February 14, 2005
Sister Elizabeth Marie Bowyer, S.N.D. de Namur
Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur Provincial House
701 East Columbia Avenue
Cincinnati, OH 45215
Dear Sister Bowyer,
I write to extend to you and all the Religious of your Province the heartfelt sympathy of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops over the brutal assassination of Sister Dorothy Stang, S.N.D. last Saturday, February 12 on the outskirts of Anapα, Parα.
As I note in my letter to Brazilian Ambassador Abdenur (copy attached), this crime, evidently politically motivated, is reminiscent of the 1988 murder of Chico Mendes which caused an international outcry against the Amazon-area land speculators of that time. We can hope that Sister Dorothys sacrifice will lead to greater justice for the poor landless workers with whom she worked tirelessly and for whom finally she laid down her life.
Be assured that she, her family and all the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur have a special place in my prayers during this holy season of Lent.
With all best wishes, I remain
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Most Reverend John H. Ricard, SSJ
Bishop of Pensacola-Tallahassee
Chairman, Committee on International Policy