Summer youth programs underway in diocese Print E-mail
Around the Diocese
Written by Kevin Wondrash, Catholic Herald Staff   
Thursday, Jun. 29, 2017 -- 12:00 AM
Totus Tuus
Remaining schedule

June 25 to July 1
Holy Ghost-Immaculate
Conception, Kieler
St. Mary of the Hill, Hubertus
July 9 to 15
St. Thomas Aquinas, Madison
St. William, Janesville
July 16 to 22
St. Peter, Ashton
St. Jerome, Oconomowoc
July 23 to 28
Divine Mercy, Sauk City
Immaculate Heart of Mary, Monona, and St. Patrick, Cottage Grove

Love Begins Here
Remaining schedule

Middle school groups
• June 28 to July 1, Our Lady Queen of Peace, Madison
• July 5 to 8, St. Mary, Portage
Ninth grade group
• July 10 to 14, St. John the Baptist, Montello
High school groups
• July 16 to 21: All Saints, Berlin
• July 23 to 28, St. Bernard, Middleton

MADISON -- Youth of all ages in the Diocese of Madison are busy spending time with old friends and new friends and growing in faith and fun.

Two programs now underway for the year, Love Begins Here -- in its ninth year in the diocese-- and Totus Tuus -- in its fourth year -- both promise to help grow kids’ hearts for Christ.

Love Begins Here

Love Begins Here (LBH) is an apostolate of the Diocese of Madison Office of Evangelization and Catechesis.

It provides youth with an opportunity to encounter Jesus Christ in a life-changing way through weeklong, local mission trips where they live in community and continue God’s work on earth.

Its goal is to do “small things with great love” in the spirit of St. Teresa of Calcutta and start that love at home.

LBH takes place at a different host parish every week and the “missionaries” go out in the community there and perform mission work at “home”.

Some of the work involves doing house and yard work for the elderly, helping at a thrift store, or even helping with building work at a church or school.

As of last year, more than 700 missionaries completed more than 63,000 hours of service.

Eight weeks make up the LBH summer -- four weeks for high schoolers, three weeks for middle schoolers, and one week for “rising” teens entering high school in the fall.

“Serving neighbors right here in our diocese not only impacts the lives of so many people in need, but opens up the beautiful opportunity to build authentic relationships and meaningful connections with all those who are involved,” said Shane Reinbold, associate coordinator of youth and young adult formation for the Diocese of Madison and member of the LBH Core Team.

The Core Team members, along with volunteer adult “car group” leaders, serve as the resources and faith mentors for the teens on the trips.

Along with the mission work, there is also time for fun, often at an area pool.

There is faith sharing time where the leaders talk about their faith and the missionaries talk about where they saw God during their day’s experiences.

For more information on Love Begins Here, go to

Totus Tuus

Totus Tuus is a summer Catholic youth program dedicated to sharing the Gospel and promoting the Catholic faith through evangelization, catechesis, Christian witness, and Eucharistic worship.

“Totus Tuus” is a Latin phrase meaning “totally yours.” It was the motto of St. John Paul II.

Taken from St. Louis de Montfort’s True Devotion to Mary, it signifies the desire to give ourselves entirely to Jesus Christ through Mary.

The week-long parish summer catechetical program is designed to assist parents and parishes in the evangelizing and catechizing of their youth by supplementing the work they are already doing.

The methodology, structure, content, and enthusiasm of Totus Tuus is concerned not only with teaching the faith, but also igniting the hearts of the team members and young people.

The young adults who make up the Totus Tuus teacher team grow in their faith through their summer of ministry.

The college-age team members, some coming to the diocese from all across the country, went through a training program before the season started.

Two teams of four teachers each are going to two separate parishes each week to facilitate distinct programs for elementary students and middle schoolers.

Host families house the team members for the week.

Parishes in the Diocese of Madison, and nearby, applied to have Totus Tuus come to them this summer.

Twelve parishes will host the program over six weeks.

Parish volunteers support the team members during the week by setting up the drinks and snacks or whatever other help is needed.

A typical day at Totus Tuus consists of Mass, prayer, a faith lesson for the day, games, songs, skits, and snacks.

Every Totus Tuus week ends with a water balloon toss, shaving cream fight, and water fight. One of the teachers also gets picked to be covered in shaving cream by all the students.

For more information on Totus Tuus, go to

Please support our advertisers: