October 21, 2005

Diocese reaches children with safe environment program

Catholic Explorer


ROMEOVILLE—The Diocese of Joliet is taking another step in protecting youth against sexual abuse. It is currently in the midst of implementing safe environment programs for children in grades kindergarten through 12.

Franciscan Sister Judith Davies, chancellor of the diocese and member of the diocesan safe environment committee, said students attending a religious education program or Catholic school in the seven-county area are expected to have a safe environment program offered to them before Nov. 30. Of course, parents are able to opt their children out of the sexual abuse prevention program.

“It’s all for the advantage of giving kids the tools needed to keep them safe. … It’ll all be worth it in the end,” commented Sister Davies. The programs are expected to reach close to 24,000 students in the Catholic schools and 57,000 students in religious education.

“The program is one that parents have been asking for,” added Benedictine Sister Helen Jean Kormelink, superintendent of Catholic schools and member of the diocesan safe environment committee. She continued, “It’s our hope it’ll benefit many children, but if it helps just one child, it will be worth the effort.”

Posted by kshaw at October 21, 2005 08:52 AM