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Archdiocese of Chicago to Host the Eighth Annual Keep Hope Alive Fundraiser Benefitting its Immigration Ministry on Thursday, Oct. 29, 2020

Sister Norma Pimentel, MJ, executive director of Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley, is the guest speaker. Pimentel was recently named one of Time’s 100 Most Influential People of 2020

Lea la versión en español aquí.

Chicago - (Oct. 22, 2020) – The Archdiocese of Chicago’s Immigration Ministry will host its eighth annual Keep Hope Alive benefit virtually at 6:30 p.m., on Thursday, Oct. 29, 2020. Keep Hope Alive is the archdiocese’s annual fundraiser to support Pastoral Migratoria, its local and national immigrant-led ministries and to recognize community leaders who have responded to the needs of immigrant communities. Sister Norma Pimentel, a Missionary of Jesus and executive director of Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley, is this year’s honorary chairwoman and guest speaker. Pimentel was recently named one of Time’s 100 Most Influential People of 2020.

“The Catholic Church in the United States is uniquely defined as a church of immigrants and has long served, supported and empowered immigrant and refugee communities and marginalized populations,” said Cardinal Blase J. Cupich, archbishop of Chicago. “Supporting immigrants and refugees is at the core of our Catholic identity, as is our mission of service to the ever-changing face of America.”

Pimentel is renowned for her work assisting migrants on the U.S.-Mexico border near Brownsville, Texas and is considered one of the nation’s most active Catholic leaders along the border. As guest speaker, she will discuss her immigration ministry and offer her perspective on why Pastoral Migratoria, an immigrant-led ministry of service, justice and accompaniment started by the Archdiocese of Chicago, is vital in meeting the pastoral and social needs and challenges facing immigrants nationwide.

Cardinal Cupich will provide remarks about the importance of immigrant lay leaders in parish communities throughout Chicago and the United States, highlighting Pastoral Migratoria’s role in responding to COVID-19 situations.

The Immigration Ministry of the Archdiocese of Chicago, Pastoral Migratoria serves as a national model for supporting undocumented and documented immigrants and promotes the Gospel imperative for communion among all persons, including these communities.

Elena Segura, senior coordinator of the archdiocese’s national immigration ministry, and Miguel Salazar, senior coordinator of the local immigration ministry, will discuss the archdiocese’s role in immigrant justice over the past 15 years and the ministry’s collaboration with priests, religious, lay leaders, interfaith groups and civic organizations. Segura will share how she started Pastoral Migratoria as a parish-based ministry in Chicago in 2010 and expanded it into a national model.They will also discuss Pastoral Migratoria’s response to the pandemic.

Leaders from Pastoral Migratoria ministries in Chicago, New York City and Stockton, Calif., will share personal testimony as to how the ministry has transformed their lives and their local immigrant parish communities.

Grammy and Latin Grammy-nominated Sones de Mexico Ensemble will perform during the fundraiser.

Community leaders and groups to be recognized for their dedication to immigrants and immigration reform  include:

  • Old St. Patrick's Parish (Chicago) - Journey to Emmaus Award
  • Sister Catherine Fedewa, CSFN, Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth - Frances Cabrini Award
  • Carmen Velásquez, Alivio Medical Center - Lifetime Achievement Award
  • Southwest Pastoral Migratoria Cluster - St. Toribio Romo Award
  • Rev. Gary Graf, San José Luis Sánchez del Río Parish (Chicago) - Strangers No Longer Award
  • Rev. Eric Cruz, Catholic Charities-Bronx Services, Archdiocese of New York - Pope Francis Award

Since May 2005, the Archdiocese of Chicago, its bishops, priests and religious congregations have given voice to immigrants through the Catholic Campaign for Immigration Reform. The Campaign was established by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops to educate Catholics and the public about the need for comprehensive immigration reform and to influence legislation for a permanent and fair solution to immigration issues in this country.

The link to the Keep Hope Alive fundraiser is available here