Letter from the Bishop
The Preamble to the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People cites:
We, who have been given the responsibility of shepherding God’s people, will, with his help and in full collaboration with all the faithful, continue to work to restore the bonds of truth that unite us. Words alone cannot accomplish this goal. It will begin with the actions we take in our General Assembly and at home in our dioceses and eparchies.
In keeping with the guidelines outlined in the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, Article 12, I am pleased to renew the Diocese’s continued commitment for the following Safe Environment programs. The approved trainings are in accordance with Catholic moral teaching and meet the diocesan standards in training objectives.
Circle of Grace is presented annually to all students Pre-K through 12th grade enrolled in parish and school faith formation programs. Circle of Grace provides age-appropriate materials on how children and youth can keep themselves safe. The Circle of Grace program teaches children and young people to seek help from a trusted adult, reinforcing God’s presence in their real life struggles. Through the Circle of Grace program, adults assist children and youth to recognize God’s love by understanding that each of us lives and moves within a Circle of Grace.
CMG Connect is a web-based database platform that assists to ensure that all employees and volunteers who are in a position of trust with children and vulnerable adults within our schools and parishes are trained to recognize behavior patterns of potential abusers and provide pro-active measures for preventing abuse in any context. CMG Connect also provides a streamlined screening process for employees and volunteers by use of a secure on-line background check.
“Safe Haven-It’s Up to You” is a three-part video series that provides vignettes of real-life situations to educate the viewer about methods of grooming, desensitization, bullying and neglect, all of which can lead to abuse. The training identifies and reinforces the prevalence of sexual abuse; behaviors and grooming techniques of predators; and what a person should do if there is suspicion or evidence of abuse.
I would like to acknowledge with great appreciation all those who contribute time and effort to assuring the safety of our children. May our efforts continue to be richly blessed and sustained daily by the Holy Spirit, who renews our faith and trust, helping us to move from darkness into the Lord’s glorious light. I remain,
Sincerely yours in the Lord,
Most Reverend Oscar A. Solis