The Catholic Church, the Diocese of Cleveland and TEC (Teens Encounter Christ) hold the protection of minors as one of their highest priorities.
To this end, the Diocese of Cleveland adopted a program called VIRTUS to educate all volunteers in the recognition and prevention of sexual abuse. Completion of VIRTUS training is now a required part of all diocesan ministries involving youth.
Because TEC hosts youth who are 17 years old, all volunteers 18 years or older who’d like to work a weekend must attend a training session before the weekend arrives. If you are only attending the retreat (not working it) or are not yet 18, then this does not apply to you; however, it’s beneficial to know what VIRTUS is if you plan to volunteer at some time in the future.
Here are the general requirements for completing VIRTUS certification, which need to be completed prior to working a weekend:
Live Training Session
The first step is to attend a live training session, which is offered at various parishes / schools throughout the diocese. View the VIRTUS training schedule to register. Select your diocese (i.e. Cleveland, OH) and follow the prompts on each page to register for training.
** You will be asked to select all locations where you volunteer. Choose your parish as your primary location, but be sure to choose “T.E.C. Teens Encounter Christ” as an alternate location.
State of Ohio Background Check
The second step is to complete a background check, which includes being fingerprinted. While this service is sometimes offered at the live training sessions, it is also available elsewhere by appointment. Visit the Ohio Attorney General’s background check page to view find an authorized location near you.
Ongoing Personal Training
After the live training session, ongoing training is provided through the VIRTUSOnline website. A more thorough explanation is provided during the live training session.
Any questions regarding diocesan policies may be directed to the VIRTUS Coordinator at 216-696-6525 x1157
Before the start of the weekend, you must provide the following to your lay director or his/her apointee.
First time you work:
Copy of VIRTUS Certificate
You will be presented with a certificate upon completion of your live training session. If you have not done so in the past, please bring a copy of this so that it may be kept on file. (If you chose “T.E.C. Teens Encounter Christ” as a volunteer location when registering for the VIRTUS live training session, you do not need to bring a report. VIRTUS makes this information available to TEC.)
Diocesan Acknowledgement Forms
After reading the following policies on the Diocese of Cleveland’s Virtus page, please print and sign the acknowledgment forms stating the material has been reviewed.
- Policy for the Safety of Children – (Acknowledgment Form)
- Standards of Conduct for Ministry – (Acknowledgment Form)
State of Ohio BCI Check
Mail proof of completed Background Check to:
Fr. Tim Kalista
St. Mary Parish
401 North St
Chardon, OH 44024
Every time you work:
Complete VIRTUS Training Report
This report shows how up-to-date you are with the ongoing personal training.
After logging into the VIRTUSOnline website, select the “My Training” tab at the top of the page, and then the “Click here to see your complete report” link on the right-hand side. Although you may complete as many online training sessions as you wish, it is only required to complete 24.
** If you chose “T.E.C. Teens Encounter Christ” as a volunteer location when registering for the VIRTUS live training session, you do not need to bring a report. VIRTUS makes this information available to TEC.
Any questions regarding North Coast Spirit TEC’s implementation of diocesan policy or the cost of BCI may be directed to the Chairperson and Spiritual Director. Regarding which / how much of your records TEC may already have in its possession, please direct questions to our VIRTUS record-keeper (listed on the About Us page).