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4 things you didn’t know about Sister Norma, the immigrant defender

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Sister Norma, Norma Pimentel, immigrant defender, religion, MundoNOW, Hermana Norma, Norma Pimentel, defensora inmigrantes, religión, MundoNOW
Sister Norma / PHOTO: The Valley Catholic / Shutterstock
  • Sister Norma Pimentel and Her Work
  • Origins and Outstanding Education
  • Support for Migrants and Worldwide Recognition

The National Hispanic Heritage Month, which concluded on October 15th, has left us with valuable lessons.

One of them is the importance of recognizing individuals who dedicate their lives to serving others with all their hearts.

Sister Norma Pimentel, also known as the defender of immigrants, is a clear example of this.

In this instance, we’d like to share four things you probably didn’t know about this Mexican-American nun.

Where is Sister Norma from?

Brownsville, Texas, USA, July 1, 1953, MundoNOW
Sister Norma / PHOTO: The Valley Catholic

First and foremost, it’s essential to highlight Sister Norma’s origins. She was born on July 1, 1953, in Brownsville, Texas, United States.

She is the daughter of Mexican immigrants, and according to El Tiempo Latino, she grew up traveling back and forth across the border between Mexico and the USA.

While her father was born in the state of Chiapas, her mother hails from Matamoros, Tamaulipas, Mexico.

It’s worth mentioning that she holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the Universidad Panamericana, as well as two master’s degrees from St. Mary’s University and Loyola University Chicago.

Championing Immigrants’ Rights

Sister Norma, migration, Missionaries of Jesus, Casa Óscar Romero, MundoNOW
PHOTO: Shutterstock

At the age of 27, Sister Norma Pimentel began working with migrants in the early 1980s.

It was a bishop who entrusted her, as part of the Missionaries of Jesus, with the responsibility of overseeing a refugee shelter.

This place was Casa Óscar Romero, and the nun was determined to advocate for both immigrant families and children for a decade.

She is known as ‘the nun,’ although some also refer to her as «the angel of migrants.»

«The Pope’s Favorite Nun»

Pope Francis, Jorge Bergoglio, favorite nun of the Pope, message, MundoNOW
Sister Norma / PHOTO: Shutterstock

Another lesser-known fact about Sister Norma is that she is considered «the Pope’s favorite nun.»

In May 2021, Jorge Bergoglio, the real name of Pope Francis, sent her a recorded video message.

«Thank you for what you and your entire team are doing… Thank you for welcoming them, for receiving these migrants who come seeking a better life,» he expressed.

The Pope also made it clear that he supported her «from here,» along with her team, and that he was praying for all of them: «May God bless you greatly.»

Sister Norma Recognized by Time

Sister Norma, Time magazine, nun, recognition, MundoNOW
PHOTO: Shutterstock

For her more than forty years of service, Time magazine named Sister Norma as one of the most influential people in the world.

As of September 2020, amid the Covid-19 pandemic, this nun had helped over a hundred thousand immigrants.

Currently, she is in charge of the Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley Foundation, which is a branch of the Diocese of Brownsville, Texas.

In August 2019, she received the Outstanding Leadership Award at a ceremony in Scottsdale, Arizona, United States.

Political Activism

politics, Washington DC, The Washington Post, Joe Biden, MundoNOW
Sister Norma / PHOTO: Shutterstock

Finally, it’s crucial to emphasize that Sister Norma’s work is not solely focused on helping people cross the border.

According to El Tiempo Latino, Pimentel engages in political activism to demand changes in the decisions made in Washington.

The Washington Post published a letter from the nun in September 2021, addressing President Joe Biden.

«These legal complications and our overwhelmed immigration court system cannot become an excuse to leave thousands of people in dire circumstances.»

Hispanic Leaders
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