When I was in Brazil in 2007, gathering information about Sr. Dorothy Stang,
I met these five wonderful young women.They were and are in formation which is nun-talk for thinking about and starting the journey to become full fledged Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur.
One of them — after finding out I had only one son, announced, “Michele-y, you have no daughters, we will be your Brazilian daughters!” This coming week , after 5 years, I will meet one of them in New York city. We have already skyped about the basics, how and where each of the others are and what they are doing.
These “daughters” are amazing to me, they have chosen a not-easy life, serving the poor and the disenfranchised, establishing houses for trafficked girls and women, working with more senior Sisters to help keep the farmers on their land in the face of illegally acting ranchers, and demonstrating along with indigenous and other peasant groups against the Belo Monte Dam.
In the next weeks, I should be able to report about what is going on in Brazil now, in the North, where Sister Dorothy with the help of others, educated many peasant farmers and developed communities where her memorial grave is now.
I am so delighted to have contact with one of my young daughters and it brings back the joy I had meeting all the dedicated women — and some men too! — in Brazil in 2007.
Here is one “daughter” celebrating the 50th anniversary of this order in Brazil.