WESTCHESTER - Catholics across the Hudson Valley united in prayer during Sunday Masses while lawmakers ready themselves for a vote regarding military action in Syria.

Pope Francis asked Catholics to fast and pray for the refugees in the civil war-torn nation,and for a quick and peaceful resolution to the ongoing conflict.

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Father Matthew Fernan, of Saint Matthew Roman Catholic Church in Hastings, says the symbol of sacrifice goes a long way.

“We've been asking everybody since that day not only to say prayers,but also do some form of penance,” said Fernan.

Congress is expected to vote Wednesday on a measure that would involve U.S. strikes against Syria in response to its alleged use of chemical weapons.