Monday, 14 August 2023 13:02

Totus Tuus brings nearly 700 children closer to our faith

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08 20 2023 tutus tuus recapThis was a common scene at all the parishes that hosted Totus Tuus this summer as children learned about the Catholic faith. Here, teacher Martin McGrath, also a seminarian of our diocese, discusses the Mass, with one young boy representing the priest. Photo by Rose KehoeTotus Tuus brings nearly 700 children closer to our faith

Totus Tuus, a popular weeklong faith-based program that was hosted by nine parishes this summer across our diocese, was about one thing: getting children to better understand our Catholic faith so they can grow more richly in their relationship with God. Whether it was going to daily Mass and receiving the Eucharist, going to confession, learning the mysteries of the rosary, eucharistic adoration, or reading the Bible, among other religious based activities, Totus Tuus combined faith and fun (games, funny skits, and outside activities) so children not only stayed engaged, but more fully learned about the beauty of the Catholic faith and the sacraments.

This summer, nearly 700 children participated, about 100 of which were in grades 7-12. Nine missionaries (college-aged students) formed two teams that traveled week to week to different parishes in the diocese, leading the program. 

“All three of my kids came back every day exhausted but happy,” said Elena Tejeda. “I heard them recount their day and the various faith centered activities they did, but what stood out was the impact of a member of the Totus Tuus team in each memory. At Totus Tuus, my kids were able to see joy filled people who love their faith as much as they do, it was inspiring to them.” 

Parishes hosting Totus Tuus this year were St. Francis Solanus (Quincy), Sacred Heart (Effingham), St. Boniface (Edwardsville), Our Lady of Lourdes (Decatur), Holy Family (Granite City), St. Isidore (Dieterich), St. Katharine Drexel (Springfield), St. Mary (Paris), and St. John the Evangelist (Carrollton).

The Office of Vocations for the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois, which helps organize Totus Tuus, is hoping for at least three teams of missionaries next year which will allow for more parishes in the diocese to host Totus Tuus.  

“The missionaries were absolutely amazing, the parishes were wonderful, and we’d love to welcome additional parishes to join next year,” said Daniel Heffernan, director of Totus Tuus. “The feedback we’ve received has been awesome as the experience really impacted children in a positive and holy way. Authentic friendships were formed, positive memories created, and faith boosted —a refreshing combination in today’s world.” 

Stay tuned next spring and summer to sign up your child for Totus Tuus