News Briefs

Chiara Lubich

The cause for the beatification of Chiara Lubich, founder of the international Focolare Movement, was opened on Jan. 27 in a celebration in the Cathedral of Frascati, near Rome. • Shower facilities for homeless people in Rome will open in St. Peter’s Square on Feb. 15, but the service will now also include shaves and haircuts after a group of local barbers and hairdressers volunteered their talents. • The bishops of Niger suspended “until further notice” all activities of the Catholic Church on Jan. 22 after the looting of church facilities and the desecration of places of worship following protests against the renewed publication of the French weekly Charlie Hebdo. • During his Sunday Angelus address on Feb. 1, Pope Francis announced that he will visit the Bosnian capital of Sarajevo on June 6. •A $1.75 million dollar grant from the Charles Koch Foundation is part of a $3 million pledge to Catholic University of America announced in January that also includes $500,000 from the Busch Family Foundation and $250,000 each from three business leaders. • The African Union voted on Jan. 31 to back plans for a West African military task force to fight Boko Haram militants, “prevent [their] expansion” and “eliminate their presence” in Nigeria and neighboring countries.

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