Totus Tuus - Totally Yours
Totus Tuus is a week-long Catholic summer "parish mission" program for youth in 1st - 12th grade that is dedicated to sharing the Gospel and promoting the Catholic faith through Catechetical Instruction, Christian Witness, Vocational Discernment, Marian Devotion, and Eucharistic Worship.
The mission of Totus Tuus is to inspire young people to be disciples of Jesus Christ through a true longing for holiness, a deep desire for daily conversion, and a total openness to their vocation. Participants see this mission accomplished by being challenged to give themselves entirely to Christ through Mary, and by strengthening their prayer lives in imitation of her.
Goals of Totus Tuus
To develop a true longing for holiness through our relationship with Jesus Christ
An intimate friendship with Jesus is essential so that we may lead young people to the love of the Father (cf. John 14:6-7). To accomplish this goal, the Totus Tuus program emphasizes devotion and love for our Lord through participation in the Eucharist and devotion to Mary, our Mother. The team members that serve Totus Tuus are chosen for their ability to be good role models because they, too, are striving for holiness in their relationship with Jesus and His Church.
To be open to daily conversion through solid catechetical instruction
The foundation of Totus Tuus is authentic catechesis (cf. Luke 6:46-49). It is through catechetical instruction and the witness of faith of the team members that participants are inspired to make a daily commitment to be a disciple of Jesus Christ. To ensure authentic catechesis, the Catechism of the Catholic Church is the textbook for team formation and training.
To foster an openness to exploring one’s vocation
Openness to one’s vocational call is accomplished by placing special emphasis on the importance and necessity of living an authentic life of Christian discipleship. One of the program philosophies of Totus Tuus is that vocations, callings from God, can be heard and responded to only if one is living an authentic Christian life (cf. Mark 9:34-38). The teachers for Totus Tuus model this lifestyle by promising to be open to God’s will for themselves and to actively discern God’s call in their lives. Because teachers are striving to live an authentic Christian life and are actively discerning their own vocation, they can better help young people do the same.
To have fun!!!
Being a disciple of Jesus Christ is a fun and joyful experience. Living and authentic Christian life means saying “YES!” to things that will give us life to the fullest and “NO!” to choices that lead to sin and despair (cf. John 10:10b). Totus Tuus strives to demonstrate the joy of living the Gospel through the relationships that are built and by showing participants that living the Gospel is a source of great joy despite our imperfections and human weaknesses.
Five Marks of Totus Tuus
These five marks serve as reminders of the catholicity of the Totus Tuus program. A longing for true holiness, being open to daily conversion, and exploring one’s vocation happen when each of these marks is witnessed by the young people who come to Totus Tuus.
- Proclamation of the Gospel – to arouse the Faith
- Apologetics – examination of the reasons for our beliefs
- Christian Witness – an experience of Christian living
- Sacraments – especially Eucharist and Confession
- Evangelization – an active witness of the missionary nature of the Church
Understanding that all we do as Catholics is intrinsically linked with the whole of the liturgical and sacramental life of the Church. Totus Tuus offers daily participation in Reconciliation and the Eucharist. It is in the sacraments, especially in the Eucharist, that Jesus Christ works most fully for the transformation of all.
Celebrating Mass and Reconciliation for Totus Tuus daily can be a lot to ask of priests who are already so busy. However, celebrating these sacraments is essential to Totus Tuus. Experience shows that celebrating and participating in the sacraments on such an intimate level is of tremendous benefit for all. The Totus Tuus teachers strive to help the children participate fully and actively in the liturgy. Therefore, celebrating Mass and offering Reconciliation is the most important part of the Totus Tuus experience.