PORTLAND — Hundreds of Maine teens and children will have the opportunity to participate in a weeklong Catholic youth program (grades 1-12) dedicated to teaching the Gospel and deepening love for God and the Church.
Totus Tuus will be presented in 10 Maine communities during the summer. The program, organized by the Diocese of Portland’s Office of Vocations, leads participants on an age-appropriate encounter with the timeless treasures of the Catholic faith through dynamic and faith-filled content that inspires young people to live the call of the Gospel in today’s world.
Teams of men and women, including seminarians and college students, are hired each year through a rigorous selection process and spend the first two weeks of the summer in training. In collaboration with local pastors and parish coordinators, the teams spends the remainder of the summer traveling throughout the diocese conducting the program.
Totus Tuus features daily Mass, prayer, classroom teaching, lunch, games and more. Social distancing and a wide range of protocols that have worked successfully at Maine’s Catholic schools in offering five days per week of in-person instruction this year will also be utilized during the summer program.
Here is the 2021 Totus Tuus schedule in Maine (all are welcome to register for any location):
St. John Vianney Parish in Fort Kent
St. Joseph Parish in Farmington
June 27-July 2
St. Mary of the Visitation Parish in Houlton
Corpus Christi Parish in Waterville
Good Shepherd Parish in Saco
Parish of the Precious Blood in Caribou
St. Paul the Apostle Parish in Bangor
Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish in Windham
Prince of Peace Parish in Lewiston
All Saints Parish in Brunswick
“Totus Tuus ego sum et omnia mea tua sunt” (“I am totally yours, and all that I have is yours”) begins the episcopal motto of the St. John Paul II.
“With these words, John Paul II inspired and continues to inspire men and women from all over the world to entrust their lives completely to Jesus Christ through the Virgin Mary,” said Fr. Seamus Griesbach, director of the Office of Vocations. “Mary’s total devotion to the will of the Father is the model for Totus Tuus, as it seeks to respond to John Paul II’s urgent call for a ‘New Evangelization.’ We hope to instill these virtues in the young people.”
To register or for more information about the program, visit www.portlanddiocese.org/vocations/totustuus. The cost is $50 per student with a maximum of $100 per family.
The program, originally developed in the Diocese of Wichita, Kansas, has proven to be successful in explaining the teachings of the Catholic Church to young people in both rural and urban settings. Participation in the program has exceeded 200,000 people in the U.S.
“Wichita is a rural diocese not unlike our own in many ways,” said Fr. Griesbach. “Whereas programs sometimes tend to come out of larger metropolitan archdioceses, this program is really well-suited to smaller parishes in the sense that it’s really an attempt to help provide resources to parishes to do a summer program that they otherwise might not be able to do. It has been and continues to be really well received in Maine parishes. After having to postpone last year due to the pandemic, we are looking forward to having Totus Tuus back this summer.”