Welcome to our websitePhotograph: St Francis of Assisi Church
3 Sunday in Ordinary Time 25 January 2015
Jonah 3:1-5.10 – Psalm 24; 1 Cor 7:29-31; Mark 1:14-20
Jonah, a reluctant Jewish prophet, was sent to preach repentance to the Ninevites, the sworn enemies of Israel. As a fervent patriot he had no enthusiasm for the job and would have preferred to see the city of Nineveh destroyed rather than its people converted, but God thought otherwise. These people were important to him and worth calling to repentance. To Jonah’s intense annoyance, when he preached, the people mended their ways and their city was spared. God’s call to repentance is based on his love and respect for us. We need to repent and change our ways no less than the people of Nineveh. The story of Jonah speaks to us about our own closed minds, hardened attitudes and bigotry. The thorns and briars of hatred and prejudice are deeply ingrained in our being, and can only be rooted out by repentance, and change of heart. Deep down we know that we are not yet the people God is calling us to be. If the pagan people of Nineveh could place their faith in the preaching of a Jewish prophet and change their lives accordingly, can we be less generous to Christ who died to save us? Repentance is not as easy as it appears. Leaving our nets and disentangling ourselves from worldly pursuits in order to follow Jesus is not a one-off decision. It is on-going battle and the challenge of lifetime. We have to constantly look at our sinfulness, re-assess our behaviour in the light of the gospel and, if need be, make a fresh start.
Welcome to one of Chester’s oldest Roman Catholic Churches, St Francis of Assisi. Set in the heart of Chester City Centre, near the Grosvenor Museum and Race Course, it was originally built for the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin. The construction of St Francis Church began in 1862 and was finally finished in 1875. It is now a thriving city Catholic Church serving a wide community over the Chester area.
Visiting Catholics and non Catholics from all over the world are always welcome. Have a look at our mass times and be sure to say hello to the Brothers after the mass. We look forward to meeting you.