||Totus Tuus teacher Emily Stanek teaches elementary school-aged children a prayer with actions during a recent session at St. Peter School in Ashton. To view or purchase photos, go to madisoncatholicherald.smugmug.com (Catholic Herald photo/Kevin Wondrash)
ASHTON -- Incredible as it may seem, in just one week, children in the Diocese of Madison got to experience Mass, prayer, and Bible study, along with games, songs, snacks, and even live theater.
That's what a normal week at Totus Tuus is like.
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 2016
This summer was the program's third year in the Diocese of Madison.
It took place at a different parish or school each week.
During one week, the junior high and senior high school-aged students were at St. Christopher Parish in Verona and the grade school-aged students were at St. Peter Parish in Ashton.
"Totus Tuus is really fun," said 12-year-old attendee Anna Ganser from Mount Horeb. "You learn more about God . . . you can find some of your friends here and it's a chance to go to Confession and [Mass]," she added."
Along with the children, the teachers grow in their faith also.
One of the week's lessons was learning to pray the Glorious Mysteries of the Rosary.
"Sharing it with others has really been inspiring for me," said teacher Michaela Erickson.
Class time this year was spent learning the prayers of the Rosary and Works of Mercy.
There was also daily Mass, which included instruction in reverent behavior in church.
Another highlight for everyone is "Totus Tuus Theater" in which the teachers perform overly-dramatized skits to keep the kids engaged and active.