Sexual Abuse Awareness & Compliance | Diocese of Lansing

Sexual Abuse Awareness & Compliance

Over the last number of years the Diocese of Lansing has been in the forefront in facing and dealing in a proactive manner with the topic of sexual abuse of minors. The following links are to resources and documentation as to how the diocese is complying with the U.S. Bishops' Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People and our own policies and procedures:

Virtus Awareness Training

Since August, 2003, over 25,000 Diocese of Lansing priests, deacons, religious, professional staff and volunteers from our 83 parishes, 33 schools and other agenices have taken part in the VIRTUS Protecting God's Children awareness sessions offered in conjunction with Virtus.

Follow this link for an overview of the program at

Charter Compliance Audit

Audits are conducted annually in dioceses and eparchies in the United States regarding  the ". . .progress made in implementing and maintaining the standards. . ." of the Charter . (Article 9, Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, revised June 2011).  The Diocese of Lansing has been in full compliance with the Charter and complied with the recommendations and required actions given by the auditors.

Parishioner Awareness

When the Diocese of Lansing Sexual Misconduct Policy and Procedures manual was updated and promulgated in November, 2000, a summary flyer was given to parishes for distribution to parishioners and display in periodical racks. This flyer was updated after the Charter was promulgated to highlight the programs and policies of the diocese and includes contact information to report an incident of sexual abuse of a minor.

Diocesan Policy

In November, 2000 Bishop Mengeling promulgated an updated Sexual Misconduct Policy and Procedures manual. One of the most comprehensive in the nation at the time, the policy was among the first to require that any knowledge of sexual abuse of a minor be immediately reported to proper law enforcement authorities.

Child and Youth Protection

Safe Environment Coordinator, VIRTUS/Praesidium/Safe Sheep; Criminal Background Checks

Reba Sommer
Phone: 517-342-2551
Fax: 517-342-2505

Victim Assistance Coordinator

Cheryl Williams-Hecksel, LMSW
Phone: 1-888-308-6252
Fax: 517-342-2505

Administrative Assistant

Lorraine Rogge
Phone: 517-342-2501
Fax: 517-342-2505

Protecting God's Children

Awareness Sessions for Adults

(duration of all sessions is 3 hours)

Wednesday, March 22, 2017
6:30 - 9:30pm
St. Agnes Church
855 East Grand River Ave, Fowlerville
Facilitator: Nancy Golm

Saturday, March 25, 2017
9:30am - 12:00noon
St. Thomas Aquinas Church
955 Alton Road, East Lansing
Facilitator: Annie Kitching

Saturday, March 25, 2017
5:00 - 8:00pm
Fr. Gabriel Richard High School
4333 Whitehall Dr, Ann Arbor
Facilitator:  Bradley Stalder 

Thursday, March 30, 2017 
6:00 - 9:00pm
St. Gerard Church
4437 West Willow Hwy, Lansing
Facilitator: Raymond Rzepecki

Tuesday, April 25, 2017
6:30pm – 9:30pm
St. Thomas Aquinas Church
955 Alton Road, East Lansing
Facilitator: Annie Kitching

For more information, contact:
Safe Environment Coordinator
Reba Sommer at 517-342-2551
Pre-register for a session at
Please do not call the hosting parish to pre-register.