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Protecting God's Children

Good Shepherd Parish and the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown are committed to creating a safe and nurturing educational environment for the children in our programs. Following diocesan requirements, criminal background checks are conducted on all volunteers who work with children and on all staff and personnel - lay, religious, and clergy. These are updated every three years.

In addition, the diocese requires all volunteers and staff personnel, lay or religious who come in contact with children/youth in our parish to attend a three-hour workshop called Protecting God's Children on raising awareness and knowledge of child sexual abuse. The workshop also focuses on our responsibility to provide safe and protective environments for all children and youth.

The workshop only needs to be taken once. However, the diocese does require volunteers to read a monthly on-line bulletin and complete a very simple quiz.

To register for the training:
Registration for Protecting God's Children sessions must be done on-line by visiting VIRTUS is the organization that maintains the national Protecting God's Children efforts. Click on registration in the left hand menu and follow the prompts for setting up a user name and password and signing up for a class. Unless noted otherwise, any of the classes listed for the Altoona Johnstown diocese can be taken.

If you do not have e-mail please contact the Faith Formation office to register, 238-0649, or

Touching Safety

The diocese of Altoona-Johnstown requires all parishes to offer instruction on touching safety to church-based religious education students, and to provide a parents' guide to families in the home-based religious education program and others who wish to discuss the topic at home.

This age appropriate material was developed by the creators of the Protecting God’s Children™ program. Every Diocese in our country must comply with the mandated Dallas Charter established by the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops. This program is not a sex-education program. The goal is to establish and foster the safest environment for all children and youth in all ministries in our Diocese.

For more information contact the Faith Formation Office at 238-0649 or e-mail

Click here to download the Touching Safety Parent's Guide