Diocese of Pittsburgh

There are many opportunities to volunteer your time and talents at Saint Raphael Parish and Saint Raphael Elementary School. Please consult the bulletin or call the parish office at 412.661.3100 to find more information on the many ministries and ways you can volunteer.

While Saint Raphael Parish welcomes the participation of all, we also take very seriously the Diocesan Safe Environment Policy. This policy was created to take every possible measure to assure that Church personnel and all those who have regular contact with minors are committed to providing a safe environment for children and youth. We must ensure that all those regularly involved with parish-sponsored activities are capable of identifying and preventing the abuse of children and youth, and have no personal history of behavior that would be a threat to children.

The Safe Environment Policy applies to all those 18 years of age and older, whether clergy, members of consecrated life, or laity, who, as employees or volunteers, act in the name of the Church under the auspices of the Diocese of Pittsburgh or one of its parishes.

Safe Environments Requirements (Clearances)

The Diocese of Pittsburgh requires that all volunteers in ministry with children comply with the Safe Environments Policy which includes the following components:

  1. FBI Criminal Clearances (Fingerprinting)

For a full list of ministry volunteers requiring clearances, please click here.

If you have questions regarding clearances, please contact our Parish Safe Environment Coordinator, Shannon Monaghan, at smonaghan@straphaelpgh.org or 412-661-3100 x.111.

Diocesan Online Database and National Criminal Record Check

All adults who have regular contact with minors are to complete the Diocese of Pittsburgh's database application. Once this application is completed, it will also be used to obtain a Pennsylvania State Police Criminal Record Check (required for all volunteers, ages 18 and above, who work in ministry with children or teens).

PA Child Abuse History

PA Child Abuse History Clearance

  • Required for all volunteers, age 18 and above, who work in ministry with children.
  • Print, complete, and sign.
  • Must be renewed every FIVE years.

PA DPW Child Abuse History Authorization / Consent Form

  • Please sign this consent form and return it to the office along with the PA Child Abuse form above so that the PCAHC form can be directly mailed to the parish (instead of to the home).
  • You may choose not to sign the form, however, it will take longer for their clearances to be complete until the parish gets the form in hand.
  • Name & address are YOUR name and address
  • Social Security Number is mandatory - forms are stored in locked files at the Church
  • Purpose of Clearance is VOLUNTEERS
  • List ALL addresses and household members since 1975 - the clearance will be delayed if information is missing. This includes parents, siblings, children, spouse, room mates, etc.
  • Parish Pays for all Clearances.
  • Return completed Form to Parish Office.

Protecting God's Children

The "Protecting God's Children" workshop is required for all adults, age 18 and up, who wish to volunteer in ministry with children. It is an excellent program that truly equips adults to create safer environments for children. Click here for a list of all area Protecting God's Children workshops or click here to register for a workshop.


  • Cardinal Clause - Only required for catechists and faith formation helpers. Print, complete, and sign. Return to the Parish Office.

FBI Criminal Clearances (Fingerprinting)

In 2015, the State of Pennsylvania revised its laws on background checks for adults who work or volunteer with young people. One change calls for steps that we have not previously taken. A new requirement for FBI criminal clearances (fingerprinting), means that all clergy and employees, along with volunteers in our parish and school, must be fingerprinted. Volunteers who have (1) lived continuously in Pennsylvania for the past 10 years and (2) signed a Volunteer Request for Waiver will be exempted from the fingerprinting requirement.

Click here for more information or for a Volunteer Request for Waiver.

Background Checks by Ministry

The Diocese of Pittsburgh has mandated the following list of ministries are required to comply to the Safe Environments Policy.

  • Altar Server–Adult
  • Bereavement Team Coordinator/Volunteer
  • Business Manager/Bookkeeper
  • Cantor
  • Catechetical Administrator
  • Catechist
  • Catechist Aide
  • Catechumenate Director
  • Chaperone
  • Child Care Giver/Babysitter
  • Choir Director–Vocal/Bell
  • Choir Member–Vocal/Bell
  • Deacon–Permanent/Transitional
  • Diocesan Priest Incardinated in the Diocese and on Assignment or Retired within the Diocese
  • Diocesan Priest Not Incardinated in the Diocese, on Assignment or in Residence in the Diocese
  • Diocesan Staff Member whose duties require regular contact with minors
  • Director of Music Ministry
  • Elderly Outreach Coordinator/Volunteer
  • Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion
  • Family Life Minister/Volunteer
  • Fund Raising Worker/Volunteer (e.g., bingo, festival, fish fry, etc.) whose duties require regular contact with minors
  • Housekeeper/Cook
  • Janitor/Maintenance Worker
  • Lector/Reader
  • Liturgical Art and Environment Coordinator/Volunteer
  • Organist/Instrumentalist
  • Parish Wedding Coordinator
  • Pastoral Associate/Minister
  • Religious Order Priest on Assignment in the Diocese
  • Respect Life Coordinator/Legislative Advocate
  • Sacristan
  • Secretary–Parish/Religious Education/School/ Youth Ministry
  • Seminarian
  • Trainer–Youth Altar Servers and/or Lectors
  • Usher/Greeter/Minister of Hospitality
  • Youth Minister
  • Youth Ministry Volunteer