Safe Environment (VIRTUS)



A key to our commitment to promoting a safe environment in our parish, school and community is for all persons in positions of trust in regard to minors and vulnerable adults to fulfill the Safe Environment Requirements (also referred to as Essential 3 or E3). The E3 relates to 1) the Code of Conduct, 2) safe environment training (VIRTUS) and 3) background checks, with re-credentialing required every three years. 

You can complete a background check, register for a VIRTUS session, as well as read and sign a Code of Conduct online at the VIRTUS Website.  If you are a new volunteer, follow the Registration Instructions for New Volunteers.  If you are a current volunteer, follow the Log-in Guide for Current Volunteers.

All adult volunteers in this Archdiocese who have ongoing contact with minors and/or vulnerable adults are required to:

  1. Complete the online background check
  2. Complete the online VIRTUS: Protecting God's Children for Adults session
  3. Read and acknowledge the online Code of Conduct for adult volunteers

These are mandated by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops for volunteers and staff alike to help protect children and vulnerable adults entrusted to our care. Some examples of church and school volunteers who need to attend a VIRTUS session are:

  • Catechists/YDisciple Leaders
  • Preschool Aides
  • Youth Group Volunteers
  • Nursery Aides
  • STFX School Parent Volunteers

VIRTUS consists of a presentation of printed materials and videos. Among other things, VIRTUS registrants will learn to recognize the signs and symptoms that indicate a child is being abused or exploited in some way, environmental factors to be aware of in the physical space of the parish or school, how abusers operate and things parents can do to help educate their children about how to respond to inappropriate behavior toward them.

Please visit the VIRTUS Website to get started.

If you would like more information about the safe environment policy and requirements, please contact Jody Klaphake or visit the Archdiocese's website and click on "The Office of Ministerial Standards and Safe Environment."

Important Documents and Forms

Registration Instructions for New Volunteers
Log-in Guide for Current Volunteers
Requirements for Youth Volunteers and Reference Forms
Code of Conduct for Youth Volunteers