The Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph said on Oct. 14 that it hoped that a $9.95 million settlement of abuse claims “can bring about some closure to those hurt by abuse in the past.”• Alaska’s Gov. Sean Parnell said in a statement released on Oct. 12 that his administration will appeal a U.S. District Court decision that invalidates the state’s constitutional definition of marriage as the union of one man and one woman. • The Catholic Church in Poland urged “constant prayers” on Oct. 13 after one of its missionary priests, the Rev. Mateusz Dziedzic, was kidnapped by rebels in the Central African Republic. • In a letter issued on Oct. 15, bishops in the Mexican state of Guerrero asked government officials to prioritize finding 43 missing teacher-trainees, who appear to have been detained by corrupt police and delivered to members of a drug cartel. • Sister Teresa Fitzgerald, a Sister of St. Joseph who directs Hour Children, an organization that assists women in prison and their children, has won the $1 million 2014 Opus Prize for faith-based humanitarian work. • Pope Francis moved a predecessor closer to sainthood on Oct.19, closing out the Synod on the Family with a beatification ceremony for Pope Paul VI.