Safe Environments Overview

Read an overview of Safe Environments (PDF)

For questions or concerns relating to Safe Environments, Background Checks, VIRTUS Awareness Training, Resources for Victims of Abuse or Mandated Reporting, please contact

Erin Neil
(203) 416-1406
(203) 650-3265

To schedule a VIRTUS facilitator to come onsite to conduct a live training at your school or parish

Bernadette Griffin, Safe Environment Program Assistant
Office (203) 416-1650
Cell (475) 988-5366

Welcome    Contact    Safe Environment Training (VIRTUS Registration & Re-Certification)    Dallas Charter

Q & A    Essential Norms    2015 Safe Environments Handbook    Report an Incident    Background Checks   

Mandated Reporting    Updates    List of Accused Clerics    Continuing Education Opportunities   

Background Checks

Background Checks are required for all clergy, men in formation, religious sisters and brothers, employees, volunteers, Independent Contractors, Tenants and Vendors within the Diocese of Bridgeport.

Bishop Caggiano Letter to the Faithful

Bishop Caggiano Letter to the Faithful (Polish)

Bishop Caggiano Letter to the Faithful (Spanish)

Bishop Caggiano Letter to the Faithful (Vietnamese)  

Authorization and Release form (Portuguese)

Decree Re-promulgating Safe Environment Programs

The Diocese of Bridgeport Policy for Conducting Background Checks

A Summary of Your Rights Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act


All first time applicants must pre-register online in the VIRTUS system by visiting prior to working or volunteering.

All Seminarians and Candidates for the Diaconate must renew their background check upon ordination.

Background checks must be renewed any time there is a gap in service or ministry.

Background Checks must be renewed either every five (5) or ten (10) years depending on your role in Church activities. See the chart below.

Five (5) Year VIRTUS Training (In-person or online) & Criminal Background Check Renewal is required for the following categories of personnel in the Diocese of Bridgeport

This category of personnel is also required to complete annual online continuing Education
(10) Year VIRTUS (Online or in person) & Criminal Background check Renewal

Parishes and Schools must review each category of volunteers below to ensure that they have no scheduled contact with children or no supervisory responsibility.
Clergy Liturgy Volunteers (No scheduled contact or supervisory role over altar servers, minors or vulnerable adults)
Religious Sisters & Brothers Altar Linen
Diocesan, School and Parish Employees (Full-time, Part-time and Substitutes) Volunteers assisting with Parish mailings
VIRTUS Protecting God’s Children Facilitators Prayer Shawl Ministry
Local Safe Environment Coordinators Parish Finance
Volunteers working in scheduled contact with children Volunteers at a fair, picnic, feast, bazaar or fundraising event where there is no supervisory role or scheduled contact with minors or vulnerable adults
Liturgy Volunteers working in scheduled contact with minors or vulnerable adults Independent Contractors
Children’s Choir Volunteers Fundraising
Liturgy Volunteers for Child /Teen Mass Soup Kitchen, Thrift Store and Food Pantry Volunteers
Religious Education & Youth Ministry Funeral Service
Volunteer Coaches and Assistants Music Ministry with Adults
Independent Contractors & Vendors of all after school programs where minors are present RCIA Instructor
Scout Troops Leasing Space in a diocesan location (Proof of Boy Scout Youth Protection Training & Background checks are required for all adults on the premise)

All Adult volunteers of Diocesan Sponsored Scouting Troops must complete VIRTUS training and the MYB Criminal Background check
Board Members
Sexual Misconduct Review Board Members Parking Lot attendants
Parish Nurses Adult Ministry Group Leaders / Counselors/Instructors
Vacation Bible Study Volunteers  
Music Ministry with minors  
Greeters & Security Guards  
Homebound ministries  

The following authorization forms are to be used for people who work or volunteer for Diocese of Bridgeport and those who are contracted to perform work for the Diocese of Bridgeport. Please contact the Office of Safe Environment with any questions by emailing .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Security measures in place (Please read)

Independent Contractors who already have a criminal background check screening process in place through their company should first contact the Diocese of Bridgeport Office of Safe Environment. A letter on official company letterhead signed by an authorized representative of the company (preferably an officer) is required indicating that all site based individuals have successfully completed a criminal background check and they have been cleared of any crimes against children and sex crimes. The full names of all site based employees and the date of their background check must be included in this letter.

In the event that the company does not conduct background checks on their employees, the Diocese of Bridgeport will assist the company with establishing an MYB account below by calling (203) 416-1406. Authorization and Release form for INDEPENDENT CONTRACTOR/VENDOR/TENANT

Instructions for Completion of a Criminal Background Check through VIRTUS Online (Link coming in 2015)

MYB User Guide for Establishing a Background Check Account

Consumer Rights on background checks under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA)