The Diocese of Gary is committed to protecting the most vulnerable, our children, young people and vulnerable adults through education, awareness and procedures.

Our Diocese began the work of addressing the issue of child sexual abuse in the early 1990’s. Bishop Melczek and clergy of our Diocese at the time established the Sexual Misconduct Toward Minors and Others at Risk in July of 1993. To implement this policy and its revisions, a Safe Environment has been established in order to:

  • Provide a safe and secure environment for children and young people in the faith communities within our Diocese of Gary
  • Assist the Diocese in evaluating a person’s suitability to work with children, young people and vulnerable adults
  • Satisfy the concerns of parents and staff members with a screening process
  • Provide a system to respond to the victims and their families as well as the accused
  • Reduce the possibility of false accusations against clergy, employees and volunteers


Our Diocese requires that all clergy, employees and volunteers who have contact with children, young people and vulnerable adults complete the following requirements:

  1. Register with VIRTUS Online
  2. Safe Environment Training through VIRTUS – Protecting God’s Children for Adults
  3. Background check and required document renewal every five years
  4. Complete 24 monthly VIRTUS online informational bulletins


Log into the VIRTUS  website ( to register for a training session, complete your background check, complete training bulletins, and more.

Contact Us

Cheryl Sopo – Victim Assistance Coordinator, 219.588.9089

Kelly Venegas – Chief Human Resources Officer and Bishop McClory’s Delegate for Sexual Misconduct Cases, 219.769.9292 x224

Kathy Lafakis – Safe Environment Coordinator, 219.769.9292 x280