From CNS: Missions, China, and Movies

Catholic Church has an extensive history of missions in the U.S.

WASHINGTON (CNS) — There is an extensive history of Catholic missions in the U.S.

Though the original 13 British colonies in what is now the U.S. largely had Protestant populations, Catholic missionaries helped shape the economic, political and religious values as other parts of the territory were settled.

Religious orders began to establish missions in Spanish Florida as early as the 16th century as a way of attracting members of Native American tribes to Catholicism.

Dominicans founded missions in other parts of the South, the Jesuits began setting up theirs in the Great Lakes and Mississippi Valley regions in the 17th century, and Franciscans began building theirs in California in the 18th century.

Read more at:

Church must respect, dialogue with China, pope says in new interview

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — The Catholic Church must respect “with a capital ‘R'” China’s rich traditional culture and “age-old” wisdom, Pope Francis said.

Dialogue between China and the rest of the world, including the church, is necessary because it is the only way to achieve peace, he said.

“Dialogue does not mean that we end up with a compromise, half the cake for you and the other half for me.”

Read more at:

Vatican downplays film promo, says pope will not have movie debut

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Francis will not be an actor in a proposed movie based on the Gospels, a Vatican spokesman said.

While details about how the pope may or may not be involved in the movie project are not yet known, it was clear the pope was not an actor and would not have an acting role as claimed by a film production company, the spokesman said Feb. 2.

A Los Angeles-based entertainment publicity and marketing firm said in a press release Feb. 1 that the pope would be “playing himself in the family film ‘Beyond the Sun’ from AMBI Pictures.”

Read more at:

How to help Nepal

From the Catholic News Service Blog:

The death toll from the earthquake in Nepal is rising, and Catholic aid agencies are among those helping its victims. Pope Francis offered prayers and encouraged the rescue workers.

Want to do more? Where do you live? Contact your favorite Catholic aid agency to channel your funds, using the following links: Catholic Relief Services; CAFOD; Troicaire; Development and Peace; Caritas Australia; or the central office for Caritas in Rome.

Prefer to donate to someone smaller? Try religious orders, like the Salesian Missions, who have missionaries in the country.