2021 friends of father baker Celebration honorees

We are proud to introduce this year's honorees...



Sister Norma Pimentel, MJ
Catholic Charities of the
Rio Grande Valley

Mark Zirnheld
Society of St. Vincent de Paul

Hannah Ross
Sacred Heart Academy

Sister Norma has been praised by Pope Francis and others for her work with refugees and immigrants to the United States. 

She began working with refugees in 1980 at the Casa Oscar Romero and there developed a passion for the work. Sister Norma became executive director of Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley in 2004, having previously served as a counselor and assistant director. In this role she provides food, shelter, and other necessities to migrants entering the United States.

She has garnered many awards throughout her life and has been featured in newspapers around the world and on program such as 20/20 and 60 Minutes.  In 2020, she was named to Time magazine's list of "100 Most Influential People in the World."

Mark's career at St. Vincent De Paul began as a volunteer in 1988 after being asked to help in the planning process for a concept store for the organization. Shorly after, he was asked to manage the store. He was named executive director in 1989, a designation that was changed to CEO/Executive Director in 2016.

Mark has received a number of awards for his service to others and been engaged with a number of local and national organizations, including Buffalo's CYO, USA CYO and the NYS Catholic Conference. 

Married 30+ years, he has two children and currently resides in the Town of Tonawanda.

A high school senior, Hannah has made serving those in need an important part of her experience at Sacred Heart Academy.

She has volunteered with the school's Leadership Camp and Resurrection Life Food Pantry and with ARC of Erie County. Hannah also earned Sacred Heart's St. Clare Award for community service.