These five marks serve as indicators of the Catholicity of the Totus Tuus program. A longing for true holiness, being open to daily conversion, and exploring one’s vocation happen when each of these marks is witnessed by the young people who attend a week of Totus Tuus.
- Catechesis – a comprehensive proclamation of the Gospel and Church teachings
- Eucharistic Devotion – a central focus on Jesus Christ in the Blessed Sacrament
- Marian Devotion – to inspire all to take Mary as their model and Pray the Rosary
- Vocational Discernment – encouraging youth to discern their vocation through the pursuit of holiness and conversion
- Christian Witness – an experience of joyful Christian living from a team of missionaries
An authentic catechesis, rooted in an orderly and systematic explanation of God’s revelation of Himself through the person of Jesus Christ, provides the foundation of the program’s teaching. Totus Tuus instructs young people in the basic tenets of the Catholic Faith to cultivate both a firm intellectual grounding and a solid relationship with Jesus. All of our teaching aims to help young people grow in the understanding of, strengthen their Faith in, and, most importantly, develop an intimate friendship with Jesus Christ.
The Eucharist has pride of place in the Totus Tuus schedule, for both team members and youth. The Liturgy of the Hours, the Rosary, the Angelus, the Chaplet of Divine Mercy and Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament provide the structure, but the celebration of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is the “source and summit” of the daily schedule.
Totus Tuus teachers will lead the young people to Jesus for a week; however, Mary will lead them to Jesus for a lifetime. Therefore, Totus Tuus promotes Marian devotion. Meditating on the mysteries of the Rosary, we come to see how Mary always leads us to her Son. Praying with her and to her, we hear her say to us, “Do whatever He tells you” (John 2:5).
Totus Tuus strives to foster vocations by encouraging young people to begin discerning God’s call in their life to be married, a priest, a religious or a consecrated single. Team members sign a “covenant” in which they promise to be open to and actively discern God’s will for them. Because they are striving to live an authentic Christian life and are actively discerning their vocation, they can better help the youth to do the same.
Totus Tuus teachers witness to the reasons for our beliefs and share their personal testimonies with the young people. Pope Paul VI wrote, “Modern man listens more willingly to witnesses than to teachers, and if he does listen to teachers, it is because they are witnesses” (Evangelii Nuntiandi, 41). With this in mind, Totus Tuus team members are immersed in a life of prayer and give witness to the fruits of that experience of Christian living to the youth. Totus Tuus joins the Church in her proclamation of the Gospel to arouse faith in the youth. Ready with “an explanation…for the reason for your hope” (1 Peter 3:15),