Totus Tuus, Parish Catechetical Summer Camp returning

The Totus Tuus Parish Catechetical Summer Camp program aims to inspire young people to strive for holiness, develop a deep desire for conversion and personally renew their faith with a stronger prayer life. Through evangelization and catechesis, Totus Tuus seeks to foster openness to the sacrifices and blessings of the various Christian vocations.

The Totus Tuus program, which is open to grades 1-12, has been very well-received by young people, parents, and Parishes in the Diocese of Venice for the last two years and is returning to the Diocese of Venice this summer, beginning in June 2024.

The first camps open the week of June 2-7, and take place at a variety of Parishes throughout the summer with the final camps taking place the week of July 21-26. All camps are one-week day camps, and programs are divided according to age. The goal of the weeklong camp is to help the children develop a true and lasting longing for holiness. The Five Pillars of Totus Tuus are: The Eucharist; Marian Devotion; Catechetical Instruction; Vocation Discernment; and Fun.

Bishop Frank J. Dewane helped bring Totus Tuus – which means “totally yours” – to the Diocese of Venice in 2022. The original program began in 1987 as a Vacation Bible School program in the Diocese of Wichita, Kansas. Then, in 2022, the Diocese of Venice launched its pilot program, with great success. The Diocese received many requests from parents to continue the program; which not only has continued, but expanded in 2023 and set the hearts on fire of more than 1,000 youth.

“This program works,” Bishop Dewane said. “Totus Tuus complements what the children learn from their parents, who are the first and best educators of the faith. This is evident whenever I visit a Parish Totus Tuus camp. I am always impressed by the response each child has to the uplifting program. Whether in a group activity, or in a classroom, everyone is clearly excited and alive about their love of the Lord.”

The weeklong program is divided into two sessions, with the day component (9 a.m. – 3 p.m.) for students grades 1 – 6, and the evening session (6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.) for middle school and high school students grades 7 – 12.

The younger children participate in four classes each day, attend daily Mass, learn the parts and liturgical songs of Mass, and participate in games, skits, songs, recess and prayer. The older students participate in instruction, small group discussions, quiet meditations, adoration, prayer and fellowship.

Parishes hosting Totus Tuus this year are: St. Frances Xavier Cabrini, Parrish, and Our Lady of Grace, Avon Park (June 2-7); Ave Maria, Ave Maria (June 9-14); St. Finbarr, Naples, and St. Paul, Arcadia (June 16-21); Epiphany Cathedral, Venice, and St. Katharine Drexel, Cape Coral (June 23-28); Our Lady Queen of Heaven, LaBelle (July 7-12); Our Lady of Light, Fort Myers, and St. Cecilia, Fort Myers (July 14-19); Our Lady of the Angels, Lakewood Ranch, and St. Peter the Apostle, Naples (July 21-26).

Youth are welcome to attend any of the Totus Tuus camps, but registration is requested ahead of time. To register, contact the hosting Parish directly. Parish contact information can be found at

For general questions about the Diocesan Totus Tuus program, please contact Jim Gontis at

Missionaries Wanted!

The Totus Tuus program is still recruiting for a few missionaries to lead the camps! To apply, you must be a recent high school graduate or college-aged man or women who is committed to the Catholic Faith and feels called to share their faith with youth throughout the Diocese. The mission is a nine-week commitment from May 23 to July 27 (excluding the week of June 29-July 6). Application deadline is May 8. For more details and to register, please visit