PORTLAND — After a successful debut summer that saw more than 400 teens and children participate, “Totus Tuus” will expand to 10 locations throughout Maine in 2019, according to a news release from the Diocese of Portland’s Office of Vocations.

“Totus Tuus,” taken from the episcopal motto of Pope Saint John Paul II, means “Totally Yours.” The mission of the weeklong program is to inspire in young people, from grades 1 through 12, a true longing for holiness.

The program is organized by the Diocese of Portland’s Office of Vocations, and each session will be led by diocesan seminarians and college students. “Totus Tuus” features daily Mass, prayer such as the rosary and the Angelus, classroom teaching, lunch, music, games and more.

The 2019 schedule:
• June 23-28 — St. Rose of Lima Parish, Jay, and St. John Vianney Parish, Fort Kent;

• July 7-12 — St. Thérèse of Lisieux Parish, Sanford, and All Saints Parish, Brunswick;

• July 14-19 — Parish of the Precious Blood, Caribou, and St. Paul the Apostle Parish, Bangor;

• July 28-Aug. 2 — Prince of Peace Parish, Lewiston, and Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish, Windham; and

• Aug. 4-9 — St. Maximilian Kolbe Parish, Scarborough, and Corpus Christi Parish, Waterville.

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. Seamus Griesbach, vocations director for the Diocese of Portland, according to the release. “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 was really well received last year.”

For organizers, it is amazing to see young people get excited about their faith.
“They show a real desire to want to grow closer to God and learn more about their faith,” said Liam Gallagher, a diocesan seminarian who led the “Totus Tuus” team in Maine last summer, according to the release. “It’s awe-inspiring. It’s incredible. That’s why we’re doing it. That’s what it’s all about. It’s the new evangelization at work.”

To register or for more information, visit portlanddiocese.org. To stay up to date on the latest “Totus Tuus” news in Maine, visit Facebook.com.

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