What is Totus Tuus?
Totus Tuus is a summer Catholic youth program dedicated to sharing the Gospel and promoting the Catholic Faith through evangelization, catechesis, Christian witness, and Eucharistic worship. Our week-long Parish Summer Catechetical Program assists parents and parishes in the evangelizing and catechizing of their youth by supplementing the work they are currently doing. The methodology, structure, content, and enthusiasm of Totus Tuus are concerned not only with teaching the Faith, but also igniting the hearts of the team members and the young people they encounter. (totustuus.church)
Click here for a brief overview of what makes Totus Tuus such a special program!
Totus Tuus is open to students entering grades 1st-5th in the fall. Each day runs 9am-3pm, and is filled with teachings, Sacraments, games, and much more! Participants will need to bring a sack lunch each day; snacks will be provided.
For more information, please contact Carol Wilmes, Coordinator of Religious Education, at email@example.com or 314.878.2120, ext. 17.
Please do not wait to register because of financial hardship. We will never refuse a family access to parish programs due to inability to pay. Please contact our pastor, Father Aidan McDermott, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 314.878.2120 ext. 12 - all communication will be kept confidential.
Keep scrolling for a peek at the fun from this past summer (July 25-29, 2022)!
First Pillar of Totus Tuus: The Eucharist
The Eucharist has pride of place in the Totus Tuus schedule, for both team members and participants. Prayer—the Liturgy of the Hours, the Rosary, the Angelus, the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, and Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament—provides the structure, but the celebration of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is the "source and summit" of every day.
Fr. Aidan McDermott, OSB (pictured) was one of several priests to celebrate Mass for us this week! Our missionaries and participants all gathered for Mass together every day before lunch, making it the center of the day.
Second Pillar of Totus Tuus: Marian Devotion
Totus Tuus catechists and counselors will lead the young people to Jesus for a week; however, Mary will lead them to Jesus for a lifetime. Therefore, Totus Tuus promotes Marian devotion. Meditating on the mysteries of the Rosary, we come to see how Mary always leads us to her Son. Praying with and to her, we hear her say to us, "Do whatever He tells you" (John 2:5).
Led by our Youth Minister Courtney Rockamann (pictured) and her awesome teens, our Totus Tuus Minis (ages 3-5) learned about a new Joyful Mystery of the rosary every day of Totus Tuus. The morning coloring page was always the first clue as to what mystery they'd be hearing about that day!
The Third Pillar of Totus Tuus: Catechesis
An authentic catechesis provides the foundation of the program’s teaching. Totus Tuus instructs young people in the basic tenets of the Catholic faith to cultivate both a firm intellectual grounding and a solid relationship with Jesus. All of our teaching aims to help young people grow in understanding, strengthen their faith, and, most of all, develop an intimate friendship with Jesus Christ.
Totus Tuus week always involves a lot of singing, dancing, and laughing! Our wonderful college-age missionaries have a gift for leading small group discussions and short talks with just as much joy and energy as when they're teaching the group some goofy new dance moves, which is a beautiful way to show the JOY of our faith!
The Fourth Pillar of Totus Tuus: Vocational Discernment
Totus Tuus strives to foster Christian vocations by encouraging young people to begin discerning God’s call in their life to be married, a priest, a religious, or single. Team members sign a "covenant" in which they promise to be open to and actively discern God’s will for them. Because they are striving to live an authentic Christian life and are actively discerning their vocation, they can better help the youth to do the same.
You're never too young to start growing closer to Christ! Our Minis were awed to learn that Jesus is a light inside of them, and they all absorbed that beautiful knowledge by holding up their candles while singing "This Little Light of Mine", just sitting and listening, or in one little guy's case, singing, "I'm gonna let it SHINE!" at the top of his lungs! Following the light of Christ as they grow older will lead them to a beautiful vocation planned specially for them by God.
The Fifth Pillar of Totus Tuus: Fun!
Finally, Totus Tuus demonstrates that we can be faithful Catholics and still have plenty of fun! Morning "pump-ups", silly skits and songs, recess, games, sports, and water fights infuse the element of fun into the program. Teachers are enthusiastic about the faith and use creative stories and demonstrations to convey the material.
For the last day's grand finale, one of the missionaries was chosen by popular vote for the honor of being turned into a human sundae, complete with syrup, marshmallows, frosting, and LOTS of sprinkles!
What's the best thing to do after turning one of your missionary leaders into a human sundae (complete with syrup, sprinkles, and a cherry on top)? A giant water fight on the soccer field, of course, with tubs of water for refills, the sprinklers turned on, and water balloons everywhere!