July 14
15th Sunday in Ordinary Time



Martyrs of Scillitan (Feast Day July 17) 

d. 180 

The Scillitan Martyrs were a group of twelve North African Christians (seven men and five women) who were executed for their beliefs on July 17, 180. Their names were Speratus, Nartzalus, Cintinus (Cittinus), Veturius, Felix, Aquilinus, Laetantius, Januaria, Generosa, Vestia, Donata, and Secunda. They were an example of the strength and vigor of the Church in Africa in the 2nd century. The martyrs take their name from Scilla (or Scillium), a town in Numidia (present day Algeria). The Acts of the Scillitan Martyrs are considered to be the earliest documents of the church of Africa.

Speratus, their principal spokesman, wrote that they had lived a quiet and moral life, paying their dues and doing no wrong to their neighbors. However, when called upon to swear an oath to the emperor, they refused. The proconsul of Scillium asked the seven men and five women what has caused them to rebel against worshipping the emperor. They replied, “the books and epistles of Paul, a just man.” The emperor was seemingly unimpressed but not particularly upset, and so he gave them thirty days to reconsider and recant, but they all refused. Their trial and execution took place in Carthage under Governor Vigellius Saturninus, who was the first persecutor of Christians in Africa. 

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·       Jesus sent the apostles out two-by-two instead of sending them alone. What are the advantages of doing something with a buddy?

·       What does the Gospel tell us was the result of the disciples’ missionary work?

·       Is it easy or hard to talk about Jesus to those who don’t know him? Why?

·       The Martyrs of Scillitan were asked to worship the emperor instead of Jesus. Why is it wrong to worship anyone other than Jesus?


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Surprise Adventure

Jesus sent the Twelve out on an adventure to bring the Gospel to others. Plan a day of fun and surprise your children with a special adventure. Anything you and your kids love to do can make for a great surprise play day. It’s a great opportunity to try something new or do something they’ve been begging to do.

Here are some ideas to consider:

·    A trip to a special store

·       A day at the park with a picnic

·       Beach day

·       Go fruit of vegetable picking at a local farm

·       Hit the water park

·       Visit an aquarium

·       City day with a museum stop and a restaurant

·       Visit an indoor trampoline play space

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Goldfish Cracker Mix 

The apostles were sent on mission with no food. These fishermen would love to munch on this cracker mix if they arrived at your house!

1 bag Parmesan Goldfish Crackers

1 bag Pretzel Goldfish Crackers

1 bag Cheddar Goldfish Crackers

Optional: 1 can honey roasted peanuts

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl and serve. Enjoy!

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Openness to God

Invite family members open their hands (as if they were receiving a gift or treasure) while praying this prayer. Select a leader to read this prayer slowly, including silence as indicated.


We know that you are present to us in many different ways. We encounter you in Sacred Scripture, in the Mass, in nature, in music, in silence, and in other people. Even though you are there, we do not always listen to you and we are not always open to what you want to reveal to us. But today, we come to you with open hands and open hearts. Help us to see what we need to see and hear what we need to hear.

[period of silence]

Increase in us a desire for you. Help us to be more open and docile to the movement of your Spirit and mindful of those you’ve sent to help us and guide us.


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The apostles in today’s Gospel story were cared for financially and physically by the people they visited. What are ways that your parish cares for those in need?

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Create a mission statement for your family that reflects how God is calling your family to build the kingdom of God.

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July 17th is World Emoji Day. Emojis are yellow smiley faces that have a variety of facial expressions. Harvey Ball created the yellow smiley face design in the 1960s and this inspired emojis which were first used in Japan in the 1990s. Which emoji best describes how you feel today?

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