Thank you for serving the St. Monica Parish CYO program as a volunteer coach. Your commitment to teaching our children the virtues of good sportsmanship, including respect for others and rules of fair play, exemplifies the best elements of our parish life.

With this great commitment, however, comes an obligation to create a safe environment that is free from any risk of child sexual abuse. Therefore, we need you always to complete the obligatory requirements of the Archdiocesan Safe Environment Program (SEP) BEFORE starting a coaching assignment. The program is designed to make all adults aware of the behaviors that lead to child sexual abuse and how to report them to the proper authorities in a timely manner. If you have already completed your SEP obligation, thank you for your diligence.

If not, SEP requirements are as follows: each coach or volunteer must agree in writing to enforce the Archdiocese’s SEP policies, consent to a background check every three years, and attend the "Protecting God's Children" (replaces "Called to Protect for Parents, Families, and Ministries") training initially and complete a short, on-line SEP course annually thereafter. All of the requirements are critical to maintaining a safe environment for the CYO program and its children/athletes.

Given the policies of the Archdiocese and the history of our own parish, I am sure you will agree that it is our first order of business to protect and safeguard every child entrusted to our care. Any lack of diligence in this regard, real or perceived, is an unconscionable risk with severe consequences. Consequently, it is our parish policy not to allow a sports season to begin without FULL SEP compliance by ALL volunteering to coach.

At the inception of SEP more than five years ago, Archbishop Brunett said that eradicating child sexual abuse in the church and in society is a ministry of conversion. In that same spirit, please inculcate the SEP model of “watch-act-teach,” not just as a CYO coach, but as a member of the faithful working to build the Kingdom of God here at St. Monica.

May our Lord Jesus bless you and all the children that you coach this season!

Fr. Patrick Freitag


P.S. If for any reason you are unwilling or unable to complete the SEP screening and training prior to the start of a season, please excuse yourself from volunteering since you will not be allowed to coach regardless of your ability or prior history. This will allow everyone else in our CYO program to move forward with scheduling and practices. Thank you.

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