safe environment

Adult Education and Training

All adults who are paid, volunteer, religious communities and clergy (bishops, priests [diocesan and religious], deacons and seminarians) must complete VIRTUS Protecting God’s Children® for Adults training prior to working with children or vulnerable adults. Recertification training is to be completed every five-years.

In accordance with the Charter for the Protection of Children or Young People, when a priest, religious or deacon, not incardinated in the diocese, is to engage in ministry in the diocese, regardless of the length of time, the verification of his Safe Environment training may be satisfied through a written attestation of suitability for ministry supplied by his proper ordinary/major superior to the diocese. This includes all international, temporarily assigned and visiting priest, religious or deacon.


VIRTUS® is the brand name that identifies best practice programs designed to help prevent wrong doing and promote "right doing" within religious organizations. The VIRTUS® programs empower organizations and people to better control risks and improve the lives of all those who interact with the Church.

Protecting God's Children® for Adults is training conducted by VIRTUS® certified facilitators on the prevention of child sexual abuse. The training makes participants aware of the signs of child sexual abuse, the methods and means by which offenders commit abuse, and five easy steps one can use to prevent child sexual abuse. Two videos are the centerpiece of the training: A Time to Protect God's Children™ and A Plan to Protect God's Children™. The facilitators incorporate policies and procedures into the training defining child sexual abuse, addressing the reporting of child sexual abuse, the screening and selection of employees and volunteers, and victim advocacy.