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When Mercy Seasons Justice

Pope Francis and a Story of Migration (A Novel)

Published by City Point Press
Distributed by Simon & Schuster

When Mercy Seasons Justice is a powerful story of redemption, resilience, and humanity, set against the backdrop of the modern-day refugee crisis and Catholic Church scandals.

In this moving debut novel, former Congressman David Bonior weaves together an inspiring story of two characters who dare to defy the status quo. The first is Pope Francis, the kind-hearted, unconventional leader who struggles to usher his church out of a crisis riddled with scandals. The second is Maria Elena, a Honduran mother desperate to save her four children from their terror-stricken community.

As Maria and her children head north to seek asylum in McAllen, Texas, Francis grapples with unfaithful bishops and a male-dominated clergy, who rebel against the drastic changes the Church desperately needs. Just as Maria and her family must rely on the help of good Samaritans they meet along their journey—including an artistic gardener, two priests in the mold of Francis, and a New York Times reporter—Francis must seek the advice of his trusted aides, Father Soto and Sister Mary Vernard, to lead the Church through one of its biggest upheavals since the Reformation. 

Will Maria and her children survive their harrowing search for asylum? And, at this significant turning point in the history of the Church, will Pope Francis redefine his male-dominated papacy—and, ultimately, his legacy?

When Mercy Seasons Justice is a timely narrative of hope, faith, and redemption, that intertwines the struggle of two parallel souls trying, despite all odds, to search for virtue and compassion in a world seemingly full of corruption.

David Bonior is an internationally recognized author and politician who served as a member of Congress for 26 years. The product of a Catholic education, he attended Sacred Heart Seminary and Notre Dame High School in Detroit. After graduating from the University of Iowa in 1967, David served in the United States Air Force from 1968 to 1972, while simultaneously earning his MA in history from Chapman College in Orange, California.

In Congress David was a leading voice for progressive causes, including the fight to defeat Ronald Reagan’s CIA wars in Central America. This led to his election as the Democratic Whip, the second-ranking position in his party’s leadership, which he held for eleven years until his retirement from Congress in 2002.

After leaving Congress, David was appointed University Professor of Labor Studies at Wayne State University. David and Judy Bonior have a combined family of three children and eight grandchildren. When Mercy Seasons Justice is his first work of fiction.