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Meet Dominic Colucy

Headshot of Dominic Colucy. Photo by Mallory Leann Photo + Design

Dominic Colucy, the Diocese of Youngstown’s Safe Environment and victim assistance coordinator, never expected to find himself working outside a classroom—he was pursuing a teaching career when he realized God had other plans for him. 

Colucy was working as the director of religious education at the Basilica of St. John the Baptist and St. Peter Parish in Canton when he first heard about the opportunity to pursue his current role from Monsignor John Zuraw, diocesan vicar general, at an event for parish ministers. 

“At that moment I felt the Holy Spirit directly intervene and call me to this new path of service to the Church” said Colucy.

Colucy and his wife had also just welcomed their first child, causing him to become more acutely aware of the need to provide a safe environment for children within the Church. 

As the Safe Environment coordinator, Colucy works with the Safe Environment compliance officers at diocesan parishes and schools to provide training for clergy, employees, volunteers and parents so that they can identify signs of abuse or grooming behavior and how to report it. Colucy also works with the compliance officers to ensure that screenings for

new hires are properly conducted. His other role as victim assistance coordinator goes hand-in-hand with the former; he’s the “first responder.”

“If someone is calling to report abuse, they are invited to contact me directly, and then I would help them understand what our policy is, the steps the diocese would take to address the allegation, including making sure the allegation is reported to civil authorities, and discuss opportunities for pastoral care,” Colucy said.

Essentially, Colucy works to both prevent abuse and assist victim-survivors if any abuse has occurred. 

Colucy said that over the past couple of decades, people have become far more aware of the unfortunate reality of child sexual abuse. In his experience, the faithful of our diocese 

have truly embraced the Church’s policies and procedures for the protection of children, young people and vulnerable adults—a fact that has been very encouraging to him. The biggest thing he watches out for, however, is complacency.

“While the number of clerics accused of sexual abuse within the Church in America has been on a steady decline,we know from studies that child sex abuse is still a serious problem in the broader community. Between five and 10 percent of adult men and 20 percent of adult women are sexually abused as children,” Colucy said. “It’s easy for people to forget that it’s still statistically happening quite frequently, far too frequently. That’s one of the reasons why we have a training renewal requirement to try to keep this unfortunate reality fresh in people’s minds. We need to be cautious and always need to be on the lookout.”

Despite working in a field that confronts such a dark reality of humanity, Colucy says that his faith in God has never wavered and his love for the Church has remained strong. Colucy says that he is hopeful because the Catholic Church committed to working toward a greater culture of healing, transparency, accountability and safety.

To that end, Bishop Bonnar has recently promulgated a “revised and amended version of our Safe Evironment Policy,” which  more clearly defines the diocese’s response to allegations of abuse and establishes two new advisory groups—the Diocesan Task Force and the Standards of Ministerial Behavior Advisory Council.  

Colucy is available to listen to anyone who has been abused or victimized by someone representing the Church. To contact him via a confidential line, please call 330-718-1388. To learn more about the diocese’s Safe Environment Policy or how to report abuse, please visit the website.

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