The Diocese of Helena has established a procedure to conduct immediately the initial investigation of any allegation of sexual abuse received by the diocese. As stated in the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, “Dioceses will have mechanisms in place to respond promptly to any allegation … Dioceses will have a competent person or persons to coordinate assistance for the immediate pastoral care of persons who claim to have been sexually abused as minors by clergy or other church personnel.”
When an allegation is made known, an appropriate independent investigator is located and retained, and that person proceeds with the investigation. Results from that investigation are made known to the Bishop and others that he consults and who have ongoing responsibilities for the case.
Those responsible for locating and retaining an outside investigator:
William P. Driscoll
William Driscoll has been associated with the legal practice that has provided legal representation to the Diocese of Helena for over 50 years. Bill Driscoll, currently in his own legal firm, is the lawyer who handles most of the legal affairs of the diocese.
Sister Rita McGinnis, SCL
Sister Rita McGinnis, SCL, is the director of Chancery Services for the Diocese of Helena. She serves as the Diocesan Contact person for Safe Environment programs in the Diocese.
Coordinating assistance for the pastoral care of persons claiming to have been sexually abused as minors by clergy or other church personnel:
As the Victim’s Advocate for the Diocese of Helena, Helen Beausoleil coordinates assistance for the pastoral care of persons with claims of sexual abuse as minors by clergy or other church personnel.
Beausoleil holds a Master’s Degree in Social Work and is a licensed Clinical Social Worker. Beausoleil has retired after many years of service at Catholic Social Services of Montana. Previously Beausoleil worked for 20 years in Youth Ministry and Christian Formation at Saint Mary Parish, Helena and for the Diocese of Helena. Currently she remains involved in ministry and social work while facilitating bereavement groups for the Helena community.