“I started reading the story as a favor to a friend, but finished it because it was a great story. Couldn’t put it down--read it straight through in one sitting!”
— Fr. David Jaspers
A young nineteenth-century priest, cousin of the Czar, accidentally discovers the mother lode while exploring Mt. Hood, a dormant volcano in the Oregon Cascades. Bishop Alexi Romanov builds his church, Saint Bartholomew, on top of his discovery of the vein of gold. This secret resource funds 120 years of humanitarian works, scholarships, and research as it becomes a haven for Eastern Orthodox refugees fleeing eastern Europe.
Romanov’s elected heir is a Crimean peasant trained in the monasteries of Macedonia. Father Nicholas is vigilant in protecting Bartholomew’s treasure. He and his small flock live quietly and inconspicuously raising sheep on their secluded property. But when the public starts to encroach on their land, ninety-eight-year-old Fr. Nicholas attempts to stop the state of Oregon as it builds a new highway.
Father Nicholas’ tactical error raises the curiosity of freelance reporter, Stephen Murphy, who wonders where and how this quiet retreat amassed its assets. Nicholas hopes he can preserve the sanctity of the land.