Volunteer Criminal Background Checks

Dear ICC Family,

First, I would like to thank all the volunteers (Ushers, Lectors, EMs, Parish Councils, Committees, etc.) who are now in compliance with the Diocesan VIRTUS training and criminal background checks. We went from 75% non-compliant to 50%. (The Spanish Volunteers are 100% in compliance!) Your commitment to these requirements ensures the safety and well-being of our community (especially the children) and demonstrates your dedication to our shared values.

As you may have guessed, I am not exactly a “letter of the law” kind of guy. When possible, I bend the rules all the time to accommodate people! However, I can’t directly go against the bishop’s and diocesan policies, and I was specifically told that criminal background checks are non-negotiable.

Therefore, I am officially asking all church volunteers to comply with the criminal background checks by July 4, 2024.

For those volunteers who do not wish to submit their Social Security Number, there is a way around it…if you are willing to pay the state a $95 service fee. Without an SSN, someone has to spend extra time figuring out who the person is. For example, many people on Long Island have the same name. 99 people named “John Smith” may be canonizable saints, but one may be a criminal. For those volunteers willing to comply but who are not computer savvy, there is also a way around that. A Diocesan VIRTUS representative is willing to visit our parish and help you log onto your account and navigate the website.

For those volunteers unwilling to comply, I respect your decision, and I thank you for your years of wonderful service to our parish. However, as pastor, my hands are tied. I was recently reminded by the head of VIRTUS in the Diocese that I am ultimately responsible for the wellbeing of everyone in the parish…including the children entrusted to my care. PLEASE, if there is any way we can convince you to comply with diocesan policy, let me know.

Otherwise, for those volunteers who remain resolutely unwilling to comply with the criminal background checks and/or training, please notify the parish office by July 4. After that date, you will no longer be allowed to serve at the Church of the
Immaculate Conception.

I ask for everyone’s prayers as I try to ensure a safe environment for our kids!

God bless you,
Fr. Ken