Thirty-eight years ago I was interviewed for a position as a clinical supervisor for the Regional Adolescent Treatment Program (RATP), in Stockton, California. RATP and the agency's other sites were a state-wide trail-blazing effort to take youth out of mental institutions and serve them in home-like community settings. It was the fruit of the compelling vision of its founder and CEO, David Favor (who himself, as a youth, endured residency in an institution). When I was asked by the Roy Alexander, the program manager, to make a two-year commitment to RATP, given what I perceived as the risk of this pioneering undertaking, I had some hesitancy and asked if I could get back to him the next day.
I took the risk, called back, and told Roy I that would take the job. David Favor's compelling vision took hold of my heart and efforts and, twenty-eight years later, I retired from the same agency. It is rare now, in the state of California, that youth are confined for long periods in mental hospitals.
The Latin American Bishops, overwhelmed by the oppression of the people and the violent repression by the government and military, came together in a conference in Medellin, Colombia in 1968. They made a historic effort to refocus the work of the church towards a "preferential option for the poor." This was met by resistance not only by government but by dignitaries of the church itself, not only in Latin America but in Rome and throughout the world.
There were dedicated religious servant-leaders for whom "preferential option for the poor" became their "Compelling Vision." In El Salvador, lives were put on the line and a new age of martyrdom began. Four female U.S Catholic missionaries, lay missioner Jean Donovan and three nuns, Maura Clarke, Ita Ford, and Dorothy Kazel, were raped and murdered by members of the National Guard. Six Jesuit priests, pioneers of the practice of "liberation theology", along with their housekeeper and her fifteen-year-old daughter, were dragged from their house and slain by the military. Bishop Oscar Romero (now canonized as a saint by the Catholic Church) was shot and killed in the pulpit while delivering a homily.
The Compelling Vision for which they sacrificed their lives has become the mission of many religious (and some secular) organizations. The principles of Liberation Theology continue to be lived out, not only in areas of economic need, but wherever oppression strives to keep silent voices of those deprived of a sense of power to improve their lot in life.
Martin Luther King, Jr. proclaimed: "We believe the highest patriotism demands the ending of the war and the opening of a bloodless war to final victory over racism and poverty". In November of 1967, Dr. King introduced the Poor People’s Campaign to the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, planning a large poor people's demonstration in Washington, D.C. He endorsed the sanitation workers' strike, indicating his awareness not only of economic justice but also environmental justice, prompting his "I Have a Dream" Speech on April 3 of the following year in Memphis Tennessee, the day before his assassination. In that inspiring presentation, Dr. King reflected, “We’ve got to give ourselves to this struggle until the end. Nothing would be more tragic than to stop at this point in Memphis. We’ve got to see it through”. In the next month, the Poor People's Campaign built Resurrection City, where over 3000 people lived on the National Monument. The Poor People's Campaign continues today, as the "second phase of civil rights."
Pope Francis assumed his role as a world leader to respond to the ecological crises facing humanity. Laudato Sí, written on May 24, 2015, is unlike previous papal encyclicals: it was meant not just for religious leaders, nor only for Catholic Christians, nor even for people who are believers in God. He addressed every person living on this planet.
Laudato Sí has become the compelling vision, not just for environmentalists (fueling a growing environmental consciousness among the young activists), but for us whose concern also is the condition of the victims of environmental degradation. 
 The March 20-April 2, 2020 edition of The National Catholic Reporter's article, In Costa Rica, university president sees Laudato Sí reenergizing Catholics reports that Fernando Sanchez Campos, president of the Catholic University of Costs Rica, shared a university index measuring 127 countries (93% of the world population), concluding that 55% of the world's population "lives in conditions that are not admissible in terms of Laudato Sí".