Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley director to address United Nations Summit

March 18, 2015
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Alexandria, Virginia (March 18, 2015) – Sister Norma Pimentel, executive director of Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley in Brownsville, Tex., will speak at the United Nations on behalf of the Catholic Charities USA (CCUSA) network and its response to the unaccompanied minors and families who have come across our nation’s border.

Sr. Norma will speak to an international audience at the United Nations about her experiences last summer and the broader efforts to support families, women, and children, especially in light of this September’s World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia and accompanying visit by Pope Francis.

“Sister Norma and her agency were on the front lines providing a compassionate response in the midst of a humanitarian crisis,” said Maria J. Vorel, CCUSA’s Sr. Vice President of Disaster Operations. “Multiple experts have said that this summer may bring another influx of children and families seeking a better life. Thanks to the leadership of local directors like Sister Norma, I know that the Catholic Charities network will be standing ready to support them and all families searching for economic security.”

Pimentel, a sister with the Missionaries of Jesus, led community efforts to respond to the needs of families and children who were seeking refuge in the United States from their violence-torn homelands. Her humanitarian efforts received national and international attention, and her example of compassionate leadership was praised by figures ranging from Sen. Ted Cruz to Rep. Nancy Pelosi. She was called an “indispensable leader” by Texas Monthly magazine, and received the 2015 Keep the Dream Alive award from CCUSA.

“We all have responsibility to bring solutions to the immigration crisis,” said Sr. Norma. “And it all starts with us: the women who provide the core of the family, and the families who provide the strength to endure.”

The address will take place at a side event during the fifty-ninth session of the Commission on the Status of Women, currently taking place at United Nations Headquarters in New York. The session includes representatives from UN member states and entities, as well as non-governmental organizations across the globe.

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