What is Totus Tuus?
Totus Tuus is a summer Catholic youth program dedicated to sharing the Gospel and promoting the Catholic faith through evangelization, discipleship, Christian witness, and Eucharistic worship. Started in 1988 by Father Bernard Gorges in Wichita, Kansas, our week-long Parish Mission Program assists parents and parishes to evangelize and disciple their youth by supplementing the work they are already doing. The methodology, structure, content, and enthusiasm of Totus Tuus is not only concerned with teaching the faith, but also igniting the hearts of the team members and young people. The result has been the formation of young adults who continue to dedicate themselves to the Church’s mission of evangelization.
We gather together college students and seminarians onto teams of four each to go out into parishes in order to teach the Catholic faith and inspire the youth. In addition to trying to communicate our faith and translate that into daily life, we strive to foster Christian vocations. It is our firm belief that vocations, callings from God, can only be heard and responded to if one is living a Christian life. We strive to foster this, first and foremost, in our young adult missionaries by providing them with an understanding of the faith, a strong prayer life, and an opportunity to witness to their faith. Because the young adult missionaries are striving to live an authentic Christian life and actively discerning their vocation, they can better help youth to do the same.
Day Program (1st-6th grade)
Totus Tuus grade school program is designed for children going into first through sixth grades in the 2020-2021 school year. The Grade School Program runs Monday through Friday. The students are encouraged to be clear and consistent in their faith. They are shown how to view their Lord as a good Father. This personal relationship gives them the confidence to be Christ’s witnesses in the world around them. Finally, Totus Tuus endeavors to show the youth that a humble and courageous desire to know God must be based upon a steadfast and disciplined life of prayer combined with the reception of the sacraments.
Evening Program (7th-12th grade)
Totus Tuus offers evening retreats for middle school and high school youth. These “evening retreats” meet Sunday through Thursday and focus on small group discussions, prayer, and fun activities that foster relationships with both peers and Christ.
Host Totus Tuus In Your Parish
To learn more about hosting Totus Tuus in your parish view the Parish Handbook.
Parish Handbook - Summer 2020 (updated 10/1/2019)
How to Apply as a Parish
The Totus Tuus Summer 2020 application has closed. Applications for Totus Tuus Summer 2021 will open on October 1, 2020.
Serve as a Totus Tuus Missionary
We welcome applications from dynamic Catholics age 18 and older from the Diocese of Syracuse and beyond. Applicants must have an authentic faith and be actively living the teachings of the Catholic Church. We prefer one year of college/work experience but are willing to consider mature graduating seniors. Musical ability is a big benefit. No major or area of study is required. This is a great summer job experience for anyone who wants to work in ministry, education, or with children in any setting.
- Work as part of a 4-person team to execute the week-long program at parishes across the Diocese
- Attend a 12-day intensive training in the program
- Prepare for and disciple young people in the faith throughout the lessons
- Lead songs, games, activities, and skits designed to help youth grow in their faith
- Stay with a host family as a guest at each parish
- Be a model and visible witness of the Catholic faith in word and deed
- Pray daily with your team and frequently receive the sacraments of confession and Holy Eucharist
- And more!
Read about our previous missionaries.
For more information, please review our 2020 Missionary Information Packet (updated as of 12/20/19)
Apply to work as a Totus Tuus Missionary
The application for Summer 2020 is closed. The application for Summer 2021 will open on October 1, 2020.
If you would prefer a paper copy of the application, you may download it here.
Please mail paper applications to:
Office of Youth and Young Adult Ministry
240 East Onondaga St.
Syracuse, NY 13202