Totus Tuus, Totally Yours
By KATIE LEFEBVRE, Globe staff reporter
Once again, it is time for parishes and young adults to think about participating in Totus Tuus, Totally Yours, a summer Catholic youth program.
Totus Tuus is dedicated to sharing the Gospel and promoting the Catholic faith through evangelization, catechesis, Christian witness and Eucharistic worship.
Twenty-four parishes will have the opportunity to host Totus Tuus over six weeks this next summer. Some registrations have already come in, noted Karmen Darwin, assistant diocesan director of youth catechesis and evangelization, but dates have not been assigned.
“At this point, we are just asking parishes to send us the dates that work best for them. With four slots per week, we have a good chance of giving them one of their top picks,” she said.
The main topics for the summer of 2014 will be the Ten Commandments and the Luminous Mysteries of the rosary.
“What’s really nice for the parishes is that we organize the curriculum and we train the teachers,” said Darwin. “What the parishes have to do is find two host families for the teachers to stay with and find families to provide meals for the teachers. They advertise the program to the youth and families of their parish. They are also available during the week Totus Tuus is being held.”
She said Totus Tuus is a great summer opportunity for youth to attend “a day camp. Four really on fire young people are coming to the parish, and they can be such great witnesses to everyone in the parish.”
“I would encourage parents, who might be really interested in having their parish host Totus Tuus, to offer to volunteer,” said Darwin. “For our directors of religious education and youth ministers, who put in a lot of time throughout the year, it is sometimes nice to have a parent or outside volunteer really offer to take on the bulk of the work.”
The initial deadline for parishes to register is Feb. 4. However, it is possible there will be slots still available after that date for parishes to register. A $750 deposit is required to reserve a date and parishes may request their top three dates. Forms are available on the Diocese of Sioux City website at www.scdiocese.org/totustuus.
The diocese is seeking eight young men and eight young women, college students and seminarians from the diocese and across the United States, to facilitate Totus Tuus.
Students are hired for their energy, enthusiasm, love for the faith, commitment to spiritual growth, ability to work with a team and desire to work with youth.
“We are looking for someone who is very serious in practicing their Catholic faith,” said Darwin. “We are looking for people who have a heart to serve other people.”
To apply, the applicant must, be a high school graduate, be a practicing and confirmed Catholic, have a working knowledge of the Catholic faith and have a desire to work with youth.
“I always think our teams do the best when we have a variety of personality types,” said Darwin. “I think Totus Tuus can be over whelming for someone who is kind of introverted. You are always socializing with families and parishioners. I really do think that everyone ends up finding their place on the team. We need people with all different talents.”
She said this includes people who are positive, who can work on a team and who are able to be confident in presenting information to others.
“We provide training at the beginning of the summer. We give you all of the content and curriculum you are going to need to teach the youth,” said Darwin.
Training begins May 29 and runs about a week and a half. There are three weeks of teaching in the parishes, a mid-summer break the week of June 28-July 5, three more weeks in parishes and the summer ends with Totus Tuus Camp from July 25-29.
All teachers receive a stipend for the summer and housing and the majority of meals are provided.
“Once you have Totus Tuus on your resume you can say you have worked with a team for an entire summer, you have gained presentation skills and you have gained the ability to converse with people of all ages,” said Darwin. “It provides a good formation program on a human level and on the spiritual level as well. You are spending the whole summer growing closer to Christ. It can be a really powerful experience.”
Teacher applications are available on the diocesan website. The deadline is Feb. 4. Darwin pointed out while they like receiving applications from within the diocese, applications are accepted from anywhere. Interviews will be held in March.
Information about Totus Tuus is provided on the diocesan website at www.scdiocese.org/totustuus. Questions may be directed to Darwin at (712) 233-7532 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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