Safe Environment

Safe Environment Program Child & Youth Protection:  A Guide for Employees & Volunteers

Virtus registration website

Please click the above link to view Virtus course offerings and register for a class.


All children have the right to be safe and protected from harm in all environments ~ home, school, religious institutions, neighborhoods and communities.

St. Ann’s and The Diocese of Syracuse embrace this right to safety and are dedicated to promoting the protection of children and young people.  We will continue to take steps to create a safe environment, to prevent child sexual abuse, and to bring the healing ministry of the diocese to bear wherever possible.

Any questions pertaining to the St. Mary's Virtus program should be directed to Debbie Didio.  Her contact information is below.

View the 10 Basic Elements for protecting our children and young adults.

Frequently Asked Questions:

What is the VIRTUS “Protecting God’s Children” training?

This adult awareness program is nationally recognized. The sessions, which are 3 hours in length, cover the warning signs of child sexual abuse.  The facilitator also leads the group through a 5-part plan that builds the full barrier system between children and those who would do them harm.   There is also a mandatory criminal background check required by participants in order to be in contact with children and youth.

When do I need to attend?

Employees and volunteers must complete a training session within 60 days from the start of their duties.

Who needs to attend the VIRTUS “Protecting God’s Children” Safe Environment training?

  • All clergy,
  • All religious
  • All employees and
  • Any volunteer who has contact with children and youth.

Can youth attend a “Protecting God’s Children” session?

Yes ~ youths between the ages of 16 and 18 years may attend with pre~approval by their parent or guardian.

Where are sessions held?

“Protecting God’s Children” session are held regularly throughout our diocese.  View the schedules and pre-register here.

How often do I need to recertify?

Every five (5) years.

Where do I find training for recertification?

“Keeping the Promise Alive” sessions are offered throughout the diocese.  View the schedules and pre-register here.

Who can I call with a report or a concern of abuse?

The diocese is committed to the protection of all children and young people.  If an individual believes he/she may have been harmed or knows of someone who has been harmed by a member of the clergy or other Diocesan personnel, please contact the Victim Assistance Coordinator, immediately (Contact information below).

Parish Office: 315-685-5083 

Safe Environment Program

Diocese of Syracuse

240 E. Onondaga Street

PO Box 511

Syracuse NY  13201

Phone:  315.470.1421

Fax 315.478.4619

Victim Assistance Coordinator

Jacqueline Bressette

Diocese of Syracuse

240 E. Onondaga Street

PO Box 511

Syracuse NY  13201

[email protected]

Phone:  315.470.1465