SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Springfield Bishop William Byrne held a news conference introducing the new director of the Office of Safe Environment and Victim Assistance.

The Diocese conducted a nationwide search to replace Jeffrey Trant when he left the position but ended up finding the perfect candidate right here in western Massachusetts.

Michael Collins was introduced as the new director. He is a Springfield native graduating from Cathedral High School and holds degrees from Western New England and Westfield State Universities. After school, he worked for 26 years as a licensed social worker even serving as the area director for the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families.

“For me, it’s always been how am I helping people how am I helping the community. With that you see signs of progress and see people come back and serve their communities.” Michael Collins

The Diocese encourages anyone who has been a victim of sexual abuse by representatives including clergy, educators, employees, and volunteers of the Roman Catholic Church to contact Collins’ office at 413-452-0624, confidentially at 800-842-9055 or email reportabuse@diospringfield.org.

Collins added that they are still following the strategic action plan put forward by a special task force in 2021. He called the four-year plan which runs through 2024 a blessing.