It's About Our Sisters' Safety…
Every day Sister Jane walks along this road. It’s in the Amazon, and is the only road.
Along this same road — in 2005 — our Sister Dorothy Stang was murdered.
Sister Jane, and Sister Dorothy before her, are doing the work of our Sisters. They are lifting up the poor not only in words but in deeds. They are ministering, they are teaching, they are bringing the Sacraments.
This road that they walk is a terrible road. It is unpaved. It is pot-holed enough to break axles. It often washes out. In places, instead of a bridge, you’ll find only two logs thrown across — the width of a wheelbase.
And there are highwaymen.
It’s thirty-seven miles from Anapu, where our Sisters live, to the community of Esperanca, which is an opening in the rainforest. Surrounding Esperanca, some near, some far, are the houses of subsistence farmers.
And it is with these people — these farmers and their families — with whom are Sisters work.
But first they have to get there. And to get there, they need a truck.
But it can’t be just any truck. This road is a tough one. It eats up vehicles with a vengeance. You see them by the roadside, half-buried where the mud and water have coursed through them. Our Sisters have had such vehicles, and all have likewise succumbed. Axles snapped, transmissions dropped, engines locked-up and melted.
No, what Sister Jane and our Sisters need is a truck equal to the terrain. It will cost a lot of money — $60,000 — but it will ensure that they no longer get caught on the road at night, or in bad weather. Or that they have to hitchhike. Or that they get beaten — or worse.
Our Sisters are in the Amazon for keeps. When Sister Dorothy was shot, not one of our Sisters requested to come home. Instead, each asked to take Sister Dorothy’s place. Even as I write, they continue along this road. They work here, endure here, not because it is easy but because it is what they are called to do. To the best of their abilities, and to the last of their strength, they labor as Christ’s hands in the world.