March 18, 2021

David Bonior image and book cover

The NYU John Brademas Center hosted a dialogue with former Congressman David Bonior about his new book, When Mercy Seasons Justice. Congressman Bonior was joined in conversation with Geoff Thale, President of the Washington Office on Latin America, and moderated by Brademas Center Executive Director Lynne Brown and Advisory Council Member Ellyn Toscano

In this moving debut novel, Congressman Bonior weaves together the fictionalized stories of Pope Francis, as he confronts the humanitarian challenge of world-wide migration, and reform of the church riddled with scandal; and a mother on a perilous journey with her young family, away from violence in Honduras toward the southern border of the United States. When Mercy Seasons Justice is a narrative of hope and resilience, the importance of individual acts of courage and conscience, and the fervent belief that women hold the key to needed reform of the Catholic Church.

This conversation took place as we are witnessing in real time developments related to the novel, as the Biden administration confronts a surge of migrants from the Northern Triangle of Central America, many of whom are unaccompanied minors. This week the Catholic Church also banned the blessing by priests of same-sex unions, exacerbating the Church’s strained relationship with the LGBTQ community.

David Bonior

David Bonior

Lynne P. Brown

Lynne P. Brown

Geoff Thale

Geoff Thale

Ellyn Toscano

Ellyn Toscano

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.

The NYU Washington, DC Salon Series: Conversations with Writers & Artists presents an opportunity for the NYU and Washington, DC community to meet and engage in dialogue with acclaimed writers and artists as they reflect on their craft. This program provides facilitated conversations that aim to illuminate the guests’ creative processes, discuss their current works, and explain the impact of their work on the world around us. The Salon Series is made possible by NYU Washington, DC through the collaboration of NYU schools, departments and centers, as well as through special relationships with selected external organizations.