Nothing Sacred

Season 1 Episode 3

Mixed Blessings

Aired Thursday 8:00 PM Oct 02, 1997 on ABC
out of 10
User Rating
8 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Mixed Blessings
Father Ray struggles to fulfill the last wishes of a deceased parishioner while her widowed husband, a lapsed Catholic who despises Ray, vehemently objects. Meanwhile, good fortune gives way to greed when a winning lottery ticket is anonymously left in the weekly collection plate.

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  • An embittered widower struggles with the loss of his wife and his anger at the Catholic Church.

    I really enjoyed this short-lived series. I am sad that many of the episodes aired only once never to be seen again. I believe that the last four episodes were never aired.

    After 10 years, Mixed Blessings is still a standout episode in this standout show, in my memory. A devote, long time parishioner has died. Her last wishes are to have her funeral mass preformed by Father Ray at St. Thomas. Her widowed husband, (who is played by John Cullum well know for his role as Holling Vincoeur, the owner of The Brick, on Northern Exposure) struggles with his fierce anger at the Church, God and Father Ray on one hand and his love for his departed wife and her last wishes on the other.

    In the end, even though the widower was still angry and conflicted, he attends his wife's funeral mass. During the mass he stands and sings Ava Maria, his wife's favorite song. John Cullum has a wonderful singing voice. It was very touching. I was crying like a baby.

    Because it has been so long since I’ve seen this show I can only comment on the lasting feelings the episode invoked and not the details of dialog and settings.

    I feel that this episode and the series as a whole was a powerful representation of complex emotion and human relationships. Good people can have doubt, be angry – they can make bad choices and still be good.moreless

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (1)

    • Second Vatican Council - Vatican II was a council that took place from 1962-1965. In the period following Vatican II, massive changes in every aspect of Catholic Faith ensued, including the
      implementation of a New Mass. Vatican II was called by Pope John XXIII, and it was solemnly promulgated and confirmed by Pope Paul VI on Dec. 8, 1965. One of the first issues considered by the council, and the matter that had the most immediate effect on the lives of individual Catholics, was the revision of the liturgy. The central idea was that there ought to be greater lay participation in the liturgy. In the mid-1960s, permissions were granted to celebrate most of the Mass in vernacular languages, including the Canon from 1967 onwards.

      In the episode Grace's widower John Connelley is angered at the Church, at God, and at Father Ray for that matter for the changes brought on by Vatican II. He missed the way things were, with the Latin rite, the prayers, the ''respectability'' of the Church etc.

  • QUOTES (0)

  • NOTES (0)


    • Going My Way - a 1944 American musical comedy-drama film directed by Leo McCarey and starring Bing Crosby and Barry Fitzgerald. Based on a story by Leo McCarey, the film is about a new young priest (Bing Crosby) taking over a parish from an established old veteran (Barry Fitzgerald).
      Going My Way was the highest-grossing picture of 1944, and was nominated for 10 Academy Awards, winning 7, including Best Picture. After World War II, Bing Crosby and Leo McCarey presented a copy of the motion picture to Pope Pius XII at the Vatican.

    • Silence of the Lambs - a 1991 American thriller film that blends elements of the crime and horror genres. It was directed by Jonathan Demme and stars Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins, Ted Levine, and Scott Glenn. It is based on the novel of the same name by Thomas Harris, his second to feature Hannibal Lecter, a brilliant psychiatrist and cannibalistic serial killer.
      When Father Leo takes Sidney to see the boiler room in the basement, Sidney tells him the place reminds him of Silence of the lambs.