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Wendy and Ivan

“The most important thing for me is knowing that every person that takes this class is a person that will speak up for my children, for my neighbor’s children or for someone else’s children.”

Wendy Borjas

Protecting children and the most vulnerable among us is one of the most important objectives not only for the Archdiocese of Denver but also for the entire Church.

Through regular archdiocesan Safe Environment training, that goal continues to be fulfilled. The training seeks to ensure that the children in our communities of faith are safe by informing the community so we can work to prevent all types of abuse.

Normally offered in English, the program has expanded to include Spanish-language classes thanks to Wendy Borjas and Iván Michel, parishioners of Our Lady Mother of the Church Parish in Commerce City. The first couple of Spanish-language instructors, they are committed to bringing this valuable information to the Hispanic community. Thanks to their dedication, 500 individuals have been trained over the last four years.

A few years ago, while serving in the Catholic Christian Family Movement (Movimiento Familiar Cristiano Católico in Spanish), they, like many, were required to take the Safe Environments training in order to become youth coordinators. They remember how difficult it was to find a Spanish-language course, which would help them serve their community better with such vital information.

“We struggled a lot to find someone who could give the class in Spanish. We are the first couple to give the training, not as individuals but as a couple,” Wendy shared.

“We go everywhere we’re needed. We have given the training online and in various parishes. Wherever we are called, we’re there,” added Iván.

Serving as Safe Environment instructors has helped Wendy and Iván tremendously, including in their own family and personal lives. With every person that attends each class, Wendy and Iván see a change in our society, all in the interest of protecting our children.

“The most important thing for me is knowing that every person that takes this class is a person that will speak up for my children, for my neighbor’s children or for someone else’s children,” Wendy said. “That person won’t stay silent because they know how to respond.”

Although the Safe Environments class is a requirement for volunteering in archdiocesan ministries, parishes, and schools, as well as for employees of the Archdiocese of Denver, it is a valuable resource for the faithful to learn how to protect the children, elderly, and other vulnerable adults in our society.

“This class has helped us grow as parents, too,” Wendy added. “It has helped us to teach our children that no one has the right to touch them, whether they are family or even us as parents.”

In recognition of their hard work and incredible service to the community, Wendy and Iván have been recognized as this month’s Archbishop’s Catholic Appeal Disciple of the Month. Thanks to their dedication and service, hundreds have had the opportunity to learn more and to equip themselves in this vital work.

“They are so committed to this ministry and have been a God-send for our Spanish classes,” said Alex Kwan, Coordinator of the Office of Minor and At-Risk Adult Protection. “We have received so many incredible comments about the trainings they give. I had the opportunity of sitting in on one of their classes and was impressed by how well they had prepared.”

“What kind of Catholic are you? A Catholic who wants to chug along with the faith they were given, or one that wants to make a difference? There is a real need out there, not just with this ministry. There are so many youth groups, evangelization groups and other ministries that also really need help,” concluded Iván as he encouraged others to volunteer and give back to their communities.

Congratulations, Wendy and Iván, for being the Archbishop’s Catholic Appeal Disciple of the Month!

If you know someone else who is courageously spreading the Gospel, please share his or her story with us at and they may become the next “Disciple of the Month.”

The Archbishop’s Catholic Appeal funds over 40 ministries that are sharing the Gospel every day.