By Sr. Judith Clemens, SNDdeN
In the twelve years since February 12, 2005, when Sister Dorothy Stang, SNDdeN was killed in the Amazon in Anapu, Brazil, the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur (SND deN) and many organizations and projects around the world keep her memoryand her mission alive. On May 27, 2017, on a bright Saturday afternoon, a parish in Hamilton, Ohio dedicated and blessed Dorothy Stang House in a newly renovatedparish home. St. Julie Billiart Parish welcomed eight Sisters, from the
Ohio SNDdeN Province to the celebration of a Eucharistic Liturgy and this dedication. The Sisters presented a framed poster of Sister Dorothy to be hung in “Dot’s House.”
Ministry for Families St. Julie Parish participates in a program called Family Promise, in collaboration with two other Catholic parishes, eleven support churches and a mosque. This program in Butler County, Ohio seeks to provide temporary resources for homeless families, especially women and children, with a primary goal of finding permanent housing and full time employment for each family. The churches and the mosque welcome the families for a week at a time. These families face many challenges following strict guidelines and rigid schedules while in the program. Depending on daily schedules, the guests leave by 6:30 a.m. for their work or other activities.
With the involvement of more than ninety volunteers, a supportive church staff, and the generous service of an entire pastoral region, many renovations and extended cleaning have made Dot’s House a wonderful residence for hosting homeless guests. Guests appreciate the cleanliness and being able to sleep in real beds with beautiful quilts. One parishioner, Theresa Murphy, makes and donates creative and colorful quilts for all the beds which each family takes when they leave. Over the 2017 Memorial Day weekend, St. Julie Parish hosted five families, who would have been living in their cars or on the streets without this residential program.
At the celebration, Sr. Judith Clemens expressed appreciation for theSN DdeN community, to all involved: One of Dorothy’s great gifts wasto be at home wherever she was welcomed… I know she is thrilled to be remembered in the naming of this Dorothy Stang House where homeless families are welcomed.
As daughters of St. Julie Billiart, we are so grateful to you for offering this sign of hospitality. Your choice to name this home in Dorothy’s memory opens both doors and windows into the souls of many people. We lift up the lives of all who made the renovation of this lovely dwelling possible, all who have ever lived here and those who greeted them with a smile. Dorothy is smiling with us today. We believe that all goodness shared, somehow permeates our world, so everywelcome, particularly to women and children in need, makes thishome a holy dwelling.
Dorothy lives in the people!
Please show your support for parish and homeless ministry today.