2019 Fellin Lecture Features Champion of Human Dignity

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

S. Pimentel meets Pope Francis

She oversees the charitable arm of a large diocese, providing oversight of the different ministries & services that provide emergency assistance, homelessness prevention, disaster relief, clinical counseling, pregnancy care, food program(s), and the Humanitarian Respite Center.

She chairs the local Emergency Food and Shelter Program that distributes federal funds to local agencies providing assistance to the area’s poor.

She serves as Co-Vicar of Religious, organizing different events for those with religious vocations in the diocese.

And she was recognized by the Pope, who called her forward so he could see the face of this amazing woman.

On September 29, students, faculty and staff of Benedictine College, along with residents of Atchison and the surrounding area, will get to see this amazing woman…S. Norma Pimentel, MJ.

On that day, S. Norma, who is the Executive Director of Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley (Texas), will deliver the 23rd Annual Mary L. Fellin Lecture at Benedictine College. The lecture is set for 7:30 p.m. in O’Malley-McAllister Auditorium. The Sisters of Mount St. Scholastica Monastery present the Fellin Lecture each year with the sponsorship of the Fellin Endowment Fund in order to support the liberal arts orientation of Benedictine College.

S. Norma earned her Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts from Pan American University, a Master’s degree in Theology from St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, Texas, and a Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology from Loyola University in Chicago, Illinois. In 2018, she received the Laetare Medal, the nation’s oldest and most prestigious Catholic award. She also received the Martin Luther King, Jr. “Keep the Dream Alive” Award from Catholic Charities USA and was named the Rio Grande Valley’s Citizen of the Year. She has testified before the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights regarding the state of civil rights in the immigration detention facilities in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas and she spoke on “Women Upholding Human Dignity” at the United Nations.

A special moment was captured in a September 2015 satellite broadcast to the Sacred Heart Catholic Church in which Pope Francis recognized S. Norma for her work with the immigrants and asked her to come forward so that he could see her. He thanked her for her humility and her efforts and encouraged her to continue.

Founded in 1858, Benedictine College is a Catholic, Benedictine, residential, liberal arts college located on the bluffs above the Missouri River in Atchison, Kansas.  The school is proud to have been named one of America’s Best Colleges by U.S. News & World Report as well as one of the top Catholic colleges in the nation by First Things magazine and the Newman Guide.  It prides itself on outstanding academics, extraordinary faith life, strong athletic programs, and an exceptional sense of community and belonging.  It has a mission to educate men and women within a community of faith and scholarship.

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