Sister Norma Pimentel visualized the tear-streaked, weary faces of people she serves at the border during her acceptance speech for the Pacem in Terris Peace and Freedom Award April 21 in Davenport.
Sister Norma Pimentel, whose work with asylum-seekers has been recognized by Pope Francis, Time magazine and others, will receive the Pacem in Terris Peace and Freedom Award April 21 in Davenport.
The a four-person delegation from the Diocese of Brooklyn joined an “immersion” trip to tour the collaborative work shared by Sister Norma Pimentel and Catholic Extension to help thousands of asylum seekers stuck at the U.S./Mexico border.
In response to a lawsuit filed by the conservative political advocacy group CatholicVote to access communications between the Biden administration and Catholic humanitarian entities at the southern Texas-Mexico border, Sister Norma Pimentel encouraged the organization to come and see the work at the border for themselves.
Recently, the border situation in Texas has prompted a number of lawsuits against the Diocese of Brownsville and its Catholic Charities.
A state judge has halted an order by Texas Governor Greg Abbott barring non-government vehicles from transporting migrants. This paves the way for Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley and other organizations to continue their work.
For the first time since the start of the pandemic, Father Franciscus Asisi Eka Yuantoro was welcomed earlier this month into a government facility for unaccompanied minors in Donna, Texas, to celebrate Mass, which he called a “blessing.”
In the northern part of Donna, Maria Hernandez lives with her five children in a yellow mobile home. One of its shattered windows is boarded up; an air conditioner, propped up by a wooden pole, hangs from another. Among the items sitting on the ground outside are a broken toilet, a toddler’s car seat, and a mop.
Last Thursday, about 25 families exited a bus near a U.S.-Mexico border bridge near downtown El Paso. They had been flown in from south Texas, where they were apprehended after attempting to enter the country. Now, they faced expulsion into Ciudad Juarez, 800 miles from where they initially crossed.
Through early 2021, politicians have wrestled over whether the word “crisis” is warranted to describe the U.S.-Mexico border situation. Meanwhile, faith leaders and organizations have largely rejected the word as unwarranted, an oversimplification, a political tool, and an avenue for drastic solutions.