TOTUS TUUS: “TOTALLY YOURS”
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 already doing.
The methodology, structure, content, and enthusiasm of Totus Tuus is concerned not only with teaching the faith, but also igniting the hearts of the team members and young people. The result has been the formation of young adults who continue to dedicate themselves to the Church’s mission of evangelization.
The mission of Totus Tuus is to inspire in young people a true longing for holiness, a deep desire for daily conversion and an openness to their vocation by constantly challenging them to give themselves entirely to Christ through Mary and by continually strengthening their prayer lives in imitation of Her.
Totus Tuus, a Latin phrase meaning “totally yours,” was the motto of Blessed John Paul II. Taken from St. Louis de Montfort’s True Devotion to Mary, it signifies our desire to give ourselves entirely to Jesus Christ through Mary. It also expresses our effort to give our all to every young person we encounter. Through the teams’ example of joy and service, the youth see that these men and women are ON FIRE with the Catholic faith and long for the same thing in their lives.
Totus Tuus calls upon college students and seminarians from the Catholic Diocese of Jefferson City and across the United States to carry this mission to every young person they encounter in the parish program or at camp. Students are hired for their energy, enthusiasm, love for the faith, commitment to spiritual growth, ability to work with a team and a desire to work with youth.
Parish catechists are grouped into teams of four, each consisting of two men and two women, and are invited to a different parish every week for five weeks, where they conduct a week-long “parish mission,” teaching and inspiring the parish’s first through twelfth grade youth.
THE FIVE MARKS OF TOTUS TUUS
- Proclamation of the Gospel: To arouse faith
- Explanation: Examination of the reasons for our beliefs
- Christian Witness: An experience of Christian living
- Celebration of the Sacraments: Especially Holy Eucharist and Confession
- Active Witness: Participating in the Missionary Spirit of the Catholic Church
Totus Tuus joins the Church in her proclamation of the Gospel to arouse faith in the youth of the Catholic Diocese of Jefferson City. Ready with “an explanation … for the reason for your hope” (1 Peter 3:15), Totus Tuus catechists expound upon the reasons for our beliefs and share their personal testimonies with the young people.
Pope Paul VI wrote, “Modern man listens more willingly to witnesses than to teachers, and if he does listen to teachers, it is because they are witnesses” (Evangelii Nuntiandi, 41). With this in mind, Totus Tuus team members are immersed in a life of prayer and give witness to the fruits of that experience of Christian living to the youth.
Additionally, the daily schedule of the Totus Tuus catechist revolves around the Mass, the Sacraments and prayer. A summer given entirely to God and the young people of the Catholic Diocese of Wichita would not be possible otherwise.
THE FIVE PILLARS OF TOTUS TUUS
- The Eucharist
- Marian Devotion
- Catechetical Instruction
- Vocational Discernment
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 — provide the structure, but the celebration of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is the “source and summit” of the daily schedule.
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 her and to her, we hear her say to us, “Do whatever He tells you” (John 2:5).