Safe Environment

CREATING & MAINTAINING AN ENVIRONMENT SAFE FOR SERVICE

 

 Promise to Protect  –  Pledge to Heal

The USA Province has implemented and adheres to the directives of the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People promulgated by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) in June 2002.

The province has obtained the services of a Victim Assistance Coordinator. This individual assists persons who bring allegations or concerns to province leadership. This individual works to assure that any and all reported allegations receive thorough and appropriate due process.

The province has established a Sexual Misconduct Review Board. This inter-disciplinary board of lay professionals advises the Prior Provincial on any matter related to sexual misconduct.

The Province has established Policies and Procedures Regarding Sexual Misconduct. These are available from the province office upon request.

The province is accredited through Praesidium, a national agency for accreditation of religious congregations and institutes.

How We Respond to Complaints of Sexual Misconduct

In all cases of alleged sexual misconduct, the USA Province will respond quickly and compassionately to the needs of the victims and their families to protect against any further misconduct.

All allegations or concerns are referred to the Victim Assistance Coordinator. This individual is a lay professional who can listen, understand, and offer help. If appropriate, the coordinator will arrange for psychological counseling for individuals affected by misconduct by any friar. The Coordinator will assist victims to present their concerns and to understand the province’s procedures of response to allegations received.

When a credible allegation is received, the accused friar will be relieved of ministerial duties, pending completion of an investigation. If a friar has engaged in the sexual abuse of a minor, he will receive appropriate psychological treatment. There-after, the friar will be monitored through a safety plan for the rest of his life in the Order.

Preventing Sexual Misconduct

In addition to establishing procedures for responding to sexual misconduct, the USA Province has undertaken a series of measures to prevent future incidents of abuse. These include extensive mandatory psychological evaluation of seminarians and novices before they enter religious formation programs. The Province requires all friars to regularly participate in continuing education programs that deal with sexuality and personal conduct.

Conclusion

Appropriate personal boundaries are essential to preserve the integrity of the ministerial relationship.  We call upon anyone with knowledge of a friar’s inappropriate behavior – whether past or current – to present this information in order to prevent any future harm. We ask everyone to join with us to protect the safety of children, women, and men, and with firm determination, to promote healing where there is pain.

The USA Province of the Order of Friar Servants of Mary (Servite Friars) is committed to providing a safe environment for all beneficiaries of our ministries, particularly children and young people.

Where to Get Help

If you or someone you know believe that a Servite Friar has violated the boundaries outlined in this pamphlet, please report such behavior to one of the offices below immediately. Your report will be handled with sensitivity and confidentiality.

PRIOR PROVINCIAL
USA Province of Servite Friars
3121 West Jackson Boulevard
Chicago, IL 60612-2729
[773] 533-0360 x 219

VICTIM ASSISTANCE COORDINATOR
Deacon John Lucas, MAPC
847-446-6955 x17
847-989-7323 (mobile)
jlucas@northshoresamaritan.org