Protecting God’s Children: Resources & Information

You must, then, regard your work, which has been entrusted to you by pastors and fathers and mothers, as one of the most important and necessary services in the Church. This means that you are called to lay the foundation for the building of the Church when you instruct children.
— (De La Salle Meditation 199.1)

RESPECTING ALL PEOPLE

PROTECTING THOSE WE SERVE, ESPECIALLY CHILDREN & VULNERABLE ADULTS,
AS WELL AS PROTECTING THOSE WITH WHOM WE SERVE

A Core Value

We Brothers of the Christian Schools who are members of the District of Eastern North America (“the District”) are concerned about each person’s well-being with particular attentiveness to both those to whom and with whom we minister. We seek to make it possible for all people “to live with dignity as sons and daughters of God” (Rule of the Brothers of the Christian Schools, article 13). Our founder, St. John Baptist de La Salle, was deeply moved by the human and spiritual distress of children. In response, he made a lifelong commitment to God to provide these children with a human and Christian education, and so extend the glory of God on earth (Rule of the Brothers of the Christian Schools, article 1).

We recognize that abuse of any kind causes pain and harm for the abused and their families as well as for the larger Catholic and Lasallian communities. We continue to offer compassion, prayers, and direct support for all survivors and are committed to making sure that the mistakes of the past are not repeated.

We acknowledge that any types of abuse and harassment are hurtful and wrong. Such actions denigrate the sacredness of an individual and are inconsistent with our values as Brothers of the Christian Schools in the District of Eastern North America.

Protecting Those We Serve and Those with Whom We Serve

We Brothers strive to remain faithful to our obligation to care for each young person and vulnerable adult entrusted to us. We endeavor to safeguard the inherent dignity of all people.

We have enacted clear standards of conduct for all Brothers, members of Lasallian communities, and employees of the District. We have established procedures for the immediate investigating and reporting of any allegations of abuse, harassment, or misconduct to the appropriate civil authorities.

In keeping with the values of St. John Baptist de La Salle that motivate our actions, as well as the recommendation of the United States Conference of Major Superiors of Men, in September of 2009 the District engaged with Praesidium, the national leader in abuse risk management, to independently accredit our District policies and our adherence to proper procedures. Praesidium provides consultation, risk management assessment, policy development and training materials for use in preventing sexual misconduct and responding to allegations of sexual misconduct.

In accordance with the policies and procedures implemented in conjunction with Praesidium, each Brother who is in active ministry and/or is in direct contact with minors or vulnerable adults is required to participate in a series of on-line training courses on a regular basis. DENA office employees who have direct contact with a minor or vulnerable adult in the work place is also required to complete this training.

The District also complies with and enforces all applicable state and federal laws and regulations related to employment with minors or vulnerable adults.

How to Report an Allegation of Sexual Misconduct

If you have been sexually abused by a Brother of the Christian Schools or an employee of the District, you are urged to:

1. Report the abuse

  • Contact the appropriate civil authorities in the location where the sexual abuse took place, or
  • Call the National Child Abuse Hotline at 800-422-4453, or
  • Call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 800-656-4673, then

2. Contact the District’s Victim Outreach Coordinator, Br. Colman Coogan, FSC, at 732-380-7926 extension 128.

  • This will open the line of communication with the Brothers of the Christian Schools, members of the District of Eastern North America, and present the opportunity for us to offer compassion, prayers, and support on the road to healing.

3. If an incident of sexual abuse or misconduct involves a lay employee at a DENA ministry, you are to immediately follow the reporting policies of that ministry.

FAQ Guide

A Letter from Brother Visitor

Dear Lasallians,

As we begin this new calendar year of 2019, some 27,000 students return to our DENA Lasallian ministries.

A new beginning fills us with hope for growth throughout the year in all dimensions of life. At the same time, we greet them with full awareness of the ongoing reports of sexual abuse in our Church.

First and most importantly — our thoughts, prayers and acts of support are with victims of abuse.

This updated page here includes resources and information regarding the protection of those we serve, both children and vulnerable adults.

Respectfully,

Brother Dennis Lee, FSC
Visitor


Additional Resources

Promise to Protect, Pledge to Heal

Charter for the protection of children and young people. A statement of Episcopal Commitment, June 2018, from the USCCB

Letter from the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities

From member presidents of the ACCU to Pope Francis, Cardinal DiNardo, and religious leadership of the US

Br. Timothy Coldwell, FSC – General Councilor – RELAN (statement)

Practical Advice from NCEA

Conference of Major Superiors of Men (Statement)

Prayer Resources from the Irish Bishops Conference

Ten Points to Create Safe Environment for Children

Talking to Kids About Sexual Violence

Websites dedicated to Child Safety

Prayer for the Protection of God’s Children

Dear God,

Please show us your face
during this very troubling time.
Our hearts go out to all those
who have suffered abuse
at the hands of those they trusted.
We your people feel anger, shock,
and shame at the actions of those
designated to serve as our shepherds and leaders.

We struggle to understand
how this happens,
and we lament the harm
and injury to the young
who deserve our tender care.
We know that you, God,
are our Light,
and we need your wisdom
and guidance more than ever
as we commit to keep all
persons safe, especially
our young people,
and bring to justice those
who have broken our trust.

We pray for healing for
all who have been abused.
We pray also for the offenders
that they seek forgiveness and
face justice with repentance.
We ask you to heal our Church
during this dark time,
and help us to treat one another
with respect and dignity.
As the Church, we know that
Jesus is the Way, the Truth,
and the Life.
Let his spirit and message
pervade all that we do.
We ask you this in his name.

Amen.