Human Rights Advocate Sr. Katy Webster, SND, ’74 to Keynote Sower’s Seed 10th Anniversary Celebration, Thursday, October 22, 10:30 am
Be inspired by Sr. Katy Webster’s work as a passionate advocate for human rights and environmental justice in the Amazon basin in Brazil.
The Trinity community is invited to be inspired by Sr. Kathryn “Katy” Webster, a Sister of Notre Dame and a member of the Trinity Class of 1974, who will be the featured Sower’s Seed speaker on Thursday, October 22, at 10:30 am in Social Hall. Sr. Katy has dedicated her life’s work to advocating for human rights and environmental and social justice in the Amazon basin in Brazil.
Sr. Katy entered the Sisters of Notre Dame in 1976, and from 1976 to 1983, she taught in elementary schools administered by the Sisters of Notre Dame. In 1984 she went to Brazil and in 1993, moved from Maranhão to the state of Pará, living on the Transamazon Highway, Centro Nazaré, 60 miles from Altamira. For the last 20 years, Sr. Katy has been associated with Anapu, the site where Sr. Dorothy Stang, SND, was assassinated in 2005. Sr. Katy lives with three other SNDs. She works with the pastoral team visiting the communities, holding meetings, walking with the people in their struggle for land, security on the land, and preservation of the forests from the loggers, ranchers and mining companies.
“The struggle,” she says, “is for life: of the people, the land, the forest and the rivers. We are 50 miles from the Belo Monte complex, a hydroelectric dam that is being built after 30 years of protest because it is a natural disaster, and the energy it will produce will not benefit the local population and really is not needed.”
In July 2015, as a way to commemorate Sr. Dorothy Stang’s life and struggle, the Sisters, the people with whom they work, and friends participated in the Ninth Forest Pilgrimage, which was established the year after Sr. Dorothy Stang was assassinated. The pilgrimages make a clear statement that no one fled, the people are still here and the struggle continues. Sr. Katy shares her experience with these words, “My life is a rich and wonderful life, and I am very grateful for the opportunity to live and work among the people of the Transamazon.”
10th Anniversary Celebration: 2005-2015
This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Sower’s Seed program and many speakers from the past 10 years will be on campus for the lecture. A series of special events are being held the week of October 19 to celebrate the impact of the program and to focus on the environmental justice work of Sr. Katy Webster. Established by Kelly Snider Dunn ’64 and her family, the Sowers’ Seed program highlights alumnae and alumni who have incorporated into their lives the traditions of community service and social justice that are central to the Trinity experience and reflect the Catholic tradition that influences Trinity’s mission. These graduates are invited to come to campus to share their stories with Trinity students, in the hope that their stories will inspire new generations to consider community service, either as a volunteer or as a career.
Programs during this special 10th anniversary celebration include:
- Tuesday, October 20, 12:00 to 1:15, Social Hall, Pope Francis’ Message on the Environment
Learn about the Pope’s encyclical, Laudato Si (On Care for Our Common Home). Discussion led Sr. Camilla Burns, SND, ’60, and Sr. Mary Johnson, SND.
- Tuesday, October 20, 12:30 to 4:00, Ecologists in the Garden, Franciscan Monastery in Brookland (Depart Trinity at 12:00). All are welcome to join Dr. Shizuka Hsieh’s Environmental Science class on a field trip to harvest the vegetable garden at the Franciscan Monastery.
- Wednesday, October 21, 4:00 pm, Rose Parlor, Sr. Seton Cunneen, SND, ’65, Summer Fellows Presentation. Hear Trinity students talk about their summer fellowship of community service.
- Thursday, October 22, 1:30 to 3:00 pm, O’Connor Auditorium, Student Service Fair. Learn about the many service opportunities at Trinity and talk to students about their community service experiences! Featuring: Campus Ministry, Alternative Spring Break, Dreamers Club, Ladies FIRST Club, Trinity Athletes, Cunneen Fellows, Capital Area Food Bank, and much more!
- Thursday, October 22, 2:30 pm: Planting Trees at the Trinity Academic Center. Learn about the new trees being planted in front of the Trinity Academic Center and help shovel dirt to nurture their growth.