Protecting God’s Children

The news this week of the historic sexual abuse of minors in six Pennsylvania dioceses is truly horrific. Trust was first betrayed by these attacks on the innocent; however, the systematic cover-up and reassigning of these priests by their bishops and superiors is just as unforgivable.

As I have stated on many occasions, we – the Church and its ministers – must abide by a higher standard. We are called to protect and keep safe children, the young and all vulnerable persons. There can be no short-cuts, nothing that can excuse immoral and sinful acts.

The Diocese of San Jose remains committed to protecting God’s children and to fostering the safest of environments in which to worship, learn and live.

I echo the bishops in Pennsylvania who have asked for forgiveness. Yet we know that forgiveness does not absolve perpetrators of the consequences of these grave transgressions against the defenseless.

Finally, I ask you to pray for the victims and their families. I would also request that you pray for the vast majority of priests – present and past – who have been faithful in their ministry. They, too, grieve for the terrible stain of this sin that has harmed so many.

May God bless you all.

– Patrick J. McGrath, Bishop of San Jose

USCCB (Link): President of U.S. Bishops’ Conference Announces Effort That Will Involve Laity, Experts, and the Vatican as U.S. Bishops Resolve to Address “Moral Catastrophe”

Ministry of Protection Mission Statement

The Office for the Protection of Children & Vulnerable Adults (OPCVA) is committed to fostering healthy relationships within the Diocese of San Jose through awareness and interpersonal safety education for our children, as well as safety training and background screening for all adults who minister or provide services to our children and/or vulnerable adults, in our effort to help maintain a safe environment for all.

To report suspected child or elderly abuse in your parish, school or in the Diocese of San Jose, please follow the instructions on the Diocesan’s “Reporting Abuse” web page for guidance on how to file a formal report with authorities. For all other concerns or inquires, please contact the Office for the Protection of Children and Vulnerable Adults at 408-983-0113. Please feel free to contact us via email as well at

Safe Environment Training Requirements 

Employees & Adult Volunteers
The following training courses are required for adults who serve with youth and/or vulnerable adults. The VIRTUS® online training course Protecting God’s Children (PGC) is mandatory and must be renewed every three (3) years by both employees and volunteers. Volunteers and employees who serve in Homebound Ministries, or bringing the Eucharist to the sick, must take the PGC & Vulnerable Adults training course which also incorporates the Protecting God’s Children (PGC) training material:

Safe Environment Training (English)
Youth Protection Course: Protecting God’s Children (PGC)
Homebound Ministry Course: PGC & Vulnerable Adults
VIRTUS Training Link:
– First-Time User Registration: Registration Link
– Youth Protection Registration Instructions: Instructions
– Homebound Ministry Registration Instructions: Instructions

Entrenamiento de Ambiente Seguro (Español)
Curso de Protección Juvenil: Protegiendo a los Ninos de Dios (PGC)
Curso de Ministerio a domicilio: PGC & Adultos Vulnerables
Vínculo de entrenamiento VIRTUS:
Registro de Usuario por Primera vez: Enlace de Registro
– Instrucciones de Registro de Protección Juvenil: Instrucciones
– Instrucciones de Registro en el Ministerio Domiciliario: Instrucciones

Teen Volunteers (Ages 14 – 18)
Youth between the ages of 14 up to their 18 birthday, must complete the VIRTUS® Healthy Relationships for Teens online training course for employment of volunteer service eligibility and must renew the training every 2 years to maintain eligibility up to 18 years of age. Once the teen reaches 18 years of age, they are required to take the adult training programs in order to continue their service. Teen Training Course: Healthy Relationships for Teens (LINK)
First-Time User Registration: Registration Link
Healthy Relationships for Teens Registration Instructions: Instructions

Adult Safe Environment Online Training Option: Adult training is available, free of cost, as a “Live” presentation (availability listed below) or may be completed via our online program VIRTUS®. To take the Safe Environment training course online, please go to


August 2018

28th @ 7 pm- St. John the Baptist Parish – SET* for Adult Volunteers (English)

September 2018

4th  @  7 pm- Our Lady of Peace- SET* for Adult Volunteers (English)

8th  @ 10 am- Cathedral Basilica of St. Joseph – SET* for Adult Volunteers (English)

12th @ 7 pm- St. Francis of Assisi Parish – SET* for Adult Volunteers (English)

18th @ 7pm- St. Catherine of Alexandria Parish – SET* for Adult Volunteers (Spanish)

27th @ 7 pm- Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish (Parish Hall) – SET* for Adult Volunteers (Spanish)

October 2018

4th @ Our Lady of Refuge- SET* for Adult Volunteers (Spanish)

23rd @ St. John the Baptist School – SET* for Adult Volunteers (English)

November 2018

8th @ Our Lady of La Vang – SET* for Adult Volunteers (Spanish)

December 2018

5th @ St. Francis of Assisi – SET* for Adult Volunteers (English)

*SET = Safe Environment Training for Adult Volunteers

* Please Arrive Early

* No Minors Allowed- Please Arrange for Childcare

* Live Safe Environment Trainings are FREE



Dear Friends,

I am pleased to offer a brief introduction to this revision of our diocesan Safe Environment Policy, which addresses the ways in which we – as Church – proactively work to insure the welfare of children, youth and vulnerable adults.

The safety of all of the children of God is a concern for each of us.  Whether we are lay, religious, clergy, volunteer or employee, we are our brothers’ and sisters’ keepers.

In the Diocese of San Jose, we continue our commitment to the Charter of Dallas and to the values and principles put forward by that document.

I am grateful to Anthony Gonzalez and the Office for the Protection for Children and Vulnerable Adults, as well as to Justice Edward Panelli and the Diocesan Review Board for the work they have done on this restated Policy and for all of their efforts on behalf of the most vulnerable among us.

With every best wish and kind regard, I remain,

Sincerely yours,

Patrick J. McGrath
Bishop of San Jose

Updated: January 2017

OPCVA Contact Information:

Anthony D. Gonzalez
Direct Phone: (408) 983 – 0113
Reporting Hotline: (408) 983 – 0141
Fax: (408) 983 – 0203

Griselda Cervantez, MSW
Victim Assistance Coordinator
& Prevention Advocate
Direct Phone: (408) 983-0225

Ly Helgeson
Safe Environment Coordinator
Direct Phone: (408) 983-0248