American Nun shot to Death in Brazil's Amazon

A 76 year old American Nun was just shot to death at point blank range by unknown assailants.

She was the recipiant of a number of death threats, and was active in human rights activities.

Here’s what I just put up on my blog:

An American nun was shot to death in northern Brazil on Saturday, less then a week after she accused loggers and ranchers of threatening to kill rural workers, authorities said.

Dorothy Stang, 74, was shot in the face three times near the town of Anapu, about 2,100 kilometers north of Sao Paulo in the Amazon region, federal police officer Fernando Raiol said…

Stang, of Dayton, Ohio, had lobbied forcefully against efforts by loggers and large landowners to expropriate lands and clear large areas of the Amazon rainforest.

“She was basically protected by her status as being an old lady and being a nun. She also recently became a Brazilian citizen, and she thought that would help but it obviously didn’t,” said her niece Angela Mason, who lives in Dayton, Ohio. She said Stang had told them there was a price on her head.

Stang was a member of the Congregation of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, an international Catholic religious order of about 2,000 women in five continents.

Last June, Stang was honored by the state of Para for her work in the Amazon region. In December she received an award from the Brazilian Bar Association for her work helping the local rural workers.

“She was awesome. A little old bundle of joy. She was the happiest person,” Mason said. “She needed nothing. She just loved the people down there.”

American Nun Shot to Death in Brazil
southernillinoisan.com/articles/2005/02/12/ap/headlines/d8879hgg0.txt

While, of course, this is a horrible tragedy, and my prayers are with this religious sister and her family, I have to ask myself, “Why? To what purpose?”

According to these reports, this woman, a consecrated religious, seems to have made her life’s work the salvation of the Amazon rainforest. She had, it says, “lobbied forcefully against efforts by loggers and large landowners to expropriate lands and clear large areas of the Amazon rainforest.” It also talks about her meetings with farmers, ranchers, peasants, and a human rights secretary.

Not one word is said about her work for the Lord.

Nothing is known about this woman’s personal committments to religious life, I hope and pray that she was a faithful servant of the Lord. But, the approach this article takes raises serious questions in my mind as to whether the purpose and meaning of the life of a religious has been overshadowed in attempts to make the world itself into heaven – instead of seeing the world as our place to prepare ourselves to leave it in order to enter heaven.

The primary purpose of a consecrated religious is to love and serve the Lord, and to spread the saving message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to all nations. I’m not sure what part devotion to rainforests plays in this role, and I am decidedly not sure of the spiritual value of martyrdom for rainforests.

Concern for the environment – good. Too much concern for the environment – disordered.

+veritas+

I pray for Sister. I hope the next time someone is too quick to criticize the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, that her witness is remembered.

[quote=katherine2]I pray for Sister. I hope the next time someone is too quick to criticize the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, that her witness is remembered.
[/quote]

I pray for her, too. Your post does beg the question, though, her witness to what? Perhaps something was missing in the article, but all I saw was her commitment to saving the rainforest. I have the perhaps quaint, old-fashioned belief that Christ called us to save souls, not trees.

The article you posted does beg the question as to the poor nun’s dedication to our Lord.

But since when is the secular media reliable? Do they not do their very best to defy the very existance of belief in the Lord?

I would seek out information from the order directly, rather than judge this woman on the basis of what the media portrays. The media is not qualified to even discuss matters of Catholic faith or matters revolving around Catholic faith.

If by any remote chance the article is complete and accurately reports the matters at hand, then I pray for the nun. But considering the source…I will assume she is a Catholic of good standing and that she was more dedicated to our Lord than she was to the rainforest…and in fact I think it’s largely possible that she was trying to save the rainforest on behalf of all the people in it as well as God’s wonderful creatures. I daresay St. Frances would have taken up that cause and no doubt the media would be portraying him as a crazy hippie.

Don’t pay attention to the media…check the order and get the facts…then we can pray the prayers that are actually needed on behalf of this dedicated woman AND her order.

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