In mid-1950s Saginaw, Robert Yoder presides over a successful billiard hall and tavern. He has built the Genesee Billiards Club to be a site of hospitality, basing its practices on principles he had learned two decades earlier as a Benedictine novice in the Archabbey of St. Meinrad. Although Robert welcomes the GM executive, the police patrolman and the apprentice line worker alike, the regulars of Genesee feel that they’re part of an exclusive and luxurious club, personally greeted and attended to.
But in the space of a week, Robert’s peaceable kingdom is disrupted by an unlikely trio: his coat-check girl, his business partner and bartender, and a mysterious visitor from Cleveland. Although they are not acting in concert, their collective influence forces Robert from his comfortable life back to active reconsideration of his values and intentions, re-framing sacred and ancient principles to address the needs of a secular and modern world.
The Abbot of Saginaw reminds us that all good works can be undone by willfulness and pride, and brings us glimpses of the grace that can exist in the most profane worlds.