Times of Distress


Fr Jos van Engelen, a Dutch missionary priest stationed in New Guinea before World War II, is recalled to Holland to help his superior general combat suspected ideological subversion within his fraternity. He arrives in March 1940. When the Nazis invade Holland, he is drawn into covert operations by British intelligence. It all goes horribly wrong, and he is forced to flee to Amsterdam where he goes to ground. When the Nazis fire on the crowds gathered on Dam square in May 1945, he saves a young woman and her baby from being crushed in the stampede. It is the start of an unspoken relationship with the Strict Reformed Truus van den Donker, and a deadly tussle with her brutish occultist husband.

After the war, he has a running conflict with those he suspects of undermining the order’s ways and of betraying him. The conflict comes to a head during and after the Second Vatican Council, with the conflict settling on the council’s document on the liturgy. The strife results in more measures to get him out of the way. At the same time, he must confront sinister occultist forces that want him dead. The unspoken love of the woman he can never have keeps his spirits from being crushed.

Book One of the CONCILIAR SERIES develops the early story of Fr van Engelen and Truus van den Donker with the location of the story in Holland, New Guinea and Australia. The period is from 1940 to 1970. Both will appear in a future title in the series.

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The CONCILIAR SERIES will consist of eight connected but stand-alone stories. The themes of the ‘Goddess’, neo-paganism, the occult, and Gnosticism are threads through the stories.  The Second Vatican Council and the cultural revolution of the 1960s and 1970s (1965-1975) form the historical background. The author who lived through those times attempts to recreate their atmosphere.

Book 1 in the series is TIMES OF DISTRESS, Book 2 FEELINGS DIE NOT IN SILENCE, Book 3 DESCENT INTO HADES: A SPIRITUAL JOURNEY, book 4 COUNTERCULTURE DREAMS, due 2023, and Revised THE CASTLE OF HEAVENLY BLISS, Book 5, is republished in 2022. Book 6 (untitled) due 2024.

Published 31 October 2020

My books are available through Amazon

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Writer … and still in the fifties