woman in pink

August/September 2012 


Grantee Highlights  

Mary's Pence Ministry Grant Recipients - July 2012

Canadian Voice of Women for Peace - Toronto, Ontario
Community of the Beloved - Asheville, NC
Conspire Theatre - Austin, TX
The Dreamcatcher Foundation - Chicago, IL
El Projecto de las Rosas - Tipton, CA

Finding Hope in Small Steps: The Dreamcatcher Foundation, Chicago, IL
by Katherine Wojtan

Edwina Gateley and Maureen Gallagher with Dreamcatcher Leaders in Chicago

Recently I spoke with Brenda Myers-Powell of The Dreamcatcher Foundation, a new Mary's Pence grantee, and she reminded me why this work is important. She reminded me about the women Dreamcatcher serves.

The Dreamcatcher Foundation was founded in 2007 by Stephanie Daniels and Brenda Myers-Powell, who are survivors of the sex-trade industry. Dreamcatcher is a community-based organization designed to meet the needs of girls and young women who are subject to every kind of physical, emotional, and psychological abuse imaginable. They are almost guaranteed a short life of poverty, terminable disease, early pregnancy, and addiction. These girls and young women desperately want to improve their circumstances and community, but they cannot do it alone. They need the help of others, which is one of the many reasons why The Dreamcatcher Foundation was created.

My Life My Choices Prevention Program - a Dreamcatcher program supported by Mary's Pence this year - seeks to improve the economic security of women and girls who have been victims of the sex-exploitation trade through education, counseling and re-building of self esteem. They do this by working with women and girls to challenge the social norms learned from sexual partners, husbands, girlfriends, boyfriends and parents.

In our recent conversation, Brenda talked about how she experiences hope every time she receives a call from one of the women involved in the program, hearing how they made it through the day - without risky behavior or depending on a man. What's more, she even gets hope when a woman calls saying she needs laundry detergent, because she's seeking support from the community and a safe source, rather than turning to the streets. 

Mary's Pence is happy to be supporting this impressive program that is making a difference in women's daily lives.

IssuesIssues of Justice


Community and the Common Good:  La Casita of Louisville, KY


Women of La Casita 

La Casita Center supports women working in the Louisville-area through creation of women's circles. They provide a space and community for women, and connect women to information and local resources around health, language and human rights. The population in Louisville is very transient, which makes community building both a challenge and a necessity.

Mary's Pence loves to hear stories from grantees about the impact of their work. La Casita shared the following:

Nineteen-year-old Maria fled Guatemala when her family was murdered and eventually ended up in Louisville. Traumatized by the violence she had already witnessed at her young age, she now lives each day under the radar as an undocumented worker. Seeking whatever support she could find in a very isolated situation, she began a relationship with an older man she met at work. Over time, he abused her and used his power and her immigration status to control her. During this time, Maria began coming to the women's group at La Casita, and meeting familiar, friendly faces. A few months later, pregnant and in a very abusive relationship, she recognized that she now had a network of support that could help her leave her abuser and connect her with resources for making a fresh start.  La Casita Center continues to support Maria in her journey.   


In a community where very few people and organizations offer a safe space for undocumented women to seek support when they need it, La Casita Center is unique and vital, if not life-saving.

Community and the Common Good is a core principle of Catholic Social Teaching. Click here  to learn more about Catholic Social Teaching. 


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ActionsMary's Pence News


 Support from Faith Communities - Thank you, thank you, thank you!  

Recently several supporters have shared the news of Mary's Pence with their faith community and sponsored collections to support our work. We're very grateful to the following faith communities: 

Des Moines Intentional Eucharistic Community - Des Moines, IA
St. Dominic's Catholic Church - San Francisco, CA
Our Lady of Mount Carmel - Charlotte, VT
St. Jude Catholic Church - Hinesburg, VT
St. Bernadette Parish - Severn, MD
St. Giles Parish - Oak Park, IL
Newman Hall / Holy Spirit Parish - Berkeley, CA

We also thank faith communities that have recently given to us from their tithe or granting fund:  

Church of the Epiphany - Louisville, KY
St. Michael Parish - Sterling Heights, MI
St. Andrew Catholic Church - Rochester, MI
St. Joseph Worker - Maple Grove, MN
St. Therese of Lisieux - Shelby Township, MI

We're happy to send you materials and support you in involving your faith community, for more information contact Rebecca at rebecca@maryspence.org or 651-788-9869.

Mary's Pence at Call to Action in November


Mary's Pence is excited to be presenting a workshop at the Call to Action Conference: The New Dynamics of Solidarity: Stories and Strategies of Women in Latin America. The panelists will be Gilda Larios, who coordinates our ESPERA program in Latin America; Eva Martinez Menjivar of Suchitoto, El Salvador who served as the local coordinator of the ESPERA Fund in Suchitoto; and Sr. Peggy O'Neill of Centro Arte por La Paz in Suchitoto. Join us in Louisville, KY on November 9-11. To learn more, please click here.

Founder Maureen Gallagher Tells the Story of Our Founding at Mary's Pence 25th Anniversary    


Hear the story of the founding of Mary's Pence from Maureen Gallagher herself! Watch the video here.


Notes from Nicaragua - Mary's Pence Blog by Kitty Madden    


The Mary's Pence blog has wonderful stories from founders, supporters and women's groups we've had the privilege of supporting. In this story, Kitty Madden tells of her first introduction to Mary's Pence and of the important work of Casa Materna in Nicaragua. Kitty is a former grantee and former Mary's Pence board member. To read Kitty's story, click here.  


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Mary's Pence - Who Are We?


We are a small organization with a big vision.  We want women in the Americas living in poverty to have a say and a hand in how poverty can be alleviated and social equity achieved.  Therefore we invest in local women who are creating models to increase women's economic status and improve their status in their community.  We look for models that foster women working together, to learn from each other, support each other, and explore new ideas.  We fund women in North, Central and South America.

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In This Issue

Grantee Highlights

Community and the Common Good

Mary's Pence News






Guide Me into an Unclenched Moment


Gentle me,

Holy One,

into an unclenched moment,

a deep breath,

a letting go

of heavy experiences

of shriveling anxieties

of dead certainties

that, softened by the silence,

surrounded by the light,

and open to the mystery,

I may be found by wholeness,

upheld by the unfathomable,

entranced by the simple,

and filled with the joy

that is you.

by Ted Loder from Guerillas of Grace

Photo: Justine Cudel

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St. Paul, MN 55101 

 Contact us: (651) 788-9869