VIRTUS Program

The Catholic Church, the Diocese of Cleveland, and St. Joseph Church hold the protection of children as one of their highest priorities. To this end, the Diocese of Cleveland adopted a Policy for the Safety of Children in Matters of Sexual Abuse. This policy requires that education and training in the recognition and prevention of sexual abuse towards minor children be given to all adults Diocesan employees and to all volunteers who come in regular contact with children. This program is named VIRTUS. A companion program, Called to Protect, is offered to all children enrolled in a religious educaiton program. All questions regarding our policies should be directed to Fr. Joe Mamich, Turn on JavaScript!, or 440.238.5555.

All reports of suspected abuse should be made to the local police department and the Diocesan Response Service at (216) 334-2999. Here's a list of county agencies that are also available to file such a report.


Who Needs VIRTUS Training?

All employees and everyone volunteering in a ministry program at St. Joseph Church that involves regular contact with minor children must complete the following VIRTUS requirements. The ministry or program leaders will let you know if VIRTUS compliance is needed. Read the current St. Joseph Child Protection Letter for employees and volunteers.

Training Process

  • Obtain a State of Ohio criminal background check through your VIRTUS account. This must be completed for every new volunteer, even if you have volunteered somewhere else in the Diocese. As you begin your ministry at St. Joseph, you must associate your VIRTUS account with St. Joseph.
  • Attend a live VIRTUS training session and read follow-up bulletins. Once you have completed your training and in the process of beginning your online VIRTUS account, you will enroll in a service that provides the parish on-going quarterly background checks.
  • After completing the training, a bulletin will be posted to your VIRTUS account each month for you to read.
  • Read the Diocesan Policy and Standards of Conduct.
  • After reading these, print, sign, and return the acknowledgement form which is located at the end of each document. These are all available as Resources on the Diocesan Child Protection Office. These documents are current as of June 2016; and as such, if you were VIRTUS trained prior to June 2016, you must participate in the mandatory in-service prior to returning the Acknowledgement Forms, available as a PDF below.

Additional Resources