Nation and World News

Pray.com offers social network for prayer, community-building

VATICAN CITY — Convinced that faith communities would want to share prayer requests, announcements and service opportunities without going to multiple platforms and without being awash in advertising, a group of friends created an app just for that.

With $2 million in seed money, Pray.com was beta tested with 100 churches in 2016. Today, 6,000 faith communities and thousands of other groups use the app to host their members' need for prayer and offers of support, as well as to recruit volunteers for local service projects and to collect donations, said two of the co-founders.

In ‘historic’ move, pope names three laywomen to doctrinal congregation

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis appointed three women as consultors to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. It marks the first time women and laypersons were named as active contributors — not support staff.

The Vatican newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano, called the decision to appoint the women "historic." The Vatican announced the appointments April 21.

The new female consultors are:

South Korean bishop hopes North-South summit brings results

People held hands while wearing masks of South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un during a unification rally in Seoul, South Korea, April 25. The leaders of North and South Korea are scheduled to meet in a village in the demilitarized zone.

SEOUL, South Korea — Bishop Peter Lee Ki-heon of Uijeongbu has been waiting years for this moment, with the leaders of the divided Koreas poised to meet for a historic summit just inside South Korean territory April 27.

Ucanews.com reported Bishop Lee, president of the Korean bishops' Committee for the Reconciliation of the Korean People, released a statement April 13 expressing his belief that the summit would end decades of struggle and open a new era of peace on the peninsula.

Nation and world briefs

U.S.

Poll: U.S. still considers abortion a complicated issue

Lebanese cardinal warns against ‘new drums of war’ in Syria

A Syrian firefighter used a fire hose inside the destroyed Scientific Research Center April 14 in Damascus. The United States, France and Britain launched airstrikes in Syria to punish President Bashar Assad for an apparent chemical attack against civilians and to deter him from doing it again.

BEIRUT — Lebanese Cardinal Bechara Rai appealed to world leaders to stop the war in Syria and to work for comprehensive peace through diplomatic means.

"As the great powers are beating the drums of a new war against Syria, we regret the absence of a language of peace from the mouths of senior officials in our world today," said Cardinal Rai, patriarch of Maronite Catholics, in an address April 12 directed to the international community.

Answer call to discipleship by addressing Church’s needs

Deacon Martin Garcia participated in a breakout session April 14 at the Region X encuentro in San Antonio. The regional encuentros taking place across the country are preparation for the national encuentro in September in Grapevine, Texas.

SAN ANTONIO — Answer the call to missionary discipleship by addressing the needs of your Church. Meet young people where they are and just listen. Improve catechetical resources and prepare future leaders.

These were some of the strategies discussed by more than 800 delegates representing 18 Catholic dioceses in Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas, as they participated in a bilingual three-day Region X encuentro in San Antonio April 13-15.

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