Chicago-based Loyola Press, a Catholic publisher, is adding Pope Francis to its list of authors. The Church of Mercy: My Vision for the Church by Pope Francis will be crashed to be out by Easter, which occurs on April 20 this year. Loyola won a competitive auction for U.S. rights on January 31 conducted by the U.K. publisher Darton Longman Todd which holds English language rights. This is the first book from the pope since he was elected last March; other books on the market use material from earlier in his career in the church as Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio of Buenos Aires.

Joe Durepos, executive editor/trade acquisitions at Loyola, said the press was determined to get the book after it saw excerpts. Pope Francis is the first Jesuit pope; Loyola is a Jesuit ministry. "We saw it as a message of hope and renewal, wholly consistent with our mission at Loyola Press," Durepos said. He described it as a handbook for a 21st century global church, containing addresses and other pronouncements by the pope since his election last March. "Everything you’ve seen that has made headlines or soundbites or been attention-getting, it’s in this little book," Durepos said. "We have stuff right up to December. It’s so new, it’s kind of nuts trying to tame all this." Loyola is adapting the English-language translation from the Italian for the American market. The book will be released in print and e-book simultaneously.

Loyola is experiencing success now with a book about Francis as a spiritual leader, Pope Francis: Why He Leads the Way He Leads, by Chris Lowney. "We have sold a lot of copies of that, and there is a tremendous amount of interest in the formational significance of Francis’ Jesuit years," Durepos said. Loyola also had a bestseller on its hands in the late 1990s with The Gift of Peace, a memoir by Chicago Cardinal Joseph Bernardin written as the prelate was dying of cancer. "This has a little bit of the same feeling," Durepos said.