Parish Volunteers

Saint Paul of the Cross Parish is committed to providing a safe environment for all. 

Saint Paul of the Cross Parish Volunteer Clearances

Saint Paul of the Cross Parish is committed to providing a safe environment for all. 

We do that by complying with the Safe Environment Policy developed by the Diocese of Pittsburgh. This is an aggressive effort to make Catholic parishes and schools as safe as possible for young and old people from the threat of abuse.

Adult volunteers (age 18 and older)  must complete a multi-step process in which they register with VIRTUS Online, submit a State Police Criminal Record Check, complete a PA Child Abuse History Clearance, participate in online training, and print and sign a disclainer waiving the requirement to be fingerprinted for the FBI. (Employees of the Diocese must be fingerprinted)  Detailed directions for both new volunteers and returning volunteers are listed in the tabs below.

Need Help?

Parishioners needing assistance becoming compliant are invited to meet with our parish Safe Environment Coordinator, Don Fontana, for help.  Reservations can be made by calling Don Fontana (412) 531-5964 or emailing  The next Safe Environment Workshops will be held in the DePalma Room 

Tuesday, October 8th: 1-4 PM
Tuesday, December 3rd: 1-4 PM

Register with the Diocesan Database


How to Register as a New Volunteer (old volunteers should see the tab marked "Returning Volunteers")
  • Log onto the website for the Diocese of Pittsburgh at
  • Select “Parish Volunteer."
  • A series of 5 steps will appear. Use your cursor to highlight the linked fields and complete each step in order. Tips to get you started and through the process are listed below.  You can also download and print these instructions by clicking here www.virtusonline.
(Step 1) Virtus ®Online Safe Environment database
(These steps correspond to the first 14 screens you will see when registering.  It is helpful to leave this window open to refer back to.)
  1. Click on  “a. New user only.”
  2. When asked for an access code, enter “Protect” in the box.
  3. Follow the directions to create a User ID and Password you can easily remember.  Be sure to write down your User ID and Password in a secure place for future reference.
  4. Provide all the information requested on the registration screen.
  5. Select the location where you will volunteer.  Clicking on the arrow on the right side of the box will reveal a list of parishes.  Find “St Paul of the Cross (Pittsburgh)” on the list and click on it to enter it into the box.  Check the box in front of “Parish Volunteer”(the role you will perform).  In the Title or Position of Service box, enter the name of the ministry you are joining.
  6. If you volunteer at other PARISHES, you will answer yes.  Otherwise click on No.
  7. Please review the Reporting of Child Abuse and Child Protective Services Law of Pennsylvania.  Check the box under the picture stating you abide by it.  Enter your name and date, then continue.
  8. Review the Code of Pastoral Conduct. Check the box under the picture stating you abide by it.  Enter your name and date, then continue
  9. Read the Declarations page. Check the box under the picture stating you understand it.  Enter your name and date, then continue.
  10. Answer the 2 questions about previous volunteering and continue.
  11. Answer a question about residency and continue.
  12. Click the box and agree to download, print and sign the FBI Fingerprint Waiver, and continue.  But DON'T FORGET TO ACTUALLY DO THIS, and mail it to the Parish Office.  If you cannot print a copy of this, they are preprinted in the parish office and can be mailed to you upon request. (Signing this disclaimer means you waive your right to register your fingerprints with the FBI.)
  13. Click No if you have not attended the Protecting God’s Children Session.  Choose an English or Spanish presentation and continue.
  14. Read the Mandated Reporters list.  Most ministry volunteers will select No and continue.

You have successfully registered with Virtus.  You may be directed to log in again with your username and password (#3). You will see several blocks.  Among them will be blocks called Current Training, Background Checks, and Required Documents. Boxes may appear red when action is required. Within the red boxes, please click on each link to complete the required compliance items presented.

In the Current Training box, click on the link that says, “You have 1 online module assigned.” Then click on the green circle in front of the course title to begin the training.  Video sessions are interactive.  You will have to respond to questions correctly to move on.  This may take up to an hour to complete.  Once started, you can pause and return later if you like.  Watch all the way to the end.  It is recommended that you print a copy of your certificate for your records.

Within the Background Checks box, you will need to complete the “Child Abuse History Clearances.” This can be completed online, or you can submit a paper application to the PA Dept of Human Services.  Copies of this paperwork are available in the parish office and can be mailed to you upon request.

Maintaining Your Volunteer Status

The Diocese reserves the right to add online courses to their list of volunteer requirements.  Additionally, PA State background checks, Child Abuse History Clearances, and the FBI Disclosure Statement must be resubmitted every 5 years. 

Many returning volunteers have accounts at already.  This site keeps a running list of all of your clearances, certificates and training.  In order to view and update the information there you will need a User ID and password.  PLEASE DO NOT CREATE A NEW USER ACCOUNT.  If you do not know your User ID or password please call the office for the Protection of Children, Youth and Vulnerable Adults at (412) 456-3093.

Training (Training must be done online and no longer in person) In May of 2021 a new training module was added and required of every volunteer in the diocese.  The training is available online and can be done in 45 minutes to an hour.  Here is how:

  1. Go to
  2. Log in using the User ID and password you made when you first started volunteering.  If you don't remember getting this information years ago, call (412) 456-3093 and ask for it.
  3. Click on the box that says "current training."  Then complete the online class assigned to you (PGC3.2)  Continue all the way to the point where you have the option to print the certificate so that the system recognizes that you have completed the course.  You don't HAVE to print the certificate, just don't quit the training before you get to that screen.
PA State Background Check can be completed for free upon request and must be re done every 5 years.

Child Abuse History Clearance can be completed online for a small fee or mailed into the state and processed free of charge.  This must be updated every 5 years and your Safe Environment Coordinator can mail you the documents to submitt.

FBI (waiver) disclaimer forms are good for 5 years and then must be renewed.  They are available upon request from your Safe Environment Coordinator. 

Volunteers and Employees

All volunteers and employees are asked to complete several steps, set up and required by the Diocese of Pittsburgh, before beginning to serve in their ministries.

Diocesan Database
All volunteers and paid staff must register with the Diocese. You can complete this process by visiting the website and clicking here. Diocese of Pittsburgh Website  (The diocesan password, when asked, is 'protect') 

Signed Documents
It is also required that all volunteers please read the Code of Pastoral Conduct, The Child Protective Service Law, and the F.B.I. Disclosure Statement  (Referred to as an F.B.I. waiver, this replaces the need for fingerprinting of volunteers only. Paid employees of the Diocese must still register their fingerprints with the F.B.I.)   Those documents are available in the Parish office and can be mailed to you upon request.  Please sign these pages and drop them off at the rectory or mail it to

Saint Paul of the Cross Parish
Attention Don Fontana
400 Hoodridge Drive
Pittsburgh, PA 15234

Online Training
The Diocese has set up online video training called Protecting God's Children Maltreatment 3.2 & Vulnerable Adults Combined. This workshop is designed to help all adults who volunteer or work for the Catholic Church understand appropriate interactions with children and the elderly, and help volunteers identify signs of possible abuse or neglect when working with these groups. 

Some volunteers and all employees are also expected to complete the Mandated Reporter training.  If your volunteer position is listed here, please complete this training as well. 

All adults who volunteer or work for the Church are required to complete this online training. 


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