Greetings in Our Lord Jesus Christ!
The USCCB’s Charter for the protection of Children and Young People provides the foundation for diocesan policies that are implemented and enforced, all for the purpose of creating and maintaining a safe environment within a spirit of cooperation and willingness. This involves receiving education and training on the signs of abuse and knowing how to report suspected child abuse to the proper civil and legal authorities; all for the well-being of the child. Working together, we can make a difference in the life of a child!
I am committed to guiding and supporting the implementation of the Charter in all our parishes and Catholic schools through the Diocesan Safe Environment Office. Faith based safety lessons for all Kindergarten – 12th grade students is a very important part of what is referred to as “Safe Environment.”
Children, youth, and vulnerable adults will be better prepared to keep themselves and others safe and free from harm at all times, in real life and online. The program focuses on personal, social, and cyber safety. It also, provides age appropriate activities, handouts, language, and a doctrinal connection to our faith.
Parents will be given a Safe and Sacred “Parent Handbook” to use as a tool to reinforce the safety messages their children and youth are given. The handbook includes a Safe Environment lesson plan for the parents to do with their children at home. Parents are encouraged to visit the Safe Environment tab on the Diocese of Fresno’s web site (www.dioceseoffresno.org) to download various parent resources related to Safe Environment topics. Of course, we hope and pray these resources and all this information will provide safe environments for vulnerable adults as well.
As we join together in this effort to protect our children, young people, and vulnerable adults we will be able to provide a safe, nurturing environment where they may feel secure as they learn and experience the loving presence of our God. May our Blessed Mother intercede for all families throughout this School and Faith Formation Year.
Most Reverend Joseph V. Brennan, D.D. Bishop, Diocese of Fresno