Totus Tuus Experiences
My name is Bailey and my home parish is Saint Patrick’s in Oak Grove, MN. This last summer, I was a member of one of the Totus Tuus teams for the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis. I decided to teach Totus Tuus because I wanted to be able to share my faith with the youth of the Archdiocese and grow personally in my own faith as well. One of my favorite things about Totus Tuus is seeing how excited the children are to learn about the faith. Surprisingly, the children can understand the concepts that we taught very well (Virtues and Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary). I like to say that the children are like little sponges. They absorb up everything with regards to the faith. The three goals of Totus Tuus are to pray more, learn more, and to have FUN! I truly believe all of the youth achieve those goals throughout the week of Totus Tuus. I would highly encourage all youth to participate in the Totus Tuus program. If you are a college age student, I would encourage you to pray about if God is calling you to give a summer to teach Totus Tuus.
One of my favorite moments from the summer that kept me going as a Totus Tuus teacher was teaching a class on the Eucharist. I was teaching a 5th/6th grade class of all boys. There were only 5 of them so the class was nice for a conversation lesson. During my lesson on the Eucharist, I started telling them stories of different Eucharist Miracles. The boys were listening very intently and their mouths practically dropped when they heard about the power of God through the Eucharist. All of the boys were Altar servers at Mass. One of the boys stated that it was so amazing to be able to serve Jesus Himself at Mass!
It is through stories like these that make me excited about my faith. I then realize that this is the reason why I believe God is calling me to become a youth minister so that I might share the love of Christ with other people that I meet.
About Totus Tuus
Totus Tuus (Latin for Totally Yours) is a parish based summer catechetical program inspired by Saint John Paul II for grade schoolers and high schoolers supported by the Archdiocesan Office of Marriage Family and Life. Teams of four (two college students and two seminarians) are sent to participating parishes in the Archdiocese, serving for a week in each parish Sunday-Thursday. In the summer of 2015 there were 3 teams and they went to 18 parishes.
Grade schoolers meet during the day, high schoolers in the evening. The grade school program has catechetical instruction, songs, games, daily Mass, opportunity for Confess, lunch, and recess. The week ends with a gigantic water fight or a human ice cream Sunday (one of the volunteers!) The high school program includes a night of Adoration, opportunity for Confession, catechetical instruction, and a night of fellowship.
The Five Marks of Totus Tuus:
- Proclamation of the Gospel
- 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 Church
The Five Pillars of Totus Tuus:
- The Eucharist
- Marian Devotion
- Catechetical Instruction
- Vocational Discernment