Creating a Safe Environment: Keeping Our Children and Vulnerable Adults Safe
Our work with children, youth and vulnerable adults is a sacred trust. Therefore, our parishes have fully implemented the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People by requiring training of and conducting background checks on all clergy and employees as well as volunteers who work with these groups.
In June the Diocese of Rochester updated its Volunteer Creating a Safe Environment (CASE) Policy to include ALL volunteers with exceptions for those who do not have any interaction with minors or vulnerable adults (these are exempted: money counters, committees/Councils with no youth members, prayer shawl ministries, Legion of Mary, Knights of Columbus other than the leaders). Therefore, we are beginning to reach out to those who assist at Mass (e.g., eucharistic ministers, lectors, cantors, ushers) and Pastoral Councils with youth representatives.
We have also hired Karen Rinefierd, who formerly coordinated safe environment efforts for the diocese, as part-time Safe Environment Director. She will be supporting our Parish Safe Environment Coordinators:
Gina Hill—Holy Cross
Stephanie Hubbel—Our Mother of Sorrows
Maureen Beattie—St. Charles Borromeo
Tod Simone—St. John the Evangelist.
If you are currently volunteering in the parish in a category now required to complete CASE training and background checks, you will soon be contacted by your ministry leader or one of the above staff members. We will direct you to the diocesan online training, ask for your authorization for a background check, and answer any questions you have. If you do not have access to a computer or are uncomfortable using computers, we will help. This enhanced training is intended to equip parishioners with information that will provide protection to the most vulnerable, not only in our parishes but in our communities as well.
We appreciate your understanding and thank you for sharing your time and talent with our parish.
Fr. William Coffas, Holy Cross & Our Mother of Sorrows
Fr. Peter Enyan-Boadu, St. John the Evangelist
Fr. John Firpo, St. Charles Borromeo