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Totus Tuus summer catechetical program helps youths grow in faith, evangelize

Weeklong program to be held at 15 locations in June and July

Though summer may seem distant, parents are already making summer plans for their children. Totus Tuus, a program of the archdiocesan Office of Youth Ministry, is one option for children to grow in their faith and have fun.

This is the fourth year the archdiocese has offered Totus Tuus, a weeklong summer program dedicated to bringing youth into a relationship with Christ and the Church. Taught by college students and seminarians known as “missionaries,” participants learn what it means to share the Gospel and how to promote the faith through evangelization, catechesis, Christian witness and eucharistic worship. The program will be held at 15 locations in June and July of 2020. This year’s theme will be on the Commandments and the Glorious Mysteries of the Rosary.

There are two components: a day program for first- through sixth-graders, and an evening program for seventh- through 12th-graders. Missionary teachers travel from parish to parish and stay with host families while presenting the program.

For both the day and evening program, every aspect of Totus Tuus is infused with an invitation to conversion and forming disciples, said Joe Dobrynski, coordinator of faith programs with Youth Ministry Office. Participants will learn why and how to pray, participating in the sacraments, understanding the teachings of the Church and authentic friendship, “all of which are done in an engaging fun atmosphere so every youth can hear and respond joyfully to the Lord,” Dobrynski said.

Totus Tuus is Latin for “Totally Yours,” St. John Paul II’s motto, taken from St. Louis de Montfort’s “True Devotion to Mary.” The program has a noted Marian focus, with a different theme every year that ties into Marian devotions, such as the Rosary.

The program was introduced in the Wichita, Kansas Diocese in the 1980s when Father Bernard X. Gorges — then a seminarian — taught a catechetical summer program to elementary grade students. Missionary teachers who lead the program undergo training in Lincoln, Neb.

Dobrynski said there are still openings for two college-age men to join as missionary teachers. Missionaries are provided training and a paid stipend and have many opportunities for personal and spiritual growth.

Totus Tuus locations for summer 2020

Please contact the individual parish for cost and registration information:

June 1-5

St. Joseph, Imperial

Our Lady of Lourdes, Washington

Holy Infant, Ballwin

June 8-12

St. Patrick, Wentzville

June 15-19

St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, Oakville

Ascension, Chesterfield

Our Lady of Guadalupe, Ferguson

June 22-26

St. Genevieve, Ste. Genevieve

Queen of All Saints, Oakville

July 6-10

Holy Cross Academy parishes (St. Michael, St. John Paul II, Annunciation, Seven Holy Founders and Our Lady of Providence), to be held on the campus of Annunciation in Webster Groves

St. Gabriel, St. Louis

July 13-17

St. Gerard Majella, Kirkwood

Immaculate Conception, Dardenne Prairie

July 20-24

Sacred Heart, Valley Park

All Saints, St. Peters

For more information about Totus Tuus

see stlyouth.org/totustuus, call Joe Dobrynski at (314) 792-7613 or email [email protected].

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