Aglow: A Christmas Fable takes place around the fictional St. Dominic's Catholic Church in the Tremont Avenue section of The Bronx. It is a Christmas fable told from a Jewish point of view.
First the characters of the tale. There is a 12-year-old Jewish boy, Adam Sands, and his mother. They leave Uncle Joel's house in Connecticut after Thanksgiving dinner, heading for The Bronx, where Adam was going to spend the long holiday weekend with his grandfather, Bernie Mandelbaum. Adam liked going to Gramps but, at the moment, he had a tummy full of turkey and wanted to take a nap.
Adam spent most weekends with Gramps, giving his single mother the time to have a social life. That was OK with Adam, he didn't miss his dad; didn't really remember him. Adam had good friends in Gramps' neighborhood, chief among them Rafe Lopez, 12-years-old, also the son of a single mother. Adam was friends with Father Leroy Higgins, the parish priest of St. Dominic's Church, which was next to the little market that Grandpa Bernie owned.
Rafe, a devout Catholic, belonged to Father Higgins' flock. His ambition was to become a priest. This particular day after Thanksgiving, Rafe had a bee in his bonnet. Father Higgins had recently given a sermon about the purity of Mary and how he would like to clean the statue above the church. The speech put an idea into Rafe's head, which percolated while he greeted Adam.
Adam wanted to play a new videogame with groundhogs and butterflies and stuff. They cleaned the groundhog queen with hot oil and an idea came to Rafe--I can clean the statue of the Madonna myself. He asked Adam if the roof of the church was accessible from the roof of Grandpa Bernie's market? Adam's answer was, ''let's go see,'' so the two boys trooped up the attic stairs to the roof, where Rafe saw they would need a ladder. He knew where to get a ladder and he knew where to get cleaning supplies. He and Adam would clean the statue of the Madonna and Child themselves and make Father Higgens and the church community happy.
Now the action. Rafe and Adam clean the statue--and it takes on a life of its own. The first people to notice are drivers going by on the elevated freeway next to the church. Their horn-honking wakes up the neighborhood to a miracle in their midst. Crowds soon gather to witness the glowing Mary and Jesus. Father Higgins wakes up to a dilemma, should he report the suddenly glowing statue to the hierarchy as a miracle of the Church. Bleeding statues, yes--glowing ones, he didn't know. Then the New York news media descends on his church. Everyone wants a piece of the miracle.