Catholics believe that our baptism makes us members of the People of God and members of the faith community we know as the Church. The protection of children and vulnerable persons is part of the very mission of the Church. We are all called to insure that all members of our church community are able to practice their faith in a safe environment, confident that all the faithful are committed to their protection and well being.
To insure the protection of all members of our church community we as a community must insure that there are procedures in place to protect the vulnerable persons in our community. We are called to formalize this procedure to insure that all parishes in the Archdiocese of Regina are providing the same level of protection to the members of their community. The manual is intended to increase the security of those participating in parish activities or receiving services through a ministry, by insuring that the individual providing the service is an appropriate candidate to serve in that ministry.
The Archdiocese of Regina confirms its commitment to oppose (i) sexual abuse in all its forms, (ii) financial abuse, and (iii) the exploitation of vulnerable persons. Our primary concern must be for the victim. The development and implementation of this policy has as its goals, the prevention of sexual abuse, the protection of vulnerable persons, the pastoral care of those wounded by sexual or other abuse; along with the acknowledgment of the legal rights of the accused and the appropriate action toward those who have committed abuse.
In particular, the Archdiocese of Regina, through appropriate intervention and education and the establishment of procedures for risk management, will work toward eliminating sexual abuse, financial abuse, and exploitation of children and vulnerable persons that arise out of positions of trust. Positions of trust can include the relationships that priests, parish ministers, religious, members of the pastoral team, parish employees and volunteers have with parishioners.
The Archdiocese of Regina expects its bishop, priests, deacons, lay personnel and volunteers to live chaste and moral lives; respecting in every way the integrity of others. Sexual abuse, financial abuse, and exploitation of children and vulnerable persons abuse the power and authority of the pastoral role of all who work for and serve the People of God. The primary aim of the Archdiocesan Pastoral Plan is for all to grow in personal holiness.
The Archdiocese of Regina supports open and frank discussion of the social tragedy of sexual abuse and holds that it is not acceptable to ignore, minimize or cover up instances of sexual abuse. Whenever sexual abuse is reported, appropriate steps must be taken to ensure that it will not reoccur, and to prevent other similar cases.
The Archdiocese of Regina will co-operate with the criminal and civil judicial systems, subject to the inviolability of the Sacramental Seal of Confession.
As coordinators for the Protocol for Responsible Parish Ministry, Leona and I want to thank all of the Parish Volunteer Screening Committees for doing such a great job. Most parishes have completed or are very close to completing the process. We are proud of all of the parishioners in the Archdiocese of Regina who understand the importance of doing whatever is necessary to protect our children, elderly and vulnerable. We often forget that the goal is also to protect our volunteers so that they can feel comfortable participating in ministries that God has called them to do. Leona and I are saying special prayers for all of you that you continue to enjoy sharing your gifts with your parish communities. God bless all of you. Enjoy Christmas with your family and friends and have a Blessed New Year.
As I was struggling with what to blog about I looked up and saw the following quote on my calendar:
"The Spirit and the bride say, "Come!" And let him who hears say, "Come!" Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life." Revelation 22:17
A lovely quote imprinted on a beautiful sunset picture. It is a beautiful day here in Regina and a good day to be thankful for what we have. We are quite fortunate to live in Canada and enjoy the benefits.
September is shaping up to be a very busy month. Everyone goes into start up mode. Just check out your bulletin board at church or the ARchdiocesan calendar-busy, busy, busy!!
Hopefully we will see many or all of you at the Annual Appeal Kickoff Wednesday, Sept 23 2015.
Until then take care and remember to SMILE!!
One of the strongest recommendation for encouraging people to come to your parish is by creating a warm and welcoming environment.
Think of yourself. If the service was good and the people were pleasant you will go back to the business. If you go to an event and you had a good time you will plan to go back again. If the parking was awful, no one was there to assist you, and nobody smiled or said good morning/afternoon, we will probably not go back.
Ask yourself if you would even recommend this event or place to your friends. In a social setting, would you speak favourably or would it be a list to stories of where not to go.
What was your parish like this weekend? Did people actually turn around and smile at a stranger or regular parishioner?
Looking through the lens of a visitor to your parish, the question becomes: "Would you come back?"
If the answer is no, what can you do to fix it?
The weather is beautiful. Hot and sunny!! Saskatchewan is beautiful and we can once again water our lawns in Regina.
I had the privilege to attend a Confirmation and First Eucharist Celebration on the weekend. The children were so excited to receive the Body of Christ and the Gift of the Holy Spirit. Fifty years after Vatican II, it is still important to the parents to have their young girls dressed in beautiful white dresses. The veils are gone, replaced with flowers and bows. The young lads were decked out in shirts and times and dress pants. The parents and godparents were also decked out in their finest.
The celebration itself was solemn and reverent and filled with joy.
It was a joy to know that receiving the sacraments is still considered extremely special and a great honour by many of our young families.
I too left will with the joy of the Holy Spirit.
Good day to everyone!
The sun has returned so it is looking like it will continue to be a beautiful day.
Last spring and summer there were approximately 30 parishes that were beginning the protocol process.
Our contract for the this position finishes at the end of June, so we will be attempting to complete an audit in each of these parishes before that date.
Sharon and I are looking forward to travelling through southern Saskatchewan again. The landscape is beautiful and each parish has it own natural beauty and personality. We enjoy meet parishioners and pastors and hopefully are being of assistance to the parishes.
In a booklet called "10 Things Pope Francis Wants You to Know" by John L. Allen, Jr. the last three items are Never Given in to Pessimism, Have a Sense of Humour, and The Importance of Unity. The value of lowering our defenses and offering human warmth, in search of real unity beneath equally real difference is a core element of Pope Francis' message. It is easy to... Read More
The headlines in the media continue to reinforce the need to be vigilant in thoroughly screening our volunteers. Especially those volunteers who are working with our vulnerable parishoners. Although no method can guarantee 100% the 'goodness' of any individual, it helps. References, one on one interviews and criminal record checks combined can provide some sense of security. Life has shown that shortcuts are not acceptable and that we really do not know everyone. Once the screening as occurred knowledge and vilgilance help us to continue to ensure safety.
In the protocol office we have several resources that assist with all aspects of developing and maintaining a safe environment.
We are only an email or phone call away.
A diverse group of 6 youth ministers or pastoral assistants from Churches in Regina met this morning to learn about organizing youth programs. The interactive workshop discussed topics such as abuse disclosures to registration forms to medication documentation. The parish representatives deal with a wide range of youth and activities. on an ongoing basis. It was exciting to see the numbers involved and the types of programs offered. Answers were provided to questions regarding specific sites. We had planned for 90 minutes but the questions and interest kept us engaged for 120 minutes. Hopefully these parishes are now comfortable with the processes. We are also available to assist with the training of the volunteers in the parishes.
The awareness of these individuals strenghthens the protection we can offer our youth and our volunteers.
Thank you for donating a morning of your time to the safety of our youth.
I hope we started to develop strong relationships with these communities... Read More
It is 2015 and almost a week into the new year. Time seems to move fast every year. Although it is bitterly cold it really could be alot worse. How you ask? Well we have shelter, transportation and warm clothes. At least most of us do. So although cold we are protected. Sometimes I wonder if these cold days are a way of getting many of us to slow down and 'smell the roses'. We tend to stay indoors more when the weather is like this and we don't necessarily feel quilty about not going outside and doing yard work or getting fresh air. The weather gives us permission to wrap ourselves in a blanket and read a book, or play a board game with our families. It also gives us more time to ponder life in general, get caught up on all the shows that are on the PVR or start watching the award shows.
At the same time one can also be thankful of all the blessings we have and the joys that are part of the Christmas season.
It also makes us wonder how in the Protocol department we can... Read More
Are All The I’s Dotted & T’s Crossed?
A workshop for working with Children and Youth
Some of the Topics to be Covered:
a. Registration Forms
d. Parental Involvement
e. Interviewing Assistants
Plus Discussion time with Bob Kowalchuk—
Director of Pastoral Services
Who Should Come?
Tuesday, January 20, 2015
9 to Noon
Holy Child Parish
2636 – 7th Ave. Regina
To Register Contact:
or call (306) 352-1651 Extension 239
Conducted by the Protocol Department Archdiocese of Regina
Three more days or as the children might say "three more sleeps" until Christmas. Am I ready? Yes the presents are wrapped, cabbage rolls are made and the Christmas menu has been planned. That part of Christmas is ready.
Am I ready for the biggest gift of all? The gift of God himself to us! fFor that gift, I still have more preparation to do. I have time now to truly open my heart and mind to accept God's gift. I can become annoyed with myself for delaying this aspect of Christmas preparation or I can accept where I am and trust in God's unconditional love. I can respond to God's gift by kneeling in prayer and adore. I can thank God for this wonderous gift and reflect on what I plan to accomplish with this wonderful gift. Yes, this is a joyous time!!
May the joys and blessing of Christmas be with you, your family and your friends.
Have a very Merry Blessed Christmas!!