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Diocese moves Totus Tuus program online

Courtesy photo The 2020 Diocese of Marquette Totus Tuus teams pose for a photo.

MARQUETTE — St. Cecilia, St. Francis of Assisi, and St. John Henry Newman are sharing their stories and coming into homes throughout the Upper Peninsula via YouTube.

The saint skits are part of this year’s digital programming led by Totus Tuus missionaries for the Diocese of Marquette. The three teams typically travel throughout the U.P. for the summer, sharing the Gospel and promoting the Catholic faith through evangelization, catechesis, Eucharistic worship, and Christian witness to youth.

The Totus Tuus program started in the Diocese of Wichita in the 1980s and normally involves four-person teams of young adults traveling from parish to parish. The COVID-19 pandemic led Fr. Ben Hasse, vocations director for the diocese, to look to God for a new plan.

“The Totus Tuus program has been tremendously fruitful for us as a diocese since 2013. The prospect of having to cancel the program this summer was really discouraging. After a lot of prayer and discussion, we decided to take it online. It’s been an adventure, but completely worth the effort,” he said.

Totus Tuus Digital 2020 was created. With saint skits, videos reenacting the mysteries of the rosary, lessons about the Ten Commandments, and silly songs, the missionaries have created a virtual learning opportunity for youth not only in the U.P. but even across the country. To date, the program has subscribers in 12 states.

Totus Tuus, a Latin phrase meaning “totally yours,” was the motto of Saint Pope John Paul the Great. The phrase was taken from St. Louis de Montfort’s “True Devotion to Mary” and it signifies the longing and desire to give oneself entirely to Jesus through Mary. Totus Tuus calls upon college students and seminarians from the Diocese of Marquette to carry the mission to children and families.

Zack Mazurek, who just completed his first year of seminary at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit, served last summer as a Totus Tuus team leader and this summer is serving as the Totus Tuus intern.

“This program is not only beneficial to the students we reach but also is transformative for us as missionaries as we pursue our relationship with Jesus more closely and try to live it out,” he said. “I have grown in so many ways this summer and realized how important it is to trust the Lord in all things.”

Missionaries have developed original video content that is sent out each week to subscribers. These video lessons are geared toward kindergarten through 12th grade students, and are used by catechists and parents with their students.

In addition to the pre-recorded videos, Totus Tuus Digital 2020 will offer live events on Zoom from July 28-31. These events will offer students the chance to interact directly with the missionaries, to ask the “saints” questions, and to sing the silly songs together. They are open to anyone, but people must register to receive all the details as well as the Zoom meeting links for that week.

To register for the Live Zoom gatherings, visit mtucatholic.org/ttparishzoom.

2020 Diocese of Marquette Totus Tuus Teams

Totus Tuus Intern: Zack Mazurek (seminarian, hometown Bessemer)

Team Fr. Jacques

Marquette, S.J.

Team Leader: Cassie Zimmer (college student, hometown Grand Rapids)

Team Co-Leader: Ethan Wilcox (seminarian, hometown Quinnesec)

Erin Brooks (college student, hometown Parnell, Mich)

Ben Gregory (recent graduate, hometown Troy, Mich.)

Alex Peters (seminarian for the Diocese of Winona, hometown Kasson, Minn.)

Grace Theoret (college student, hometown Cannonsburg, Mich.)

Team Venerable Frederic Baraga

Team Leader: Drew Langton (seminarian, hometown South Rockwood, Mich.)

Co-Leader: Grace Howard (college student, hometown Bruce Crossing, Mich.)

Erin Linderoth (college student, hometown Escanaba)

Richard Nalette III (seminarian, hometown Newberry)

Ben Steary (college student, hometown Taylor, Mich.)

Team St. Kateri Tekakwitha

Team Leader: Jessica Paling (college student, hometown, Iron Mountain)

Co-Leader: Mark Beukema (seminarian, hometown, Davisburg, Mich.)

Mathijs Dijkstra (college student, hometown Hortonville ,Wis.)

Mary Sacha (college student, hometown Grand Rapids, Mich.)

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