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Safe Environment, VIRTUS Program

At Rochester Catholic Schools we recognize that our children are our most precious resource so we take extraordinary measures to keep them safe!

The Winona Diocese has taken extraordinary measures to ensure that all of the schools, parishes and programs administered in the Diocese adhere to child protection policies. It is absolutely essential that those entrusted to our care are safe. Since 2002, over 30,000 thorough criminal background checks and screenings have been run on clergy, employees and volunteers that work with children in the Diocese. Each year, every priest and deacon, as well as thousands of lay employees and volunteers are trained through VIRTUS Safe Environment, a nationally recognized program aimed to educate adults how to recognize and prevent abuse.

Register for a VIRTUS Session:

You can register for a VIRTUS training by clicking here and signing up for a session that is convenient for you. Volunteers must successfully complete a criminal background check. This process will be explained to you at the VIRTUS training. Volunteers will not be permitted to work in the school without completing these requirements.

Circle of Grace Program
This ongoing program strengthens the stringent policies and procedures that the Diocese has had in place for more than a decade. Children in grades K‐12 receive Child Abuse Prevention programming in our Catholic schools and in our Parish Religion Education programs through the Circle of Grace curriculum. This national program teaches children to:

  • define their physical Circle of Grace;
  • maintain appropriate physical, emotional, spiritual and sexual boundaries;
  • recognize boundary violations when they are about to occur;
  • take action when boundaries are threatened or violated.
Additional information on the Diocese Safe Environment programs and other resources can be found on the website www.dow.org