A United States nun who stood toe-to-toe with President Donald Trump over the Mexico-US border policy last year has been named among TIME Magazine’s 100 most influential people. Source: The Catholic Leader.
Sr Norma Pimentel, who is a member of the Missionaries of Jesus and executive director of the Catholic Charities of Rio Grande Valley, has fed, clothed and housed more than 125,000 immigrants crossing the Texan border.
She has won a number of awards, including the University of Notre Dame’s prestigious Laetare Medal, Catholic Charities USA’s Keep the Dream Alive award and the Sr Margaret Cafferty Development of Peoples Award from the Campaign for Human Development, presented during the Catholic Social Ministry Gathering in Washington.
Sr Pimentel said prayer was what held it all together for her.
“My prayer life, it’s key for who I am today and what I do,” she said. “If I didn’t make the time to wake up early in the morning to go to Mass and do my prayers and end with my prayers at night, I think I would get lost in all of this. It would be all about me and all the sensational attention that is given to me.”
Not only are Latin American immigrants arriving in the southern Texas city of McAllen in big numbers, so too are the Americans making their way to south Texas to assist in Sr Pimentel’s ministry however they can.
“For me, when I see people that come from different parts of the United States to volunteer, pretty much to learn and see what’s happening and to be part of that response, they’re 100 per cent self-giving to be there to help the immigrants,” Sr Pimentel said.
“You see in their faces, the joy of helping, the joy of being able to care for the families, whether it’s cleaning a toilet, washing the towels, making sandwiches.
“Their engagement and their involvement becomes so alive and you know that God is present in their life.
“That comes from a sense of awareness of God in them through that expression in them of what they’re doing.”
Missionary of Jesus named among TIME Magazine’s 100 most influential people of 2020 (By Joe Higgins, The Catholic Leader)