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10.6 Frequently Asked Questions

GENERAL​
What Is the Church's Religious or Spiritual Context for Using Electronic Communications?
How Does a User Get Internet or Intranet Access at a Parish or School?
What Should Happen When a User Leaves a Parish or School?
What Should I Do if the News Media Contacts Me?

ACCEPTABLE USE AND RESPONSIBILITY POLICY FOR ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATIONS (ARCHDIOCESAN AUP)
What Is the Archdiocesan AUP?
What Is the Purpose of the Archdiocesan AUP?
Who Does the Archdiocesan AUP Apply To?
Does the Archdiocesan AUP Apply to My Personal Electronic Communications Devices?
Does the Archdiocesan AUP Apply to My Children’s Personal Devices?

PARISH COMMUNICATIONS
What Are the Guidelines for Communicating with My Parish?
What Are the Guidelines for Establishing a Parish Website?
How Do I List My Parish Website in the Archdiocesan Online Parish Directory?

WEBSITE CONTENT
What Are the Guidelines for Publishing Photos from a Parish Function on the Parish Website?
What Are the Guidelines for Posting Videos from a Parish Function?
What Are the Guidelines for Forums and Blogs?
What Are the Guidelines for Links?
What Is the Policy on Website Ads?
What Are the Guidelines for Advocacy, Lobbying, and Political Action?
How Do I Report Concerns?

SAFE ENVIRONMENT
What Are the Guidelines for Using Social Media?
What Are the Guidelines Specifically for Using Social Networks?
What Are Appropriate Ways to Communicate with Students?
How Do I Protect the Privacy of Minors?
Is There a Contract to Encourage Responsible Internet Use by Minors?
Are There Resources Available for the Safeguard the Children Committee to Train the Parish?​
How Do I Report Concerns?

ARCHDIOCESAN COMMUNITY EMAIL SERVICES (ACES)
What Is ACES?
How Do I Create an Account?
How Do I Use My Account?
How Do I Update My Account?
How Do I Retrieve My Password?
What Should I Do if My Email Failed to Send and I Missed a Deadline?

CATHOLIC COMMUNICATION COLLABORATION (C3) CONSORTIUM
How Do I Determine the Technology Needs and Available Funding for My Parish?
How Do I Obtain Funds to Provide Internet Access at My School?
Should My Parish or School Lease Hardware?
What Are the Software Requirements for My Parish?
How Do I Configure My Parish or School Website?
What Is a Web Filter?

WEBINARS
What Is a Webinar?
What Equipment Do I Need as a Presenter or Participant?
What Does Webinar Preparation Involve?

VIDEOCONFERENCING
Why Should I Use Videoconferencing?
What Are the ​Recording and Broadcasting Guidelines When My Parish Uses Videoconferencing Equipment?

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GENERAL

What Is the Church’s Religious or Spiritual Context for Using Electronic Communications?

The Spiritual Framework​ has suggestions, including the Prayer before Logging onto the Internet and information on the life of St. Isidore (c. 560–636), the as-yet-unofficial patron saint of the Internet.


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How Does a User Get Internet or Intranet Access at a Parish or School?


The use of a location’s intranet and its access to the Internet is a privilege, not a right. As such, the system may be used for archdiocesan, parish, or educational purposes under the direction and supervision of a staff member or teacher.

To gain access to the system, users must read and agree to abide by all conditions and procedures of the Archdi​ocesan AUP​, the Archdiocese of Los Angeles Boundary Guidelines and Code of Conduct for Middle and High School Youth Working or Volunteering with Children or Youth (English version​ and Spanish version), and the Archdiocese of Los Angeles Guidelines for Adults Interacting with Minors at Parish or Parish School Activities or Events.


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What Should Happen When a User Leaves a Parish or School?

The user’s accounts must be disabled immediately, including any accounts maintained externally “in the cloud.” All content belongs to the location and may need to be preserved, as appropriate.

See also the Archdiocesan Community Email Services​ (ACES).


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What Should I Do if the News Media Contacts Me?

The archdiocese, not an individual parish, school, or archdiocesan entity, maintains responsibility for all media relations. Refer all media inquiries to the Communications Department (213-637-7215, mediarelations@la-archdiocese.org​)​.


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ACCEPTABLE USE AND RESPONSIBILITY POLICY FOR ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATIONS (ARCHDIOCESAN AUP)

What Is the Archdiocesan AUP?

The Acceptable Use and Responsibility Policy for Electronic Communications ("Archdiocesan AUP") is an overall policy dealing with the use of electronic communications and the Internet.

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What Is the Purpose of the Archdiocesan AUP?

In an ideal world, the archdiocese wouldn’t need to have an overall policy dealing with electronic communications. The archdiocese (and its parishes, schools, and other operations) is a large institution and, as in other large for-profit and not-for-profit entities, uniform policies make it easier to function fairly and effectively. Responsibility, common courtesy, and common sense should indeed be the characteristics of those who are members of our faith community.

However, the present-day reality is that communications technology can intentionally or inadvertently be abused and vulnerable people can be exploited, offended, or hurt. Moreover, all archdiocesan entities are legally and morally obliged to protect children and youth.

The Archdiocesan AUP and the policies and procedures set forth in Electronic Communications, Copyright, and Acceptable Use Policies are part of that system of protection that ensures a safe environment for all.

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Who Does the Archdiocesan AUP Apply To?

The Archdiocesan AUP applies to all users of electronic communications systems, devices, and materials. That includes volunteers, clergy and religious, students, employees, staff, and contractors associated with the archdiocese.

It’s important that everyone working or volunteering in your office is aware of the policy.

Religious Education Congress​ attendees are always responsible for their own conduct. If an attendee send tweets, texts, pictures, and video of the liturgies, concerts, and workshops to family and friends, he or she may have broken some of the rules of Congress itself by recording these events without permission. Both Congress and the Archdiocesan AUP base their electronic communications rules on the respect and courtesy due to others, and that includes respecting their right to control their own image, words, and works.

If activities of a clergy member in any way implicate the parish or the archdiocese or are inconsistent with his role as member of the clergy, then the Archdiocesan AUP applies.

For example, if a priest who lives in a rectory on parish property relaxes after dinner by browsing the Internet and downloading movies to watch, the Archdiocesan AUP applies if he:

  • Tells office staff about what he has seen

  • Downloads movies and submits a bill for payment

  • Leaves his device turned on where anyone else can see what he is browsing or watching

Of course, if the priest uses a parish device, it is covered by the policy since the device is the property of the parish/archdiocese. In addition, his activities are subject to the separate canonical obligations of clergy.

If a permanent deacon’s online shopping and online magazine subscriptions implicate the parish or the archdiocese—for instance, the permanent deacon submits a bill for reimbursement—then the Archdiocesan AUP applies. Otherwise his online conduct is private. Of course, the principles and values that inform the Archdiocesan AUP are the principles and values that he, as a deacon, is ordained to follow and model.

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Does the Archdiocesan AUP Apply to My Personal Electronic Communications Devices?

Yes. Your devices are covered by the Archdiocesan AUP in two ways. First, when you use them on parish, school, or archdiocesan premises, and second, if you use them in such a way that the parish, school, or archdiocese may be implicated in their use.

If a school teacher occasionally brings devices from home to class to use for presentations, the Archdiocesan AUP applies to the school teacher. If the school teacher travels outside the archdiocese and uses his or her smart phone to answer school or parish emails, the Archdiocesan AUP applies to the school teacher.

If someone who conducts religious education classes lets a religious education student borrow devices for use at the student’s home, the Archdiocesan AUP applies to the use of the devices.

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​Does the Archdiocesan AUP Apply to My Children’s Personal Devices?

Yes and no. Perhaps your children take their cell phones and smart phones to school and activities at the parish and school. The Archdiocesan AUP​ has general provisions that apply to all electronic communications devices, regardless of how simple or sophisticated they are. However, the Archdiocesan AUP allows archdiocesan locations to develop their own rules on cell phone and smart phone use. Therefore, you should check with the location to find out if any local policies apply.

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PARISH COMMUNICATIONS

What Are the Guidelines for Communicating with My Parish?

The Church encourages those in ministry to communicate via the Internet. The archdiocese has expanded its Communications Department by launching a digital office to serve its various ministries, taking these words of Pope Francis to heart: "Let us boldly become citizens of the digital world” (Pope Francis, Communication at the Service of an Authentic Culture of Encounter, World Communications Day 2014, Vatican). Engaging in these communications is indeed an important aspect of outreach and communication for our faith communities, but it requires diligence, oversight, and proper safeguards.

Perhaps you are a pastor, priest administrator, or parish life director and you want to improve communications with the parish community. You may believe that setting up automated telephone calls, emailing eBlasts, texting, blogging, tweeting, podcasting, and hosting web forums are essential for your ministry. In starting an effort and in monitoring ongoing activities, the parish should address several areas.


Assess needs


Refer to the Location Technology Checklist to help determine the nature and feasibility of the types of electronic communication systems and devices your parish wishes to use.


Follow communication policies

Be certain that you have complied with the Archdiocesan AUP and applicable copyright laws​ before posting information, music, or any other content from other sources

Make sure that if you engage in direct one-to-one electronic communication, you contact only members of the parish community. 

If the contact lists you use include people who are members of the general public and your communications include fundraising solicitations, various laws apply and you may need to obtain a permit from your local or state government.

When parishes and schools send mass emails and texts, they should protect privacy by putting all “to” information in the “bcc” or blind copy line.


Obtain permission from recipients

Make sure that if you plan to set up automated telephone calls, send texts, or email eBlasts, you obtain the recipients’ written agreements first and specify the type of automated calls, texts, or eBlasts you plan to send. It is illegal to send automated messages to cell phones and other wireless devices unless the recipients have agreed in advance to accept such messages. 


Allow recipients to opt out

Allow people to opt out of receiving your emails, calls, and texts, especially if your phone list includes the numbers for wireless devices. 

You may want to let parishioners know that you’re going to launch these methods of communication and give them an opportunity to register for a parish Do Not Call list before you start sending out your mass communications. See the Do Not Call Notice (sample). Once you have a Do Not Call list, make sure you check it regularly and update your contact lists accordingly.


Manage interactive communications

If your parish decides to allow interactive communications in blog comment boxes, podcasts, chat rooms, or forums, make sure that these interactions have clearly posted terms of use and, most importantly, retain a diligent moderator with authority to edit or take down inappropriate material. 

For more information about recommended terms of use and how to handle interactive communications, see the guidelines for forums and blogs, guidelines for using social networks, appropriate ways to communicate with students, and reporting concerns (in both Safe Environment and Website Content​).


Review your message carefully

Unless you are sending out emergency communications, don’t hit "call," "send," or "post" until you’ve taken the time to think and review carefully what you are communicating. You can’t recall most electronic messages (even web postings and blogs can linger in a search engine cache) and retracting your words is often embarrassing.​


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What Are the Guidelines for Establishing a Parish Website?

Websites are available for the whole world to see, so it’s important that the policies and procedures set forth in this chapter are followed. Some of the most critical requirements are listed in this section.

Under the Acceptable Use and Responsibility Policy for Electronic Communications (“Archdiocesan AUP”), see Prohibited Practices and Guidelines for Email Correspondence and Other Electronic Communications.


Establish website ownership and control

The website must be owned and controlled by the location. An individual may not personally launch anything that can be regarded as owned, sponsored, endorsed, or supported by the parish, school, or any related or affiliated ministry. There are several reasons why an individual may not host any parish website on his or her own domain or with a web hosting service that does not have a contract with the location itself.

First, locations should be able to control the existence of their own website(s) and if a site is hosted on someone else’s domain, the location does not have that control. If the owner of the domain fails to pay the hosting service or becomes estranged from the parish, for instance, the location cannot access its website(s). Petitioning a web hosting service to take down a site that does not belong to you is an exercise in futility; generally, only a court order will suffice.

Second, locations should be able to control the content posted on their own website(s). If the location doesn’t have a webmaster whose access to the site can be regulated, it doesn’t have the appropriate content control. If the webmaster is the same person who hosts the website, the webmaster is in control, not the location.

Third, changing a website from one hosting service to another can be time-consuming and costly and may be very difficult if an individual and not the location controls the hosting.


Get permission

Get permission to set up the parish website. Contact the person in charge of your parish (the pastor, priest administrator, or parish life director) or the principal.


Protect privacy

Don’t publish any identifying information about any minors without the written consent of the parents/guardians; see the Parent/Guardian Release for Student or Minor (Noncommercial) (English version and Spanish version​).

Don’t publish any identifying information about any adult without that person’s written consent; see the Adult Release (Noncommercial)​.

Don’t post pictures of anyone without first getting that person’s permission. If an event is being photographed, do make sure that a sign of reasonable size (minimum 8.5" x 11") is posted in a visible location at public events, disclosing that pictures may be posted on the Internet; see the Disc​losure ​Notice Sample.

If you collect any personal information from website visitors, you must post a privacy policy that explains what you do with the information collected. See the Website Privacy Policies (sample) and General Privacy Policy (sample)​.


Respect copyrights and trademarks

Assume that all content accessible via the Internet, including emails, is private property. The use of any content created by another person (photos, videos, words, designs, or music) requires the express permission of its creator. Certain limited exceptions are given for educational and liturgical purposes. Significant financial penalties may ensue for copyright violations. Don’t copy trademarked logos or icons without permission. And once you have permission, be sure to credit the source. See the Archdiocese of Los Angeles Copyright and Video Screening Policy.


Protect the reputation of people, places, and the Church

Make every effort to validate information and sources before posting content. Ensure that what you post conforms to Catholic teaching and values. And be familiar with and follow the Electronic Communications, Copyright, and Acceptable Use Policies.


Consult before fund-raising

Consult with the Office of Financial Services or Office of the Legal Counsel​ BEFORE using the website for fund-raising purposes. Strict regulations apply to conducting financial transactions on the Internet and certain activities such as online auctions may raise sales/use tax or unrelated business income tax issues.


Post terms of use

If your website allows interaction through forums or social media (e.g., Twitter or Facebook®), you must create and post terms of use. See the Terms of Use for Websites (sample).


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How Do I List My Parish Website in the Archdiocesan Online Parish Directory?

To request your parish’s website be added to the online parish directory, call or email the Applied Technology Help Desk at 213-637-7699 or helpdesk@la-archdiocese.org.

The Safeguard the Children Committee in my parish is concerned about the safe use of electronic communications. Are resources available to train our parish on the topic?

Yes, the Safeguard the Children Committee may refer to the Electronic Communications, Copyright, and Acceptable Use Policies.

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WEBSITE CONTENT

What Are the Guidelines for Publishing Photos from a Parish Function on the Parish Website?

The main concerns are respecting people’s right to privacy and their right to control their own image and likeness and, in certain instances, protecting copyright.


Protect privacy

Don’t assume all church activities are public. Church activities can be considered private, public, or both. Certain ceremonies are much more private than others; therefore, don’t assume that pictures of people attending every single type of church event are OK to publish on the Internet. For instance, don’t publish pictures of people standing in line for confession. If in doubt, consult the person in charge of your parish or school, or contact the eReference Desk at eReferencedesk@la-archdiocese.org​ or 213-637-7403.

Before you publish pictures taken in a public setting, determine if you need to obtain permissions. You may publish pictures taken in a public setting, such as on a public street, in a public park, or in a public building that is open to everyone at any time, as long as you don’t focus on a particular person, because people have rights to their privacy.

A school fiesta is likely to be considered a public event so that those in attendance probably do not have a reasonable expectation of privacy. However, the uncontrolled posting of photos (which may have been taken by anyone using a cell phone) on a giant screen or through a web app may cause embarrassment at a minimum or may actually invade privacy. Unlike the professional scanning of crowds at a Dodger game or rock concert, where the contents are likely to be filtered before broadcasting, there may be no one is checking the school fiesta photos before they show up on the giant screen or the app. Nothing would prevent someone from taking pictures in a portable toilet, for example, and sharing those with everyone at the event. People can lack good judgment, so you should be cautious and filter the pictures before you post them.


Get permission before publishing photos

First, disclose to those attending an event if you plan to take and publish any photos. The Disclosure Notice Sample​ should state that by being present, those in attendance agree to have their pictures taken and publicized. The posted notice must be prominently displayed, perhaps by using a large poster on an easel at the venue entrance of the event.

If possible, ask people in the photos to sign explicit waivers allowing photo publication. Photos of people taken in private settings, such as small faith community meetings, may not be published on parish, school, or archdiocesan websites without the express written permission of the owners of the private location as well as everyone in the photos. See the Parent/Guardian Release for Student or Minor (Noncommercial) (English version and Spanish version​) and Adult Release (Noncommercial)​.


Respect copyrights and exclusive arrangements

Don’t automatically publish professional photography. Publishing photographs of weddings and other events where there’s an official photographer may have additional contractual issues of copyright and infringement on exclusive arrangements for publicity. Publishing these photos must be decided on a case-by-case basis and only after consultation with the families and professional photographers.

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What Are the Guidelines for Posting Videos from a Parish Function?


Perhaps the parish choir recently sang at the Christmas concert, the performance was videotaped for people who could not attend, and this video shows lyrics with the score projected onto a screen in the sanctuary. There are a number of issue to consider when deciding whether to include the performance on YouTube® and the parish website.


Get permission and respect copyrights

These are the principal questions: Who composed the music? Who published the score? If the choir performed music written and published by the music director or a member of the choir, you can simply ask that person for permission to post the video and then get the permission in writing.

But if the choir performed music composed by someone who still retains the copyright, you should find out what permissions were granted to the choir by the copyright holder(s), who could be the original composer or someone else who purchased the rights. With music, copyrights may be held by the composer, lyricist, arranger, and/or music publisher. The copyright holder(s) could have limited permission to one performance in church only, with or without permission to record. Or the copyright holder(s) could have granted a much broader permission, which includes the right to post the performance on the Internet. If the copyright holder(s) did not include permission to post on the Internet, you must obtain permission in writing before posting. It’s possible that you’ll have to pay royalty fees.

On the other hand, if the choir performed music by Handel or Bach that wasn’t a special musical arrangement by a current copyright holder, you don’t need to worry about composer copyright. For works created after 1978, the copyright exists for as long as the life of the creator plus 70 years. For works created in the late 19th century though 1977, the laws are complex. It’s safest to assume that songs are copyrighted and obtain permission.

You should also find out if the choir got permission to display the written score on the screen in the sanctuary. Usually, the publisher of a music score is different from the composer and the publisher has its own rights, including the right to limit republication. Therefore, you should make sure that the right to display the score includes the right to record on video and to republish on the Internet. If not, you’ll have to obtain permission and, again, you may well have to pay a royalty.

For additional information, see the Music Copyright and Guides to Licensing.

You should also ask for and obtain permission in writing from the person(s) who made the video recording. They, too, have a copyright that you should respect. If the location decides to retain its own videographer to record the parish function, use the Video Production Agreement​ to determine who owns the rights.​​


Protect privacy

If a parish event is being videotaped, make sure that a sign of reasonable size (minimum 8.5" x 11") is posted in a visible location, disclosing that videos may be posted on the Internet; see the Disclosure Notice Sample​. So you should find out if the people at the concert were told that the performance was being videotaped. If not, you’ll have to be careful about including in the videotape people who are identifiable; they have a right of privacy and should give their permission before you post their faces on the Internet.

Don’t publish any identifying information about any minors without the written consent of the parents/guardians; see the Parent/Guardian Release for Student or Minor (Noncommercial) (English version and Spanish version​).

Don’t publish any identifying information about any adult without that person’s written consent; see the Adult Release (Noncommercial).

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What Are the Guidelines for Forums and Blogs?


Forums and blogs are attractive, easy ways to engage in discussions with people who share similar interests. However, charity and common sense do not always prevail; far too often people think that these are casual exchanges so they don’t exercise good judgment. Therefore, participation should be strictly controlled and postings should be closely monitored. You will need to have a person or committee of persons who monitors the postings on at least a daily basis and hopefully, on a more frequent basis in “real time.” Keep the following guidelines in mind.


Establish rules and terms

A parish or school website is private property, so freedom of speech and First Amendment rights do not apply. The use of the site is a privilege, not a right. As such, the parish or school is entitled to establish and maintain the rules of access and posting that conform to all acceptable use policies​.

Participants and bloggers must agree to a Terms of Use for Websites (sample) that sets forth specifically the terms under which they are allowed to post on the site. No anonymous or guest posts should be permitted.


Follow an approval process

Establish an approval process before material gets posted. At all times, whoever is in control should also be able to access the site and edit or take down a posting.


Reflect Catholic teaching 

Postings must conform to the teachings of the Roman Catholic faith. What is posted on a parish website is often understood by the viewer to be appropriate material and official Church teaching or approved by the pastor, bishop, cardinal, and even the pope.

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What Are the Guidelines for Links?


On parish and school websites, you may post links to other Catholic websites, provided that you follow the guidelines below.


Reflect Catholic teaching 

You should make every effort to insure that the resources linked on a parish, school, or archdiocesan website accurately reflect Catholic teaching. The authoritative sites for the Catholic Church include:

Include a disclaimer

Wherever you provide a link to an external website, you should include a statement of non-endorsement (a disclaimer). The disclaimer should also state that the person in charge retains the discretion to remove any link. See the Disclaimer for Links to Other Websites (sample).


Respect copyrights and trademarks

Insert only the link without any logo or icon. If you want to use a logo or icon as well as the link, you need to ask for permission from the site creators. Doing so without permission could be a copyright or trademark violation. Under the Acceptable Use and Responsibility Policy for Electronic Communications (“Archdiocesan AUP”), see Prohibited Practices. See also the Archdiocese of Los Angeles Copyright and Video Screening Policy.

You should only link to the home page of another website by using either a link or a thumbnail. “Framing” another site on your website so that the other site opens up inside your site can be considered copyright infringement. Before linking, it’s best to ask permission from the site you wish to link to. For additional information on the correct method of linking, see Connecting to Other Websites from Stanford University Libraries.

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What Is the Policy on Website Ads?


As nonprofit entities, neither the archdiocese nor any of the locations can endorse or solicit for a commercial for-profit enterprise (although under proper circumstances, you can accept advertising in bulletins and other materials).

Any agreement your location signs with web hosting services or content providers should include that provision. Therefore, if you notice that your web hosting service or content provider includes advertisements on your website, you should discuss the matter with the service or provider.

If you have any questions about these matters, contact the archdiocesan Office of the Legal Counsel at 213-637-7511.

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What Are the Guidelines for Advocacy, Lobbying, and Political Action?


As elections all over the world have shown, using the Internet for political action involves an amazingly powerful medium. However, because our Church and schools are tax-exempt nonprofit religious entities, we are subject to strict laws and internal policies on lobbying and political activities, as well as special reporting rules.

The archdiocese has guidelines on what kinds of activities are and are not permitted. As a general matter, during an election season the archdiocese uses only informational and voter education materials that are approved and issued by the California Catholic Conference.

Therefore, before you publish anything using any medium, including a website, make sure that you consult the archdiocesan guidelines and if you have any questions, contact the Office of the Legal Counsel.

See also the California Catholic Conference’s Guidelines for Advocacy, Lobbying and Political Action​.

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How Do I Report Concerns?


If you’re concerned about a youth or adult who is violating the Archdiocesan AUP, Copyright Policy, or Privacy Policy, or is otherwise doing something you think is improper, please make sure that you can explain the reasons for your concerns: what you saw, heard, or read; when or where you did so; and who is involved. Then if you are an archdiocesan employee, contact your superior, or contact the person in charge of your location. If the conduct involves the person to whom you would generally report your concerns, you should feel free to contact that person’s supervisor (if you know who that is), or you should contact the eReference Desk at 213-637-7403 or eReferencedesk@la-archdiocese.org, the archdiocesan Office of the Legal Counsel at 213-637-7511, or the Victims Assistance Ministry at 213-637-7650.

If you run across a website that has the Archdiocese of Los Angeles logo, you cannot assume all the information on that site is approved by the archdiocese. As you may know, phishing, web spoofing, and similar frauds are part of the Internet and illegitimate sites can’t always be distinguished easily from the legitimate ones. If you have a question about content on a site with the archdiocesan logo, contact the site’s webmaster. If you don’t receive a satisfactory response or want to report an issue, contact the eReference Desk at 213-637-7403 or email eReferencedesk@la-archdiocese.org. The eReference Desk’s standard response time is 12 to 24 hours on weekdays and 24 to 48 hours on weekends. Please note that the more specific you are asking your questions or describing your issues, the more effectively and efficiently the eReference Desk can respond to you.

If Facebook recently suggested as a “friend” an adult who works for a parish in the archdiocese and the content is quite disturbingly sexual and violent and not what you’d expect from a Catholic, use your judgment about reporting concerns. If this person provides information that shows he or she is associated with the archdiocese and if you work or volunteer for the archdiocese, tell the person in charge of your location. Or if you are uncertain, contact the archdiocesan Office of the Legal Counsel at 213-637-7511. On the other hand, if nothing on this person’s page connects him or her to the archdiocese, the matter is private and you may want to address your issue directly with this proposed "friend."

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SAFE ENVIRONMENT

What Are the Guidelines for Using Social Media?


The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has issued Social Media Guidelines.

Additional guidelines are available:

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What Are the Guidelines Specifically for Using Social Networks?


Teachers, catechists, those involved in parish ministry, and other members of school or parish staffs are allowed to establish Facebook® and other social networking groups or sites for personal use. Keep in mind that the policies and practices of the Archdiocesan AUP​ apply to all interactions on the Internet that may implicate the parish, school, archdiocese, or Church. Even if you’re engaging in private social interactions, you should strive to adhere to the Christian values that underlie the Archdiocesan AUP.


Maintain healthy boundaries

Facebook® and similar networking sites are understandably popular methods of communicating with your real and virtual friends. However, keep in mind that there’s a difference between teachers and parish catechists being “friendly” with children and youth and teachers and parish catechists adults being “friends” with children and youth.

Because of the nature of Facebook® and similar social networks, teachers, catechists, those involved in parish ministry, and other members of school or parish staffs may not accept or request current students as friends, and they cannot accept or request students, current or former, under 18 years old as a friend.

Even having former students as “friends” can connect existing students to their teachers as “friends of friends.” Because of this linkage, teachers, catechists, those involved in parish ministry, and other members of school or parish staffs are strongly urged not to disclose personal information online and to be vigilant about what they post. Under the Acceptable Use and Responsibility Policy for Electronic Communications (“Archdiocesan AUP”), see Prohibited Practices.

As an adult, you must maintain a healthy boundary between yourself and the young people you teach or mentor. Young people are not the peers of adults serving in a church or school. Therefore, you shouldn’t allow children or youth to become overly friendly or familiar with you. For instance, they shouldn’t be calling you by a personal or familiar nickname and you shouldn’t include them in an adult social circle.

Those who serve youth should not be accessible to the young people they serve on a constant on-call basis, except in cases of emergency. Professionals and volunteers in the Church and school should strongly consider not offering or publishing their home or cell phone numbers or home or email addresses, except to other adults. Such disclosures of personal information, while intended to give the sense of pastoral availability, might not be best for maintaining the professional boundaries called for as a teacher or minister.


Explore Facebook® alternatives 

Social networking sites allow members to set up groups for communications, file sharing, and so on. For such a group to work, however, all participants need to be registered on the site, even for an “open” group. It’s possible that some parents/guardians will not give their children permission to register for the site; therefore, you may be excluding some children or youth from participating in your group. In addition, if you’re an adult, you shouldn’t be making such online connections with minors.

Instead of using a private Facebook® account, you should explore with your school or parish the possibility of setting up a social networking site that is officially monitored and maintained. Private, password-protected social networking systems may provide the communications tools you’re looking for as alternatives to Facebook®.


Inform parents/guardians of school policy

Parents/guardians should be informed of the school’s policies on the use of personal devices by students, access to the Internet, and the use of social media sites. ​


If you’re an elementary school or high school teacher, you may email or text your students, provided you do so using ACES or an email system that is administered by the location, or a cell phone that is owned and managed by the location. Such systems may be monitored, which protects both the teacher and the students. You shouldn’t email or text your students from a personal, private email account or cell phone that isn’t monitored by the location and you shouldn’t send emails or texts at times when they could be viewed as an inappropriate personal communication rather than an official communication.

If a student sends you a message on a personal, private email address or social networking site, the best practice is to not reply from your private email or the social networking site. Forward the student’s message to your email account that is maintained by the location or to the location’s cell phone so that you and the location will have a formal record of the communication. Address the message’s contents and the appropriateness of the method of communication with the student in a manner that’s appropriate to the nature of the message (e.g., if the message is fairly innocuous, talk to the student). If the message raises issues, discuss those with the principal or your supervisor and the student’s parents/guardians.

In case you’re thinking of using Skype or other instant messaging (IM) applications to communicate with your students, note that in-class communications are appropriate on the school website. Generally other communications are not, but exceptions are instant messaging tools built into a schoolwide or parishwide approved social networking communications system.

If you’re a youth minister in your parish, there are specific instances when you may call or text students from your personal cell phone or email students from your personal email account. You may use your personal cell phone or email only to convey business information such as times and locations of meetings. You may not use your personal cell phone or email for any other content or type of communication.

Under Acceptable Use and Responsibility Policy for Electronic Communications (“Archdiocesan AUP”), see Electronic Communications Systems, Devices, and Materials and the Users Covered and Prohibited Practices.

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How Do I Protect the Privacy of Minors?


Maintaining the privacy not only of minors but also of all people should be something to think about whenever you communicate via the Internet. You should take great care in assuring that you don’t put any children or youth at risk of inappropriate actions by others or violate their privacy. Here are some guidelines.


Get permission

Don’t post personal contact information or pictures of minors without prior written permission from their parents/guardians. This includes names, home addresses, email addresses, telephone numbers, lists and photos of award winners at school or athletic events, confirmation candidates, children engaged in school social service, etc. Beware of posting minors’ personal contact information even on password-protected intranet sites. When in doubt, don’t post. The basic assumption is that minors’ privacy must be protected even if it may be inconvenient.


Exercise discretion

Do exercise discretion when posting items such as altar server schedules if the servers are minors. While it’s convenient to post such items on the parish website, take care to protect the servers’ privacy. You might consider using minors’ initials only on the website and in the parish bulletin, especially if you also post the bulletin on the parish website. You could also try to move or hide the schedule from public view and make the information available only to people with usernames and passwords.


Educate parents/guardians and minors about privacy issues

Do use the Contract for Appropriate Internet Use by Minors and Parental/Guardian's Permission for Access to the Internet​ in a way to educate parents/guardians and minors about privacy issues.

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Is There a Contract to Encourage Responsible Internet Use by Minors?


Yes. A principal may want to make sure his or her students behave responsibly when they use the Internet and that the parents/guardians support the school’s efforts in that regard. See the Contract for Appropriate Internet Use by Minors​ that a principal might use; this features a section that parents/guardians have to sign.

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Are There Resources Available for the Safeguard the Children Committee to Train the Parish?

Yes, the Safeguard the Children Committee may refer to the Electronic Communications, Copyright, and Acceptable Use Policies.

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How Do I Report Concerns?

Disclose the information immediately to the person in charge of your location (the pastor, priest administrator, parish life director, or principal).

Staff members, faculty members, and volunteers should respect confidential information concerning minors or confidential information of a personal nature shared by a minor. However, if a minor shares confidential information that could pose a threat to the minor or others, the staff member, faculty member, or volunteer has an obligation to notify the proper public or police authorities.

You may also contact the archdiocesan Victims Assistance Ministry at 213-637-7650. That office will help you in responding and making sure that others address the issues raised. See Safe Environment.

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ARCHDIOCESAN COMMUNITY EMAIL SERVICES (ACES)

What Is ACES?


The Archdiocesan Community Email Services (ACES) is the primary administrative communications system between all locations in a controlled email environment. Creating an account in ACES is simple but does require Internet access.

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How Do I Create an Account?


Go to ACES and click the "Sign up for an account" link. You will be asked for your location’s Department ID and ZIP code. The Financial Services Department at the Archdiocesan Catholic Center (ACC) has assigned an ID for every location; check with your bookkeeper if you don’t know yours. ACES uses this information to automatically determine whether you are a parish or school location and to identify your deanery. Once you enter that information you will be asked if you want to create:

A location account – This type of account is the simplest to create and use and will allow your location to participate in ACES. Think of this type of account as a P.O. Box for a parish, school, or other location. Only one location account can be created for a location and it should only be accessed by members of the administrative staff (principal, pastor, parish life director, priest administrator, or office manager). If you find that your location’s account has already been created, please contact the ACC Help Desk so we can confirm the account’s existence and avoid any confusion about ACES or determine possible unauthorized use.

A personal account – This type of account is associated with a person, not a location. It is for directors of religious education, pastors, parish life directors, principals, and other clergy or staff who may move from location to location and/or may change assignments in the archdiocese. It is transferrable and there will be no need to set up new accounts or multiple accounts for persons who may have assignments at more than one location. In addition to associating your account to a parish or school location, your account will be associated with your role. A personal account requires a little more information to set up and may require manual approval by the ACC Help Desk to prevent abuse of certain roles. For example, applications that specify a clergy role will generally need to be manually approved. Note that personal accounts are meant to be just that: personal. You should not give out your user name and password to anyone.

Each account type will ask for some information that will be stored with your account, such as a contact phone number. Location accounts are assigned a predefined user name; personal accounts require you to select a user name. In both account types, you will need to enter an alternate email address if you have another email account with another provider (such as Google). ACES will use that alternate email address to inform you of your ACES account status (if it has been approved or declined) and to email password recovery instructions if you should forget your ACES password.

Once you’ve completed the application forms, you will be given further instructions depending on your account type. When you create your account, be sure to store your user name and password in a safe and secure place.

If you have trouble creating an account or have questions about an account application, please contact the ACC Help Desk.

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How Do I Use My Account?


ACES email accounts are to be used for official archdiocesan ministerial and business purposes; your ACES login password will also grant you access to various intranet applications. One of the features of ACES is that accounts are automatically joined into various email distribution groups, generally composed by deanery. As an ACES account user you will be able to send email to these groups. Note that outside email users will not be able to send email to ACES groups.

Please don’t create accounts for personal correspondence. Be sure to read the Terms of Use carefully when you create an ACES account.

The easiest way is to use a web browser and go to Outlook Web App (OWA). OWA works with all modern browsers. When you connect to OWA, you will be asked for your domain/user name and password. Simply enter your email address as your user name (e.g., parish-12345@la-archdiocese.org) and then enter your password. If you have questions, please contact the ACC Help Desk.

Smartphone and tablet users can connect to ACES accounts via ActiveSync. Follow your mail client’s instructions on connecting to a Microsoft Exchange mailbox.

If you plan on using ACES frequently and you have Microsoft Outlook 2010® or later, then you can set up Outlook to connect directly to the ACES email servers. Please contact the ACC Help Desk for further instructions.

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How Do I Update My Account?


On the ACES web page, select "Administer your account." Enter your user name and password and you’ll be presented with a form that contains your current account information. If you have a personal account you’ll be able to change your account’s assigned location, role, and other information. Please note that certain changes will require manual approval by the ACC. We can’t have 34 principals at one school!

The ACC Help Desk can be reached during normal office hours (Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.) at helpdesk@la-archdiocese.org or 213-637-7699.

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How Do I Retrieve My Password?


If you specified an alternate email address with your ACES account, then you can reset your password without any help. Do the following:

  • On the ACES web page, select "Administer your account."

  • Enter your user name.

  • When prompted for your password, click "Forgot Password."

  • An email will be sent to your alternate email address. This email will contain a link to the ACES website. When you go to that link you will be able to create a new password for your account.

  • If you did not specify an alternate email address, then you will need to contact the ACC Help Desk. The ACC Help Desk can also grant administrative access to accounts in special circumstances, such as when an employee leaves a location or is not able to check email.

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What Should I Do if My Email Failed to Send and I Missed a Deadline?


First, report the failure to the person in control of the system to make sure that it’s not a systemic issue. Remind the user that the location’s systems make no warranties, either express or implied, for the Internet service they’re providing. The locations are not responsible for any damages suffered for loss of email, failure to transmit, or failures of other such features of electronic communication. Under the Acceptable Use and Responsibility Policy for Electronic Communications (“Archdiocesan AUP”)​, see the Guidelines for Email Correspondence and Other Electronic Communications.

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CATHOLIC COMMUNICATION COLLABORATION (C3) CONSORTIUM

How Do I Determine the Technology Needs and Available Funding for My Parish?


First, use the Location Technology Checklist to determine your needs and available funding.

Next, if you need additional guidance, the archdiocese has an eReference Desk to provide technology-related information to locations. Although the archdiocese does not specify vendors (except that software needs to be compatible with the Archdiocesan Community Email Services [ACES]), you can receive help with setting criteria and evaluating vendors and their proposals. The eReference Desk may be able to connect you with resources in nearby parishes, for additional help. Call 213-637-7403 or email eReferencedesk@la-archdiocese.org. The eReference Desk’s standard response time is 12 to 24 hours on weekdays and 24 to 48 hours on weekends. Please note that the more specific you are asking your questions or describing your issues, the more effectively and efficiently the eReference Desk can respond to you.

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How Do I Obtain Funds to Provide Internet Access at My School?


The archdiocese can help. The archdiocese has contracted with Funds For Learning® to help schools apply for the federal government’s E-rate program, which provides funds on a sliding scale to schools for access to the Internet. E-rate funds can pay for up to 90% of your school’s ordinary telephone and Internet bills. E-rate funds can also help your school install Internet access systems. Unfortunately, however, the E-rate program does not pay for non-network hardware such as computers or most computer software. For more information about Funds For Learning and E-rate, contact the archdiocesan technical evangelist at 213-637-7271. You can also ask the technical evangelist about the California Teleconnect Fund.

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Should My Parish or School Lease Hardware?


Perhaps your parish or school wants to acquire the latest electronic communications equipment for the parish staff and the students in our school. If you’re considering leasing one-to-one devices, letting staff and students take them home as needed, and allowing staff or parents/guardians to buy the devices from us on an installment payment plan, this raises many concerns.

The project you propose must be examined thoroughly by your parish and/or school leadership team and with the archdiocese to determine if leasing is appropriate for your needs and the equipment you are considering. You must first contact the archdiocesan Financial Services Department before beginning any negotiations with a vendor. The Location Technology Checklist is a useful checklist for decision-making.

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What Are the Software Requirements for My Parish?


The archdiocese doesn’t specify any particular software or service providers, but now that all archdiocesan locations are connected and served through the Archdiocesan Community Email Services (ACES), your software needs to be compatible with ACES.

However, if you’re considering signing up for or purchasing a service contract with an outside vendor, please call the eReference Desk at 213-637-7403 or email eReferencedesk@la-archdiocese.org.

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How Do I Configure My Parish or School Website?


Thank you for wanting to help your parish or school. If you are a volunteer, please ask the person in charge to contact the eReference Desk or the Office of the Legal Counsel before you do any work. You should also refer to the section on Websit​e Content​​.

If you are a member of the location’s staff, call the eReference Desk at 213-637-7403 or email eReferencedesk@la-archdiocese.org. The eReference Desk’s standard response time is 12 to 24 hours on weekdays and 24 to 48 hours on weekends. Please note that the more specific you are asking your questions or describing your issues, the more effectively and efficiently the eReference Desk can respond to you.

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What Is a Web Filter?


Location systems have installed Internet filtering software in an effort to block user access to prohibited content. However, no filtering software is immune to failure, which is why supervisors must continuously monitor usage. Before allowing minors to access the Internet, the supervisor must ensure that the filter is on, up-to-date, and functioning. (If you can get to a site that the filter should block, there’s a problem with the filtering.)

If you still have questions about the proper functioning, do not allow access to the system and then contact the Department of Applied Technology.

Under Acceptable Use and Responsibility Policy for Electronic Communications (“Archdiocesan AUP”), see Ownership and Control of Communications and Guidelines for Email Correspondence and Other Electronic Communications.

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WEBINARS

What Is a Webinar?


Using Microsoft Lync, you can set up conferences and conduct training via webinars. While usually seen at its most basic as a PowerPoint presentation with a voiceover, webinars can do much more, allowing groups to share videos, desktop applications, files, and annotated presentations, interacting in real time (e.g., through chats, polls, and whiteboards).

The system also supports session recording and playback. Webinars may be posted on the archdiocesan website; they also may be available for posting on other websites (e.g., for a parish, school, or other organization). In addition to content like polls and whiteboards, participants may be given access to the PowerPoint presentation itself, at the presenter’s discretion; and other attachments.

The webinar services are available to all staff, students, volunteers, and parishioners who are engaged in activities for an archdiocesan entity (such as a parish, school, cemetery, or another department). While used primarily for administrative ministry, these services can be used for any ministerial endeavor. The specific purposes that are appropriate for use of the webinar services are determined by the sponsoring entity in consultation with the webinar coordinator at the Archdiocesan Catholic Center.

For further questions about the use or scheduling of webinars, please contact the webinar coordinator at 213-637-7618.

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What Equipment Do I Need as a Presenter or Participant?


Presenters use computers to host a presentation. Presenters need both a microphone and speakers or a headset. They may choose to use the cameras on their computers to show their faces. There can be multiple presenters for a presentation.

Participants in a webinar use their own computers to listen to and see the presentation. In order to fully participate in the presentations, participants need to use a computer with both a microphone and speakers or a headset. They may either speak their questions or write them in the chat box on the side of the screen.

See Using Lync for Webinars​ for an introduction to webinars and the technical specifications for the equipment that participants need.

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What Does Webinar Preparation Involve?


The Archdiocesan Catholic Center provides the webinar invitation, as well as monitoring of the event, including recording (if requested) and addressing technical questions. While the webinar invitation is created by the webinar coordinator, publicizing the event and informing participants of the technical specifications needed to participate is the responsibility of the sponsoring entity.

If you’re a presenter, the technology team recommends that you practice your webinar before large or important events. Many pieces need to work together in collaborative technology and we do not want events to be delayed by technical difficulties. Make sure that all presenters and participants have systems that meet the requirements (including Internet connection that is fast enough, available ports/pipes for Lync, and compatible hardware and software, such as browser plug-ins when they are used) and feel comfortable with operational procedures (e.g., content sharing).

After it is announced that an event will be recorded, those who participate in webinars give consent to be recorded. The fact that the event will be recorded is stated before each event, informing people that they can disconnect (and view the event later online) if they do not want to be recorded.

To enable files to be posted for the event, files (such as the PowerPoint presentation, polling information, and any attachments) would have to be submitted at least three business days in advance, or earlier if a practice webinar is scheduled. It is the presenter’s decision whether the presentation itself is made available to participants after the fact.

For further questions about the use or scheduling of webinars, please contact the webinar coordinator at 213-637-7618.

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VIDEOCONFERENCING

Why Should I Use Videoconferencing?


The archdiocese first introduced videoconferencing to eliminate the time and expense of traveling to other pastoral regions to attend archdiocesan committee meetings. The archdiocese is now introducing webinars​.

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What Are the Recording and Broadcasting Guidelines When My Parish Uses Videoconferencing Equipment?


If your parish wants to use videoconferencing equipment to record liturgies, concerts, lectures, and presentations so they can be broadcast later. See the response to What Are the Guidelines for Posting Videos from a Parish Function?​, as the same guidelines apply.

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