By Katrina Genereux/Staff Writer, OND
After 10 years of service and a recent biking accident, Louann McGlynn retired from the role of Victims’ Assistance Coordinator for the Diocese of Crookston. She described her time working with the diocese as joyful.
Cindy Hulst of Cathedral, Crookston, started as the diocesan Victims’ Assistance Coordinator on Sept. 1.
“There couldn’t be a better person to take my place than Cindy,” McGlynn said. “She will be wonderful in the position and I am very happy about it.”
Hulst, a licensed social worker, was born in Little Falls, Minn., and moved to Crookston for a job as a social worker with Polk County Social Services after graduating from Bemidji State University.
She married her husband, Robbie Hulst, in 1985. They have two adult sons, Elliott and Ethan.
She has been employed at Villa St. Vincent in Crookston for 30 years. She started as a social worker and housing manager, and is now the Foundation Development Director.
Hulst also served on the Diocesan Review Board for more than a decade.
The victims’ assistance coordinator is an independent contractor employed by the Diocese of Crookston. The diocesan Safe Environment Policy states that the coordinator is, “entrusted with the task of providing support, outreach and referrals for professional assistance to persons who report having been sexually abused as children or young people, by clergy or by diocesan or parish personnel or volunteers.” The policy also states, “The victim’s assistance coordinator does not determine the truthfulness of the reports he or she receives.”
Hulst is available to help alleged victims make a formal complaint to the diocese, arrange a personal meeting with the Bishop or his representative and coordinate assistance for the immediate pastoral care of an alleged victim. Working with the vicar general, she can assist in obtaining support for them including counseling, spiritual assistance, support groups or other needed services. Hulst is also available to assist any person reporting suspicions of sexual abuse to civil and church authorities.
“The pain, shame, embarrassment, fear and lack of trust issues that sexual abuse victims experience often takes a lifetime to recover from,” Hulst said. “If I can serve some small part in facilitating healing, then that will be for the greater good of our Church.”
If you or someone you know has been the victim of sexual misconduct on the part of a priest, deacon, or individual representing the Diocese of Crookston, its parishes, or its schools, please contact Hulst at 218-281-7895 (24-hour confidential number).