1 9 8 9 (USA)
7 x 25 minute episodes
This short-lived half-hour sitcom from ABC featured four Catholic priests – Monsignor “Mac” Mackenzie (Joel Higgins, late of Silver Spoons); Father Edgar Tuttle (Frank Hamilton); Father Vincent Paglia (Ron Carey), and Father Gabriel “Gabe” Podmaninsky (Stephen Furst).
Unflappable and progressive monsignor “Mac” Mackenzie collected baseball cards, wore a Cubs cap, practised putting in his office (which also housed a basketball hoop) and epitomised the modern church, while the old religious modes were represented by ageing do-it-by-the-book Father Tuttle, who resented Mac’s contemporary style and wanted to reintroduce corporal punishment in the classroom.
Insecure young priest Gabe, meanwhile, was fresh out of the seminary, still ate children’s cereal, and had difficulty with taking confessions because he became nervous when people got too personal.
Sharing the refectory at St Catherine’s parish on Chicago’s South Side was Father Vincent Paglia, the cost-conscious parish accountant, a former Notre Dame tackle who now devoted his life to bake sales and bingo games.
Francesca Roberts (from Frank’s Place) co-starred as the very secular secretary, Sally Coleman, a street-smart single mother who knew nothing about Catholicism, couldn’t type and only took the job at the church because “there are a lot of single guys around”.
Monsignor Joseph “Mac” Mackenzie
Father Edgar Tuttle
Father Vincent Paglia
Father Gabriel “Gabe” Podmaninsky
Francesca P. Roberts
The Teacher | Holy Smoke | The Window | Bingo | Letters from Home | The Confession | The Competition