With settings ranging from the parishes of Detroit to the humble homes of parishioners and the hockey rinks where Thomas and his friends--the only United States' only hockey team for priests--play, American Prophet is a unique glimpse at a past whose struggles resonate to our day and as well as the portrait of a young man who learns to come into his own.