Protecting God’s Children

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 serve in positions with regular or on-going access to 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’sReporting Abuseweb 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

April is Child Abuse Prevention Month and Sexual Assault Awareness Month

Every Sunday, we are surrounded by people in our congregation who have personally experienced abuse.  The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports that one in four girls and one in six boys will experience some form of sexual abuse before they turn 18.  Child and sexual abuse have no limits: children and adolescents of all cultures and socio-economic backgrounds are equally susceptible.

The Diocese of San Jose- Office for the Protection of Children and Vulnerable Adults (OPCVA) reminds us that clergy, schools, volunteers, and parishioners all play important roles in preventing and responding to child abuse.  Child Abuse Prevention Month and Sexual Assault Awareness Month are a special invitation to look beyond what we already know and develop an increased mindfulness.  As the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops tells us, “We are reminded of the call to be instruments of justice, working for the common good of all, which includes the protection of children. As Jesus entrusts to Peter the care of the flock, we are reminded that this responsibility belongs to everyone as a matter of charity and justice.”

To aid us in our journey through the month of April, the OPCVA has compiled the following list:

  • The OPCVA will be distributing bookmarks and pins donated by Partners in Prevention. Pick one up at a parish near you!
  • This year, Denim Day is April 26th– to learn how wearing denim can have a purpose, support survivors, and educate yourself and others about sexual assault, please visit

To share your personal journey in learning more about child abuse prevention and sexual assault, please contact the OPCVA at 408-983-0225 or by May 15th, and your story may be featured in a future publication.  See that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that their angels in heaven always look upon the face of my heavenly Father (MT 18:10).


Our parishes have a special role in educating the community about child abuse prevention and sexual assault awareness. This resource booklet includes homily helps, Bible verses, petitions, songs, bulletin blurbs and inserts, sample prayer services, and additional suggestions to help you with this important task. Link to resources.

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

Safe Environment Training Information:
Adult Training Online:
The following training courses are required for adults who serve with youth and/or vulnerable adults. Volunteers who serve in home-bound ministries must take both courses.
+ Course 706: Protect Children
+ Course 821: Protect Vulnerable Adults

Safe Environment “Live Training” Workshop Schedule for Youth, Teen Leaders & Adult Volunteers:

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

April 2017
19 @  7:00pm – Holy Spirit – TLT
20 @  9:00am – St. Victor – Virtus CSEC
20 @  7:00am – St. Catherine of Alexandria (Adult Safe Environment Training – Spanish)
22 @  9:00am – Holy Spirit – TLT
22 @  12:00pm – Christ the King – Virtus CSEC
23 @  10:00am – St. Lucy – Virtus CSEC
30 @  10:00am – Sacred Heart of Jesus – Virtus CSEC

May 2017
2 @  10:30am – St. Nicholas / St. William – (Adult Safe Environment Training – English)
18 @ 11:30am – St. Mary Los Gatos (School) – TLT
20 @ TBA  – St. Francis of Assisi – TLT

June 2017
4 @  10:00am – Sacred Heart Parish (Saratoga) – TLT
18 @ 1:00pm – Queen of Apostles – TLT

July 2017


*Virtus CSEC = Virtus Catholic Safe Environment Curriculum
*TLT = Teen Leadership Training

OPCVA Contact Information:

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

Griselda Cervantez
Victim Assistance Coordinator
Direct Phone: (408) 983-0225

Ricky Ferrer
Safe Environment Coordinator
Direct Phone: (408) 983-0248