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Chasing Francis: A Pilgrim's Tale

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4.01 of 5 stars 4.01  ·  rating details  ·  982 ratings  ·  217 reviews
Chase Falson has lost his faith so he crosses the Atlantic to visit his uncle, a Franciscan priest, where he encounters the teachings of Francis of Assisi and rediscovers his ancient faith. Follow Chase's spiritual journey in the footsteps of Francis, and then begin one of your own through the pilgrim's guide included in this book.
Paperback, 256 pages
Published June 22nd 2006 by NavPress
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Community Reviews

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Juli
I found myself relating to what the character, Chase, was experiencing and going through but I never quite felt like I was emotionally invested. I found the story to be a bit predictable, a little cheesy, and felt like I would rather have just read something by St. Francis than a non-fiction story about some of his theology. I think the thing is that I have already been through much of what the character was facing. It wasn't new to me or eye opening and so it didn't hit me in a way that really ...more
Matt
The Pop-Christian book market is dominated by Evangelicals, so it was interesting to read a book by a mainline priest that follows the formula but contributes an entirely different slant. Instead of a book with an incidental plot that is really just a glorified evangelical street tract, this is a book with an interesting plot that descends into a glorified mainline social gospel essay (since there's no such thing as a tract in liberal circles...).

This is not a bad book. The central idea of a pas
...more
Kristin
First I'd like to thank the publisher and BookSneeze for allowing me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
I give out 5 star reviews very rarely....meaning, about 1-2% of the books I read, are truly what I consider worthy of 5 stars. It has to change my life in some way, and this book did exactly that. It was such an interesting look into St Francis of Assisi's life, and such a modern story that it was hard not to get caught up in it.
Ever since I started reading this book, it wa
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David A.
At the end of 2011 I was invited to write a brief review for a best-of list. The book was Jesus, My Father, the CIA, and Me, a memoir by Ian Morgan Cron about growing up in a car wash. Just kidding. The title was as accurate to the content as it was creatively uncreative, and the book was absorbing. I wrote an effusive review of the book and resolved that I would eventually, finally, read his first book, Chasing Francis: A Pilgrim's Tale.

Then I forgot about it for a while.

Then I had the chance
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Laverne Ombadykow
Although this book is a novel, I kept wondering how much is somewhat autobiographical because the author is(was) the pastor of a church in Connecticut. When I went on the church website it shows another person as being senior pastor and he is not listed among the staff. So, being curious, I googled him and found that he is a doctoral student, studying Thomas Merton.


Well, anyway, I do agree that we should be "the body" of Christ and therefore, be His hands and feet when it comes to helping the p
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writer...
Chasing Francis: A Pilgrim's Tale by Ian Morgan Cron
published by Zondervan and released May 7.13

Ian Cron introduces us to Francis of Assissi via his impact on a contemporary pastor, Chase Falson, who hits the wall in his faith journey after the death of one of his parish children. Taking a much needed break to restore, refresh and rediscover faith, he travels to Italy to spend time with his uncle, a Fransiscan priest.

While he's on this spiritual journey, the youth pastor back home is on a campa
...more
Katherine Jones
One important things to know about Chasing Francis is that it is what Cron calls wisdom literature: “a delicate balance of fiction and nonfiction, pilgrimage and teaching.”

Chasing Francis is an appeal more to the mind and soul than to the heart. The story didn’t engage my emotions in a very satisfying way–which is why it was important to understand that what I was reading was not meant to (as opposed to true, straight fiction, which is meant to do just that). Knowing this helped to alleviate dis
...more
Ron
The supposed tale of a pastor's search for Christianity, this introduces us to the history and significance of Francis of Assisi. In the hands of a more competent author, it might have worked. We have only Cron's word for this being "wisdom literature."

I'm not familiar with Connecticut evangelicals but those in Colorado, Kansas, and Virginia would have been less surprised than Putnam Hill's folks about the need to experience, not just know about, God. In fact, the whole Connecticut framing story
...more
Glen Grunau
My wife Karen picked this book up at our local Salvation Army thrift shop and suggested that we read it together during our recent vacation. We did a lot of driving on this vacation and so we would often read it aloud in the car, with Karen doing most of the reading. The author writes as a fictitious lead pastor in a mainstream evangelical church in Connecticut. In the midst of a "successful" ministry in which he had founded a growing church, he began to experience a personal awakening that bega ...more
Shellys♥ Journal
This book is a wonderful novel that reads like a memoir. It is the story of Chase,a New England mega church pastor, who loses his faith when tragedy strikes his congregation. He heads on a pilgrim to Italy and walks in the steps of Francis of Assisi to try and find what it means to be a Christian.

I really, really enjoyed this book. Chase comes from the "modern" church - seeker friendly, prosperity gospel, internally serving. He steps over the line in looking into a Catholic saint's life. And whi
...more
Debbie Howell
Apr 30, 2008 Debbie Howell rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: People who want to tie missional church to its historical roots.
This is an introduction to the theology of Francis of Assisi in novelized form. It didn't quite win me over, but I have to give the author credit for trying something different. As a novel, it had some flaws--kind of hokey, "happy-friends" character interactions, not much dramatic tension, forced-sounding dialogue. To get factual information across, the author used the device of journal entries by the main character. My personal preference would be to get factual info straight-up, but some peopl ...more
Adam Shields
I like the concept of this book, introduce a saint to modern Christians through story and not just biography. Saint Francis, was a transitional Christian and is very relevant to today's Christians, maybe especially to evangelicals.

The weakness is that it isn't great literature. At one point it talks about the purpose of great art to be the great art and not propaganda and occasionally this seems to dip to propaganda instead of focusing on the art.

The positive is that it does what I perceive as
...more
Elwood
I didn't write about this book immediately after I read it (March 2013 is a guess at when I finished it) so my memory of it has faded a bit, but I enjoyed Cron's hard close evaluative look at North American evangelical Christianity. Read this one if you get a chance.
Tina
I requested this book for Christmas after stumbling upon it on the shelf at Barnes and Noble. It's a fictional story of a mega-church pastor who goes on a pilgrimage to Italy and through the help of Franciscan friars, rediscovers his faith. I didn't know much about St. Francis, so I thought this would be an easy introduction, which it was. I found some of the story parts a bit unrealistic (i.e. if I had a Franciscan uncle who fed and lodged me for free in Italy I probably could have a spiritual ...more
Terry
I enjoyed reading this book and read it very quickly with the idea of rereading it later and maybe using it as a selection for my book club. After finishing it, I don't know if I will reread it and although I won't select it for book club, I will tell my friends about it. It would be interesting to discuss it with others from various religious backgrounds. Having not grown up Catholic I knew almost nothing about St Francis of Assissi. Very interesting man.
However, it was pretty obvious relative
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Makenzie
This is a novel that would have worked better as non-fiction. The message of the book is good, and important for the American church to hear. St. Francis brought a lot of wisdom to the church that we could all benefit from applying to our lives. But the author's opinions and criticisms about the evangelical movement came through too harshly. The dialogue and narration was not believable and felt very clunky. Even the names he chose were disappointing; "Chase Falson" is the man on the pilgrimage. ...more
Liz Haswell
This book introduced me to St. Francis and what's known or believed about an incredible historical and spiritual figure. The story of St. Francis' conversion (Chapter IV) and tales of his characteristic vulnerability (Chapter IV), environmentalism and love of animals (Chapter V), mysticism (Chapter VI), use of the arts in preaching (Chapter VII) egalitarianism (Chapter VIII), peacemaking (Chapter VIII), and incredible asceticism (Chapter X) is interwoven with the story of Chase Falson, an evange ...more
Tim
This is a story about a mega-church pastor who has a crisis of faith and goes on a pilgrimage to Italy to learn about the life of St. Francis of Assisi. There, he learns to have a more experiential faith that appreciates beauty, community, poverty, peace, justice and the Bible as story - not a textbook.
At first, I thought I was reading this generation's version of "Wisdom Hunter," a similar story about a mega church pastor who has a mid-life crisis of faith and goes to Europe for 20 years, wher
...more
Kathy Clark
I can honestly say this book was life changing! I would highly recommend as wisdom literature.
Liz Diaz
I wanted to like this book and kept hoping it would get better as I read but just became more and more disappointed as I got to the end. The information on Saint Francis was good and I enjoyed reading about his story, everything else though felt very cliche and fluffy/unreal - especially the dialogue throughout the book. The dislike how Maggie was described and that she was an "ex-con" and had done a whole SIX MONTHS in "the slammer" kept getting put on her. I live and work in the inner city (at ...more
Dianne
This is a lovely book. The Pastor in the book is tired and becomes unsure of his faith in God. The getting away to Italy and what happens on this journey is lovely. It inspires me to take time to rest and maybe one day take a "sabbatical" type of journey like the Pastor in this book.
Christa
I enjoyed this thought provoking book. There is a lot in it that deserves a second reading. The added benefit of being challenged in my faith and seeing thoughts and feelings I've had over the years put into words made this much more than reading another novel.
Poetreehugger
Maybe it's just me, but I couldn't quite be convinced by the character's spiritual "breakdown" first, and by his happy "relocating" or finding God again, secondly. A lot of his spiritual learning experiences seemed to come from reading about Francis of Assissi, which he could have stayed home to do. He did eat at some nice restaurants in Italy, admire paintings, hear some great classical music, go to an international peace conference and enjoy some liqueur on the steps of a fountain while talkin ...more
Renee
you can read my thoughts here:

http://reneesuz.blogspot.com/2013/08/...
Linda
The only reason I gave this book 5 stars was because I couldn't give it 6. I LOVE this book! It's the story of the pastor of a mega church who starts feeling more like a CEO than a true follower and lover of Jesus. He loses his faith in front of his huge congregation and is asked to take some time off while the church decides what they will do---keep him or send him packing. He goes to Italy to visit with his uncle, a Franciscan monk, who takes him on a pilgrimage, following St. Francis of Assis ...more
Crystal
Well, I finished this. It took awhile, but it's finished. It wasn't a difficult read. It just didn't engage me. I rounded up a half star or so simply because I liked learning more about my hero Saint Francis, but I think I probably would have enjoyed a non fiction or straight devotional book on the topic, rather than wisdom literate such as this. It isn't bad, persay. Just difficult to relate to. I certainly didn't care about Chase. Being a liberal, educated Christian, I was happy to see that pe ...more
Sandra
Lovely and very inspiring book, especially for ordained ministers -- but also great for anybody who really wants to think about the State of Christianity today and what it might mean to live radically Christian lives.

Chase is a burnt-out evangelical pastor of a mega-church he started, and this is the story of his meltdown, trip to Italy, encounter with St. Francis of Assisi, and return to . . . well, I won't spoil it.

Its author refers to it as "wisdom literature": "Chasing Francis is written i
...more
Heavensent1
Chasing Francis: A Pilgrim's Tale is a spiritually uplifting novel for anyone who has lost their faith and are in search of a renewal. The author, Ian Morgan Cron, has weaved a tale of fiction with non-fiction that is sure to enlighten all those who peruse its pages.

Chase Falcon is a pastor of a very successful ministry who begins to see flaws in his parishioners and the church he preaches from. While struggling internally with the materialistic trappings that have become a part of the religious
...more
Emma
First, don’t brush this book off with the assumption it’s just jumping on the bandwagon. I requested my review copy before the new Pope took his name. I won’t deny, however, that reading all the news articles on both the original and new Francis made me even more interested in the history Chasing Francis unfolds.

Chasing Francis is a rare book. Instead of being “historical fiction,” it is a fictional story about one man learning the history of St. Francis of Assisi. This means the book is rich wi
...more
Dominique
When I first got this book I really wasn't sure what to think. It is a book of fiction but it deals with a very serious and real issue among those within the church. Many people have lost their original passion and purpose for why they believe in their faith.

Although, I am of the Catholic faith, I found this book very intriguing. Even more importantly, I found myself flying through this book. I read it is hours. Once you start, you just can't put it down.

The author chose to write the book in a w
...more
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Ian Morgan Cron is an author, speaker, Episcopal priest, and retreat guide.

To introduce others to St. Francis of Assisi, he authored Chasing Francis: A Pilgrim's Tale. His literary debut received accolades from The Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, Brian McLaren, Fr Richard Rohr, Phyllis Tickle, Tony Campolo, Brennan Manning, and artist Makoto Fujimura.

Thomas Nelson released Ian's new book
...more
More about Ian Morgan Cron...
Jesus, My Father, the CIA, and Me: A Memoir...of Sorts Ancient and Modern Scarred Faith: This is a story about how Honesty, Grief, a Cursing Toddler, Risk-Taking, AIDS, Hope, Brokenness, Doubts, and Memphis Ignited Adventurous Faith First Book Challenge - ALIVE

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“Beauty can break a heart and make it think about something more spiritual than the mindless routine we go through day after day to get by. Francis was a singer, a poet, an actor. He knew that the imagination was a stealth way into people's souls, a way to get all of us to think about God. For him, beauty was its own apologetic. That's why a church should care about the arts. They inspire all of us to think about the eternal.” 4 likes
“First, if Francis were around today, he'd say our church community relies too much on words to tell others about our faith. For Francis, the gathered community was as potent a form of witness as words. He was convinced that how we live together is what attracts people to faith.” 3 likes
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