Pride in Being Part of a Vincentian Family

There is pride and there is pride. One kind of pride is said to “go before the fall”. Another kind of pride is the joy of being associated with something meaningful. Eastern Province priest, Father Pat Griffin,  recently wrote about the pride he experienced in being a member of a Vincentian Family. He celebrated his experiences with many lay people and people in vows  as they shared the common vocation of following Christ the Evangelizer of the Poor.

The following reflection first appeared on FamVin the newsletter of the Vincentian Family.

Sometimes it is hard not to take pride in being a member of the Vincentian Family.

In my role as Director of the Vincentian Center for Church and Society at St. John’s University, I have been in Kenya for the past week.  I came here with a team of professors from the Tobin College of Business to offer a program on Pastoral Planning and Church Management. We lived with the confreres at the DePaul Centre in Nairobi.

We are collaborating with the Center for Leadership and Management (CLM) at Tangaza University College.  Founded with the help of DePaul University (Chicago) some dozen years ago, the CLM promotes the training of women and men to take up the mantle of leadership in society and in the Church.  The College itself is the collaborative product of more than 20 religious communities with the Congregation of the Mission among them.  Our confrere, Gary Mueller, CM, is the Chancellor.  Walking around the campus, the number of young sisters and priests is wonderfully evident.  Clearly, this College is poised to make a difference in the future of the African Church and the Vincentian Family is there.

To prepare to offer the presentations to the more than 120 people who had registered for our Program, the SJU professors and I were taken to one of our Vincentian parishes in Thigio.  There, we met with the confreres who had arranged a meeting with the extended Parish Council.  The structure of the parish involved numerous mission churches and small Christian communities within those missions.  The leaders of the parish/es helped us visitors to come to a better understanding of the Church in Kenya and the emphases of faith promotion.  The confreres do wonderful work and they are greatly appreciated by their people.

Touring the compound of the central parish, we were introduced to the marvelous cooperation between the Congregation and the Daughters of Charity—that blessed connection which has characterized our Family from the very beginning.  Beginning with the Church, we moved from one building to another and saw the work led by the Daughters around hospice care, the elderly, and the education of children.  There was a program for children with severe physical and some mental challenges, and a unit for physical therapy.  One of the larger buildings was a bright library in which the children could study and read.  The work of the Vincentian Family in this one parish environment could not help to make any of us grateful and proud of the blessings with which the Lord has endowed us in the service of our brothers and sisters.

On a second trip, Fr. Gary took us into the slum which lies on the outskirts of Nairobi.  It is called Kibera.  It is the largest urban slum in Africa.  We went to a school in the midst of this poor area.  Arriving at nap time, we simply looked in at classrooms full of beautiful small children lying tightly together on a blanket and sound asleep.  They were dressed in the “uniform” provided by the school—a red shirt, red shorts, and red socks.  (The SJU connection came to my mind immediately.)  This school, sponsored by the Society of St. Vincent de Paul and supported by the Vincentians, serves the children of the poor.  The whole unit was packed into a very tight space, but the people working there seemed most joyful with their ministry and made the best use of their resources. They had Vincentian hearts.

I could speak of other experiences, such as the brief visit to the busy Dream Center which attends to those with AIDS and HIV, the time spent with those in formation, and the conversations around collaboration with the other religious communities. I was not looking for ways to exalt our charism, but everywhere I looked, it was evident and flourishing.

This visit to Kenya has lifted my heart and made me grateful for my vocation and its place in the Vincentian Family.  I am ready to return to SJU and promote our charism locally.

Engaging with 11,000 Vincentians once again

You didn’t have to be there to catch the flavor of 11,000 Vincentians engaging with Pope Francis. I wrote on my personal Facebook page recently… “An amazing 5-minute opportunity to relive the experience in Rome whether you were there or not. It once again brought tears to my eyes having watched the original events in their entirety.”

The Vincentian Family Office released a video that effectively allows people to engage (or re-engage) with the experience of the recent gathering of 11,000 in Rome.

Judge for yourself. Watch the following video.

No Italian skills required! Nor an expensive ticket!

Invitation to a Presentation of the Vincentian Family Homeless Alliance at the UN

Learn more about the Vincentian Family Homeless Alliance at the UN

Dear Vincentian brothers and sisters,

In the framework of the 56th session of the Commission for Social Development, entitled “Strategies for eradicating poverty to achieve sustainable development for all”, which will take place at the United Nations Headquarters in New York from 29 January to 7 February 2018, Vincentians will have a word to say:

(1) On Monday, 29 January 2018 (3:00 pm – 6:00 pm, (NY time)), Mr. Mark McGreevy OBE, Group Chief Executive of DePaul International and the founder of the Institute of Global Homelessness (IGH), will participate in a High‐level panel discussion on the priority theme “Strategies for eradicating poverty to achieve sustainable development for all”.

The Keynote speaker will be H.E. Mr. Juan Somavia, Director of the Diplomatic Academy of Chile, and former Special Adviser to the Secretary‐General on Interregional Policy Cooperation, former President of ECOSOC, and former Director‐General of the International Labor Organization (ILO).

Other panelists are:
• H.E. Ms. Ana Helena Chacón, Vice‐President of Costa Rica
• H.E. Dr. Ghada Waly, Minister of Social Solidarity of Egypt
• H.E. Dr. Ralf Kleindiek, State Secretary at the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth, Germany
• Mr. Jordi Curell, Director for Labor Mobility in the Directorate General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion (EMPL) at the European Commission

Moderator: Dr. Jane Barratt, Secretary‐General of the International Federation on Ageing (IFA)

*Live Broadcast on UN Web TVhttp://webtv.un.org/

(2) On Wednesday, 31 January 2018 (1:15 pm – 2:30 pm), as a side event, the Vincentian Family at the United Nations, in Collaboration with the Permanent Mission of Ireland to the UN, will present a panel entitled “A Systemic Approach to Eliminating Homelessness”

The keynote Speaker will be Mark McGreevy, CEO FamVin Homelessness Alliance

Other panelists:
• Geraldine Byrne Nason, Permanent Representative of Ireland to the UN
• Patrick Lubin, All Together in Dignity Fourth World (ATD 4th world) Activist
• Fay Washington, Vincentian Family (VF) Activist

Moderator: Pattie Hughes, Society of Saint Vincent de Paul (SSVDP)

A Moment to Renew a Movement – What must I Do?

One of St. Vincent’s benefactors turned to Vincent de Paul and asked: “what must be done?” Often referred to as the “Vincentian Question,” this question has shaped the Vincentian mission ever since. I was reminded of this when a read some commentary on the Women’s March.

The March – Moment or Movement?

The estimates varied. So did the reasons they marched. But one fact is clear. Women around the world marched on January 20, 2018. It was further than the borders of the United States and any particular issue. Buenos Aires, Kampala, London, Bangkok, Beijing and Sydney, Athens, Barcelona, Paris, Rome… Women are using their voices.

One passing reference in a story caught my interest. “It Ignited a protest. But can It sustain a movement?” The question caught my interest because it triggered the “what must be done” question about some recent and future events in the Vincentian Family.

Recent Moments in the Vincentian Family

Last summer the leaders of the European Union offered an unprecedented invitation to the Vincentian Family to unveil its plans to end homelessness by 2030. These leaders of the European Union lent their official support for the launch of the Vincentian Family Global Initiative against homelessness.

Some have described the gathering of 11,000 plus in St. Peter’s Square as the beginning of the Vincentian Family “finding its voice.”

The same could be observed about a recent explosion of interest in a Facebook video called “We are Vincentians.” In little over a week, it garnered some 27,000 views.

The response to these events surprised even those who initially set these events in motion.

A fair question is, why did these events catch on?

  • Why did the leaders of the European Union invite Vincentian leaders to present what some would consider an idealistic proposal?
  • Why did 11,000 people stand in solidarity with the Pope before the heart of Vincent?
  • Why did each of these 27,000 people invest their precious time in visiting a video with the title “We are Vincentians” and, in so many instances, tell others about it?

How many conversations and invitations to join a Vincentian movement did all this spark?

I suspect the answer lies in the fact that each of these events embodied something deep in the human heart. I suspect it was akin to what St. Vincent DePaul evoked when he told the story of the poor family in need. Today we stand once again before the Vincentian Question “What must be done.

Renewing the Vincentian Movement

Vincent had no idea of starting a movement 401 years ago when he preached the Sermon that led to a movement still alive today. He was simply trying to get the word out about the needs of a family in dire straits.

I wonder whether the leaders behind these Vincentian moments really thought these moments would coalesce into a renewing of the Vincentian Movement.

The momentum seems to be picking up. The Vincentian Family Film Festival next year at Castle Gandolfo has already attracted over 2000 submissions. The significance is not in the surprising number of early submissions. The significance is the impetus for getting the story out.  Its purpose is “to discover and support those who have the gifts to tell the story of Vincent in a digital age.” People seem afire to tell the story of Vincent following Christ the Evangelizer of the Poor.

So too, after 400 years the momentum is being fanned into flame with the Vincentian Superior General’s call to foster a culture of vocations.

  “The Culture of Vocations means an environment in which all people can discover and rediscover their reason for being on this earth, the meaning of life, the mission they are called to fulfill, the call they are invited to answer. The Culture of Vocations puts Jesus in first place, no matter if it is as a layperson or a consecrated person.”

Is this not the call to live Jesus’ words “to tell the good news to the poor” Luke 4 and his reminder that we will be judged ultimately by what we do for the least of our brothers and sisters Mt. 25. Is this not engaging people in community for mission?  Is this not God’s movement?

The key lies in each of us inviting others into Jesus’ mission of being evangelizers of the poor.

If each of us commits to this call would it not transform a series of moments into a profound renewal the movement that grew from the humble moments of 400 years ago?

Questions

  • Will our Vincentian moments become a rebirth of a movement?
  • How can I add my time, talent or treasure to telling this story?
  • In short, “What must be done?” becomes “What must I do?”

[This post was written for and first appeared on famvin.org]

Cooperating With God’s Plan: Events Leading to the Establishment of the Congregation of the Mission

Cooperating With God’s Plan: Events Leading to the Establishment of the Congregation of the Mission

Have you ever wondered what led Vincent to establish the Congregation of the Mission.

Help Us Champion Storytellers of the Vincentian Charism

Help Us Champion Storytellers of the Vincentian Charism

To spread the charism of VIncent we need storytellers. This the purpose of the Vincentian Film Festival. We need to discover and support those who have the gifts to tell the story of Vincent in a digital age.The organizers of the festival see their mission in these terms…

Our Mission:

Champion the 21st-century storytellers and challenge audiences with films that change our perspective on poverty in our communities. We spark our imaginations by sharing our charism through a creativity that is inspired by the Vincentian mission to globalize charity.

Please review the following information and encourage any creative people you know to become part of the story of telling the story of Vincent.

HOW TO BE A PART OF THE STORY

1st Competition, Seeds of Hope ( Ages 18 and Under Only): All those under the age of 18 are invited to create SEEDS of Hope. We call upon you to utilize any creative expression (story, poem, image, sculpture, music, etc.) that inspires direct service to the poor. Jury-selected artists will be invited to the festival and awarded a trip to Castel Gandolfo, Italy, from October 18-21, 2018. HOW TO SUBMIT ART: Please upload Video, Image or Document that best showcases your artwork. Due by 5/28/18, submit through EMAIL at submit@fv400.org or at fv400.org

2nd Competition, Screenwriting Contest: Finding Vince 400, Storyteller, a Screenwriting Competition: FIVE Screenwriters will be awarded a trip to Rome and a grant to produce their screenplay for a short film. These short films will premiere at Castel Gandolfo, Italy, from October 18-21, 2018. Due by 5/28/18, submit at fv400.org

3rd Competition, Short or Feature Films: You are invited to submit your short or feature film to Finding Vince 400. The jury will select films that inspire a direct service to the poor and change our perspective on poverty. These films will premiere at Castel Gandolfo, Italy, from October 18-21, 2018. Jury selected artists will be invited and awarded a trip to this event. Due by 5/28/18, submit at fv400.org

Attend, Share and Support: Attend the festival and experience the collection of art inspired by the charism of of St. Vincent de Paul. Castel Gandolfo, Italy, October 18-21, 2018 at the Centro Mariapoli, the Pope’s summer residences.

Share and support our mission to inspire our youth to change our perspective of poverty in our communities.

Eng fv400 flyer PDF

PS Update on the Eastern Province Facebook video “We are Vincentians”. 27,000+ people have accessed it!

Follow on Facebook and tune in for more details about how to attend FV400 at: facebook.com/FindingVince

#findingvince, #fv400

Find out how to submit at  fv400.org

Superior General Reviews our 400th Anniversary and Looks to our Fifth Century

Rome, 25 January 2018 Letter for the closing of the 400th Anniversary of the Vincentian Charism
25 January 2018-ENG PDF

“ON THE THRESHOLD OF THE FIFTH CENTURY OF THE VINCENTIAN CHARISM”

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavens” (Ephesians 1:3).

To all the members of the Vincentian Family

Dear sisters and brothers in Saint Vincent,

May the grace and peace of Jesus be always with us!

As we officially end, on this 25 January 2018, the 400th Anniversary of the Vincentian Charism, with exuberant hearts we can repeat Saint Paul’s words written at the beginning of his letter to the Ephesians. Heaven has given us blessings on many different levels: on the personal level, on the level of each branch, and on the level of the Vincentian Family as a whole. May this experience remain for us a source to keep deepening, developing, and extending the Vincentian Charism to produce ever more new fruits.

During the Jubilee year, the Vincentian Family organized so many wonderful initiatives, projects, and celebrations on the local, national, and international levels.

On the international level of the whole Vincentian Family, we organized:

a) The International Vincentian Family Symposium in Rome from 12-15 October 2017.
The day after the closing of the Symposium, the synthesis committee gathered to review the input of the participants from the six language groups. The reflections, suggestions,ideas, and plans will be shared soon with the worldwide Vincentian Family with the goal to keep building, sharing, watering, and growing the seeds sown during the Symposium.[Address of Pope Francis to the Vincentian Family]

b) The Vincentian Family Global Initiative on Homelessness (Vincentian Family Homeless Alliance).
This project of the worldwide Vincentian Family, officially launched during the Symposium in Rome on 14 October 2017, will help us deepen our collaboration in order to respond more effectively to persons without a place to live.

c) The Vincentian Film Festival, called “Finding Vince 400,” also officially launched during the Symposium in Rome on 14 October 2017, will be held from 18-21 October 2018 in Castel Gandolfo.

The preparatory committee soon will provide more details through the different media: webpages, social media, YouTube, printed media, news agencies, and other media. The Film Festival hopes to be an instrument to help “Globalize Charity.” Participation in the Festival is open to anyone, belonging or not to the Vincentian Family, from any country. The Festival will have three competitions: 1) for persons up to 18 years of age who will participate by submitting poems, drawings, writings; 2) for those who will submit screenplays for possible future films; 3) for those who will submit short films. The unifying theme is the life and charism of Saint Vincent de Paul.

d) Pilgrimage of the relic of the heart of St. Vincentt.

The pilgrimage of other relics will continue throughout Europe and, God willing, later on to other continents.
As we now begin the fifth century of the Vincentian Charism, I would like to suggest as first steps on this path the following two initiatives:

a) To renew and deepen our relationship with the Saints, Blessed, and Servants of God of the Vincentian Family around the world as models of the Vincentian charism and spirituality by taking the following steps:

1. Reviving the veneration and invocation of the Saints, Blessed, and Servants of God by starting from their place of origin, where they were born, lived, served, died, where they are buried or their relics are kept, through different initiatives to deepen our relationship with them. Renewing that closeness with them on a local level will encourage and help to spread veneration and prayer through their intercession with renewed strength to other parts of the world.

2. Organizing meetings to make them known to those who do not know them, or do not know them well; organizing pilgrimages; developing prayer services for children, youth, and adults; printing new booklets; preparing PowerPoint presentations; using different media.

3. Praying incessantly to ask Jesus for the grace that all the Blessed and Servants of God or possible new candidates for sainthood be canonized by the Church. Engaging on the level of the specific branch of the Vincentian Family to which she or he belonged, as well as on the level of the whole Vincentian Family, to put all our efforts into the process of getting official recognition on the part of the Church.

It is about linking our lives, efforts, service, projects, initiatives, plans, and common dreams as closely as possible to those who have gone before us and are now in heaven interceding for us. They will respond if we ask for their intercession before God. They are our role models for how to live the Vincentian charism and Vincentian spirituality. It may be easier to present to the people those Saints, Blessed, and Servants of God of recent history. Nonetheless, all of them speak or can speak to children, youth, adults, all people of today, at this time in history as role models of holiness. They are also one of the resources for new vocations to consecrated life or active lay involvement in the different branches of the Vincentian Family, in the mission of Jesus, in the mission of the Church.

b) To renew and deepen the Superior General review the 400th Anniversary“Culture of Vocations.”

When we look for reasons for the decline in vocations to the consecrated life, in active participation of youth and adults in the life of the Church, and in faith in some parts of the world, we often hear the following reasons: consumerism, materialism, individualism, egoism, systematic laicization of society, etc. We can call this an “Anti- Culture of Vocations.”

I would like to invite us to unite all our efforts at showing the children, youth, and adults of today, who are caught in this “Anti-Culture of Vocations,” the beauty, attractiveness, and life-giving meaning of responding with a resounding “Yes” to Jesus’s call! I call us to demonstrate to the children, youth, and adults that it is normal to respond affirmatively, with a loud “Yes,” to Jesus’s invitation and not abnormal. We must strive together for a renewed Culture of Vocations.

Our call in life goes back to the source of our existence, for God had us in mind even before the foundation of the world, before our conception.

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I dedicated you” (Jeremiah 1:5).
“He chose us in him, before the foundation of the world” (Ephesians 1:4).
“I will make you a light to the nations” (Isaiah 49:6).

The Culture of Vocations means an environment in which all people can discover and rediscover their reason for being on this earth, the meaning of life, the mission they are called to fulfill, the call they are invited to answer. The Culture of Vocations puts Jesus in first place, no matter if it is as a layperson or a consecrated person.

We carry in our hearts a deep desire to pass on to future generations the charism and spirituality we have been given. Prayers for new vocations are brought incessantly before God, along with so many initiatives and efforts. The beginning of the fifth century of the Vincentian Charism gives us another opportunity to make renewed efforts toward a Culture of Vocations. This is also very much in tune with the theme of this year’s Synod of Bishops, which will take place in October in Rome, “Young People, the Faith and Vocational Discernment.”

Putting all in the hands of Providence, Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal, the Saints, Blessed, and Servants of God of the Vincentian Family, we repeat the encouraging word to each other, the word Saint Vincent de Paul used when he was asked what else could he do in life, and he responded “more.”
Your brother in Saint Vincent,
Tomaž Mavrič, CM Superior General

Via dei Capasso, 30 – 00164 ROMA

Tel: +39 06 661 30 61 – Fax: +39 06 666 38 31 – Email: cmcuria@cmglobal.org

Here are the video links for

Recognizing the Hope of Israel Today

 “O Hope of Israel” is a traditional prayer for vocations in the Congregation of the Mission. It was created by St. Vincent de Paul. It is prayed daily during Evening Prayer by all members of the Congregation. It begins…

O HOPE OF ISRAEL,
Its Savior in time of trouble,
Look down with kindness from Heaven.

Fr. Thomas McKenna, former Provincial of the Eastern Province,  reflects on Anna and Simeon’s preparedness to recognize the Hope of Israel when he appeared in an unlikely form.

The Holiness Quotient (Lk 2: 25-40)

The initials “EQ.” Different from IQ, meaning Intelligence Quotient which measures mental ability, they stand for Emotional Quotient and refer to the degree to which one person can read the feelings and mood of another — or more generally how acutely he or she can sense that other’s presence. People with low EQ miss many of the interpersonal signals others send out, things like facial cues and different voice intensities. Those with high EQ’s catch those very person-to-person signals; they have a kind of radar for the insides of the people around them.

It seems that two individuals appearing early in Luke’s Gospel had that gift, and in a particularly God-directed way. Of the hundreds of people visiting the Jerusalem Temple, Simeon and Anna register the very personal presence of God as it shines through in this one family passing through. And this threesome, Mary, Joseph, and Child, because they were poor and undistinguished were all but invisible to most everybody else there. What did Simeon and Anna have that so finely sharpened their perception?

For one, they possessed what you might call Holy expectation — or better, God-expectation. As Luke tells it, this devout and righteous man Simeon was “awaiting the consolation of Israel.” Or to say it another way, he had hope. He believed that God was at work in the world and was going to bring about ever more grace-filled happenings. Simeon’s eyes sought the far horizon in search of the first stirrings of the Spirit’s movement breaking into the present. And just as importantly, he was also ready to act, prepared to do whatever it took to follow God’s direction.

Then there’s Anna, the long-time widow who spent her days in constant prayer.  Her fasting is the clue to her hope. Psychologists tell us that one of the effects of holding back on gratification is that it raises awareness, heightens a person’s sensitivity to the surrounding world. Anna’s inner eyes were wide open, set to catch the first glimpse of Divinity’s approach.

Both Simeon and Anna possessed this combination of expectation followed by action, first seeing and then acting under the power of that expectation. And further, they possessed a special sensitivity to the poor people they encountered, an awakened feeling for those further down on the social ladder.

In walk Mary and Joseph who can’t afford the usual Temple offering of bulls and goats but can pay only for two pigeons. But Simeon and Anna, in tune with (and just like) their God, have this unique sympathy for the down and out.

From the prayerful habits they’ve built up over a lifetime, they intuit a holy aura in this little family whom others would prefer to bypass. In Mary and Joseph (and for sure in that little baby they are carrying), they detect God’s presence. They experience The Lord’s holy nearness.

And here’s the lesson for us who again hear this final episode in the story. As believers, we’re asked:

  • to keep developing just this sensitivity to the sacred, to sharpen our sight and refine our hearing for the proximity of God in life.
  • to do the kinds of things that lower our thresholds for detecting The Spirit’s call,
  • to act in ways that will raise not so much our Emotional Quotient (EQ) as what might be called our Holiness Quotient (HQ); i.e., our ability to detect the Holy in our midst, that acuity deep inside us for sensing and then responding to the nearness of our God.

This would include the regular praying of Simeon and Anna, this consistent coming-before-The-Lord to lay ourselves open to the ways God would draw us.  But it might also take in Anna’s fasting (especially after the holidays!) understood in its wider sense of bending some of those desires away from instant gratification and in the direction of benefits to those less fortunate.

And perhaps most pointedly of all, might it heighten our Vincentian care for those on the underside of society, the ones who in their suffering have nothing to rely on but their faith. This is to echo that distinctive God-awareness Simeon and Anna had, that ability to give extra respect and openness to those whom much of the world would rather forget.

In his Christmas message, Pope Francis drew attention to just these least ones when he asked us to be more alert to what he calls “the sign of the child.”

Questions

Would we have recognized the Hope of Israel when he walked into the Temple?

Do we recognize the hope of Israel among the young people we come in contact with?

Eastern Province Proudly Hosts Vincentian Family International Leaders

On Tuesday, January 16, the Eastern Province hosted the meeting of the Executive Committee of the Vincentian Family. St. Vincent’s Seminary houses the Vincentian Family Offices.

The meeting is taking place in Philadelphia (United States) at the headquarters of the Vincentian Family Office, located on the grounds of St. Vincent Seminary in Germantown.

The Executive Committee of the Vincentian Family (VFEC) meets every year. It is formed by a central group of four branches and a rotating group of three. The central group contains the three branches founded by St. Vincent de Paul and St. Louise de Marillac: the AIC, the Congregation of the Mission and the Daughters of Charity; as well as the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul and three rotating branches of the rest of the Family.

We hope to be able to offer more information soon. Until then, these are the first images we have received of the meeting courtesy of Flavio Pereira, CM:

 

A Vincentian Collaborator reflects on Martin Luther King 

Meaghan Clark, a collaborator in the mission of the Eastern Province who is based at St. John’s University, celebrates Martin Luther King and the Catholic understanding of human dignity and solidarity when she writes…

Martin Luther King Jr. poetically preached, that “I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. This is the way our world is made.” This is the gift, challenge and duty of the one human family. For Catholicism, this is who we are, and this is fundamentally incompatible with libertarianism.

She also reminds us of how Martin Luther King resonates across the centuries from Matthew 25 to Pope Francis.

My humanity is bound up in yours. This is concrete, not abstract. In a visit to the Jesuit Refugee Center in Rome, Pope Francis addressed the refugees: “To serve means to work alongside the neediest, first of all to establish a close human relationship with them, based on solidarity. Solidarity, this word elicits fear in the developed world. They try not to say it. It’s almost a dirty word for them. But it’s our Word!”

This is the very heart of Christianity: Jesus Christ, the Word made flesh, God becoming human. Solidarity is our word rooted in the radical identification of Jesus with the poor, the marginalized, and the excluded in Matthew 25. The dignity of the person is inextricably tied to the common good.

Meaghan Clark is not only a respected scholar and advisor to Bishops.  She is also deeply committed to Vincentian values. This commitment is manifested, among other ways, in her publication in Vincentian Heritage. “The Complex but Necessary Union of Charity and Justice: Insights from the Vincentian Tradition for Contemporary Catholic Social Teaching” She serves as a faculty expert for the Holy See’s Mission to the United Nations coordinated by St. John’s Vincentian Center for Church and Society.

The Eastern Province of the Congregation of the Mission is privileged to have Meaghan Clark as a skilled and committed collaborator in spreading the message of human dignity and solidarity.