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From left, front row: Ava Laible and Sarah Gresham, seventh graders at Immaculate Conception School, Annandale, pose with (from left, back row) Msgr. Randall J. Vashon, pastor, Immaculate Conception Parish; IC parents Ian Laurenzie and Renee Ciszewski; science teacher Stacy Jones; Cynthia Kitts, principal; and Father Edgar A. Madarang, parochial vicar, at a recent unveiling and blessing of the school’s upgraded science lab. Last February, the school held its annual Gala fundraiser. One of the activities raised $7,000, which helped buy equipment and tables. The tables are chemical resistant and provide middle school students with a sturdy surface to perform experiments with a lab partner or in a lab group. -photo courtesy of Immaculate Conception School

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople, Pope Francis, an unidentified clergyman and Anglican Archbishop Justin Welby of Canterbury, England, attend an ecumenical prayer service with other religious leaders in the Basilica of St. Francis in Assisi, Italy, Sept. 20. The pope and other religious leaders participated in the service that marked the 30th anniversary of St. John Paul II’s Assisi interfaith peace gathering. -CNS photo/Paul Haring