Go out into the whole world...

Our history

VO.I.CA - The Canossian International Voluntary Service (1996), was created above all as a project to share the Canossian charism and missionary vocation with lay men and women ready to offer their spiritual and professional energy in service to the Canossian "missio ad gentes".

In the spirit of St. Magdalene, founder of the Canossian Institute, who understood the value of the lay vocation as way for the the gifts of God to flower and to make Him know to the people, the sharing dynamic between religious and lay people has been established even in the missions. In 1996, the General Chapter of the Canossian Institute formalized this initiative with the publication of the document "The Canossian International Voluntary Service". Based on these guidelines for volunteers, an initial core group of VOICA was formed. In the following six years, the formation and sending process for long-term volunteers was gradually refined to 3 months of formation before serving in mission for a period of 1 year or more. From 2002 to 2010 more than a hundred volunteers have left for long-term missions, from different countries (Italy, USA, Poland, Malaysia, Slovakia, UK, Australia, etc). They have served in Togo, Malawi, Tanzania, Egypt, Sudan, Brazil and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Continue...

What is and what it does...

Canossian International Voluntary Service (VOICA), a prophetic expression of the charism of St. Magdalene of Canossa, seeks to involve lay women and men in the Universal Church’s mission of human promotion and evangelization, by forming their hearts so they may love gratuitously and live in solidarity with their community members and the poor they serve.

  • VOICA - Canossian International Voluntary Service, is a program for volunteers, is an opportunity to grow and live in faith and to share your gifts with others. VOICA, represents a response to the needs of the times as well as an expression of the Charism of St. Magdalene who said, “Charity is like a blazing fire, seeking to embrace all things.” 

  • The four pillars of VOICA are: SPIRITUALITY, FORMATION, COMMUNITY, SERVICE, key concepts that help you grow in Christ and in service to others. VOICA aspires to have volunteers who assimilate their experience and live their lives as active participants in the Church and in society according to its statutes.

VOICA's activities include:

    • • Recruiting and screening volunteers
    • • Volunteer training
    • • Sending volunteers on mission
    • • Planning and designing projects in response to countries' needs and requests, especially in education, formation, welfare and health
    • • Monitoring aid projects
    • • Raisings funds and locating materials for VOICA mission sites.


Have you heard the call to serve God through His people? Do you feel the urgent need to go into the world with His love? Do you feel inside of you the desire to do and to be more?... With VOICA, you will have the opportunity to spend a beautiful time of your life serving others.


A VOICA volunteer is a person who is single or married, at least 21 years old, in good mental and physical health, responsible, with a great love for the poor. He or she wants an experience of human and spiritual growth and community prayer, and is led by a great spirit of solidarity and service. A volunteer is flexible and leads a simple lifestyle, willing to adapt by giving up many of the comforts of home, is open-minded and able to work with people from from different countries, respecting the culture of the host country.

VOICA Volunteers come from all parts of the world - Italy, Australia, Philippines, Poland, Singapore, Slovakia, Ukraine, India, America, and more.

VOICA offers both a summer short-term immersion in a missionary project and the possibility for long-term international volunteer service (6 months or 1, 2, or 3 years) in Togo, Congo, Uganda, Albania, Indonesia , Angola, Paraguay and Brazil.

The main areas of service are those of the Canossian Charisma:




  • Congregation of the Canossian Sisters Daughters of Charity - Servants of the Poor

  • CAMIC - Canossian Missionary Center The Canossian Missionary Center of the Canossian Daughters of Charity

    This center is the reference for all the missionary activities of the Canossian Congregation. It is composed of sisters from different continents and is responsible for the implementation and fulfillment of the objectives set by the International Missionary Center each year.
  • Catholic Volunteer Network Catholic Volunteer Network

    Catholic Volunteer Network, established in 1963, is a non-profit membership organization of 200 domestic and international volunteer and lay mission programs. Currently, more than 10,000 volunteers and lay missioners serve in these programs throughout the U.S. and in 108 other countries.
  • Fondazione Canossiana