In honor of Dorothy Stang’s life and martyrdom (remembered on on February 12), Student Coordinator Rachael Schwartz reflects on Dorothy’s commitment to sustainable justice.
Dorothy Stang is a woman all justice workers and people should strive to be like. She decided to devote her life to God as a sister of Notre Dame de Namur. When I read her story, I was impressed by both her versatility, as well as her persistence.
Originally wanting to do missionary work in China, Dorothy found herself traveling to Brazil to do charitable works there instead. The Amazon Rainforest is the lungs for the earth and also home to some twenty million people. Dorothy was angry to see it constantly pillaged and becoming destroyed by ranchers and other exploiters. She took it upon herself to protect these lands.
As a result, Dorothy was put on the “kill list” for environmentalists and advocates for the forest. Two men gunned her down as she was their prime target. Dorothy was chosen to be killed because she put together self-sustaining programs in communities committed to their own independence and the sustenance of the rainforest.
Dorothy worked for justice until she was literally taken from this earth; that is what I strive to do. To be so selfless is amazing and I cannot begin to know where to start. However, instead of getting overwhelmed, I will start with a single act for justice every day and gradually increase it. No person is too small to make a difference.
CCSJ Student Coordinator
Class of 2017
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