The Sisters of Notre Dame in Brazil remain active in justice and community action work, education and health care.
Sisters Jane and Katy help young farmers inspect the cacao grove. Cacao is a main cash crop and native to the Amazon rainforest.
February 2010 - from Sr. Jane Dwyer, Brazil
"Today, we are going to the parish to clean, decorate and practice. Tomorrow, whoever comes for the day participates in the community dinner. In past years the number has gone over a thousand. With the rain and reality this year, there may not be as many...but there will be many. One of our programs will include information about Hansen's disease (leprosy). We have a record number of cases here in Anapu."
August 2010 - from Sr. Jane Dwyer - A Little Project Grows...and Grows!
The project began in 2009 with a dialogue between our St. Lucy’s Parish here in Anapu and our sister parish, St. Raphael’s in Springfield, Ohio. The idea was to build communication and relationships between the school children in the two parishes. The children in St. Raphael’s catechetical program sent money for one female piglet. The children at St. Lucy’s were to learn how to raise the pig, care for it, mate it, sell the piglets and then decide what to do with their earnings. You can guess the rest…from one little piglet they now have 10 pigs and 12 sacks of rice. The 12 sacks of rice represent other pigs that were raised and sold.
The “little project” has gone beyond the children’s capacity to coordinate and has turned into a full-blown community undertaking. The smallness, familiarity and simplicity of the project make it attractive and viable. As the families care for the pigs, they organize as a community and generate profit to carry out community projects. From a children’s activity it has become a family and community endeavor generating hope and enthusiasm for the future.
Postscript: Teacher and wisdom figure Nazaré began this project with the children. Her leadership has been an essential part of the community’s growth. Recently diagnosed with a cancerous brain tumor, she works with natural medicines and treatment as she awaits her turn in the public health system. Both in health and sickness, she continues to spread her light and wisdom in the community.
March 2011 - Sisters Denise Curry, Sarah Fahy and Maryanne Gillespie returned from a trip to Brazil and bring this report: "We realized that the struggle being waged right now in the Anapu region of the Amazon is key to preserving Earth's largest remaining tropical rainforest...the conflict over land continues...in this context the action of The Twelve (one woman, a grandmother, and 11 men), who on January 10 stood in the middle of one road and blocked it to logging trucks is a heroic and highly significant act...we felt a fragile, tentative beginning of a region-wide movement developing as a result of their courageous action."
February 2011 - A group of religious Sisters from various congregations is working to prevent human trafficking in the city of Fortaleza. Thanks to a recent grant from the Hilton Foundation, the Sisters have resources to train women and youth in human trafficking awareness and prevention. Why the focus on Fortaleza? Sr. Betsy Flynn, SND, shares, "Fortaleza is the site city for the 2014 World Cup and, unfortunately, because of the beautiful beaches, it is a site for sex tourism."
February 12, 2011 - On the anniversary of Dorothy's murder, people gathered in Anapu to honor her and recommit themselves to the struggle to defend the forest and to obtain the rights to the land they have been promised.
January 2011 - The governor of Para, Brazil, dedicated a park in honor of Sr. Dorothy. The park serves a neighborhood that lacked a play area for children and familes. The photo shows Sisters posing by the bust and plaque of Sr. Dorothy.
Sisters pose by Dorothy's bust in the Sr. Dorothy Stang Park in Belem, Brazil.