The Diocese of Nashville Safe Environment Conference is a chance for those in ministry throughout the diocese to come together and hear from experts in ministry, representatives from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), and Tennessee law enforcement on topics related to maintaining a safe environment for our children, young people, and vulnerable adults. The conference will open with Mass celebrated by Bishop Spalding and will cover topics ranging from ministry best practices for a safe environment and canon law to internet safety and human trafficking awareness.

Purpose

Provide an opportunity for our ministry leaders to learn from and interact with subject matter experts in the area of safe environment and the protection of children, young people and vulnerable adults.

CONFERENCE SCHEDULE

7:30 a.mDoors Open and Sign-In Begins

Entrance 4, Catholic Pastoral Center, 2800 McGavock Pike, Nashville, TN 37214

8:00 a.m – Mass with Bishop J. Mark Spalding

Sagrado Corazón Church

9:20 a.m. – Opening Remarks

Bishop J. Mark Spalding
Ascension Auditorium

9:35 a.m.Introduction and Welcome to the Conference

Julie Perrey, Vice Chancellor and Chief Mission Integration Officer, Diocese of Nashville
Ascension Auditorium

9:45 a.m. – MORNING KEYNOTE – “What is Safe Environment and the Impact of the Charter”

Molly Fara, Associate Director for the Secretariat of Child and Youth Protection, USCCB
Ascension Auditorium
Molly will give an overview of what exactly is safe environment and discuss the background and impact that the bishops’ 2022 document “The Charter for the Protection of Children and Youth” has had on the U.S. Church.

11:10 a.m. – Morning Breakout Session A: “Fostering a Safe Environment for Teens”

Kathy Goller — is a coach, facilitator, and presenter who has devoted her life to excellence and servant leadership.
Ascension Auditorium
Cover topics related to best practices and strategies for maintaining a safe environment for teens in youth ministry settings.

11:10 a.m. – Morning Breakout Session B: “Recent Developments in Canon Law”

Father John Hammond – Vicar General, Judicial Vicar, and Pastor of St. Patrick Church, Nashville
Mater Dei Formation Room
Father Hammond will discuss the latest revisions and practical impacts that the new book VI of the Code of Canon Law will have on safe environment and the enforcement of canonical penalties related to abuse.

12:00 p.m. – Lunch

Bishop’s Hall

1:00 p.m. –

AFTERNOON KEYNOTE – “Protecting Children from Virtual Predators”

Rob Burghardt – Assistant Special Agent in Charge of Internet Crimes against Children, Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI)
Bishop’s Hall
With so much of our lives now spent online predators have adapted their strategies and techniques to groom children. Rob will talk about what should be our greatest concerns and how to help protect our children.

2:00 p.m. – Break

Vendor area will be open for browsing.

2:15 p.m. – Afternoon Breakout Session A: “Grooming and Gray Areas”

Molly Fara – Associate Director for the Secretariat of Child and Youth Protection, USCCB
Ascension Auditorium
Molly will discuss the topic of grooming and the various red flags to look for as well as how to navigate and understand when certain behaviors go too far.

2:15 p.m. – Afternoon Breakout Session B: “Circle of Grace: Best Practices and Feedback Session”

Dr. Brad Peper – Director for Faith Formation, Diocese of Nashville
Mater Dei Formation Room
This session will be a discussion forum on implementation of Circle of Grace over the past year and serve as an opportunity for those who implement it to talk about their successes and struggles with the program.

3:15 p.m. – FINAL KEYNOTE – “A Discussion on Human Trafficking and TBI’s Anti-Trafficking Campaign”

Josh Melton, Assistant Director of the Criminal Investigation Division, TBI
Jeremy Lofquest, Assistant Special Agent in Charge of Human Trafficking Unit,TBI
Ascension Auditorium
One of the largest and most urgent issues facing our nation and Middle Tennessee is human trafficking. Josh Melton will provide insight and awareness on this issue, as well as cover red flags that you should look for.

4:15 p.m. – Closing Remarks

Julie Perrey – Vice Chancellor and Chief Mission Integration Officer, Diocese of Nashville

SPEAKERS

BISHOP J. MARK SPALDING was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Louisville on August 3, 1991, by Archbishop Thomas C. Kelly, O.P. After ordination, he continued graduate studies at Louvain, earning his Licentiate in Canon Law in 1992. Bishop Spalding served on the College of Consultors, the Priests’ Council, the Archdiocesan Planning Commission, the Development Council for the Archdiocese, and the Catholic Services Appeal Pastors’ Committee. Other assignments included serving as presbyteral moderator at two parishes as well as filling the role as priest-chaplain at Bethlehem High School from 1992 to 1996, and at Sacred Heart Academy in Louisville from 2011 to 2017. His appointment as the 12th Bishop of Nashville by Pope Francis was announced on November 21, 2017. His episcopal ordination and installation as the Bishop of Nashville was on February 2, 2018.  
MOLLY FARA  joined the USCCB in 2020 as associate director for the Secretariat of Child and Youth Protection. She had previously served the Diocese of Joliet in Illinois for 8 years as the first director of Child and Youth Protection. She has a bachelor of art degree from the University of Dayton with a major in psychology and minor in criminal justice. Molly earned a master’s degree in social work from the University of Illinois at Chicago. She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and has a Professional Educators License with a School of Social Work Endorsement. Her prior work experience includes settings such as psychiatric hospitals, in-patient and out-patient substance abuse treatment, residential treatment for emotionally disturbed youth, adult protective services, and employee assistance programs.

KATHY GOLLER is a coach, facilitator, and presenter who has devoted her life to excellence and servant leadership.  As the former Director of Youth & Young Adult Ministry for the Diocese of Buffalo, and now certified as a life, career, and executive coach, Kathy brings a depth and breadth of experience in evangelization, discipleship, faith formation, and personal and leadership development. Kathy has over twenty years of experience in diocesan ministry and holds a Master’s degree in Pastoral Ministry from Christ the King Seminary.  She currently coaches ministry leaders through NFCYM and the TENx10 Initiative with Fuller Youth Institute. A Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach with training in the Enneagram and creative problem solving, she regularly uses these tools to help individuals, groups, and teams to get unstuck and experience greater effectiveness.  Based in Western New York and serving nationally and internationally, Kathy founded her own business in 2022 to help others lead their lives with purpose.

 

FATHER JOHN HAMMOND  is vicar general and judicial vicar of the Diocese of Nashville and pastor of St. Patrick Church in Nashville. He attended seminary at the Pontifical College Josephinum in Columbus, Ohio, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in philosophy, a bachelor’s degree sacred theology, a master’s of divinity, and a master of arts degree. He also earned a master’s degree in sacred music summa cum laude from Southern Methodist University, where he studied organ and sacred music, and a license in canon law summa cum laude from the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas in Rome.
DR. BRAD PEPER serves as director of the Office of Faith Formation for the Diocese of Nashville. After earning a bachelor’s degree in psychology and Latin from Luther College, he completed his doctoral studies at Vanderbilt University specializing in the development of early Christian thought and practice. Prior to his current role, Brad was the department chair of Theology at Pope John Paul II Preparatory School in Hendersonville, TN, where he taught theology, Latin, and AP psychology for 14 years. 
JOSH MELTON is assistant director of the Criminal Investigation Division for the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.  In this capacity, Josh oversees the daily functions of TBI’s Criminal Investigation Unit, Human Trafficking Unit, Polygraph Unit,  Fire, and Post-Blast Investigation Teams. Josh previously served as the special agent in charge of the TBI’s Criminal Intelligence Unit and was the co-director of the Tennessee Fusion Center. During this assignment, he oversaw TBI’s intelligence program, as well as many of TBI’s programmatic responsibilities such as TBI’s Missing and Endangered Child Program, TBI’s Most Wanted Program, and TBI’s Sex Offender Registry. 
ROB BURGHARDT is assistant special agent in charge (ASAC) of the TBI’s Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force. ASAC Burghardt worked for TBI and investigating cyber and ICAC cases since 2017. Prior to 2017, ASAC Burghardt served eight years in the U.S. Coast Guard and was a uniformed division officer for the U.S. Secret Service assigned to the White House 2006-2009. ASAC Burghardt and his family attend Our Lady of the Lake Catholic Church in Hendersonville, TN.
JEREMY LOFQUEST is assistant special agent in charge assigned to the Criminal Investigation Division supervising the Human Trafficking Unit. In addition to overseeing the enforcement activities of the TBI’s Human Trafficking Unit, Jeremy oversees the Tennessee Human Trafficking Task Force (HTTF), training and educating local and state agencies in relation to human trafficking, as well as assisting with the tracking, analysis, and interpretation of statistical information regarding human trafficking. Jeremy is a graduate of East Tennessee State University with a master’s of business administration degree. Prior to attending college, he served active duty in the Marine Corps in the Security Force Regiment. 

For more information, contact

Jason Liuzzi, aPHR
Safe Environment Coordinator, Mission Integration Office, Diocese of Nashville
Jason.Liuzzi@dioceseofnashville.com
Office: 615.645.9765