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The United States of America

Pope Paul VI was a pilgrim to the United States of America in 1965. Saint John Paul II followed in his footsteps, visiting the USA 7 times: in 1979, 1981, 1984, 1987, 1993 for World Youth Day Denver, 1995 and 1999. Papa Benedict XVI made a pilgrimage to the USA in 2008 and Pope Francis came to the USA in 2015.

As so many Americans have generously given their response to a Totus2us podcast, they are shown here alphabetically by Christian name:
beginning with A - B, C - D, E - I, J - L, M - Q, and R - S
and T - Z (here below)
- many thanks to you all   ♥

To download the free mp3 Totus2us audio recordings individually, right/double click on the blue play buttons.


"For a long time I didn’t have much of a relationship with Mary. But after asking her that I could have a better one, she slowly started to come into my life as a real source of strength and inspiration, real feminine inspiration. And although my relationship with her isn't where I want it to be eventually, it's getting there. And it's just so wonderful to have her patiently with me, reminding me that she's there protecting me, praying for me and directing me to her son. It's the witness of a perfect woman and a beautiful mother, and I hope that I can really witness to that beauty in my own life."


"What Mary means to me is the ultimate Supermum. .. In the burden of facing evil in the world, Mary was very aware of what her Son was called to do and was prophesied to by Simeon outside the Temple that a sword would pierce her heart. So I think that whenever we have a tremendous suffering or illness, or a difficulty with a child, or a difficulty with work or vocation or superiors or people in power, which is what life is all about, we can really look to her as someone who knows the most intense, excruciating suffering and had to live her life from the beginning with Jesus knowing that a sword would pierce her heart and that that was part of God's plan. And to continue on in steadfast perseverance and continue to love even though everything inside you can be crushed in those times. And then also to share in the joy."

Dr Theresa Burke is the founder of Rachel's Vineyard Ministries and Grief to Grace Ministries.
Here's Theresa's TOP CHAT about her work & their treatment models for trauma      

"It's a wonderful process that removes the barriers and lifts the veil of all the lies and restores truth to who we are before God and restores the truth of our love for our children, for ourselves even. Because people who've been abused and hurt so badly end up hating themselves and then they end up in very self-destructive, self-punishment cycles, and all this is just not what God wants for us. He wants us to live. He came that we might have life and have it to the full. I think a lot of people learn to just tolerate how it is, they learn to live with it, 'Alright, this isn't what I wanted for my life but I can kind of get by.' And they settle. And the Lord doesn't want us to settle, He wants us to seek. So all theses opportunities for healing, even if you think 'Oh, I've learned to live with this abortion' or 'My abuse sucked but I can carry on'. That's not what He wants, He wants us to be better than we were before the injury. Can you imagine that? Better than we were before that happened! And that is what healing does - not only does it strengthen you in the places of weaknesses but then you can use all that horror to help others. Which is why this program has spread all over the world, because it has been spread by people whose lives have been changed. It hasn't been spread by the top-down authorities, it's the grass roots in the trenches, those who are suffering, who have so much to teach us and who in their humility and in their brokenness really reveal the power of God. That's the blessing and that's the grace."


"For me Our Lady is a gentle intercessor that helps me draw closer to our Lord Jesus in prayer."


"My dedication to the Virgin Mary is very deep. The one thing we have to remember is that Mary was conceived without original sin and that is a prayer that we can say many times during the day, 'O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.'"

Father Thomas CFR      

"Our Lady will be there if we allow her. If you just open your heart to her, if you just ask her to be there for you as a mother, she will be there more than you will ever know, many times she is working in ways you don't even know already and yet sometimes she will even make it very clear that she is present."

Fr Thomas Francis Cacciola is a Franciscan Friar of the Renewal. In Man for Others he speaks about his own vocation to the priesthood       

"I knew that if the priesthood was what God wanted for me, that was where I would be happiest. That was so key for me. I did not really want to be a priest at that point still, and yet I said 'Lord, if you are calling me, then I know that that is where I will be happiest.' I think I had heard that somewhere before but it just stayed with me and I used it, in a real time of crisis I guess, or a real moment of grace if you want to look at it that way. And that was when He started to give me the desire, because that is what I had said, 'God, you are going to have to give me that desire, if that is what you really want.' ... If you are being called, then that is where you will be happiest. You may not realise it yet, but God will give you the joy of heart."


"Mary has just always kind of been a strong and constant presence. She's been there to guide me, to watch over me, even been there faithful to me when I haven't been faithful to her. She's always just been there, taking care of me, and I feel her motherly presence with me often. So, praise God for her, in giving her to me as a mother and a protectress."


Tommy went with his wife for their honeymoon on pilgrimage from Poland to Spain for World Youth Day Madrid, staying with friends along their pilgrim way (they had been at their 1st WYD together with Papa Benedetto back in 2005 in Cologne, Germany):

"I think the beauty of pilgrimages is that normally we go on pilgrimage through life and we never have enough time to pray and discover new things, or even the silence to hear God and speak to God. Perhaps I didn't have the silence to reflect upon different things because of all the partying at World Youth Day with the youth, and the celebrational aspects of World Youth Day and the fact that the Pope is coming and that we are all one union, but I think we met that silence when we got to visit a priest in the south of Spain in a little, little town, so all my spiritual needs were really satisfied."


"It was prophesied that a sword would pierce Mary's heart through and yet at the same time it was through Our Lady that many hearts would be opened as well. So whenever we're called to follow Christ in our life we have to endure some degree of suffering, some challenges. And she knew this and yet she answered God fully in how He called her and did the best that she could to follow God, to be open and willing to go wherever He led her. And through her obedience, her beautiful obedience to the Lord, we are blessed to have a Saviour. And I owe so much to her for that and that is something beautiful and I'm grateful. There are times in my missionary journeys where I do struggle and I can find comfort in turning to her and asking her to provide a sense of consolation and comfort and encouragement, because she has been there too."

Tricia is Catholic lay missionary in Asia. For more info, visit the St. Francis Xavier Lay Missionary Society website.


"The one thing that I really love about our mother Mary is her fiat, her 'yes'; how she said yes to the Lord even though she probably didn't dream about carrying the Son of God in her womb, she still said yes anyway. And that is a huge witness for me in being able to realise that even though times may be hard and tough, or that things may not turn out the way that we want them to, God has got a plan in it through it all, and by our fiat and our yes we could follow Mary's example and come to know her son Jesus."


"What Mary, the Mother of God, means to me?..  I suppose if I had to pick one word it would be compassion." 


"We’re here in St Peter’s Square and I feel really blessed that we were brought here. We weren’t necessarily planning on coming but something brought us here and I’m really honoured and feel very blessed to have come. I feel like there was a moment there when Mary was brought in front of us and it was magical, you know, it was a very beautiful moment here in the square. I'll never forget it."