Circle of Grace
St. Mary’s Parish is using the Circle of Grace program for the annual safe environment education of the young people of our parish, supported and mandated by the Diocese of Albany. Circle of Grace was developed by the Archdiocese of Omaha to educate and inform children and teens about the value of positive relationships with God and other people. It is designed to allow parents to actively participate in their children’s education and formation.
For more information, visit Circle of Grace - Archdiocese of Omaha (archomaha.org).
The Diocese of Albany and St. Mary’s Parish are committed to meeting our responsibility of ensuring that children and young people are safe from harm, especially that of sexual abuse. We uphold the principles contained in the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, as adopted by the Bishops of the United States, by establishing standards and procedures for our parishes, schools, and diocesan offices. This includes background checks and safe environment training for all staff and any volunteers who have contact with children and teens. The Human Resources Director of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany serves as the Diocesan Safe Environment Coordinator and works with parishes and schools to maintain compliance with the Charter.
For more information, visit Safe Environment :: Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany (rcda.org).
Safe Environment/Charter Compliance Requirements for Staff and Volunteers
As mandated by the Diocese, all individuals over the age of 18 who are either paid parish, school, or diocesan personnel (regardless of position) or volunteers who have regular contact with children and youth must complete the following steps as a condition of their employment/volunteer participation:
- Complete the Employee/Volunteer Application
- Undergo a background check prior to commencing work or service
- Receive safe environment training
- Sign the Standard Code of Conduct
- Sign the Technology Policy
- Sign the Social Media Policy
Examples of volunteers who must meet these requirements are catechists, Scout troop volunteers, field trip/retreat chaperones, etc. No one who has admitted to and/or been convicted of sexual misconduct or abuse involving a minor may serve in the Diocese of Albany as a professional or volunteer in any capacity with children or youth.
Older teens who work or volunteer and who are under the age of 18 are not required to undergo a background check or to attend safe environment training but must sign a Youth Code of Conduct.
The Diocese of Albany uses the CMG Connect online program for the safe environment training of staff and volunteers. For more information, visit CMG Connect Program and Training :: Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany (rcda.org).