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Who we are

VOICE is a ministry of the parish that advocates for social justice on issues important to Prince William County and the Commonwealth of Virginia. The VOICE ministry provides an avenue for parishioners to become involved in their local communities, be an agent for social justice/change, and present a Catholic voice in the public square about important public policy issues

Why it’s important

The majority of VOICE issues are family and human dignity issues. Other parish ministries also address these topics, the parish VOICE ministry focuses on issues that highly impact people and families in everyday life – especially those communities of the poor and minorities. “Much will be required of the person entrusted with much, and still more will be demanded of the person entrusted with more.” (Luke 12:48)

Go Deeper

VOICE is called to be ever faithful in our ministry. We celebrate accomplishments, renew our efforts on works-in-progress, and always work for the greater glory of God. Read about some of our past and on-going efforts of this ministry in the briefs below.

How we advocate

VOICE (Virginians Organized for Interfaith Community Engagement) is a non-partisan coalition of almost 50 faith communities and civic organizations in Northern Virginia working together to create justice in middle and low-income communities. We advocate in the Northern Virginia region (Prince William, Fairfax, and Arlington counties, and the City of Alexandria) as faithful Catholics following the spirit of Dialogue and Proclamation, the 1991 document which encourages the faithful to work in advocacy and action with other Christians and people of different faiths.

VOICE Intiatives

County Affordable Housing Urgent Action Needed

The Prince William County Board of County Supervisors will meet on Tuesday, May 10, at 2:00 and 7:30 to consider the draft Comprehensive Plan, which includes Affordable Housing. We are asking that your contact/email your Supervisor. Learn More.

Critical Receiving Centers

Updated June 2022. Any family that has experienced mental health challenges knows that mental health services are vital, especially during a crisis. Do you know what options are available here in Prince William County?  Learn more – and read the latest update from PWC County Officials and its funding plans.

PWC Public Defender

Until 2020 Prince William did not have a Public Defender Office but relied on court-appointed private attorneys. Such reliance leads to pressure to accept plea deals, longer sentences, and a greater impact on the poor. VOICE advocacy led to the September 2020 opening of a PWC Public Defender Office.  Learn more.

SPECIAL COLLECTION JULY 11–12
WHY YOUR FINANCIAL SUPPORT IS IMPORTANT

VOICE is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization and is funded by dues paid by member institutions (congregations, temples, mosques, schools, health centers, etc.) and grants from foundations. Our annual membership dues are supported by this special collection. Please be as generous as possible. A special envelope was sent in the bi-monthly envelope mailing. Please mail your donation to the church, drop it by the church office or place it in the “Catch All” box in the church vestibule. You can also donate online at stfrncis.org/giving . Please be sure to check the “VOICE” box. Thank you!

Prince William County Pre K

Eight years ago, the Prince William County Public School (PWCPS) system only had 8 Pre K classes. The St. Francis of Assisi VOICE ministry began an initiative, that with the help of many other groups, changed Pre K availability for all. Today there are 80 Pre K classes in PWCPS. Learn more.

Laws that Burden the Poor

In 2018, Virginia’s threshold for felony theft was the lowest in the country at $250. For decades, thousands of Virginians have been saddled with felony convictions on their records for minor property crimes. Did you know that Virginia was one of the few states to suspend driver’s license for unpaid court debt. Both these unduly affect the poor, creating even more burdens in daily life. VOICE led campaigns that changed these laws. Learn more.

Investing in Schools

Too often we hear about a school lockdown, sad but occasionally necessary. What is always necessary is to lift up our children not only in education but also in health and emotional wellbeing. Did you know that one in five children and adolescents experience a mental health problem during their school years, but 60% don’t receive the support and treatment they need? Of the remaining 40%, two-thirds of them receive the treatment they need in the school setting. Want to help? Contact us!

Covid Eviction Crisis

During the housing crisis, PWC had the highest foreclosure rate in Virginia. Poor families were especially victims of predatory lending . VOICE acted. The pandemic and ensuing job loss has again raised the potential for more evictions and foreclosures. VOICE was prepared and is acting. Learn more.

VOICE Ministry Contact Form

This contact form is for those who want to contact ministry leaders, ask questions, or find out to become involved in the Church’s outreach to the public square where we live.

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