Justice, Peace and the Integrity of Creation

On December 12th, the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, the Dorothy Stang Historical Marker, located on the campus of Chaminade Julienne High School in Dayton, Ohio was formally dedicated.  The Ohio History Connection presented a commendation to Chaminade Julienne High School, the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur and the Dayton Regional STEM School.  The two young women from the STEM School who created the project and organized the approval of the Historical Marker, Chloe Johnson and Anjali Phadke, told the story of how learning about Sister Dorothy’s martyrdom and her mission gave them the courage to embark on this important project.  Sister Judi Clemens, SNDdeN addressed those gathered for the dedication saying:  “History offers us a window into the souls of people we want to remember.  Before I reflect why Sister Dorothy Stang is an example for us, I want to lift up the two young women, who with the guidance of their history teacher, understood at a young age the truth that history offers us a window into the souls of those we want to remember!

What I most hope will serve as example for us and generations to come are three hallmarks of Dorothy’s life:

1)     Sister Dorothy was a woman of deep prayer, a Gospel woman we say, and from that light we name her a GLOBAL CITIZEN.  Sister Dorothy always had a wider vision of her call to work for Justice.   She truly lived the words we use today:  THINK GLOBALLY/ ACT LOCALLY.

2)    Way before the phrase “interconnectedness of all creation” came into our vocabulary, Sister Dorothy lived those words every day of her life.  She knew that the land struggles of her people were only a shadow of the wider destruction taking place around the globe.  When she repeated:  “A Morte da Floresta é o Fim de Nossa Vida” her gaze extended far beyond the Amazon region where she lived.

3)    Sister Dorothy held a deeply rooted faith in God that all evil could be transformed to good.  Her interactions with government officials, wealthy ranchers and loggers and the struggling farm families always pleaded for change so that there would be room for all to live peacefully and prosper.  As she faced her killers on that rainy Saturday in February 2005, she spoke, in her signature soft voice, inviting them to let go of their alliance with the ranchers and join the sustainable development community.  Sister Dorothy Stang lived her life dedicated to sustainable development of our planet.”

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