National / International News:

Week after quake, aid begins reaching remote areas of Nepal

KATHMANDU, Nepal – Truckloads of relief material organized by church charities began moving across Nepal a week after the Himalayan nation was rocked by a magnitude-7.8 earthquake April 25. "I am glad that much-needed aid is finally beginning to reach remote areas," Greg Auberry, Catholic Relief Services' regional director for East and South Asia, told Catholic News Service May 4.

Canonizing Blessed Serra is call to new evangelization, speakers say

ROME (CNS) -- Defining Blessed Junipero Serra as a "working-class missionary," Los Angeles Archbishop Jose H. Gomez said the 18th-century Franciscan deserves to be made a saint and to have his record as a defender of native peoples made known. Pope Francis' announcement that he will canonize Blessed Serra in September "has opened old wounds and revived bitter memories about the treatment of Native Americans during the colonial and missionary period of America's history," the archbishop said. 

Pope defends Blessed Serra, prays for missionary zeal in Americas

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- People seem to enjoy finding the shortcomings of candidates for sainthood like Blessed Junipero Serra, but they should ask themselves if they would have his generosity and courage to leave everything behind to care for the poor and bring them the Gospel, Pope Francis said.