For 20 million people, conflict added to drought means no food to eat

A 2-year-old girl ate a meal in an internally displaced camp in Riimenze, South Sudan, April 29. Up to 20 million people in South Sudan, Yemen, Somalia and northeast Nigeria face the prospect of famine this year.

Conflict and drought are threatening more than 20 million people in four countries with the prospect of famine, and the U.N. has called this food crisis the largest humanitarian crisis since the world body was formed more than 70 years ago.

Additional resources and funding are needed "to pull people back from the brink of famine" in Yemen, South Sudan, Somalia and northeast Nigeria, the U.N. Security Council wrote Aug. 9 in a statement that commended efforts by international donors to provide humanitarian assistance for the crises in these countries.

Churches attacked, crisis worsens in Central African Republic

OXFORD, England — A Catholic aid worker warned of a worsening crisis in the Central African Republic, as church centers are attacked and more armed groups fight over territory and resources.

"Perhaps the situation is better in Bangui, the capital, but elsewhere conditions are deteriorating dramatically as conflicts multiply," said Christophe Droeven, country representative for the U.S.-based Catholic Relief Services.

Pope tells Egypt's religious leaders to unmask violence

Pope Francis embraces Sheik Ahmad el-Tayeb, grand imam of al-Azhar University, at a conference on international peace in Cairo April 28. The pope was making a two-day visit to Egypt.

CAIRO — Calling his visit to Egypt a journey of "unity and fraternity," Pope Francis launched a powerful call to the nation's religious leaders to expose violence masquerading as holy and condemn religiously inspired hatred as an idolatrous caricature of God.

"Peace alone, therefore, is holy, and no act of violence can be perpetrated in the name of God, for it would profane his name," the pope told Muslim and Christian leaders at an international peace conference April 28. Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople was in attendance.

Project successful in funding clean-water wells in Africa

The first well completed in a Franciscan Charities effort to provide fresh water for people in Africa is in the village of Mulenga in the Dominican Republic of Congo.

Franciscan Father Jean-Marie Mufeji's parish of 25 villages in the Democratic Republic of Congo covers about 1,930 square miles. Many of those villages do not have ready access to safe drinking water.

Previously, the women and girls from the village of Mulenga, had to walk 3.7 miles to find water. But thanks to donors to Franciscan Charities, including readers of the St. Louis Review, safe drinking water now is available from a well constructed in February.

Joy marks Comboni priest’s 50,000 miles on a bike in Africa

Comboni Missionary Father David Baltz, right, uses his bicycle trips to far-away chapels in his parish in Uganda as an opportunity to evangelize. He stresses Catholic values in his missionary work.

A gun pointed at his head by soldiers. Three years spent in a refugee camp, living in a grass-roof hut and serving 100,000 people in 54 impromptu chapels. Facing down a snake in a grass hut. Covering a parish of 50,000 Catholics and 60 chapels and 27 primary schools.

Father David Baltz has faced many challenges, but he doesn't consider transportation one of them. His bike is reliable.

Massive task lies ahead for NFP educator in Africa

Ayodele Shonubi of Abuja, Nigeria, is Africa’s only Creighton Model FertilityCare System educator. She is in St. Louis to observe a Creighton Model education program in an effort to strengthen her role as an educator.

As the only Creighton Model FertilityCare educator on the continent of Africa, Ayodele Shonubi knows she has a massive task ahead of her.

The native of Nigeria was in St. Louis this month to observe and assist with an education program offered through Mercy Hospital’s Department of FertilityCare Services. The Creighton Model is one of several Church-approved methods of natural natural family planning.

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