February 12 marks the eighth anniversary of the death of Sr. Dorothy Stang, a member of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, who was killed in Brazil for her work to protect the land and the indigenous people.

The following prayer, reflection and action suggestion are provided by Pax Christi USA:

PRAY: Help us to bring forth righteousness 

Loving God, you call us to be in solidarity with those who suffer injustices at the hands of the powerful. You call us to resist, to offer hope, to celebrate even in the midst of suffering. We pray for all victims of injustice and for those helping in the struggle to bring forth righteousness. We ask that your love and your presence be felt by them, be known to them. Give us the courage to stand with them and advocate to bring change where change is needed, to bring compassion where harshness rules, and to bring peace where war is the norm. Amen.

STUDY: Commemorating the life of Sr. Dorothy Stang, SNDdeN
by Pax Christi USA's Global Restoration Committee

"I don't want to flee, nor do I want to abandon the battle of these farmers who live without any protection in the forest. They have the sacrosanct right to aspire to a better life on land where they can live and work with dignity while respecting the environment." ~Sr. Dorothy Stang, SNDdeN

One of the dimensions of just peace-making is the attention to human rights and global restoration. This is one of the pillars espoused by Pax Christi USA.  In remembering and celebrating the life and death of Sr. Dorothy Stang, we become aware of her struggle against the disregard for the human rights of Indigenous people and for the preservation of the forest.

Sr. Dorothy was shot on February 12, 2005 near Anapú, a small Amazon jungle village where she was active for 23 years, helping local peasant farmers fight for their land and their rights in the face of encroachment by large landowners and logging companies...

Click here to read this entire article.

ACT: Write the President, connect with 350.org, support A Million Trees

Based on President Obama's January 21 inaugural address where he shared his concern for climate change and the impact on future generations, we urge you to write a letter or email to the president asking how he will implement his words of concern. Some of the topics of environmental concern in the headlines are the impact of shale hydro-fracking for natural gas; more oil drilling on land and offshore -- specifically the concern over the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline and the environmental impact to numerous states in its path -- where does he stand on these topics and what will he do now to bring about change? 350.org is building a global movement to solve the climate crisis. They are planning a large rally in D.C., Feb. 17.  If we can join our voices with those heading to Washington, we can send a strong message that the time for concrete action is NOW -- share your concerns and words of support with the president and honor the memory of Sr. Dorothy Stang who gave her life speaking truth to power.

  • Send a letter to: The White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, D.C. 20500
  • Or share your comments through the White House comment line by clicking here  
  • Or send an email to: president@whitehouse.gov

Visit 350.org for more information about the February 17 event in Washington, D.C. (and send a note to the Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns if you want to join us) or to co-sign a letter to the president.

Perhaps many of us can gather too, alongside those in Brazil who will remember Sr. Dorothy, on February 12 or 13 and share a simple meal and talk about where we are now and what our hopes for the future are. Check out this project from Sr. Dorothy's community: A Million Trees Project. Helping to reforest the Amazon, "A Million Trees" is funded by the people of Anapu, Brazil, with help from interested benefactors around the world. Learn more about this special project and how you can help by clicking here.