Mary's Pence's First Allies In Social Justice Work - Mary's Pence

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Mary’s Pence’s First Allies In Social Justice Work

In 1987, Catholic women from all walks of life came together to support women’s rights and well-being by supporting women working in ministry. Since the founding of Mary’s Pence, Congregations of Women Religious have been the bedrock of our work.

Nine sisters were on that original board, including luminaries Maureen Gallagher OP (in the photo, right), Founding Coordinator, Kaye Ashe OP (1930-2014), Carol Coston OP, Janemarie Luecke OSB (1924-1987), Amata Miller IHM, Mary Luke Tobin SL (1908-2006), Yolanda Tarang, CCVI, Margaret Traxler SSND (1924-2002) and Teresita Weind SNDdeN.

Over the years, 26 sisters have served on the board. Each year, about 10% of our income comes from congregations. Since our founding, Women’s Religious Congregations and Sisters have supported us with over $2,000,000. We could not do this work without your partnership.

To this day, we have stayed true to our Catholic Social Teaching principles, claiming dignity, solidarity, and justice as our most important guiding values.

Each year, through our Mary’s Pence Grants program, we make about 20 grants to grassroots women’s organizations across the U.S. Our partners work on issues raised from within their community, such as immigration, women’s leadership, community organizing, support for women returning from incarceration, and more.

We connect with grantees throughout the year, hosting a workshop retreat annually, checking in and offering counsel and networking, providing capacity-building grants, and, for the first time this year, partnering with Jack Kent Cooke Foundation College Scholarship Program to offer a paid internship program and support.

In Mexico and Central America, we partner with 14 groups through our ESPERA program. All of our partners are organized groups of women working in their local communities. Together, we work on economic security, leadership development, family agriculture, and emotional wellness tools and support. The ESPERA program is growing. Four of the organizations we work with are brand new to the program in 2024. In addition, we have a fund for crisis mental health issues and medical assistance.

We invite you to join us and be part of the ongoing legacy of support that Catholic Women Religious have provided to Mary’s Pence in the past 37 years. We welcome conversation if you have ideas on ways we can partner on this work.

Thank you again for the many ways in which you faithfully support women who are actively working for justice.

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