God is good . . . all the time . . . at Totus Tuus Print
Around the Diocese
Written by Kevin Wondrash, Catholic Herald Staff   
Thursday, Jul. 27, 2017 -- 12:00 AM

totus tuus
Alec Betlach participates in a blindfold “prophets” activity during Totus Tuus at St. William Parish in Janesville recently. (Catholic Herald photo/Kevin Wondrash)

JANESVILLE -- It’s never a dull moment when Totus Tuus comes to your parish.

For the fourth summer in a row, the Diocese of Madison is presenting the summer Catholic youth program dedicated to sharing the Gospel and promoting the Catholic faith through evangelization, catechesis, Christian witness, and Eucharistic worship.

Two teams of four college-aged leaders each are travelling to a different parish, over a six-week period, to lead programs for grade school-aged and junior high-aged children.

An ‘energetic’ week

One of the teams recently led a week at St. William Parish in Janesville.

“This group has been really energetic,” said leader Jacob Zoromski, a 20-year-old who attends the University of Wisconsin-Madison. “It’s good when they have the energy. It helps us. It gives us energy.”

The energy started right away on the third day of the week as the 41 kids -- in grades one to six -- all arrived and were greeted by the leaders with games and silly songs.

After the whole group arrived, next came “Totus Tuus Theater” -- an over-the-top dramatization, this particular morning involving making beans and a nothing-is-ever-good-enough movie director.

With the kids’ full attention, the faith part of the day began. Each child got their “covenant string” tied around their wrist, signifying the day’s lessons, one of which was the next Joyful Mystery of the Rosary -- the Nativity.

The kids learned about a different mystery each day, completing a full Rosary at the end of the week.

The kids then broke up into three small groups -- first and second graders, third and fourth graders, and fifth and sixth graders -- where one of the leaders teaches a group about the mystery.

“Jesus still lives on earth today and that’s pretty cool,” leader Zoromski told his group of first and second graders.

The leaders traded off age groups as the day went on, with one leader taking a break during class time.

Other classes included lessons on prophets in the Bible and covenants between God and his people.

Growing closer to God

The growth in faith continued with daily Mass.

Students were also encouraged to go to Confession before Mass if they hadn’t gone yet during the week.

During his homily, St. William Pastor Fr. Brian Dulli talked about having a heart Jesus can reside in, and also that Jesus can live in others’ hearts.

“When we’re being nice to others and putting our friends first, then we’re being nice to Jesus,” Father Dulli said.

Nine-year-old Abbilayne Gryttenholm from Milton echoed these sentiments saying she learned, “If you’re mean, then no one likes you . . . you want to have friends, so you want to be nice to them.”

Time for fun

Many of the kids at Totus Tuus said recess was the favorite part of their day.

Eight-year-old Amelia Debilzen from Milton said it was “great” “meeting new friends” and playing “fun games.”

Eight-year-old Palmer Butters from Janesville enjoyed playing football at recess, with the best part being “just making friends.”

,Throughout the day, the leaders repeated the phrase, “God is good,” to which the kids reply with gusto “all the time.”

It serves as truth, uniter, and a way to calm everyone down as they enjoy the immense energy of God’s love and spending time with friends, new and old.

“Children are so beautiful,” said leader 20-year-old Ania Adamiec, also attending UW-Madison. “They’re not afraid to be themselves. It’s so inspiring to see that on a daily basis and to try to live like children.”

For more on Totus Tuus in the Diocese of Madison, go to https://madisondiocese.org/totustuus