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About Us

The Jesuits USA Central and Southern Province uses specific definitions in its policies related to protecting children and vulnerable adults. For purposes of these policies, the following definitions apply:

  • Minor: Any person under the age of 18 is considered a minor.
  • Vulnerable Adult: Any person over the age of 18 who habitually lacks the use of reason and/or is incapable of looking after his or her own rights and interests is considered a vulnerable adult.
  • Jesuit: Members of the province including novices, scholastics, brothers and priests who are members of the province as well as other Jesuits assigned to work in the province with the permission of the provincial of the U.S. Central and Southern Province. Sexual abuse by a Jesuit refers to sexual abuse by a man who was a Jesuit at the time the sexual abuse occurred.
  • Sexual abuse as defined by the Charter and Essential Norms of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops is any external, objectively grave violation of the Sixth Commandment of the Decalogue with a minor or a vulnerable adult. This includes not only physical sexual contact or actions but may also include certain verbal behavior. Sexual abuse includes the acquisition, possession or distribution of images of a minor for purposes of sexual gratification. Sexual abuse includes attempts to solicit a minor for sexual purposes with language (spoken or written) even if there is no subsequent physical contact. Sexual abuse also includes the acquisition, possession, or distribution of pornographic images of minors for purposes of sexual gratification.
  • Sexual Misconduct generally refers to sexual harassment, sexual exploitation and/or sexual abuse of an adult person who does not meet the criteria of a “Vulnerable Adult.”
  • Credible Allegation: an accusation which the provincial believes, with moral certitude, after careful investigation and review by professionals, that an incident of sexual abuse of a minor or a vulnerable adult occurred, or probably occurred, with the possibility that it did not occur being highly unlikely.
  • Moral certitude in this context means a high degree of probability, but short of absolute certainty.

The provincial has designated Carol Zarinelli Brescia, MSW, LCSW, to receive reports of sexual abuse on behalf of the province; she can be reached confidentially at (314) 915-7168 or by email at: