Protection of Minors and Vulnerable Adults: The Vision and the Process
Pope Francis spoke the following words to the Congress on Child Dignity in the Digital World on October 6, 2017: “The Gospel speaks to us of the affection with which Jesus welcomes children; he takes them in his arms and blesses them [cf. Mk 10:16], because ‘it is to such as these that the kingdom of heaven belongs’ [Mt 19:14]. Jesus’ harshest words are reserved for those who give scandal to the little ones: ‘It would be better for them to have a great millstone fastened around their neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea’ [Mt 18:6]. It follows that we must work to protect the dignity of minors, gently yet firmly, opposing with all our might the throwaway culture nowadays that is everywhere apparent, to the detriment especially of the weak and the most vulnerable, such as minors.”
Every day, the vision of protecting minors and vulnerable adults is continuing to become more and more integrated into the mainstream of our lives. We pray that there will come a time when what we do to prevent even the possibility of abuse – sexual or otherwise – will seem as natural as buckling our children’s seat belts or waiting for the little ones to cross the street at a crosswalk.
Praesidium™ Online Abuse Prevention Training for Clergy, Staff, and Volunteers
Across all of the Canadian dioceses, the Catholic commitment to safe environments grows. Abuse prevention education is a major plank in the construction of safe environments. Consistent, high-quality training for the entire ecclesial community is a critical component to systematically improve protection of minors and vulnerable adults. All clergy, staff, volunteers serving the vulnerable sector, and parish leaders are required to complete initial abuse prevention training and annual refreshers. Any parishioner may have access to our training to keep the vulnerable safe.
Both initial training and annual refreshers in abuse prevention are offered in the online format. Ask your parish screening coordinator if you have already been enrolled for online training in abuse prevention. You can self-enrol through the Praesidium™ website, as follows:
To enroll in online abuse prevention training:
- Go to the website, PraesidiumInc.com/EnrollNow (note that the website name is case sensitive)
- Enter the registration code: diocal
- Fill out the form and click the link to enroll (choose your own parish from the drop-down menu)
- Print the page or write down your user login and password for future reference
- To begin taking training immediately, click the link or follow the instructions below to login later
To begin training:
- Go to the website, PraesidiumInc.com/LoginNow
- Enter your user login and password. Then click Login.
- Click on the course image or title to begin. Several courses are listed. The common initial training courses are: Meet Sam, It Happened to Me, Keeping Your Church Safe, and Your Policies. Annual refresher courses are assigned by your parish screening coordinator depending on your role (see below).
- Email your completion certificate to your parish screening coordinator and ministry coordinator.
Annual refresher training:
For those serving minors the refresher modules are:
- 2017 - Abuse Prevention Refresher
- 2018 - Duty to Report Mandated Reporter
- 2019 - Bullying
- 2020 - Social Media
For those serving the elderly the refresher module is:
- 2017 - Preventing Elder Abuse and Neglect
The Diocese of Calgary, with assistance from our civil authorities, will meet or exceed the safe environment standards set out in our protocols Strengthening Our Parish Communities. Contact your pastor, parish screening coordinator, email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com or telephone (403) 218-5549 with any questions or concerns.
Catholic schools are privileged to share in the saving mission of the Church by providing education in the faith. Cultivating wisdom and virtue by nurturing truth, goodness and beauty, students come to know, glorify and love God. In addition to educational content, these attributes are taught and learned through the practice of the faith and learning opportunities, which integrate instruction with service.
The Truth that we share is Jesus Christ and it is expressed in knowing the truth of God’s love and mercy for each person and by fostering a relationship with Jesus Christ. In the Calgary Catholic School District, students grow in truth through such activities as Youth for Christ, Alpha, pilgrimages, retreats, liturgies, prayers, devotions, and by participating in the sacraments.
Knowing the truth of God’s love, students discover their inherent goodness, learning that they and all people have been created in the image of God who alone is good. Goodness is expressed, according to Pope Francis, by drawing near to others. We see this exemplified in schools in many different ways. One school prepared an image of a large cross made up of paper hands of different tones to demonstrate that all people are created equally and must be treated with dignity and respect. One school provided items for newborns while others spent time with seniors or with the L’Arche Community.
Recognizing that all people have dignity, students experience and know beauty by serving others. Service is fueled by joy that gives hope and affirms the work and action of the Holy Spirit. Each school community thoughtfully selects service activities that provide students with service learning opportunities to help them grow in faith. In Calgary Catholic, students have served others through a variety of activities such as food, clothing and coin collections, justice fairs, breakfast clubs, being in solidarity with the homeless, and more. Some schools integrated quotes from Pope Francis’ book, Dear Pope Francis, to reinforce responsibility to care for one another.
By fostering faith through truth, goodness and beauty, Catholic schools perform an invaluable service. In the Calgary Catholic School District, we work to share the Good News of the Gospel with our students, who can then, in turn, share this with the world.
In 1992, St. John Paul founded the World Meeting of Families (WMF) that takes place every three years in a different country. Pope Francis has chosen Dublin, Ireland, for the 2018, World Meeting of Families, a festival of witness to the love of God revealed in Jesus Christ Under the motto “The Gospel of the Family: Joy for the World”.
Families and individuals will come from all over the world to gather in Dublin from August 21 – 26 to share their experiences and create new ones. You are invited to join them. For more information go to http://wmof2018dublin.com/
This initiative consists of all parishes in the diocese offering the sacrament of Reconciliation on all the Wednesdays of Advent and Lent from 7:30-8:30pm in addition to other scheduled times for Reconciliation at your parish.
Below are bulletin reflections for Rejoice in God’s Mercy, the diocesan renewal of the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Please insert these reflections into your parish bulletin on November 26, December 3, 10, 17, and 24.
- Note that Some parishes may need to extend the time to accommodate the number of penitents or speak about the initiative in advance to encourage parishioners to take advantage of the earlier dates. Make Reconciliation available at your parish on Wednesdays December 6, 13, and 20 from 7:30 – 8:30pm.
You might like to use this paragraph to advertise the initiative in your parish bulletin:
The Diocese of Calgary invites you to experience the peace, love, and joy brought by participating in the sacrament of reconciliation. In addition to the regular parish schedule, the sacrament of Reconciliation will be available at parishes throughout the Diocese of Calgary all the Wednesdays of Advent from 7:30 – 8:30pm.
In addition to the regular parish schedule, the sacrament of Reconciliation will be available at parishes throughout the Diocese of Calgary all the Wednesdays of Advent from 7:30-8:30 p.m.
November 26, Christ the King
Catholics celebrate the sacrament of Reconciliation because we recognise that sometimes we fail to do as we ought and because we believe in God’s mercy and forgiveness. The priest can help you and you can trust the Holy Spirit to guide you. Even if you don’t know how you can change your life, showing up makes you open to the grace that the sacrament brings. The Diocese of Calgary invites you to experience the peace, love, and joy brought by participating in the sacrament of Reconciliation. Action: If you are afraid to go to Reconciliation, speak about your reservations with a priest or someone you know who does participate in the sacrament. If you celebrate the sacrament regularly, speak about it as a witness to others.
December 3, Advent I
It is easy to become complacent, doing things the way we have always done them and making excuses for the things we do not want to change. Life is hard and we can become rigid and obstinate out of self-defense. Yet, in the loving creative hand of God, we are to be like clay is to the potter. The sacrament of Reconciliation is a safe place to put aside the armour of our stubbornness and be strengthened by the grace of God given in Christ Jesus. Action Item: Each evening this week identify three ways God has shown you kindness and gentleness.
December 10, Advent II
St. Augustine knew what sort of person he ought to be when as a youth he prayed for purity “but not yet!” Some changes happen overnight while others unfold gradually. In the confessional we can admit our failings and struggles confident that the Lord is patient and wants us to come to repentance. Action Item: Find an opportunity each day to extend God’s patience to others and to yourself.
December 17, Advent III
We were created in the image of God and so our lives should continually give glory to God. It is human nature to take pride in doing good work but when we start to do it for our own glory, we have lost sight of God’s gift to us. The sacrament of Reconciliation is an opportunity to re-orient everything we do to God’s glory. Action Item: Learn and pray the canticle of Mary, (Luke 1.46-55).
December 24, Advent IV: no Wednesday confession to follow
The time of our Saviour’s birth is upon us. Though we are not always prepared God is always ready for us! When we are tempted to feel like our failings are insurmountable, let us remember that nothing is impossible with God. Action Item: Encourage others who are hard on themselves by sharing with them the love and mercy of Christ. For yourself, know that the sacrament of Reconciliation is available at your parish year-round as scheduled or by appointment.
For a link to a Facebook Banner, click here
For a link to the poster, click here
For a link to bulletin image 1, click HERE
For a link to bulletin image 2, click HERE
Please see below the documents you need to submit for liturgies celebrated by Bishop William McGrattan.
- Liturgical Planning Form
Please fill and return this form to the Office of Liturgy no later than two weeks prior to the celebration. Submit via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Prayers of the Faithful Template