May 13, 2014 // Local

Schmid appointed to National Review Board

Donald J. Schmid

GRANGER — A diocesan resident has been appointed to the National Review Board of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. That board collaborates with the bishops’ conference in preventing the sexual abuse of minors by persons in the service of the Church.

Donald J. Schmid of Granger, an assistant U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Indiana, was nominated by Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades of the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend. His appointment was announced May 1 by Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, president of the bishops’ conference.

Schmid is the father of three children and a graduate of the University of Notre Dame. He has been a prosecutor with the Department of Justice since 1994 and has served on the diocesan review board since 2009. He also has served on the review board for the Midwest and United States Provinces of the Congregation of Holy Cross for several years.

Bishop Rhoades told Today’s Catholic that he nominated Schmid for the National Review Board because of his “excellent” service on the Diocesan Review Board.

“Donald’s expertise and counsel have been a great help to me and our diocese in our youth protection efforts,” Bishop Rhoades said. “His professional background and experience are extremely helpful, together with his good judgment and insight in these difficult matters. He has been a great help in the development of our diocesan policies for youth protection as well.”

Schmid will join two other new appointees for a four-year term on the 12-member national board: Judge Mary. K. Huffman of Centerville, Ohio, and Nelle Moriarty, a marriage and family therapist in Rochester, Minn., who chairs the review board of the Diocese of Winona, Minn.

The board meets several times a year in locales around the country. Some of its duties include: Advising the bishops’ Committee for the Protection of Children and Young People on matters of child and youth protection, specifically on policies and best practices; reviewing the work of the Secretariat of Child and Youth Protection and making recommendations to its director; advising the bishops’ Committee for the Protection of Children and Young People on the annual diocesan audit process prescribed in the bishops’ Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, including methods, scope and personnel; and making appropriate recommendations to prevent sexual abuse of minors.

Schmid told Today’s Catholic that he was “genuinely looking forward” to working on the national board.

“I hope to bring my experience and judgment as an attorney and prosecutor, as well as my experience and expertise with restorative justice practices, to assist the board in its role to advise and consult with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and specifically the conference’s Committee on the Protection of Children and Young People,” Schmid said.

He told Today’s Catholic that he has considerable experience dealing with priest sexual abuse against children in his role as a member of the two local review boards. Schmid said that he was well aware of the work of the national board through his colleague on the diocesan board, Susan Steibe-Pasalich, who has served a term on the national board.

Steibe-Pasalich, who is director of the Counseling Center at Notre Dame, told Today’s Catholic, “As a former member of the National Review Board, I have experienced how strongly the bishops of the United States rely on the advice of this body of laity in terms of protecting children.”

Donald Schmid, she said, will be an excellent addition to that board.

“As we have worked together on our Diocesan Review Board, I have personally witnessed his keen legal expertise, his strong leadership skills in helping to revise our diocesan guidelines and policies for addressing reports of sexual abuse, and his caring manner which draws others to carefully listen,” she said. “Donald is an insightful and critical thinker who is committed to his faith, and who will generously share his gifts on the national level.”

Bishop Rhoades said that both Schmid and Steibe-Pasalich have given “outstanding” service to the diocesan board. Not only will Schmid’s expertise be helpful on the national level, the bishop said, but “Our diocese will also benefit since Donald will be able to share with us the experience of best practices and insights from the National Review Board.”

Schmid will begin his service on the National Review Board June 1.

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