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Elections 2021 – A Message from Fr. John

Elections 2021 – A Message from Fr. John

A Message from Fr. John Dear parishioners, Very recently we published a message called Faithful Citizenship: Pro-Life. Please take a moment to read this important message as it forms the background to this message. It contains excerpts from the US Bishops document on Faithful Citizenship which goes into more detail as to what issues determine if a person is truly pro-life. As the bishops stated , “ We strongly encourage you to know the candidates and their positions on abortion, Euthanasia....

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What is your Election Plan?

What is your Election Plan?

Do you have a plan on where and how you will vote in upcoming November 2 General Election?  The St. Francis of Assisi parish VOICE ministry has already sponsored a successful Voter Registration campaign on the weekend of September 25/26 - and now it is time to "Get Out the Vote". You might be a registered Democrat, Republican, or as a non-affiliated voter. But if you are a Catholic it is important to vote. Why as Catholics is it important to vote?  Parishes need to promote a revived sense of...

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Critical Receiving Units – An Update

Advocacy works!  As a result of the efforts of VOICE, and others, the Prince William County Board of Supervisors is moving along in their plans to evaluate, design and build Critical Receiving Units (formerly called Crisis Stabilization Units) in the county!  The unit would be a place where citizens and law enforcement could bring people experiencing mental health or substance abuse crises instead of to jails or emergency rooms. Why it’s important In the last few months, Virginia closed five...

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Parish Voter Registration Drive – 2021

Parish Voter Registration Drive – 2021

Calling all Faithful Citizens!  New to Virginia and haven’t had time to register?  Moved within Virginia and need to update your voter registration address? Turning 18 on or before November 2, 2021?  St. Francis VOICE will be holding a non-partisan voter registration drive for all eligible voters after all masses the weekend of September 25 and 26. Stop by the table to register or register online at https://www.vote.org/register-to-vote/virginia/ .... and ALERT:  Last day to register is...

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VOICE Update – Critical Receiving Units

Why its Important “In the emergency room. Handcuffed to a gurney. In a hospital gown. For several days straight. That’s where an increasing number of Prince William County residents suffering from severe mental health crises have found themselves as Virginia’s overburdened mental hospitals face limited bed space or have ceased taking new admissions altogether. Often, people wait days in the hospital before an open bed can be found at a mental health facility. And for those who have been...

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VOICE – Did you know? Laws that burden the Poor

Each state sets a statutory definition of which thefts are felonies (punishable by longer sentences in prison) and which are misdemeanors (punishable by shorter sentences in jail). But in many states, the dollar amount separating felony theft from misdemeanor theft has not been increased in years, even though inflation makes the older laws more punitive each year. Virginia is one of those states. Did you know that before 2020, if you were fined by a court, and did not pay that fine within the...

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VOICE – Did you know? Crisis Stabilization Unit

Any family that has experienced mental health challenges knows that mental health services are needed across a spectrum of capabilities, especially during a crisis. A call to “911” results in a response by police officers. If the family is lucky, they will encounter officers specifically trained for mental health crises. Do you know what happens next? Do you know what options are available to the person, the family or the officer here in Prince William County? Why it's important Not all mental...

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VOICE – Did you know? Covid Eviction Crisis

During the housing crisis, Prince William County (PWC) had the highest foreclosure rate in Virginia. Poor families were especially victims of predatory lending. VOICE acted then. The circumstances of the Covid pandemic and ensuing job loss has again raised the potential for more evictions and foreclosures. VOICE was prepared and acted. Why it’s Important The pandemic's closure orders led to a financial disruption to life. Jobs were lost, especially among the poor and people of color - most of...

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On Prince William County’s Public Defender Office

Originally appearing in the Washington Post (May 29, 2020) || Opinion by the Editorial Board “If you could change anything about the criminal justice system, if you had a magic wand, where would you start?” Community organizers in Prince William County posed that question to hundreds of prison inmates, ex-offenders and their families. Most said the same thing: They would start with legal representation. “Many of them were indigent defendants who had court-appointed attorneys,” explained the...

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