Rinefierd appointed to new post - Catholic Courier

Rinefierd appointed to new post

Bishop Salvatore R. Matano has appointed Karen Rinefierd as coordinator of safe-environment education and compliance for the Diocese of Rochester.

In this newly created position, she will coordinate safe-environment efforts at parishes and for various diocesan departments. Rinefierd, who previously has served as diocesan pastoral-planning coordinator and coordinator of leadership formation for parishes, will work with the directors of diocesan departments and with parish safe-environment coordinators to ensure compliance with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People.

“The new position of coordinator of safe-environment education and compliance will help us to continue our diocese’s longstanding commitment to create a safe and holy environment for all through constant vigilance, education and diligence, ensuring that we are in compliance with the mandates set forth in the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People,” Bishop Matano said.

In her new role, Rinefierd will:

* Work with Bishop Matano; Father Daniel Condon, the diocesan chancellor; and the diocesan review board to establish, maintain and oversee compliance with safe-environment policies for the Diocese of Rochester.

* Assist, as needed, the departments of Catholic Schools, Evangelization and Catechesis, Human Resources and Parish and Clergy Services in developing safe-environment training programs for children, youths, parents, ministers, educators and volunteers, thus ensuring that appropriate training is available for culturally diverse populations.

* Work with the staff of the bishop’s office as well as the departments of Human Resources and Information Technology to develop and maintain data-management systems to track and monitor compliance with diocesan policies pertaining to safe-environment standards for training and background checks of clergy, employees and volunteers.

* Assist, as needed, the staff of the Department of Stewardship and Communications in the preparation of newsletters, brochures, content for the diocesan website and other resources to educate and inform about creating a safe environment for all in the church.

* Identify parish safe-environment coordinators, develop job descriptions, conduct training as needed and maintain this information in a database.

* Travel to parishes and schools throughout the diocese to assess compliance with diocesan policies, recommend improvements and address existing procedures.

Much of this work previously was being done by staff in a variety of different diocesan departments, explained Bernard Grizard, director of the diocesan Department of Parish and Clergy Services. The diocesan Human Resources Department, for example, made training opportunities and educational videos available, while the chancellor’s office ensured that priests and clergy were in compliance with the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People.

“(Previously) the work was done, but what was missing was a central point to coordinate all the responsibilities,” Grizard said. “Now when people have questions or some issue, there is a central person or an office for them to go to. Her role is to lead and coordinate efforts … to make sure employees, volunteers, parents, youth, ministers, all of these are engaged in creating a safe environment.”

Rinefierd brings to her position a wealth of experience with diocesan parishes, leaders and staff, Grizard added.

“We are incredibly blessed to have Karen lead this adventure,” he said. “Her work with pastoral planning and with leadership-development programs that she put in place will really help her tremendously to make this effort successful.”

Rinefierd said she is honored that Bishop Matano has entrusted her with the important job of continuing the hard work the diocese already has done to ensure compliance with the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People. Auditors in September 2015 praised the diocese not only for being in compliance with the charter, but also for taking several new steps to provide a safe environment for all.

“I look forward to working with the departments of the Pastoral Center, our parishes, schools and other institutions to build on that record,” Rinefierd said.

Tags: Diocesan Appointments
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