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Catechist has special message for children waiting for first Communion 

METUCHEN, N.J. (CNS) -- May is the month many eagerly await because it is the time many children receive first holy Communion. Sadly, this year the coronavirus has made pastors postpone this momentous milestone in the spiritual lives of waiting first communicants.

American Indian communities feel COVID's wrath 

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Few places in the U.S. have been more vulnerable to the wrath of the coronavirus than the sovereign tribal territories of the country's first dwellers.

Pandemic has changed parish outreach methods 'forever,' says evangelist 

NEW ORLEANS (CNS) -- During two months of social isolation, the work of American business has migrated, ready or not, into the home.

Homeland Security decision doesn't surprise Catholics working at border 

MEXICO CITY (CNS) -- The recent decision by the Department of Homeland Security to extend restrictions on nonessential crossings of the southern border due to the COVID-19 pandemic did not surprise Catholics who work with migrants in the U.S.-Mexico borderlands.

Pope: Church's preferential option for the poor is nonnegotiable 

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- A missionary or church reality that is truly inspired by the Holy Spirit "manifests predilection for the poor and vulnerable as a sign and reflection of the Lord's own preference for them," Pope Francis told the pontifical mission societies.

Death penalty opponents decry first execution carried out amid pandemic 

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Catholic advocates against the death penalty spoke out against Missouri's May 19 execution of a death-row inmate, Walter Barton, whose death by lethal injection was the first execution to happen during the pandemic.

Team effort helped convince Indians, Bangladeshis to evacuate for cyclone 

Sheltering people from one of the strongest storms in more than a decade required convincing affected Indians and Bangladeshi that evacuation centers would have masks and other coronavirus protections in place, a Catholic Relief Services representative said.

PPP loans to parishes not as large, or as many, as some believe 

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Paycheck Protection Program loans to parishes did not meet the number of parishes, or the size of the loans, listed in some news reports, according to Patrick Markey, executive director of the Diocesan Fiscal Management Conference.

Update: Dozens gather virtually to sing psalms, hymns and inspired songs 

PONTIAC, Mich. (CNS) -- Notre Dame Preparatory High School's choir and alumni are bringing the world a little closer together, even when it remains far apart.

Vatican cautions Israel over West Bank annexation plan 

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The Holy See is concerned about an Israeli plan to unilaterally annex a large portion of land in the West Bank, said a Vatican statement.

Wonder at gift of creation opens human hearts to prayer, pope says 

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The mystery and wonder of God's creation can open the hearts of men and women to express their gratitude through prayer, Pope Francis said.

African church leaders work to curb domestic abuse during lockdown 

NAIROBI, Kenya (CNS) -- On the night of May 9, Edward Okello, an aeronautical engineer, died when a kitchen knife was plunged into his chest. Vigilance Shighi later said she did not know how the weapon hit her boyfriend, who had beaten her.

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