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Catholic youth program coming to Fort Kent, Caribou

PORTLAND, Maine — After a successful debut summer that saw over 400 teens and children participate, “Totus Tuus” will expand to 10 locations throughout Maine in 2019, including Fort Kent and Caribou.

“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 schedule for 2019 includes June 23-28 at St. John Vianney Parish in Fort Kent, and July 14-19 at Parish of the Precious Blood in Caribou.

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. “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 during “Totus Tuus.”

“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. “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 www.portlanddiocese.org/vocations/register-totus-tuus. To stay up to date on the latest “Totus Tuus” news in Maine, visit www.facebook.com/totustuusmaine.

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