"Let the children come to me, and do not prevent them; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these." [Mt., 19:13-14]
Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
You have answered the call to take on a ministry of service to The Church. Ministering to adults, senior citizens and/or the children and young people is near and dear to the heart of Jesus. I want to thank you for this gift to the Church.
The mission of our Safe Environment Office is to assist the Church in creating a safe haven for children and all people. The risk of any abuse is greatly reduced by breaking the silence about abuse, especially sexual abuse. Breaking the silence is a critical first step to begin the process of education, prevention, and healing.
We have pledged to work with the employees and volunteers of our Diocese, civil authorities, and various organizations in our community to provide the safest possible environment for people of all ages and especially the children and young people in our Diocese.
The Safe Environment Training Workshop and/or Course you are participating in today is part of the training you and I undertake to better prepare for providing this safe environment for people of all ages in our Diocese.
I ask the blessing of God on the work we undertake for our Diocese and Church. May we all be worthy of the trust that is placed in us by those we serve.
Sincerely yours in Christ
† Michael C. Barber, S.J.
Bishop of Oakland