The term VIRTUS training is a phrase becoming very popular amongst Catholics, yet unless one is a church volunteer or employee, many do not know what it is. VIRTUS programs were created by The National Catholic Risk Retention Group, Inc. and are “a brand name that identifies best practices programs designed to help prevent wrongdoing and promote right doing within religious organizations.”
The word VIRTUS is derived from Latin meaning moral strength, excellence, worth and valor and is an ancient concept of aspiring to the highest level of human behavior. The term was adopted by The National Catholic to signify a strong foundation of all risk control programs.
Within the Diocese of Rockville Centre on Long Island and its parishes, VIRTUS training has become mandatory among all employees and volunteers such as catechists, CYO coaches and Liturgical Ministers to name just a few. As part of the efforts to create safe environments in parishes and Catholic schools, these people must take one VIRTUS course, sign a code of conduct and agree to a criminal background evaluation.
The VIRTUS class is a two to three hour program facilitated by a trained individual, utilizing powerful videotapes to help trainees recognize the many aspects of child sexual abuse. To sign up for the VIRTUS training, registration is required online at www.virtus.org or visit your local parish.
Holy Name of Mary in Valley Stream, as well as other parishes within the Rockville Center Diocese will be audited this fall to make sure they are complying within the directives from The Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People. It is imperative that all volunteers check with their parish rectory or director of family ministry to make sure they have completed all of the obligations necessary to ensure the safety and well being of the children.
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