Father (sometimes "Padre") Anthony Forthill is a human male and a Roman Catholic[Footnote 1] priest.[Footnote 2] He is assigned to the church and parish of Saint Mary of the Angels in Chicago. He first appears in Grave Peril.
Throughout the series, he aids Harry Dresden and Michael Carpenter during times of crisis by hiding, feeding, or providing counsel. Forthill once tried to convert Dresden, and enlist him as a soldier of God.
Forthill trained as a lawyer and passed the bar exam before entering the priesthood. He sometimes takes a pro bono case, and occasionally does some work for the diocese. He is also a member of the Chicago Alliance.
As a young man, Forthill got an Eye of Thoth tattoo on his arm, when he, along with a group of other young priests-to-be (including Father Vincent), killed a vampire one night, and swore to take on the forces of darkness. The group eventually drifted apart.
Forthill can also sense spirits to a degree, but not hear or see them.
In the series
In Grave Peril, Harry Dresden sends a girl, Lydia to his care. She is being followed by a a hostile spirit. Dresden and Michael go to visit him the next day. Forthill relates the events of the night before, how a frightening spirit rampaged outside the church demanding Lydia, then how Lydia fell into despair and tried to go out to it to spare Forthill.
In Death Masks, Forthill greeted Dresden and the three Knights of the Cross. Michael Carpenter entrusted the Denarian Coin, Ursiel, into his keeping. Forthill had asked Father Vincent not to hire Dresden to find the Shroud of Turin. Michael said that Forthill and Vincent disagree on how to handle matters of the supernatural.
Later, Forthill answered the door at the Carpenter home letting Harry Dresden and Susan Rodriguez in. He was holding down the fort with the Denarians in town—Charity Carpenter took the kids to her parents home, while Michael Carpenter and Sanya were sent on a wild goose chase to get them out of town. Forthill told Dresden what he know's about the Denarians and Nicodemus Archleone—Shiro Yoshimo is the only Knight to have survived an encounter with Nicodemus. Forthill also told Dresden about Lasciel, the coin that Nico offered him.
Dresden spotted the Eye tattoo on his arm that the corpse in the morgue had. Forthill told Dresden that Father Vincent has one too, which tipped Dresden to the fact that corpse was the real Vincent, and the one he'd been hired by was an imposter, a Denarian: Quintus Cassius.
In Proven Guilty, Forthill accompanied Charity Carpenter to the SplatterCon!!! hotel to pick up Molly. He took in Charity and the kids at Saint Mary of the Angels after three Phobophages attacked the Carpenter home.
In Changes, Harry Dresden enlisted Forthill's assistance in gaining information about the Red Court activities around Chichén Itzá with Molly's help. Later, when Stevie D attempts to kill Dresden, he tackles the gunman. Once the killer is contained, Forthill fills Dresden in on what he's learned about the Reds and informs him of a church in the area that can aid in sanctuary and evacuation. At the end, Maggie is entrusted to his care and secrecy.
In Ghost Story, Forthill attended a meeting of the Paranet and the Chicago Alliance. He's one of the few members that doesn't fear Molly Carpenter and chastises her for her actions. Harry Dresden's ghost took Fitz to Forthill at Saint Mary's to get food and cleaned up. Forthill asked Dresden to prove it's him—he does so by having Fitz knock on the wall where his secret compartment is. Dresden found Forthill in the kitchen where he senses Dresden and tells him that he won't tell Murphy about Fitz and he'll decide what to do with him according to his conscience.
Later, Butters and Fitz found Dresden's ghost in his grave at Graceland Cemetery and told him that Forthill was taken by Aristedes who is probably torturing him. When Dresden found Forthill beaten near death, an Angel of Death was assigned to protect his soul if he died, so that evil spirits and the Fallen couldn't claim it. After Fitz stood up to Aristedes and took over the gang, Fitz had Zero call the EMTs for him and when they loaded Forthill into the ambulance, the angel was gone. The father would be OK.
- Forthill once blessed a five-gallon drum into holy water for Harry Dresden.
- Forthill will baptise Michael Carpenter's expectant son.
- Forthill found it interesting that Dresden's ghost could walk around inside the holy ground of Saint Mary of the Angels's when other spirits couldn't.
- Grave Peril, ch. 9
- Cold Days, ch. 9
- Proven Guilty, ch. 23
- Ghost Story, ch. 9
- Death Masks, ch. 27
- Death Masks, ch. 7
- Proven Guilty, ch. 30–32
- "Something Borrowed"
- Small Favor, ch. 20
- Small Favor, ch. 28
- The Warrior
- Changes, ch. 13
- Changes, ch. 32
- Changes, ch. 49
- Ghost Story, ch. 11
- Ghost Story, ch. 26
- Ghost Story, ch. 34
- Ghost Story, ch. 37
- Ghost Story, ch. 39