Death Comes for the Archbishop by Willa Cather
In 1851 Bishop Latour and his friend Father Valliant are despatched to New Mexico to reawaken its slumbering Catholicism. Moving along the endless prairies, Latour spreads his faith the only way he knows—gently, although he must contend with the unforgiving landscape, derelict and sometimes openly rebellious priests, and his own loneliness. Over nearly 40 years, they leave converts and enemies, crosses, and occasionally ecstasy in their wake. But it takes a death for them to make their mark on the landscape forever.