Pope Francis First Book “The Church of Mercy” to Be Published by Loyola Press

Pope Francis

Pope Francis will publish his first American English translation book, The Church of Mercy through Chicago based Loyola Press.  The Jesuit Ministry focused publishing house won the bidding contest for the U.S. English translation rights and now adds Pope Francis to its list of authors.  The Pope’s first book, The Church of Mercy: My Vision for the Church, is a collection of essays and speeches. This is the first book from Pope Francis since being elected as Pontiff in March of 2013.   Loyola press expects to have the book on the market in time for Easter which will be April 20, 2014.  Readers can reserve a copy starting March 13.

Loyola is a small Jesuit community based publishing house that is gaining popularity with Pope Francis: Why He Leads the Way He Leads  written by Chris Lowney. Lowney’s book focused on the Jesuit principles of the pope that has made him one of the world’s most popular religious figures.   Loyola press also published a best seller, The Gift of Peace,   written in 1997  by Chicago Cardinal Joseph Bernardin about his last years  while dying of cancer.

Joe Durepos, executive editor, of Loyola press stated that the publishing company was focused on winning the bid after seeing excerpts of the written piece.  Durepos said that it made perfect sense to have a Jesuit-based publishing house take on the American English version of a book written by the first Jesuit pope.  While Durepos did not release the amount paid for the rights he did say that Loyola had been the first publisher to open the bid and therefore were given the last position to make the financial offer.  This allowed Loyola to produce a financial bid that would out perform the other publishers.

Durepos added that the book aligned with the Jesuit ministry mission of the publisher that is looking at how its message broadcasts in the 21st century.  Loyola is excited that Pope Francis is focused on a similar task which makes the partnership more meaningful.

Steve Connor, Loyola’s director of product development said that Pope Francis’ first book to be published by Loyola Press captures the feeling and meaning that Pope Francis is creating throughout the world.  Connor stated that The Church of Mercy is consistent with the pope’s message of opening the church to everyone and to focus on the poor and destitute.

Darton, Longman and Todd the title’s publisher in the United Kingdom said that the book is aimed and nonbelievers and believers alike and that the target audience is covers a range from priests to teachers and all walks of life.  The book will for the first time present the Pontiff’s views in a single volume.  It will include all of his most popular speeches and homilies and several essays that incorporate his focused message for the Catholic church.  Pope Francis has continues to speak about a church that is created for the people and should be focused on helping the poor and combating the idolatry of money and power.

Rev. Mark Francis, president of the Catholic Theological Union, stated that he expected Pope Francis’ first book, The Church of Mercy published by Loyola Press,  to be popular among a wide audience as opposed to other books written by popes that were generally read by the clergy.  He said that Pope Francis’ informal way of speaking and engaging audiences would position the book to be widely read and would be a perfect way to take the church to the people  instead of waiting for them to come to the church.

by Anthony Clark

NBC Chicago
Publishers Weekly
Chicago Tribune

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