Totus Tuus, Diocese of Marquette, shares the gospel digitally during pandemic

Totus Tuus missionaries for the Diocese of Marquette is sharing saint skits as part of this year’s digital programming via YouTube into homes throughout the U.P. Members are: front, Mark Beukema; kneeling in the first row, from left, Mathijs Dijkstra, Jessica Paling, Mary Sacha, Richard Nalette, Erin Brooks and Alex Peters; second row, Grace Howard, Erin Linderoth, Cassie Zimmer, Grace Theoret and the Rev. Ben Hasse; back, Drew Langton, Ben Steary, Ben Gregory, Zack Mazurek and Ethan Wilcox.

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 the Rev. 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,” Haase said. “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.”

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 our longing and desire to give ourselves 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,” Zack 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, and are used by catechists and parents with their students.

In addition to the pre-recorded videos, Totus Tuus Digital 2020 offered live events on Zoom. The events gave students the chance to interact directly with the missionaries, to ask the “saints” questions, and to sing the silly songs together.

2020 Diocese of Marquette Totus Tuus:

— Totus Tuus intern, Zack Mazurek of Bessemer, seminarian.

Team Father Jacques Marquette, S.J.

— Team leader, Cassie Zimmer of Grand Rapids, Mich., college student; team co-leader, Ethan Wilcox of Quinnesec, seminarian; Erin Brooks of Pharnell, Mich., college student; Ben Gregory of Troy, Mich., recent graduate; Alex Peters of Kasson, Minn., seminarian for the Diocese of Winona; and Grace Theoret of Cannonsburg, Mich., college student.

Team Venerable Frederic Baraga

— Team leader, Drew Langton of South Rockwood, Mich., seminarian; co-leader, Grace Howard of Bruce Crossing, Mich., college student; Erin Linderoth of Escanaba, college student; Richard Nalette III of Newberry; seminarian; and Ben Steary of Taylor, Mich., college student.

Team St. Kateri Tekakwitha

–Team leader: Jessica Paling of Iron Mountain, college student; co-leader, Mark Beukema of Davisburg, Mich., seminarian; Mathijs Dijkstra of Hortonville,Wis., college student; and Mary Sacha of Grand Rapids, Mich., college student.

For lessons, saint stories, and more at the Totus Tuus-Diocese of Marquette YouTube channel, go to https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC-bwHcKkki3Bl5kjVIeteAg?


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