New Office of Safe Environment Coordinator

Chet Dudzinski takes on new role

After retiring from his career as an attorney in May, Chet Dudzinski spent hours completing to-do projects around the house and traveling with his wife Linda across the country.

Now he’s decided to devote his time to the Byzantine Catholic Archeparchy of Pittsburgh as coordinator of the Office of Safe Environment. “I can only do so many home improvement projects, which we did a lot of in the last several months,” Chet said.

“I certainly was up for whatever the Archeparchy needed. It’s the perfect time in my life to move from a very high-stress part of my life to something where I can come in and give some time to the Church.”

Chet, a parishioner at St. Gregory in Upper St. Clair, Pa., replaces former coordinator Cindy Corbett, who he says left the Office in “tremendous shape.”

The Office of Safe Environment is a product of the Charter of Protection of Children and Young People, established in 2002 by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Chet said it was established to “take a very aggressive approach toward dealing with issues in the church and having a very responsive means by which we can make certain that we protect children to the best possible degree and that we absolutely can and do have action plans in the event something occurs.”

“This office primarily is there to make certain employees, volunteers, clergy, deacon candidates — anybody who has any exposure to children — pass their background checks and go through approporiate training,” he said. “It’s this office’s job to make sure everybody is fulfilling their obligations for the protection of youth.”

Chet was previously a member of the Office of Safe Environment Review Board, also established by the Charter as a consulting body to the Archbishop on policies and issues. He grew up in Erie, Pa. and he and Linda have three children: Kyle, Brittany and Ryan. Chet earned a degree at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law and previously worked as an attorney at Cipriani & Warner P.C.

“My first office had no windows and I shared it with a law clerk. And our offices were literally above a pizza shop. It was a small litigation firm at the time but fast-forward 29 years we grew to about 150 lawyers in seven states and D.C. and 11 offices.’ Chet says he’s happy with the changes in his life. “I’m new into this job. It’s a change in direction of my life but I’m in a position where I’m able to give back a little bit and offer my skills…I’m blessed to be able to use those skills.”