Ensuring a Safe Environment
Safeguard the Children is a comprehensive program designed to promote a safe environment for children, youth and vulnerable adults and prevent child sexual abuse. The program was initiated in all dioceses in the United States at the direction of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).
Safeguard Practices specific to St. Joseph Parish
All volunteers, staff, and clergy must be VIRTUS® certified, regardless if they work with children or not.
All parish staff is required to a background check.
Children are supervised not only inside the classroom, but also around campus, including trips to the restroom. Our youth are restricted to certain sections of campus to ensure adult supervision.
Children are not permitted in the rectory.
An adult may not drive alone with a non-family teen/child to offsite activities
Any parish activity involving children must include VIRTUS® certified adults.
All parents that have students in Religious Education program must be VIRTUS® certified by the first day of class.
We review Megan’s Law website and have a zero-tolerance policy for offenders.
If you are being abused, have been abused, or know someone who is being abused and you need assistance making a report, call Victims Assistance Ministry at the Archdiocese of Los Angeles at (800) 355.2545,
You may also seek help directly by contacting one of the Child Protective Services or one of the Law Enforcement Agencies listed below. In an emergency, call 911.
LA County Child Abuse Hotline
Investigative Control Unit for All Child Abuse Reports
Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department
Special Victims Bureau
“VOS ESTIS LUX MUNDI”
You are the Light of the World
“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden” (Mt 5:14). Our Lord Jesus Christ calls every believer to be a shining example of virtue, integrity and holiness. All of us, in fact, are called to give concrete witness of faith in Christ in our lives and, in particular, in our relationship with others.
The crimes of sexual abuse offend Our Lord, cause physical, psychological and spiritual damage to the victims and harm the community of the faithful. In order that these phenomena, in all their forms, never happen again, a continuous and profound conversion of hearts is needed, attested by concrete and effective actions that involve everyone in the Church, so that personal sanctity and moral commitment can contribute to promoting the full credibility of the Gospel message and the effectiveness of the Church’s mission. This becomes possible only with the grace of the Holy Spirit poured into our hearts, as we must always keep in mind the words of Jesus: “Apart from me you can do nothing” (Jn 15:5). Even if so much has already been accomplished, we must continue to learn from the bitter lessons of the past, looking with hope towards the future.
This responsibility falls, above all, on the successors of the Apostles, chosen by God to be pastoral leaders of his People, and demands from them a commitment to follow closely the path of the Divine Master. Because of their ministry, in fact, Bishops, “as vicars and legates of Christ, govern the particular churches entrusted to them by their counsel, exhortations, example, and even by their authority and sacred power, which indeed they use only for the edification of their flock in truth and holiness, remembering that he who is greater should become as the lesser and he who is the chief become as the servant” (Second Vatican Council, Dogmatic Constitution Lumen Gentium, 27). What more closely concerns the successors of the Apostles concerns all those who, in various ways, assume ministries in the Church, or profess the evangelical counsels, or are called to serve the Christian People. Therefore, it is good that procedures be universally adopted to prevent and combat these crimes that betray the trust of the faithful.
I desire that this commitment be implemented in a fully ecclesial manner, so that it may express the communion that keeps us united, in mutual listening and open to the contributions of those who care deeply about this process of conversion.
View from a Priest
“Letter to a Suffering Church”
by Bishop Barron
The sexual abuse scandal has gripped the Catholic Church for the past thirty years, and continues to wreak havoc even today. It's been a diabolical masterpiece, one that has compromised the work of the Church in every way and has left countless lives in ruins. Many Catholics are understandably asking, “Why should I stay? Why not abandon this sinking ship before it drags me or my children under?"
For Catholics questioning their faith, searching desperately for encouragement and hope, this book will offer reasons to stay and fight for the Body of Christ.