August 4
18th Sunday in Ordinary Time



St. Sebastian (Feast Day January 20) 

c. 256 – January 20, 287 

According to legend, Sebastian was born at Narbonne, Gaul. He became a soldier in the Roman army and encouraged two Christians, Marcellian and Marcus, under sentence of death, to remain firm in their faith. Sebastian made numerous converts: among them were Nicostratus, who was in charge of prisoners and his wife, Zoe, a deaf mute whom he cured; the jailer Claudius; Chromatius, Prefect of Rome, whom he cured of gout; and Chromatius’ son, Tiburtius. After Chromatius was healed, he set the prisoners free, freed his slaves, and resigned as prefect. 

Sebastian was captain in the praetorian guards during the reign of Emperors Diocletian and Maximian. Neither knew that Sebastian was a Christian, but when it was discovered that he was a Christian, he was ordered to be executed. He was shot with arrows and left for dead, but when the widow of St. Castulus went to recover his body, she found he was still alive and nursed him back to health. Soon after, Sebastian intercepted the Emperor, denounced him for his cruelty to Christians, and was beaten to death on the Emperor’s orders. 

St. Sebastian is the patron saint of athletes because of his physical endurance and his energetic way of spreading and defending the Faith.

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·       Throughout the Gospel of John, people have difficulty believing that Jesus is the Son of God sent by the Father. Why do some people have difficulty believing in Jesus?

·       What does Jesus mean when he says, “I am the bread of life”?

·       What does Jesus mean when he says that those who come to him will never hunger and never thirst? In what way is this phrase related to the story of the multiplication of the loaves from last week’s Gospel?

·       In what way did St. Sebastian exhibit courage in his life as a Christian?


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Backyard Olympics

The Summer Olympic Games provide the perfect inspiration for families and friends to create an Olympic competition. Friendly competition teaches children about teamwork and how to be a gracious winner or loser. Before starting your backyard Olympics, consider holding an opening ceremony and ask Olympians to take an oath of good sportsmanship like athletes do at the Olympic Games.

Call some friends or relatives and invite them to join your family for some games to play in the yard or a local field. Consider creating paper medals for the events. Some event ideas include:

·    Running Long Jump: With a running start, see who can jump the farthest from a line marked on the ground.

·    Relay Race: Use a stick or baton to hand off between runners while they go on a designated path. If you don’t have enough runners for a race, have participants race to beat their own time.

·       No Water Synchronized Swimming: Have groups pick music and choreograph a short routine to see how in sync they can stay.

·       Balance Beam: Paint a straight, even stripe on a flat section of lawn, which is the "balance beam." Ask participants to perform a series of increasingly difficult maneuvers without straying from the stripe. Award points for completion of each maneuver. Some fun suggestions include: walking forward, walking backward, hopping on one foot, doing front rolls, doing cartwheels.

·       Hula-hoop-a-thon: Kids keep their hoops moving as long as possible and are eliminated when their hoops touch the ground.

·       Discus: See who can throw a frisbee the farthest distance.

·       Water Balloon Shot Put: See who can throw a water balloon the farthest distance.

·       Pool Noodle Javelin: Each child gets three attempts to see who can throw his or her pool noodle the farthest. 

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Soda Bread

Make this soda bread to remind you of Jesus, the Bread of Life!


2 cups flour

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. cream of tartar

1 cup buttermilk

Preheat oven to 450 F. Oil a covered casserole dish or a Dutch oven. Sift together flour, salt, baking soda, and Cream of Tartar. Add buttermilk. Mix until blended; dough will be a bit sticky. Knead 4 or 5 times (not too much of the bread will be tough) and shape into a ball. Cut cross in top and place in prepared pan. Bake covered 30 minutes.

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Jesus, the Bread of Life

Father in heaven,

you have made us for yourself;

our hearts are restless until they rest in you.

Fulfill this longing through Jesus, the Bread of Life,

so that we may witness to him

who alone satisfies the hungers of the human family.

By the power of your Spirit

lead us to the heavenly table

where we may feast on the vision of your glory

for ever and ever.


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During the Preparation of the Gifts, the gifts of bread and wine, are brought to the altar in procession. The priest then prepares the bread and wine before the Eucharistic Prayer. Watch to see what he does to prepare the gifts.

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Invite someone over to your home for dinner with whom you have lost touch or someone who has recently experienced loss.

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The Summer Olympics typically happen every 4 years. This year’s games are in Paris, France. The modern games were first held in Athens, Greece in 1896. 

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