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.

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