BOSTON — Dozens of Roman Catholic worshippers have joined members of the clergy in Boston for a 4-hour prayer vigil for peace in Syria, joining those who answered Pope Francis’ call and massed at the Vatican to push for an end to the bloodshed in the Middle East nation.

Boston Archdiocese Cardinal Sean O’Malley was scheduled to join the Mass during Saturday’s prayer vigil in St. John’s Seminary Chapel in Boston’s neighborhood of Brighton.

The event began at 1 p.m. and was set to end with a Mass at 5 p.m. St. John Seminary’s Rector Msgr. James Moroney was scheduled give a homily highlighting Syria’s prominent role in some of the key bible stories.

The prayer vigils highlight opposition against proposed U.S.-led military action targeting Syria’s ruling regime following the Aug. 21 chemical weapons attack near Damascus.

UNH researcher wins $750,000 grant

DURHAM, N.H. — A University of New Hampshire biochemist has won a $750,000 grant to continue researching the reproductive hormones of the sea lamprey, which are studied as a model organisms because their ancestors predate dinosaurs by millions of years.

Stacia Sower is the director of the UNH Center for Molecular and Comparative Endocrinology. She’ll use the grant to investigate hormones and receptors that regulate reproduction and metabolism in the sea lamprey to determine whether they share common features with other vertebrates. She says a better understanding of reproductive hormones will help in the development of new strategies for improving and controlling reproduction.

Compiled from wire reports