In Alleanza

Il blog del Centro Internazionale di Spiritualità

SISTER DOROTHY STANG, SNDdeN,Belem,P ará, Brasil; Feb., 2014

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At 7:30 of February 12, 2005, Dorothy was murdered in a small road inside the forest, close to the city of Anapu, Para, Brazil. She was going for a meeting with the poor laborers, in order to give them a document of possession of their lands. Dorothy was made a citizen of the State of Pará in 2004. She died with a Bible in her hands, and her name became famous national and internationally as a victiofthe liberty and of the defense of Amazonian forest. Her body was buried in Anapu, where she receives many homages.

Sister Dorothy Stang did not set out to be a martyr, but she was deeply committed to doing God’s work of defending human rights and promoting justice for people and for creation.

Dorothy was Born in Ohio, USA, in June 7, 1931, and belonged to the Congregation of the Notre Dame Sisters.  She came to live in Brazil in 1966, desiring to fulfill her mission to work among the poorest. She arrived with 4 companions in the city of Coroatá, Maranhão, and began to learn Portuguese and rapidly imerged in the Pastoral work. There were the years of the so called “Revolution” and  Dorothy was even accused of being a “communist”, because with the Vatican II, the Church in Brazil was taking radical positions. In 1974, Dorothy came to Marabá,Pa, where she saw the dramatic situation of the workers in the Transamazonica Road. Seeing that there were good leaders in  Marabá, Dorothy came to the city of Altamira, in Xingu River, a big affluent of Amazonas river, bathing great part of Pará. There she talked with Dom Erwin Krautler, third and actual bishop of Xingu, and having asked to go to a very poor, she was sent to the small city of ANAPU, in the TRANSALESTE (east part of the big road). She found schools, and tried to help the field workers, to defend their rights, and avoid to destroy the forest. Her dream was to make the families to live from the fruits of the land, not fearing the men who thought the land belonged to them. Because of this, the life of Dorothy was menaced several times, but she said :”I have to stay with the poor. I don’t fear for my security. I won’t abandon this fight”.

She is remembered as a woman who knew how to live even at the hour of her death.

Sr Dorothy was known by many Adorers in Brazil.  Let us, commit to works of justice and continue to pray for people who live in oppressive situations and for those willing to stand with them and offer their lives in testimony to Jesus, who shed his blood for all.


Sr.Marilia Menezes,A.S.C.


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