Safety Awareness Program

As the Catholic faithful of the Valley, we share responsibility for the life and mission of the Church. Each of us is called to celebrate, promote, and when necessary to defend the life and dignity of every person. This awesome responsibility demands that we treat everyone with respect, do what we can to see that harm is never brought to others, especially minors and vulnerable adults, and seek to bring healing for those who have been harmed.

To help achieve these ends, the Diocese of Brownsville has taken the following steps:

  • Appointed an Assistance Coordinator to offer immediate assistance to victims.
  • Adopted new Policies, Procedures, and Guidelines for Ethical and Responsible Conduct in  Ministry.
  • Introduced a nationally recognized safe environment program of education and prevention of child sexual abuse called Protecting God’s Children.
  • Established a policy requiring criminal background checks of all clergy and religious, of all church employees and of all volunteers who have regular contact with minors or vulnerable adults.

The Diocese of Brownsville continues in its long-standing positive and proactive approach to this sensitive issue. Sexual abuse of children is not tolerated and timely responses are made to all allegations of violations of sexual boundaries.

Walter Lukaszek
Victims Assistance/Safe Environment Coordinator
P. (956) 784-5066
Email

Office Location

San Juan Pastoral Center
700 N. Virgen de San Juan
San Juan, Texas 78589

How to Report Suspected Misconduct

Suspected misconduct with minors by lay church personnel should be reported to the pastor of the parish, the principal of the school, or the head of the Catholic institution in question.

Suspected misconduct with minors by a priest, deacon, or religious should be reported directly to:

  • Fr. Alfonso Guevara, Vicar General, (956) 682-1351
  • Mr. Walter Lukaszek, Assistance Coordinator, (956) 784-5066, Email
  • Sr. Norma Pimentel, Director of Social Services, (956) 402-4088, Email

Letters to the Vicar General should be sent to:

San Juan Pastoral Center
Vicar General
700 N. Virgen de San Juan
San Juan ,Texas 78589

To submit a suspected misconduct you can use the form Confidential Notice of Concern;  this form can also be obtained from the local pastor, school principal, institution head, or diocese.

By state law, anyone who suspects abuse or neglect of a minor must report it to local law enforcement officials or to the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services at 1-800-252-5400.

Review Board for the Protection of God’s People

The Review Board for the Protection of God’s People serves as a confidential body to advise the Bishop in matters of policy, prevention of misconduct, and on responses to allegations of misconduct.

Once a person has indicated to the Diocese that they experienced clergy sexual abuse as a minor, the assistance coordinator contacts the person to listen and begin the healing process and assists them to contact those in the Diocese and community who can help them.

Confidentiality: Mr. Lukaszek abides by the Code of Ethics for Social Workers & the Diocese of Brownsville.

Biographical details: Mr. Lukaszek is married 46 years, father of one son, 27 years with Child Protective Services, included in the 43 years of public service, Introduced the VIRTUS program, a nationally recognized safe environment program of education and prevention of child sexual abuse: “Protecting God’s Children,” “Keeping the Promise Alive,” and “Touching Safety.”
Lay minister in Donna since 1980.

Policies

The Diocese has recently updated its policies for clergy, religious, employees, and volunteers in this area. The policies are now known as "Policies, Procedures and Guidelines for Ethical and Responsible Conduct in Ministry", and include norms of conduct, preventive measures, directions for the reporting of suspicious behavior or for making sexual abuse allegations, investigative procedures, and disciplinary steps to be taken as is appropriate.

Each of us is called to celebrate, promote, and when necessary to defend the life and dignity of every person.

- Safety Awareness Program

Lesson Plans for Touching Safety (Englisg & Spanish)

Quarterly Bulletin Announcement

As the Catholic faithful of the Valley, we share responsibility for the life and mission of the Church.