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Pope Benedict XVI announced plans for a Synod of Bishops for the Middle East in October 2010 to address the trials of the Christian populations in the region. • After a series of meetings with House and Senate leaders on Sept. 17, a delegation of Hispanic bishops expressed concern that immigrants would be left out of health care reform. • Maria Odom (right), an immigration attorney in Georgia, has been named executive director of the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, known as Clinic. • The Rev. Larry Snyder of Catholic Charities cited the economic downturn as a principal reason for a reported 10 percent increase in aid services nationwide from 2007 to 2008. • The Rev. Olav Fykse Tveit, the newly elected general secretary of the World Council of Churches, said on Vatican Radio on Aug. 28  that he believes it is important to cooperate with the Catholic Church to address common challenges. • Rick Curry, S.J., the founder of the National Theatre Workshop of the Handicapped was ordained to the priesthood on Sept. 13 in Washington, D.C., after serving many years as a Jesuit brother.

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