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.
Rio +20 Conference Side Note
"The Brazilian government's policies regarding the Amazon were strongly criticized by environmentalists, scientists, indigenous peoples and traditional communities during events parallel to Rio+ 20." (United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development) The criticism focused on hydroelectric projects, including the controversial Belo Monte dam, and deforestation. For the complete article, visit Latin America Press.
Why has Galvao been Released from Jail?
by Sr. Margaret Hoffman, SND
August 23- Brazil rancher Regivaldo Pereira Galvao has been released from jail pending the outcome of his appeal of a 30-year sentence for being one of two ranchers who arranged for the killing of Sr. Dorothy Stang in 2005. This is despite the fact that he continues to be a threat to those in the area around Anapu where Sr. Dorothy was assassinated.
Please take note of this email scam...
Persons claiming to represent the estate of the late Dorothy Stang are sending fraudulent emails to people with the news that she left them $12 million in her will. Please delete these emails and DO NOT open any attachments.
It's been eight years since February 12, 2005 when word spread across the globe that Dorothy Stang had suffered the fate of so many poor people struggling for justice. Her death took place in the middle of the Amazon rainforest, indeed her body laid in the soft rain all that day. She loved that forest, she gave her life for that forest and for poor farmers seeking their right to live there peacefully with their families.
This February 12 and 13th, as they have every year since her death, a crowd will gather at the site of Dorothy's death. People from all over the Anapu area and beyond will stand in that sacred place and proclaim to the one another, to the forest and the sky that Dorothy lives. They will sing and pray and then share a simple meal and talk not so much about the past, but about the future and their hopes.