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Monday, April 15, 2024

Media Alert – The Illinois Patrons of the Arts in the Vatican Museums and Holy Name Cathedral to Host Inaugural Bishop Kevin Birmingham Lecture Series on Monday, April 15, 2024, Featuring Sister Norma Pimentel, One of Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People

WHAT: The Illinois Patrons of the Arts in the Vatican Museums and Holy Name Cathedral will host the inaugural Bishop Kevin Birmingham Lecture Series on Monday, April 15 from 6:30 – 8 p.m. Sister Norma Pimentel, a religious sister of the Missionaries of Jesus, and executive director of Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley (CCRGV), will be the featured speaker. In 2020, Time magazine name Pimentel as one of its 100 most influential people and she is considered one of the nation’s most active Catholic leaders along the border.

The theme for the lecture is “Sharing the Stories of Migrants Through Art.” Pimentel will speak about how her artwork is inspired by her ministry to new arrivals at the border of Texas and Mexico. The event is held in honor of the late Bishop Kevin Birmingham who served as Cardinal Blase Cupich’s representative to the Illinois Patrons of the Arts in the Vatican Museums.

The event is free and open to the public. A free will offering will be accepted. Registration is required for entry at:

Pimentel has been on the front lines of supporting migrants seeking refuge in the United States along Texas’ border with Mexico for three decades. As executive director of CCRGV, she oversees different ministries and services in the Rio Grande Valley through emergency assistance, homeless prevention, disaster relief, counseling, pregnancy care and humanitarian relief to immigrants.

As one of the nation’s strongest champions of immigrants, in March 2015, Pimentel spoke at the United Nations headquarters in New York City at the invitation of the Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the U.N. During the U.S. papal visit, Pimentel met with Pope Francis in New York City and presented him with one of her original paintings of an immigrant mother and child.

The Patrons of the Arts in the Vatican Museums is an interfaith nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving the artistic collections and buildings of the Vatican museums. Patrons are organized into regional chapters that further its members’ knowledge of these works of art through local events and Vatican Museums activities.

The Illinois chapter was formed in 1993 under the leadership of Cardinal Joseph Bernardin and it is the only chapter that was organized to have the ordinary (archbishop) of the diocese serve as the chapter chairman. Chicago became home to the North American headquarters for the Patrons in 2018. Members of the Patrons’ chapters around the world fund 70 percent of the restoration work being done in the Vatican Museums. More information about the Patrons can be found at:

MEDIA NOTE: Sister Pimentel will be available for interviews from 3 – 4 p.m. on Monday, April 15, 2024

WHEN: Monday, April 15, 2024, at 6:30 – 8 p.m.

WHERE: Holy Name Cathedral, 735 N. State St., Chicago. The lecture will take place in the Frances Xavier Warde School auditorium.
Contact: Media Relations Office, 312-534-8227.