Sister Dorothy Stang
7/7/1931 - 2/12/2005
Sister Dorothy Stang, dedicated her life as a missionary to the fight for the rights of rural workers and peasants in the Amazon region of Brazil. Sister Dorothy, a Dayton native and member of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, went to Brazil as a missionary to do adult faith formation with landless peasants. When these poor families were granted small plots of land in the rain forest, she understood that the farmers needed to understand the principles of sustainable farming and rain forest preservation, and so taught them. She worked with communities to become self supporting, starting 39 schools, working to develop health care and basic first aid facilities, and creating a series of seminars and conferences to teach sustainable farming. She believed passionately that the rain forest plays a critical role in the earth’s health. Although beloved by the people she served, while working to improve the lives of the poor and protect the rain forest, Sister Dorothy ran afoul of illegal logging operations, and speculators, and cattle ranchers. She was murdered by hired killers in 2005.