Some of you have asked how you can help keep children safe. We can pray. We can pray for children, our Church, faith, and to be a good Christian. We also can pray for open hearts, minds, eyes and ears. But, as we all know from the Bible, we can take action too.
We can keep our eyes and ears open. Be observant so that children are not harmed or placed in a harmful situation. It can be as simple as noticing after mass that a child walking in front of you on a busy sidewalk has let go of his mother's hand and that the mother has her hands full carrying a baby. Are you able and ready to call out a warning if the child gets close to the street or to block the child from getting into the street?
What else can we do? We can take Virtus training. The purpose of the training is to help you identify and spot signs of potential child abuse. The training also can help you avoid putting your child or any child into a bad situation. Additionally, Virtus training helps you understand how you can avoid situations which could be viewed as inappropriate. Most importantly, the training reminds us of how vulnerable children are and what we can do to help.
We can help each other protect children. Saint Anne Catholic Church recommends, and for some ministries requires, that volunteers take Virtus training. With this training, you can help protect children with whom you interact or are in a position to observe interactions with children. Be observant, be alert, take appropriate action including calling the police if needed, and do take Virtus training.
To sign up for Virtus training, which is only one class that lasts under three hours, go to www.virtus.org/virtus. You also can go to our website for more information, including on registering and who is required to take the Virtus class. Click here for more information from the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston on protecting children and youth, which includes information on Virtus registration, assistance for victims, and other information.
With prayer, knowledge, open hearts and minds, open eyes and ears, and appropriate action such as taking Virtus training, we can all help God’s children.