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Safe environment volunteers celebrated at Nov. 8 event

Jenifer Valenti, director of the Archdiocesan Office of Protection and Care, addresses Safe Environments (SEC) facilitators and coordinators from throughout the archdiocese at a SEC/Virtus Facilitator Appreciation Day Nov. 8 at St. Joseph Parish in Shawnee. PHOTO BY KATHRYN WHITE

by Moira Cullings
[email protected]

KANSAS CITY, Kan. – When Shannon Holcomb received the decision to attend Virtus Facilitator coaching, it did not matter the place she was.

“Actually, I was on vacation,” she says. “In the back seat of my husband’s truck driving down the street, I took part in my presenter training on the first day.”

On the second day of coaching she was safely at dwelling.

“I’ve been really interested in being a presenter for about three years,” Holcomb stated. “When they known as, it did not matter [where I was]. It is a crucial service.”

Holcomb, Preschool Administrator at Xavier School in Leavenworth and Virtus Facilitator, joined different facilitators and Safe Environments (SEC) Coordinators from the Archdiocese on November 8 for an SEC/Virtus Facilitator Appreciation Day.

The event was hosted by the Archdiocesan Office of Protection and Care (OPC) and held at St. Joseph’s Parish in Shawnee.

Sandy Vielhauer, left, Privacy Compliance Administrator, and Kathleen Chastain, Advisor for the Archdiocese Office of Protection and Caring, put collectively present luggage for the Virtus Facilitators and Safe Environments Coordinators at a day of appreciation Nov. 8. PHOTO BY KATHRYN WHITE

Jenifer Valenti, OPC Director, and Sandy Vielhauer, Privacy Compliance Administrator, stated their workplace is keen to indicate their gratitude.

“Our OPC crew is so grateful for our volunteers and frontline employees who work tirelessly to boost consciousness of abuse and guarantee we do every little thing we are able to [we] to guard our most susceptible members,” Valenti stated.

The Day of Recognition was attended by 44 folks, together with members of the OPC crew, audio system and Father John Riley, Archdiocese Chancellor and Vicar General.

Attendees had been briefed on coverage and course of updates pending at the Department and took part in a Q&A panel dialogue with specialists in secure environments and abuse consciousness.

Monica Lane, left, veteran Virtus facilitator, and Victim Care Advocate Amy Stork chat throughout the SEC/Virtus facilitator appreciation day. PHOTO BY KATHRYN WHITE

They additionally had the chance to community with others, which Ashley Vardijan, SEC at the Prince of Peace Parish in Olathe, appreciated essentially the most.

“I’ve enjoyed building camaraderie through our challenges and sharing some of the successful ways to overcome those struggles in our roles,” she stated.

After that day, Vardijan felt “renewed and valued”.

“I think the OPC is doing a great job of communicating regularly and helping with the needs of the coordinators,” she stated. “But meeting in person helped build that sense of belonging to the ‘team.'”

Franchiel Nyakatura, proper, chats with Virtus presenters at the popularity day. PHOTO BY KATHRYN WHITE

Holcomb agreed.

“Sandy and Jenifer – the whole team there – are so welcoming,” she stated. “Monica Lane and Franchiel [Nyakatura]the veteran moderators, simply welcome you with open arms and are there to assist and advise you.”

Holcomb cares deeply about serving youngsters and susceptible adults.

Previously, she was an teacher for Army Child Development Services, the place she targeted on figuring out and reporting baby abuse, and stopping and responding to baby abuse.

Becoming a Virtus Facilitator was a logical subsequent step for Holcomb, who needed to be a useful resource for the Xavier School group in addition to the Leavenworth communities. She was moved by the thought of ​​Appreciation Day.

“I didn’t expect that we felt valued, that we took on this role,” she stated. “That just showed the Archdiocese’s commitment to this ministry.”

Father John Riley laughs with LuAnne Montgomery of the Church of the Ascension in Overland Park. PHOTO BY KATHRYN WHITE

Valenti and Vielhauer stated their workplace plans to carry an appreciation day annually.

“This service would not be possible or successful without the dedicated work of our local Safe Environments Coordinators and Virtus Facilitators,” stated Valenti. “We additionally know that this work can generally be troublesome.

“We hope that days like this will bring renewal and encouragement. We also hope to build a mutual support network.”

To study extra concerning the Office of Protection and Care, log on at: archkck.org/protection-and-care/workplace.

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