Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur continue to live and work in the Amazon rainforest, and in other areas of Brazil, among the materially poor.
This site tells the Sisters' stories and the stories of others who have been inspired by Sr. Dorothy Stang's life, faith and courage.
Her murder was not the end...
Sr. Dorothy Stang
1931 - 2005
Helping reforest the Amazon, A Million Trees is funded by the people of Anapu, Brazil, with help from interested benefactors around the world.
Lace Makers of Maceio, Brazil - Doing Double Duty
By Sr. Leonore Coan
Women in Brazil have been tatting or making lace for centuries. Before the Sisters of Notre Dame helped the women in Maceio organize into a cooperative, individuals sold their lace for a pittace to intermediary buyers. The intermediaries would then transport the women's handwork to city markets and export it overseas at an astronomical markup--keeping all the profits for themselves. Today we are happy to report that the women's lace cooperative is now an autonomous organization, no longer relying on the Sisters' help.
And the Maceio lace makers do double duty for their community. They carry their threads, pins, bobbins and pillows to the beach, where they create their wares while guarding their community land from developers. As long as the community occupies its designated area of the beach, no one may trespass or seize the land for development. This means round-the-clock vigilance and the lace makers are doing their part!
For the past 50 years, the Sisters of Notre Dame have empowered the people of Maceio, Brazil, through Bible study, community organizing, educational programs, financial assistance
and business expertise.
A Better Story for Lot 55
JUNE 2012 - Lot 55, in rural Anapu, Brazil, is rich in minerals, wood and soil. In 2005 the land was illegally occupied by several men, one whom claimed ownership to this valuable land using falsified papers. Sr. Dorothy Stang legally fought their claim and was murdered at Lot 55 for her unflagging efforts. There is a wood building high up in the pasture that had been used by the men who ordered her murder. One of the Sisters who later visited this building commented, “You could feel the evil all around you just being there."
Now a days the building serves a different purpose. Sr. Jane Dwyer tells us about it:
Today the simple wood building is a school and community center for the 31 families who live on Lot 55. Though the building is the same, it is now warm and welcoming. It has been transformed by a new objective, new occupants and a new reason for being.
There is also a small home factory which works with the farmers’ cacau (cacao) turning it into chocolate bars, coco, syrup, liquor, so many creative and wonderful things. The women are the major figures in the home factory business fulfilling one of Dorothy’s dreams!
The families are also organizing a tree nursery as part of the Million Trees project. The families are united, happy to be together and filled with wonderful plans for their community.
Here at last the Gospel begins to take root and bear fruit.
Sr. Dorothy was one of three individuals featured in an ad campaign to encourage recycling in Brazil. The campaign also included Jacques Cousteau and Wangari Maathai.
"Donate Your Garbage" Campaign
Created by TBWA, Brazil.
Another Retrial for Moura
MAY 29, 2013: Brazil's Supreme Court has annulled the last trial of Vitalmiro Moura who was convicted and sentenced to 30 years in prison for ordering the murder of Dorothy Stang. The court ruled that Moura was not given enough time in 2010 to prepare his defense. He will remain in prison until his retrial.
Dorothy's sister Barbara Richardson said about this news: "I'm really upset that it has happened again, but there's a benefit to keeping the case alive. That keeps the injustice of the stystem before the people's eyes. Dorothy is ever prominent. The people understand what happened to her and what this means.