Sr. Norma Pimentel embraces 'holy chaos' of her ministry to migrants

Sr. Norma Pimentel, a member of the Missionaries of Jesus, speaks Aug. 16 after receiving the Leadership Conference of Women Religious 2019 Outstanding Leadership Award for her work with immigrants along the United States' southern border.  (GSR photo / Dan Stockman)

Scottsdale, Arizona — "Holy chaos" is how Sr. Norma Pimentel describes her ministry.

As the executive director of Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley on the U.S.-Mexico border, Pimentel sees up to 800 migrants every day pouring into her center, often their first stop after being released from U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Here, the Missionaries of Jesus sister and her staff help them organize the rest of their journey to their final destinations, and provide them with new clothes, a hot meal and shower.

More than 150,000 migrants have passed through her ministry's doors.

That work has led to her being praised by, and later meeting, Pope Francis, being featured on "60 Minutes," "20/20," CNN and in newspapers around the world. On Aug. 16, she received the Leadership Conference of Women Religious Outstanding Leadership Award at the organization's annual Assembly in Scottsdale, Arizona.

"There are times we must decide who we are, what we stand for," Pimentel told the nearly 700 Catholic sisters attending the Assembly. "We must ask ourselves, dear sisters, 'What else must I do in the world today?' "

Read the full story at Global Sisters Report.

Join the Conversation

Send your thoughts and reactions to Letters to the Editor. Learn more here