Voice of the Poor
What is VOP?
“The Voice of the Poor Committee’s mission is to uphold Catholic social teaching by researching, validating, documenting, advocating, and promulgating issues related to the condition of the poor and disenfranchised. This is done in the vision of St. Vincent de Paul and Blessed Frederic Ozanam to help Vincentians live their faith and grow spiritually by acting knowledgeably and credibly as a unified body.” -Voice of the Poor Guide, 2001
The Political Life
In the Catholic Tradition, responsible citizenship is a virtue, and participation in political life is a moral obligation. The obligation to participate in political life is rooted in our baptismal commitment to follow Jesus Christ and to bear Christian witness in all we do (Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship, no. 13). The Society of St. Vincent de Paul’s Voice of the Poor (VOP) committees are groups of Vincentians that do just that—participate in political life in a way that is informed by (to use words from our Blessed founder) “sitting by [our neighbor’s] bedside, feeling the same cold that pierces him.” By sitting with our neighbors, we begin to understand their struggle and can better speak on their behalf.
Aside from the National Voice of the Poor Committee, there are committees at (Arch)Diocesan and District levels that focus more specifically on state and local issues. These non-partisan groups are involved in a wide range of activities, from regularly publishing newsletters highlighting local issues or meeting with elected officials to talk about the challenges facing the poor.
Click here for more info, or contact:
Mark Danis, Director of Neighborhood and Shelter Ministries
St. Vincent de Paul Dayton
124 West Apple St.