The Epiphany Novels by Patrick Totman2019-03-22T18:58:33+00:00





An epiphany can be simply defined as a flash of insight flowing from an unusual, sometimes terrifying, experience. Epiphanies often are associated with the appearance of supernatural beings, either good or evil. Perhaps the best known epiphany is that of Saul of Tarsus on the road to Damascus. Saul is knocked senseless to the ground and blinded by an appearance of God. Saul, a pharisee and a persecutor of Christians, becomes Paul, the author of nearly half the books of the New Testament and the greatest proselytizer on behalf of the nascent Christian religion. His epiphany was clear and complete and he knew precisely how to respond. By contrast, most epiphanies are subtle and ambiguous, difficult to decipher and easy to ignore.


An Acolyte is one who attends, waits upon and serves someone viewed as superior to the acolyte. The acolyte seeks not only to serve and to be directed by the superior, but also to learn from and be enlightened by him or her.


This is the story of a family, a very extended and decidedly non-nuclear family with multiple explosive secrets. Family members interact with powerful governmental, financial, and religious forces at a time of seismic cultural shifts in the late twentieth and early twenty first centuries. The Berlin Wall and the Iron Curtain are falling. Crises arise within and outside the family.

Adam Thelen is the third son of the family patriarch, and he is a priest. He has a forbidden love affair and also responds to the evil acts of a fellow priest. Adam is shocked at his own actions. Is he any less malign then his family’s adversaries?

Adam Thelen, the priest and protagonist of this novel, is a Jesuit priest, but his conduct sometimes is decidedly un­priestly.

The contrasts between Jesuits and other orders, Franciscans for instance, are stark. Franciscans strive to live simple and austere lives emulating the life of Jesus Christ. Jesuits teach and evangelize globally and often are involved in secular issues and conflicts. Notably, Jesuits also swear a special vow of obedience to the Pope and carry out his directions and assignments throughout the world.

Adam Thelen is a Jesuit to his core but he also is a devoted and loyal member of a close knit and very unusual family. This novel is the story of Adam Thelen and of that evolving family. It is, in the tradition of Graham Greene, an “entertainment”.

Epiphany - The Acolyte BOOK

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The author was born into a Catholic family in Northern California and received his primary and secondary education in Catholic schools. He graduated from the University of San Francisco, a Jesuit institution, and then received a J.D. degree from the U.S.F. School of Law. After graduation from law school he became a member of the State Bar of California. Retiring shortly after the new millennium from a career in corporate law and finance, he obtained a master’s degree in psychology and became a counselor on a pro bono basis for the employees of a large west coast city.  These days, the author spends most of his time in Arizona and New Mexico.

After decades away from the Church, the author now has returned to Catholicism, including its belief in the grace and presence of the Holy Spirit in our daily lives. The Holy Spirit sometimes is called a paraclete, a being which intercedes to give aid or comfort. Hence the title of volume 2. of this family saga, Epiphany: The Paraclete.

The author, an avid reader, is indebted to a multitude of writers. A few of these other authors, all from the modern era (i.e. post 19th century) and by no means an exhaustive list, are Wallace Stegner, William Styron, J.R.R. Tolkien, John LeCarre, Graham Greene, Philip Kerr, Anita Brookner, Robertson Davies and C.J. Sansom.

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 (Coming Soon)

This saga of a family with strong ties to global financial and religious institutions will continue with volume 2—Epiphany: The Paraclete.

The word paraclete occurs five times in the New Testament, all in the writings of John. “Paraclete” is derived from the Greek word “Parakletos”. The translation of the word in English versions of the Bible is “Comforter” in the Gospel, and “Advocate” in the Epistle. []

Hence the title of Volume 2 of this series, Epiphany: The Paraclete.

Paraclete - draft book cover


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