Who We Are

The Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People specifically created the Secretariat of Child and Youth Protection and assigned to it three central tasks:

  • To assist each diocese and eparchy in implementing "Safe Environment" programs designed to ensure necessary safety and security for all children as they participate in church and religious activities
  • To develop an appropriate compliance audit mechanism to assist the Bishops and Eparchs in adhering to the responsibilities set forth in the Charter
  • To prepare a public, annual report describing the compliance of each diocese and eparchy to the Charter's provisions

The Secretariat for Child and Youth Protection is a resource for dioceses/eparchies for implementing safe environment programs and for suggesting training and development of diocesan personnel responsible for child and youth protection programs; taking into account the financial and other resources, as well as the population, and demographics of the diocese/eparchy. The Secretariat produces an annual report on the progress made in implementing and maintaining the standards in the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People following an annual audit process. The report is public and includes the names of dioceses/eparchies that the audit shows are not in compliance with the provisions and expectations of the Charter.

 

USCCB CYP Members

Committee Members

Membership of the Bishops' Committee on the Protection of Children and Young People (CPCYP) includes the following bishops as well as the region he represents:

Chair
Most Reverend Timothy L. Doherty
Bishop of Lafayette, IN 

Chair-Elect
Most Reverend James V. Johnston Jr.
Bishop of Kansas City-St. Joseph

Region I
Most Reverend Peter J. Uglietto

Auxiliary Bishop of Boston

Region VIII
Most Reverend John T. Folda
Bishop of Fargo

Region II
Most Reverend Terry R. LaValley
Bishop of Ogdensburg 

Region IX
Most Reverend Mark S. Rivituso
Auxiliary Bishop of St. Louis

Region III
Most Reverend Michael J. Fitzgerald
Auxiliary Bishop of Philadelphia

Region X
Most Reverend Patrick J. Zurek
Bishop of Amarillo

Region IV
Most Reverend Barry C. Knestout
Bishop of Richmond

Region XI
Most Reverend Joseph V. Brennan
Auxiliary Bishop of Los Angeles

Region V
Most Reverend Joseph R. Kopacz
Bishop of Jackson

Region XII
Most Reverend Andrew E. Bellisario
Bishop of of Juneau

Region VI
Most Reverend David J. Walkowiak
Bishop of Grand Rapids

Region XIII
Most Reverend Stephen J. Berg
Bishop of Pueblo

Region VII
Most Reverend Donald J.  Hying
Bishop of Gary

Region XIV
Most Reverend William Wack, CSC
Bishop of Pensacola-Tallahassee

Region XV
Most Reverend Joy Alappat
Auxiliary Bishop of St. Thomas Syro-Malabar Diocese of Chicago 

Secretariat Staff

Executive Director: Deacon Bernie Nojadera, served as Director of the Office for the Protection of Children and Vulnerable Adults with the Diocese of San Jose, California, from 2002-2011. He has a bachelor of arts degree from St. Joseph College, Mountain View, California, in 1984; a master of social work degree specializing in health and mental health services from San Jose State University in 1991; and a master of arts in theology from St. Patrick’s Seminary and University, Menlo Park, California, in 2002. He has been a member of the Diocese of San Jose Safe Environment Task Force, involved with the San Jose Police Department’s Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, the County of Santa Clara Interfaith Clergy Task Force on the Prevention of Elder Abuse, and the County of Santa Clara Task Force on Suicide Prevention. He has worked as a clinical social worker for Santa Clara County Mental Health (1991-2000) and is a military veteran. He is married and has two children.

Executive Assistant: Laura Garner, joined the staff of the Secretariat of Child and Youth Protection on January 3, 2011.  Previously, Ms. Garner served as a Staff Assistant in the Office of the General Counsel with the USCCB since 2008. Ms. Garner holds a BA in Psychology from Loyola College and an MA in Art Therapy from George Washington University.  Before joining the USCCB, she worked at home as a medical transcriptionist while raising four children.  Other employment includes bank teller, paraprofessional, computer educator, and receptionist.

Coordinator for Resources & Special Projects: Lauren Sarmir, joined the staff of the Secretariat of Child and Youth Protection in August 2019. Before joining the team, Lauren served as Advancement Operations Manager for the Pontifical North American College’s Office of Institutional Advancement. Her previous work experience includes: The Heritage Foundation, United States House and Senate, and United Kingdom House of Commons. Lauren holds a Master’s degree in International Politics specializing in the role of religious social movements in the fall of the Soviet Union, and a Bachelor’s degree in Politics specializing in Latin American Affairs/Hispanic Studies, both from The Catholic University of America.  She and her husband live in Northern Virginia.