When young Father O'Malley (Crosby) arrives to join the congregation at an old established church, things get complicated. St. Dominic's, crusty old Father Fitzgibbon (Barry Fitzgerald) doesn't think much of O'Malley or his ideas. These two priests simply can't agree. But when O'Malley's fresh methods succeed in reaching out to the neighbourhood's toughest kids the community start to change. The neighbourhood becomes closer as the church's meaning grows dearer to their souls.