Sister Dorothy Stang, SNDdeN '49, was born July 7, 1931 in Dayton, Ohio and was one of eight siblings. She attended Julienne High School and joined the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur in 1948 and finished high school as a novice.
Her first assignments led her to teach in Chicago, Illinois and then Glendale, Arizona where her work with migrants gave her a heart for helping the poor and oppressed. In 1966, Sister Stang traveled to Brazil where she would find her life's work among the poor farmers. Through prayerful decisions, she would spend the next 29 years educating about the importance of human dignity and justice for the poor and of sustaining the balance of the rain forest. Through her work, she educated poor families about their rights to live on and farm the land and gained many enemies who would claim the land for their own and sell the trees of the great forest for personal profit.
On February 12, 2005, she was murdered in Anapu, Para, Brazil for her work and outspoken support on behalf of the environment and poor Brazilians farmers and their families who were continually subjected to abuse and oppression from loggers and landowners.
The Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur Ohio Province maintains a Web page devoted to Sister Dorothy Stang and her work. It includes biographical information, press releases and educational resources. It also includes links to publications and productions created about her, including:
A Journey of Courage, The Amazing Story of Sister Dorothy Stang, a book by Michele Murdock, published by the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, 140 pages, includes photos, discussion questions, chapter notes.
Martyr of the Amazon, The Life of Sister Dorothy Stang, a book by Roseanne Murphy, and published by Orbis Books.
They Killed Sister Dorothy, a documentary based on the life and mission of Sister Dorothy Stang '49. The full-length feature was created by Daniel Jung and released in 2008.
The Greatest Gift: The Courageous Life and Martyrdom of Sister Dorothy Stang, a biography by Binka LeBreton.
Learn more here about the Angel of the Amazon opera about Sister Dorothy Stang.