News Briefs

The U.S. Catholic Church will celebrate National Vocation Awareness Week from Jan. 13 through Jan. 19. • Starting on Dec. 12, the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Pope Benedict XVI will be tweeting in eight languages, including Arabic, from eight twitter accounts, including one for English speakers, @Pontifex. • Louisiana’s Gov. Bobby Jindal called it “wrong-headed” and a “travesty,” but a Louisiana judge ruled on Nov. 30 that a school voucher program passed by the state legislature last spring is unconstitutional. • The Vatican is offering a “Pope app,” which will provide alerts and links to top stories from Vatican news outlets, including live streaming of papal events and video feeds from the Vatican’s six webcams. • The British government on Dec. 3 called the Israeli government’s decision to build 3,000 illegal new homes on Palestinian land a threat to “the viability of the two-state solution.” • DePaul University in Chicago has joined a consortium of more than 30 higher education institutions and organizations offering emergency support to Syrian studentsand scholars affected by the crisis in their country.

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Pope Francis greets the crowd before celebrating Mass at Lobito beach in Iquique, Chile, Jan. 18. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)
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