Peace and Justice Commission

    The Peace and Justice Commission works in collaboration with the Bishop and in conjunction with the other social outreach offices of the Diocese to support the sacredness of human life and dignity in accordance with the themes of Catholic Social Teaching. In addition to conferences and educational events, we also provide educational resources, including annual Lenten and Advent reflections.


    On Thursday, January 1, 2015, The World Day of Peace, Pope Francis released his annual message regarding the celebration and his hopes for this year. The theme for this year's celebration is, "No Longer Slaves, but Brothers and Sisters." Read the full statement and more about the theme for 2015 here.

    *Photo credit here. 

    upcoming events

    • October 5, 2016 - Campaign 2016: "What Values and Beliefs are Important in Assessing Candidates and Issues?" - All are welcome for a panel discussion on the upcoming presidential election on Wednesday, October 5, 2016 at 7:00 p.m. in the Activities Center of St. Mark Catholic Church in Vienna. Panelists are Jeffrey F. Caruso, J.D., Founding Director of the Virginia Catholic Conference; John MacPherson, Exec. Director of the Lam Center in Fairfax; and Dr. Matthew Shadle, Associate Professor of Theology at Marymount University and member of the Diocesan Peace and Justice Commission. For further information, contact Ann Ramish

    • October 8, 2016 - Derechos Humano para el Inmigrante; una Ilamada de Dios from 12:00 - 3:00 p.m. at Holy Family Catholic Church

    • October 10, 2016 - Eucharistic Prayer Vigil - Come to the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception for a day of speakers, confession, Global Living Rosary, Procession of the Nations, Mass, and blessing of children from 9:00 am - 4:00 pm in honor of the 24th International Week of Prayer and Fasting. Learn more here.

    • November 28-30 - 2016 Catholic Institutions and Immigrant Integration (CIII) - Come to this annual workshop in in San Diego, CA that seeks to identify, study and support a growing network of diverse Catholic institutions that are implementing successful programs and ministries with immigrants. The project's overall goals are to improve and expand the work of Catholic institutions on immigrant integration, empowerment, and well-being. For more information on this event, click here. To register, click here.

    • February 2017 - Peace and Justice Symposium: Conflict Resolution: An Alternative to Violence at Church of the Nativity in Burke, VA. Mass at 5pm, Dinner and Program at 6pm.

    previous EVENTS

    • Did you miss our September 2016 Symposium? Video and audio of Catholics & Politics: Faithful and Engaged Citizens are now available! To view the video recap of the keynote address by Dr. Johnathan Reyes, Executive Director of the Department of Justice, Peace and Human Development for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, and panel discussion, click here. If you'd like to listen to audio only, click here. 

    • Interfaith Panel made up of a Priest, Rabbi, and Imam discuss Peace and Justice - Read more by clicking here.

    • Did you miss Make Me a Channel of Your Peace: What Pope Francis Asks of Us as Peacemakers on February 20? We had the pleasure of hearing Keynote Speaker, Bishop Oscar Cantu, Diocese of Las Cruces, New Mexico and Chair of the Committee on International Justice and Peace, USCCB. To view the video of Bishop Cantu's keynote, click here. To watch the Question & Answer session, click here. For only the audio of the conference, click here.

    • Did you miss the 9th Annual Peace Symposium, Care for Creation, Care for Peace, on February 21st? Click here for the full audio recap of the symposium and listen to speakers discuss the challenges that current climate changes are posing and will pose for international peace, stability, and development. Click here for a full video recap on YouTube.

      For a visual copy of Walter Grazer's remarks at the Peace symposium, click here. 

      For additional resources of Catholic Teachings on Climate Change, click here. 

    • Click here to view images from the January 10th Conference, A Catholic Perspective on Issues before the Virginia General Assembly 2015, hosted by the Virginia Catholic Conference & Arlington's Peace and Justice Commission

    • Miss the Human Trafficking Seminar on Nov. 8? Click here to listen to the full audio of the presentations to learn more about the presence of human trafficking in Northern Virginia and what we can do to preserve the dignity of those who are trafficked. To view Hilary Chester's PowerPoint presentation, click here. View Joe Farrell's presentation, here, and Detective William Woolf's presentation here.

    • Click here to watch the 14th Annual Peace & Justice ConferenceFeeding the Hungry: The Needs and Root Causes that took place on September 13.

    • If you were unable to attend the Diocesan Peace and Justice Conference on February 8th, download and read the keynote speech by Bishop Pates. Or you can listen or view the keynote. 

      8th Annual Peace Symposium presents "Making Peace/Protecting Life:Pope Francis Challenges Our World" on Saturday, February 8, 2014 

    More from the Peace & Justice Commission

    "Justice shall be the band around one's waist, and faithfulness a belt upon one's hips" - Isaiah 11:55

    Pope Francis

    Action Alerts

    • Transitioning to a New Administration: How Can We Assist Immigrants and Refugees? Learn how the Bishops and Catholic Church support immigrants and refugees and how you can help by clicking here. 
    • Did you miss the Media Video for the Day of Prayer for Peace in Our Communities?Watch and listen to Archbishop Gregory and Bishop Fabre discuss the USCCB Task Force to promote Peace and Unity. Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory, Archdiocese of Atlanta, is the Chair of the USCCB Task Force to Promote Peace in Our Communities. Bishop Shelton J. Fabre, Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux, is the Chairman of the Subcommittee of African American Affairs and a member of the USCCB Task Force. 
    • Bishop Paul S. Loverde released a statement on the Jubilee Year of Mercy. Read it here. 
    • Pope Francis has released his encyclical On Care for Our Common Home (Laudato Si'), which is "aimed at everyone," according to the Holy Father. "Let us pray that everyone can receive its message and grow in responsibility toward the common home that God has entrusted to us." To order your copy now, click here.
    • In Pope Francis's recent release of his encyclical, he claimed, "The Earth, our home, is beginning to look more and more like an immense pile of filth." He called readers to come to an "ecological conversion." To read more on the encyclical, click here.
    • Stay updated on how to apply the teachings of Jesus Christ for the betterment of rural America by clicking here!
    • Join Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Arlington and the Virginia Catholic Conference to advocate for healthy eating year-round for vulnerable men, women and children. In addition, learn about Legislative Advocacy Opportunity. 
    • Read the letter released by the USCCB urging Executive Action to protect undocumented individuals from the suffering that occurs due to family separation in the U.S.
    • The USCCB's 2014 Labor Day statement from Archbishop Thomas Wenski has been released. Click here to read the statement focused on Unemployment Among Young People.
    • Amid all the focus on the World Cup in Brazil, the Brazilian bishops are charging their government with 'foul play' leading up to the World Cup, itself, such as the eviction of thousands of poor families for a state-of-the-art stadium. Read about further action the Brazilian bishops are taking, and more Catholic news and events here.
    • Two Feet of Love in Action
      Catholic disciples on mission are called to put Two Feet of Love in Action! This foundational tool describes two distinct, but complementary, ways we can respond to the Gospel call to put love in action: social justice (addressing systemic, root causes of problems that affect many people) and charitable works (short-term, emergency assistance for individuals). A brochure, facilitator's guide, and handouts are available to help you educate others about the Two Feet of Love in Action. Download more resources by clicking here

    • Bishop Paul S. Loverde and Bishop Francis X. DiLorenzo ask, "Who is my neighbor?"
      As Congress works to resolve the nation’s budget crisis, it must also focus on another pressing issue. Our legislators have the opportunity to confront and reform our country’s broken immigration system.  Read the rest of the article published in the Times Dispatch here.
    • Defending Religious Liberty:
      Listen to the USCCB's Religious Freedom message in English or en Español. See the publication here.

      Learn more by visiting the diocesan webpage here or by visiting USCCB's webpage here on standing up for religious liberty.

    • USCCB's website for district visits.
    • USCCB's website containing copies of issue sheets.
    • Fr. McGraw and Fr. Planty provide Illegal Immigration: A Catholic Perspective on Law, Policy and Pastoral Policy
    • Download the USCCB's Department of Justice, Peace, and Human Development newsletter, Notes for Neighbors. Notes for Neighbors is a triweekly electronic newsletter that shares news, resources, tools, and opportunities for action from the USCCB Department of Justice, Peace and Human Development, to help Catholics love their neighbors near and far.
    • Listen to audio from the 6th Annual Peace Symposium on the Costs of War: