Appreciation luncheon brings together parish coordinators of Safe Environments

BRIDGEPORT—“Thank you for the important work you do to protect children and young people,” Bishop Frank J. Caggiano said to a room full of parish coordinators of Safe Environments at today’s appreciation luncheon held in Queen of Saints Hall at the Catholic Center.

The bishop said that out of this great evil we hope and pray that we find the grace for healing and reconciliation.

“The Church must be the place where young people can be themselves,” said the bishop, encouraging the coordinators that they play a crucial role in the Church and in the lives of the young people entrusted to them.

“In a time when many young people are looking for someone to care for them, you are their spiritual mothers and fathers,” the bishop said.

The bishop praised the great work of Director of Safe Environments Erin Neil and her team, boasting the large numbers of 13,000 adults and 20,000 children who have gone through the VIRTUS training program.

“Because of your work,” said the bishop, “many young people will not have to experience the same suffering as others have.”

Both Erin Neil and the bishop thanked the parish coordinators of safe environments for all the work they do.

Leaders from the diocesan Office of Safe Environments were available to answer any questions and meet with coordinators.

(For more information on Safe Environments in the Diocese of Bridgeport visit