While Massachusetts defeated a "death with dignity" measure, California decided to keep the death penalty and other states voted on abortion.
A $20 million gift is expected to help boost Georgetown University's profile as a major center for environmental education and research.
The gift from an anonymous donor affiliated with the school launches the Georgetown Environment Initiative, which university officials said will advance the interdisciplinary study of the environment in relation to society and stewardship of natural resources.
"The plan is to lead through the example of scholarship," said Matthew B. Hamilton, associate professor of biology and faculty chairman of the initiative.
"The people of our country have again entrusted you with a great responsibility," Dolan said in a letter to the president Wednesday.
Two of the United States' largest Catholic hospital systems are exploring a consolidation that one spokesman said benefits from "mission overlap."
Statements on preaching and ways bishops can respond using new technologies to modern-day challenges to their teaching authority are among the items the U.S. bishops will consider when they gather in Baltimore for their annual fall assembly.
Set for Nov. 12-15, the assembly also will consider a statement on work and the economy proposed by the Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development as a way to raise the profile of growing poverty and the struggles that unemployed people are experiencing.
Catholic charities have set up relief services in the areas hit hardest, which are highly developed and have a high poverty rate.
Analysis: For a variety of reasons, Catholics will break one way or the other in the final weeks of the presidential race, and that will decide who wins.
"My dad used to say, 'I know what happened 2,000 years ago. I need to know how to live my life today.'"
These words, from Archbishop Robert J. Carlson of St. Louis, get to the heart of a new proposed document on preaching to be considered by the U.S. bishops at the fall general meeting in November.
The document, "Preaching the Mystery of Faith: The Sunday Homily," encourages preachers to connect the Sunday homily with people's daily lives.
The 2012 American Values Survey found that 60 percent of Catholics prefer bishops to focus on social justice issues, even if it means less emphasis on abortion.
The chairman of the U.S. Catholic bishops' subcommittee on marriage described as "unjust and a great disappointment" the decision by a federal appeals court striking down part of the Defense of Marriage Act, which says marriage is a legal union of a man and a woman.
"Redefining marriage never upholds the equal dignity of individuals because it contradicts basic human rights," said San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage.