Dear Friends in Saint Augustine,
I greet you again this Sunday which we have designated as Safeguarding Sunday in all our Augustinian houses throughout the country.
Springtime offers us an ideal opportunity to continue to develop safe and sacred spaces and this is a challenge for the entire community. It really is ministry we can all share, and indeed must share, if we are to be successful in our endeavours to make the Kingdom of God a reality amongst us.
The object of all our Child Protection policies and structures is to ensure that the young people who attend our churches and schools are held in the highest esteem and protected at all times from any harm whatsoever. Your local safeguarding group is working in conjunction with our national committee and the other local groups around the country to maintain the momentum we have worked hard to achieve over the past years. We continue to support and assist each other to attain the highest possible standards in this regard.
We really value the ministry of all adults involved in our community and specifically those who minister with and for young people. During this spring we will celebrate these wonderful volunteers who minister in all our communities in so many diverse areas and ministries. Today we encourage and invite anyone else who might wish to become involved in this Safeguarding Ministry, or indeed any other ministry, to speak to the Prior or Parish Priest or a member of our Safeguarding Group. You might consider supporting an existing group or you may have an idea to establish a new group or ministry with or for young people. All ideas will be very welcome and carefully considered.
As Augustinians we held our Chapter during the past summer. You may have the same Augustinians in the local community here or you may have new faces. We thank you for your valuable support and love as together we strive to make the Kingdom of God an ever stronger reality in our lives today.
Your brother in Jesus Christ and Saint Augustine,
John Hennebry osa
As a constituent member of the Catholic Church in Ireland, we recognise and uphold the dignity and rights of all children, are committed to ensuring their safety and well-being, and will work in partnership with parents/guardians to do this. We recognise each child as a gift from God, and we value and encourage the participation of children in all activities that enhance their spiritual, physical, emotional, intellectual and social development.
All Church personnel (including clergy, religious, staff and volunteers) have a responsibility to safeguard children through promoting their welfare, health and development in a safe and caring environment that supports their best interests and prevents abuse.