Child and Youth Protection
As of Nov. 1, 2017, the Archdiocese of Baltimore joined more than ninety dioceses using VIRTUS as a training and compliance management system. The Archdiocesan policies updated in 2014 remain unchanged. VIRTUS has worked with us to customize training tailored to our policies and Maryland law.
Church personnel, including volunteers, who have not already registered in Shield the Vulnerable, are required to register using VIRTUS. VIRTUS will direct volunteers to review the Code of Conduct for Church Personnel and A Statement of Policy for the Protection of Children and Youth. The Archdiocese of Baltimore will continue to work with Employment Screening Resources (ESR) to conduct online criminal history screening; as part of the registration process, VIRTUS will direct volunteers to the ESR website where they will be asked to submit to an online criminal history screening. VIRTUS can be accessed at by clicking the button below.
Volunteers Without Substantial Contact
For volunteers in ministries that do not involve substantial contact with children (Bulletin Stuffers, Counters, Eucharistic Ministers, Gardeners, Greeters, Lectors), the process takes about 15 minutes.
First, go to www.virtusonline.org and register as a volunteer for Our Lady of Hope OR Saint Luke. When asked to select an organization, choose "Baltimore Archdiocese." When prompted, enter your contact information and create a login-ID and password. In response to the question about "affiliation," choose "volunteer without substantial contact." You are not required to undergo a criminal history screening or complete the safe environment training.
Second, you will be given the opportunity to read the newly revised Code of Conduct for Church Personnel in the Archdiocese of Baltimore and Statement of Policy for the Protection of Children and Youth, after which you will be asked a few questions confirming your familiarity with them. That's all!
Volunteers With Substantial Contact
You will need to register as a volunteer with Substantial Contact with Children at www.virtusonline.org and complete the training and provide a background check/criminal history screening.
If you volunteer in a position from both categories, “Substantial and Non-Substantial Contact,” “Substantial Contact with Children” prevails and you need to complete Protecting God's Children, Background check/Criminal History Screening and provide three references.
Contact and Questions
After you have completed all of the information required, please email our screening coordinator, Jon Gerstmyer with the following information: The date you completed Protecting God’s Children training. Once he receives your email, he will notify the leader of the group in which you are volunteering and let them know you are eligible to begin.
Contact Jon Gerstmyer, Director of Disciple Formation and Screening Coordinator with any questions. Jonathan.Gerstmyer@archbalt.org
Providing a safe environment for the children of our parish has always been a high priority for Our Lady of Hope and Saint Luke. Thank you for your service to our Church, and thank you for your cooperation in complying with the child protection requirements.
Volunteers in ministries involving children and volunteers between the ages of 14 and 17 are subject to additional requirements. Please click the link below for more information about training for ages 14-17.