December 17, 2012
Dear Faithful of Southeastern Wisconsin:
In the aftermath of the tragic school shootings in Newtown, Connecticut, we want to reassure you that we are doing everything in our power to ensure the safety of the children you have entrusted to our care.
Safety policies and procedures are in place at all our Catholic schools and parishes and are frequently reviewed by school and parish personnel. In light of recent events, these policies and procedures have become a special focus of our attention and concern. In addition, all schools and parishes have an established crisis and security plan.
This difficult time presents a unique opportunity for us to remind our children, youth, and each other of the importance of God’s place in our lives. Both individual and communal prayer is essential, as are positive and supportive interpersonal communications. We are providing our schools and parishes with resources that may assist them in this regard.
Even as adults, we struggle to find hope in experiences of evil like this. The youngest members of our community, our children and youth, are especially vulnerable to the fear and anxiety that may arise from external influences. We suggest that you offer them the opportunity to discuss their feelings and, if they have concerns, give simple, honest, age-appropriate answers to questions they may ask. Reassure them that they are deeply loved and appreciated by their family, community, and God.
As members of the Church, we rely on our faith and on each other in our efforts to provide a safe environment for everyone.
Kathleen A. Cepelka, Ph.D.
Superintendent of Catholic Schools
Safe Environment Coordinator