Author Binka Le Breton Presents "Brazil Since Sister Dorothy Stang's Death"
February 23, 2010
Emmanuel's Center for Mission and Spirituality presented author Binka Le Breton discussing her book, The Greatest Gift: The Courageous Life and Martyrdom of Sister Dorothy Stang, with the College community on February 17th. The lecture was a late installment of Emmanuel's Founders' Week celebration and was titled "Brazil Since Sister Dorothy Stang's Death."
Le Breton is the author of six books all relating to the Brazilian Amazon. Her latest book, Where the Road Ends: a Home in the Brazilian Rainforest, will be released in May 2010. Le Breton's books have been translated into French, Italian, Portuguese and Polish, adapted for radio drama, issued as audio books and used as the basis for a screenplay. Le Breton is the cofounder and director of the Iracambi Research Center in the Atlantic Rainforest of Brazil, which works on biodiversity conservation, sustainability, and human rights.
Sister Maria Delaney, SND of the Congregational Leadership Team introduced Le Breton. Sister Maria reflected on her own relationship with Sister Dorothy Stang, SND and emphasized the worldwide movement that her cause and death has spurred.
"I knew Dot well and what really set her apart was her single-mindedness," she said. "She had a focus and she kept that focus."
Le Breton opened the lecture by reading an excerpt from her book, challenging the audience to think about what impact Sister Dorothy's life has had on each of them. Her lecture began with a short biography of Sister Dorothy, explaining her journey towards life in the Amazon Rainforest, fighting to help poor migrants move across Brazil and to find land of their own.
"If we want to help the poor we cannot just talk about it," Le Breton quoted Sister Dorothy. "We must be poor with the poor. We must live as the poor, live with the poor, and then we will know."
Where Sister Dorothy was murdered now stands a small wooden cross, however, those who were touched by her mission and purpose plan to one day build a small chapel in her memory. Le Breton concluded her lecture with a question-and-answer session, challenging the audience to relate Sister Dorothy's life and mission to their own lives and to think about how her cause has impacted not only Brazil, but the world in general.
"Every little victory for small people against the rich and powerful is going to go on forever," said Le Breton. "I think the face of justice is going to change in Brazil, one baby step at a time."