About Sister Dorothy Stang

Sister Dorothy Picture

Sister Dorothy, 73, was born in Dayton, Ohio, one of nine children. She was raised on a farm in a traditional Catholic family. She entered the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur community in 1948 and professed final vows in 1956. From 1951 to 1966 she taught elementary classes at St. Victor School in Calumet City, IL; St. Alexander School in Villa Park, IL; and Most Holy Trinity School in Phoenix, AZ. She began her ministry in Brazil in 1966, in Coroata in the state of Maranhao.

A citizen of Brazil and the United States, Sister Dorothy worked with the Pastoral Land Commission, an organization of the Catholic Church that fights for the rights of rural workers and peasants, and defends land reforms in Brazil. Her death, on February 12, 2005, came less than a week after meeting with the country's human rights officials about threats to local farmers from loggers and landowners.

Before her murder, Sister Dorothy was named "Woman of the Year" by the state of Para for her work in the Amazon region. She also received the Humanitarian of the Year award from the Brazilian Bar Association for her work helping the local rural workers.

Since her death, Sister Dorothy has been widely honored for her life and work by the United States Congress and by a number of colleges and universities across the United States. She was posthumously awarded the 2008 United Nations Prize in the Field of Human Rights. Books, movies, documentaries and an opera have been developed about her. She has also been formally recognized by the Vatican as a modern day martyr.

Dorothy Stang General Resource Contact

Sister Judi Clemens, SNDdeN (Cincinnati, OH)

  • Presentation: Sharing my life with Dorothy Stang in Brazil and how I remember her today, depending on what the audience desires.
  • Description: Dorothy Stang was a woman of faith on a mission and to know her was to know her mission.
  • Contact Information: 513-827-7455

Video Resources

To view more videos of Sister Dorothy Stang and her legacy, view our Youtube Channel. 

Continued Legacy of Sister Dorothy Stang

A year after the martyrdom of Sister Dorothy Stang in 2005 in Boa Esperança, Pará, Brazil, the Stang family, during their customary family reunion, dedicated a large stone with a bronze plaque in Dorothy’s memory at Calvary Cemetery in Dayton, Ohio.

We are happy to share the discovery of a new species of a screech owl in the Amazon rainforest named after our martyred Sister of Notre Dame de Namur Dorothy Stang. A native of Dayton, OH, and a graduate of Julienne High School, Sister Dorothy taught in Illinois and Arizona before beginning her life’s work in the Brazilian Amazon fighting for the rights of people in poverty.

The Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur in the United States and across the globe continue to share Sister Dorothy's story and ministry and encourage sisters, associates, colleagues, friends old and new to advance Sister Dorothy's legacy in a world that is crying out for the healing presence of God and an appreciation and respect for all of creation.

Evan Mack, the producer of Angel of the Amazon, an opera based on Sister Dorothy, will ...

Mount Notre Dame High School, Cincinnati, Ohio

Over the past ten months, the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur have been engaged in the Sister Dorothy Stang 15th Anniversary Rememberance project with the theme, “Her Legacy endures in us,” This project, which remembers Sister Dorothy on the 15th anniversary of her murder in Brazil, began on February 12, 2020 and will continue through February 12, 2021.

Sister Dorothy Stang Park in Belem, Brazil

Sister Dorothy Stang Park

November 1, 2020

These are photos of the dedication of the Sister Dorothy Stang Park in Belem, Para, Brazil. The park serves a neighborhood that lacked a play area. The people are delighted!

With you, we change lives

With the support of generous friends like you, we are able to continue our mission of educating and taking a stand with those in poverty— especially women and children.

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