From Our Prior Provincial
As the Prior Provincial of the Dominican Province of the Most Holy Name, I am committed to transparency, accountability and truthfulness in all matters, especially those related to protecting the most vulnerable in our Church and society.
In that spirit, I write to acknowledge the horror of the revelations of child sexual abuse in the Catholic Church, and to share the history of our province and work to protect the vulnerable.
Abusive priests and brothers, and leaders in the Church, have perpetrated a profound betrayal of trust that has prompted shock and sadness, frustration and anger, among God’s people and in society.
It is with sorrow and shame that I tell you our province has not avoided this outrage. In the past, friars from our province have harmed innocent children. I apologize on behalf of our province for the criminal and sinful acts of those individual friars, and for the times we as a community failed God’s people.
I assure you that no friar of our province with an established allegation of child sexual abuse against him is in public ministry anywhere. We are concerned for all victim-survivors who suffered abuse by our friars and for the families of those victim-survivors. We provide pastoral support, professional therapeutic counseling and financial aid to those who choose to accept them from us. In prayer we ask in the name of Jesus that God would bring hope, healing and spiritual peace to all who have suffered sexual abuse.
Our province undertakes significant efforts to ensure the safety of children by working closely with third-party agencies and law enforcement. We do not hide or obfuscate. We involve the laity. We take all accusations seriously. We are committed to the truth.
Our safeguarding work is accredited by Praesidium, an independent examiner that monitors our abuse-prevention measures. Our policies are summarized on this website. We have never failed accreditation and are committed to ongoing vigilance.
Our first Safe Environment Policy was promulgated in 1989, and we have continued to dedicate ourselves to preventing sexual abuse, with accountability and transparency to third-party individuals, boards and oversight organizations. I pledge full and continuing cooperation with law enforcement.
In consultation with my Council, and with their approval, I determined that the Province of the Most Holy Name of Jesus would release the names of all friars who have been permanently removed from public ministry because of an established allegation of child sexual abuse, as well as the names of those friars for whom an allegation of child sexual abuse was established after their death or departure from our province.
These names were first posted on our Provincial website on December 31, 2019. We continue to update this information as new facts are established.
Much of this information has already been available publicly, but we hope that by summarizing it here, we can continue to support the healing process for victim-survivors and advance transparency across the Church.
Our prayer is that the release of these names will offer consolation to those who have been harmed and encourage others to come forward to receive help.
We pray daily for the victim-survivors of abuse and ask God to bring healing to all those affected.
Sincerely in Christ and St. Dominic,
Very Rev. Christopher Fadok, O.P.
Policy and Standards
Sexual abuse is always wrong, and the friars of the Province of the Most Holy Name of Jesus (Western Dominican Province) will neither tolerate nor condone such misconduct by one of its members, nor by anyone else, clergy or lay, serving in our ministries or living in one of our communities. We are committed to safeguarding God’s people, especially the most vulnerable served in our ministries. This commitment of the Province began with our first policies to protect children and to respond to complaints of child sexual abuse in 1989, and extends particularly to those who may have been victimized by a friar. We are committed to work with such victims to offer whatever pastoral or clinical care may be necessary to help them in their recovery. We have complied with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People since its promulgation in 2002 and the Essential Norms for Diocesan/Eparchial Policies Dealing with Allegations of Sexual Abuse of Minors by Priests or Deacons since it became particular law in the U.S. in 2006. The following are policies of the Western Dominican Province:
Screening of Applicants
All applicants for admission into the province formation program undergo a thorough screening process including:
• A criminal background check in every state and county in which they candidate has resided during the past seven years and a national sex offender registry check;
• A psychological evaluation including a psycho-sexual history conducted by a licensed psychologist or a licensed mental health professional with particular skills in conducting psycho-sexual histories and in assessing psycho-sexual health in preparation for a life of celibate chastity;
• A review of publicly accessible content on all social media, personal blog sites, and web sites associated with accounts controlled by the candidate;
• A minimum of three personal references (including at least one from a family member) and two professional references for a total of five references, and six face-to-face interviews.
Training of Men in Formation
• Eight years of formation which includes training in the proper integration of human sexuality, development of the virtue of chastity, and annual evaluations;
• An initial training program in child protection (Armatus) at the beginning of formation and continuing education and safe-environment training each year;
• Novices and student brothers from other provinces who are in formation in our Province are required to complete any courses necessary to fulfill the Province’s accreditation regarding safe environment training for children and vulnerable adults;
• Annual review of the province Safe Environment Policy with the master of students and the other brothers in formation.
Ongoing Training of Friars
Friars no longer in initial formation (i.e., who have been ordained or who are cooperator [non-ordained] brothers) continue to undergo regular training throughout their lives. In particular, they are required:
• to read quarterly articles provided by Virtus, a best practices program designed to identify and prevent sexual abuse and boundary violations, and to promote spiritual, physical and emotional health among the members of religious communities;
• to participate in and complete all safeguarding training as is required by the diocese in which they live and minister;
• to annually review as a local community the Province Safe Environment Policy under the direction of the local superior;
• to study, either individually or as a community, other materials provided by Province leadership on the pastoral care of victims, the impact of abuse on victims, as well as on forming healthy personal and ministerial relationships.
Reporting Misconduct and Support
• If you have suffered sexual abuse as a child, please notify your local law enforcement agencies and report such abuse.
• If you need assistance because you have been abused by a Western Dominican friar or have concerns about the behavior of any of our friars, please contact our Vicar Provincial, Fr. Michael Fones, OP at (510) 658-8722 ext. 306, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Responding to Complaints
• All complaints, without exception, are reported immediately to the appropriate law enforcement agencies and the local diocese, regardless of their apparent credibility, including anonymous complaints and complaints against friars who are deceased.
• The Vicar Provincial offers to meet with or have a phone call with the person making the complaint along with the province victims’ assistance representative, Mrs. Barbara Daniels. Anyone making an allegation will be treated with respect, and every opportunity will be taken to ensure that this difficult experience does not retraumatize them.
• The Province offers financial assistance for counseling using a counselor of the complainant’s choice; additional pastoral outreach is offered as appropriate to the complainant and members of their family, if requested.
• To protect the rights and dignity of both the victim and those against whom allegations have been made, the Province will respond promptly to all allegations of sexual abuse brought against its friars, and will investigate them thoroughly.
• Independent private investigators, either retired law enforcement agents or investigators associated with Praesidium, our accrediting agency, will investigate any allegation against a friar who is still living, and may be used in cases where the friar is deceased.
• If at any time civil or criminal proceedings are initiated against the accused friar or the Province, the Province’s procedures shall be suspended immediately by the Prior Provincial. In all other cases, the independent Province Review Board will receive the written results of the full investigation.
Province Review Board
• The Province Review Board has been established for the purpose of advising the Prior Provincial on the veracity of allegations of sexual abuse against friars of the Province, on the care of friars permanently removed from public ministry, on safety plans, on the Province Safe Environment Policy, on the fulfillment of the Praesidium Accreditation Standards, and on other matters in which the Prior Provincial wishes to consult the Board.
• The Province Review Board consists of at least five members: two friars and three lay persons, at least two of whom are women. The members are committed to preventing sexual abuse and to protecting victims and potential victims of sexual abuse. Lay members have expertise in youth (as a parent, minister, or educator), psychology, or the pertinent canonical and civil law.
• Board members have access to all documents related to every complaint received and ensure that the Province complies with civil law and the law of the Church. They have also studied the following documents: a) The US Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, b) the Essential Norms for Diocesan/Eparchical Policies Dealing with Allegations of Sexual Abuse of Minors by Priests or Deacons, c) the 2002 Conference of Major Superiors of Men (CMSM) Statement of the Assembly, d) the CMSM Accreditation Standards, e) the Safe Environment Policy of the Western Dominican Province, and f) the File Retention Policy of the Western Dominican Province.
• Upon receiving the written results of the full investigation, the Province Review Board reviews the case and advises the Prior Provincial regarding whether the allegation has been established. The Board also advises the Prior Provincial on any further cautionary measures that it deems necessary for the protection of minors or vulnerable adults.
• Any friar who is accused of sexual abuse of a minor or vulnerable adult is placed on administrative leave while the complaint is being investigated.
• No friar with an established allegation of child abuse is ever allowed in public ministry again under any circumstance.
• Any candidate or friar in initial formation who is credibly accused or who exhibits any inappropriate behavior toward children will be dismissed from the Province.
• Pope Francis’ letter to the Church on the Sexual Abuse of Minors
• Pope Francis’ Motu Proprio letter Vos Estis Lux Mundi (You are the Light of the World)
This letter, published on the initiative of Pope Francis, establishes new procedural norms to combat sexual abuse and to ensure that bishops and religious superiors are held accountable for their actions
• Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People (sometimes called the “Dallas Charter”)
The Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People was approved in 2002 by the bishops of the United States Catholic Conference. The latest revision was approved June, 2018.
• Estatuto para la Protección de Niños y Jóvenes
• Facts about the Charter Click Here
• Western Dominican Province Safe Environment Policy: Minors and Vulnerable Adults: Click Here
This policy was last updated and approved by the Provincial Council in May, 2020.
• Summary of the Province’s safeguarding history Click Here
Our child protection efforts are audited by Praesidium, a leading independent audit service which assists us in developing our policies regarding safe environment, screening and selection, training of friars, monitoring and supervision, internal feedback systems, responding to allegations, and administrative practices.
- The accreditation process includes onsite inspections, interviews of Provincial leadership and members, review of records for all our screening and child protection and training, and a review of each complaint received since the last accreditation.
- In December 2018, the Province was reaccredited for five years after meeting all 25 standards of accreditation with no corrections or notations.
- To see the standards of accreditation that must be met by the Province, please click 2016 CMSM Praesidium Standards.
How to Report Sexual Misconduct or Abuse
When we receive a complaint about abuse of children and young people, we make a report to the appropriate law enforcement agency, regardless of the apparent credibility or the time since the reported abuse occurred, including anonymous complaints and complaints against friars who are deceased.
We encourage anyone who is aware of sexual abuse by a priest or religious to report it to their local law enforcement agency.
Making a Report to Law Enforcement
In cases where the victim is currently a minor or a child is currently in danger, make a direct report to a law enforcement agency.
- If there is immediate danger to a child, call 911 and follow whatever steps law enforcement agents advise to protect the child.
- If the danger is less immediate, contact the local police department or state child welfare hotline.
In cases where the victim is no longer a minor, or the abuse occurred in the distant past, statutes of limitation vary by state. Please contact the local police department about making a report.
Contacting the Western Dominican Province
If you believe or know for certain that the alleged perpetrator is a friar of the Western Dominican Province, please call Fr. Michael Fones, OP, Vicar Provincial, at our Provincial office (510) 658-8722, ext. 306 or email him at email@example.com.
Victim Assistance Contact
The first obligation of the Church with regard to victims is for healing and reconciliation. The Western Dominican Province wishes to reach out to every person who has been a victim of sexual abuse as a minor by anyone in church service, whether that abuse is recent or occurred in the past.
If you have information regarding possible abuse by a Western Dominican friar, or any of our employees, please call our Vicar Provincial. He will set up an appointment to meet with you, along with Mrs. Barbara Daniels, the other member of our Province Victim Assistance team.
Fr. Michael Fones, OP
Dominican Provincial Office
5877 Birch Court
Oakland, CA 94618
Office: (510) 658-8722 ext. 306
Fax: (510) 658-1061
We will help you with arrangements for counseling assistance with a therapist of your choice. Other assistance may be available if you wish, and depending upon the circumstances.
Attorneys representing clients should contact the provincial office at:
Dominican Provincial Office
5877 Birch Court
Oakland, California 94618
While we treat all information that we receive confidentially, please be aware that all reports of child sexual abuse will be reported to local law enforcement agencies and the diocese in which they occurred.
Friars With Established Allegations of Sexual Abuse of Minors
In the years since the 2002 Dallas Charter, we have learned that making the names of clergy with credible allegations of sexual abuse of children public strengthens our accountability and demonstrates our desire to rebuild trust. It encourages other victim-survivors to come forward and helps in the healing of those victim-survivors who do not come forward, but see the acknowledgment by the Church that the priest who abused them was victimizing children sexually. In the interest of objectivity and thoroughness, we engaged an independent third-party investigator in the fall of 2018 to examine all of our files of the Dominicans who have served in our Province, including those priests and brothers from other Provinces who served in our ministries. This list is based upon the results of that investigation.
We have chosen to list the men from our province in a way that acknowledges their current status in the Church. We neither use the title “Fr.” (father) if the man has been dismissed from the clerical status, nor “Br.” (brother) or the suffix “O.P.” if the man is no longer a member of the Dominican Order. In each case, the abuse occurred while they were members of the Order.
This list does not include any cases that may be currently under investigation. Accused friars who are alive are placed on administrative leave while an allegation is investigated. If new allegations are established by the Western Dominican Province, we will update this list accordingly.
Original posting December 2019
First revision: October 20, 2020
Second revision: May 21, 2021
Third revision: October 26, 2021
A) Friars Permanently Removed from Public Ministry:
The following friars were permanently removed from public ministry while they were members of the Dominican Province of the Most Holy Name of Jesus because of an allegation of the sexual abuse of a minor that was deemed established by the Provincial after consultation with the Province Review Board, or because of the friar’s admission of guilt.
Fr. Roberto Bravo, O.P.
• Birth: 1964
• Profession of religious vows: 1991
• Ordained: 1998
• Removed from public ministry in 1999
• Fled after the province began the canonical process to remove him from the Order
• Death: 2014
Fr. Dominic de Domenico, O.P.
• Birth: 1939
• Profession of religious vows: 1961
• Ordained: 1966
• Removed from public ministry in 2002
• Current Status: living a life of prayer and penance under supervision with a safety plan in addition to monitoring by an external third-party supervisor
• Birth: 1951
• Profession of religious vows: 1976
• Ordained: 1982
• Removed from public ministry in 1985 and fled to the Philippines
• Left the Dominican Order without its knowledge or permission and joined the Archdiocese of Cebu in 1986
• Removed from public ministry in the Philippines in 2012
• Dismissed from the clerical state in 2017
• Death: 2021
Fr. Jerome Henson
• Birth: 1947
• Profession of religious vows: 1971
• Ordained: 1977
• Left the Dominican Order in 1993 and joined the Diocese of Orange, CA
• Removed from public ministry by the Diocese of Orange, CA in 2002
• Current Status: living a life of prayer and penance under supervision of the Diocese of Orange
Juan Macias Lopez
• Birth: 1958
• Profession of religious vows: 1981
• Removed from ministry and dismissed from the Order in 1988
• Current Status: location unknown
Fr. Mark O’Leary, O.P.
• Birth: 1935
• Profession of religious vows: 1955
• Ordination: 1985
• Removed from public ministry in 2002
• Death 2021
Fr. Terrence Reilly, O.P.
• Birth: 1933
• Profession of religious vows: 1953
• Ordination: 1959
• Assigned to the Western Dominican Province from the Province of St. Joseph, 1970
• Became a member of the Western Dominican Province, 1973
• Removed from public ministry in 2002
• Death: 2016
Fr. Edmund Ryan, O.P.
• Birth: 1938
• Profession of religious vows: 1960
• Ordination: 1965
• Removed from public ministry in 2003
• Death: 2020
Fr. Leo Tubbs, O.P.
• Birth: 1927
• Profession of religious vows: 1961
• Ordination: 1966
• Removed from public ministry in 1992
• Death: 2021
Br. Peter Yost, O.P.
• Birth: 1929
• Was received as an unvowed lay brother (donatus) in 1949
• Removed from public ministry in 2003
• Death: 2018
B) Friars with an Allegation after their Death or Departure from the Province
The following friars were deceased when an allegation of sexual abuse against a minor was established by the Provincial after consultation with the Province Review Board.
Fr. Leo Hofstee, O.P.
• Birth: 1903
• Profession of religious vows: 1926
• Ordained: 1935
• Death: 1986
• An allegation of an act of abuse was deemed established by the Provincial after consultation with the Province Review Board in 2018
Fr. Thomas McElhatton, O.P.
• Birth: 1904
• Profession of religious vows: 1930
• Ordained: 1938
• Death: 1965
• The Archdiocese of Los Angeles made a settlement after an allegation against this friar. In April, 2021, another allegation of sexual abuse from the past was determined by the Provincial to be established.
• Birth: 1898
• Profession of religious vows: 1921
• Ordination: 1926
• Left the Dominican Order in 1951
• Death: 1964
• The Archdiocese of Los Angeles made a settlement after an allegation against this friar. The Province was unable to establish the allegation.
C) Priests from other jurisdictions with established allegations who served in ministries in the Western Dominican Province
Fr. Stuart B. Campbell, O.P. (Dominican Province of St. Joseph [Eastern Province])
• Birth: 1899
• Profession of religious vows: 1924
• Ordination: 1930
• Death: 1986
Fr. Walter Horan, O.P. (Dominican Province of St. Joseph [Eastern Province])
• Birth: 1917
• Profession of religious vows: 1939
• Ordained: 1945
• Death: 1983
Fr. Michael Louis O’Halloran, O.P. (Dominican Province of Ireland)
• Birth: 1925
• Profession of religious vows: 1951
• Ordination: 1956
• Removed from public ministry in 2004
• Death: 2018
D) Friars falsely accused of sexual abuse of minors whose names still appear on other lists:
Fr. Emmerich Vogt, O.P.
• In February, 2016 Fr. Vogt was accused in a lawsuit of sexual abuse of a minor in the mid-1980’s
• The Province Sexual Misconduct Advisory Group deemed the allegation implausible; nevertheless, Fr. Vogt was placed on restriction while the lawsuit was disputed
• The lawsuit was dismissed in December, 2016
• As required by our Province Safe Environment Policy a thorough third-party investigation was conducted. The investigation report was submitted to the Province Review Board which recommended to the Provincial that the allegation be judged unfounded
• After consultation with the third-party investigator and the Province Review Board, the allegation was determined to be unfounded, and Fr. Vogt was returned to ministry at the end of May, 2017
Glossary of Terms
any deliberate and serious sexual or sexualized activity which is consensual or non-consensual, physical or verbal, in person or otherwise (e.g., in writing, over the internet, by telephone, etc.) with a minor, i.e., one who is under 18 years of age when the sexual abuse occurs, or with a vulnerable adult, i.e., a person who habitually lacks the use of reason; they are to be considered equivalent to a minor.
After a thorough investigation of available facts and circumstances, and after the Prior Provincial’s formal consultation with the Province Review Board, an allegation is judged to be established by the Prior Provincial when there is an objective, moral certainty that the accusation is true and that an incident of sexual abuse of a minor or vulnerable adult has occurred.**
**This is a definition according to the concept of moral certainty required by canon law. The judgment of a major superior must be objective, i.e., based upon the facts and circumstances discovered in the course of the investigation. It is not based upon a percentage of evidence, i.e. most likely true or most likely occurred, which implies 50 + 1% of the evidence. It allows for the canonical principle in moral certitude which states that the judgment of the major superior admits that the contrary (the falsity of the accusation) is indeed possible but highly unlikely or improbable, to the extent that the major superior has no fear that the contrary (the falsity of the accusation) may be true.
Any friar who has been removed from ministry and living on restriction in a Dominican community has a safety plan approved by the Provincial and the Province Review Board. This plan includes the establishment of a supervisory team which meets regularly with the friar. A safety plan stipulates conditions under which the friar may be in public, monitoring of internet usage, and restrictions with whom he may speak with or be with. Often psychological counseling may be a part of the plan. An important aspect of any plan is oversight and monthly visits by a third-party, independent safety monitor and an annual year-end review with a report given to the Province Review Board and the Provincial, as well as specific consequences for non-compliance with the plan.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who decided which friars would be included on the list?
The Prior Provincial, Fr. Christopher Fadok, decided which friars would be included on the list after careful review of all information available to him, including that provided by an independent third-party review of all of the Province files, and consultation with – and approval of – the Provincial Council.
What are the criteria for being included on the list?
The list includes names of clergy against whom an established allegation of sexual abuse of a minor was made. For purposes of the list, an allegation was considered established if moral certitude could be established regarding its occurrence. Factors and circumstances which would lead to an allegation to be established would include, but not be limited to: admissions, settlements of civil claims, detailed, consistent and plausible complaints, number of victims, the priest’s assignment history, and whether the name was published on other lists of known abusers. The facts and circumstances that could substantiate a credible allegation vary from case to case.
This analysis was made more difficult by the fact that most child sexual abuse occurrences happen in the absence of witnesses. After careful analysis, a name was added to the list if there was moral certainty that the abuse occurred (i.e., established). This does not mean it was proved to have occurred, which would happen in a court of law.
What are you doing to help victim-survivors?
The Province policy has been to assist victim-survivors of sexual abuse in the healing process since 1995. The extent of our assistance depends upon the needs and requests of the victim-survivors. We have and continue to provide funding so that they can receive psychological counseling to assist in the healing process. For those victim-survivors who desire it, we maintain contact with them to provide support in other ways they request. They have been harmed by a member of the Province, and we are obligated to assist them in their healing as much as possible.
How many friars in your Province have established allegations against them?
Of the approximately 950 friars who have been a part of the Western Dominican Province since its founding in 1851 and nearly 350 friars from other provinces who have served in one capacity or another in our province during that time, ten friars have been permanently removed from public ministry because an established allegation of the sexual abuse of a minor. Nine of them, in addition to a member of another Province working in one of our ministries, were removed after an allegation was received. Only one of these friars is still alive.
Since the Province Review Board was established in 2002, two friars who were deceased had allegations made against them that were deemed to be established by the Board. Our list also includes two additional members of other provinces who worked in the Western Dominican Province who appear on a list provided by their own province. The above mentioned sixteen friars are listed on this website along with pertinent information, in order to offer consolation to those who have been harmed and to encourage others to come forward to receive help.
How does the Province deal with accused friars?
Friars from our Province who have an established accusation of sexual abuse of a minor fall under various categories. They may have been dismissed from the Order after a canonical process. If they were a priest, they may also have been laicized and no longer function as a priest. Currently there is one living members of our province who has an established allegation of sexual abuse of a minor against him. He is over 80 years in age, and has not been dismissed from the Order or laicized. He is not involved in any kind of ministry. As a member of our province, we are obliged by Christian charity, the legislation of our Order and our responsibility to society to continue to provide him with healthcare, food, lodging, spiritual support and ongoing monitoring. His life is restricted by a safety plan. He lives in a Dominican community, not attached to any of our ministries, with an on-site supervisor. He is visited each quarter by an outside monitor who ensures his safety plan is followed.
Why are Dominicans from your Province on other lists? Are these other allegations?
A Dominican from one province may sometimes minister and live within the territory of another province, and even serve in the other province’s ministries. For this reason, a friar who has an established allegation of sexual abuse of a minor will be included on the list of his own province, as well as on the list of the other province(s) in which he served. This does not necessarily mean abuse happened in both provinces.
Why are some Dominicans from your Province on other lists, but not this one?
In one case, an allegation taken to court was dropped by the plaintiff. Afterward, an independent third-party investigated the allegation and made a full report to the Province Review Board which determined unanimously that the accusation was patently false. Yet because a lawsuit commenced, some websites, including those of plaintiffs’ attorneys, continue to list the name of the friar.
In another case, a friar was included in a global settlement over the protest of the Prior Provincial and his council who disputed the allegation. The Province Review Board reviewed that case in February 2020 and based on their recommendation and his own review of the allegation, the Prior Provincial determined that it was not established.
Why hasn’t the sexual abuse of minors by clergy stopped?
According to a recent article in Psychology Today, “the relentless press attention gives the impression that sexual abuse of children is still commonplace in the Catholic Church, even though the vast majority of cases of clerical abuse occurred before the mid-1980s (John Jay College of Criminal Justice, 2004, 2011). After the Church reforms articulated in the Dallas Charter and Essential Norms (United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, 2002a, 2002b), the number of new cases in the United States averaged about a dozen per year; during the past five years, it was reduced to about one new case per year. The Church has gone from averaging about 660 new cases of abuse per year during the 1970s to about 1 new case per year since about 2014 (John Jay College of Criminal Justice, 2011; Steinfels, 2019; United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, 2018). In fact, few realize that the well-known Pennsylvania grand jury report on clerical abuse in that state during the past 70 years found only two cases from the 21st century—with both cases already known and managed (Office of Attorney General of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, 2018; Steinfels, 2019).”
The Western Dominican Province is committed to promoting a culture of safety, and not merely compliance with our policies. We want our members to prioritize learning how to provide a safe environment for minors and vulnerable adults, to identify and support the reporting of any problems at our ministry sites or within our communities. It is estimated that one in six boys and one in four girls are sexually abused before the age of 18 in our country. As preachers and pastoral ministers, we have a charge to address this tragic reality and work with dedicated lay people in our ministries and in the communities where they are located, for the love of God and neighbor.