woman in pink

January/February 2014

Grantee Grantee Highlights  

Canadian Voice of Women for Peace Set Record: Youngest Canadians to Ever Attend UN Commission on Status of Women   

by Diane Anastos, Mary's Pence Volunteer


Canadian Voice of Women for Peace, a 2012-2013 and 2013-2014 Mary's Pence grantee helped break a record this past year when they supported Mary Maddy and Lara von Maydell to attend the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (UNCSW) Conference, held in New York in March, 2013. At 15 years of age Mary and Lara are the youngest  Canadians to ever attend the Commission's conference. The theme was "Elimination of All Forms of Violence Against Women and Children."   


The Ontario young women were first inspired by the concepts of peace and leadership by attending a peacemaking camp hosted by Canadian Voice of Women (VOW). And attending the Camp enabled their selection as delegates to the meeting in New York. Additionally, these two campers held a successful awareness event that helped them raise funds for their trip to the UNCSW, a cost that was partly funded by Mary's Pence. Lara and Mary were joined by 17 other VOW delegates. 

To read more about their experience at the UN and their motivation for getting involved, continue reading here. 



IssuesIssues of Justice


The Future Begins with Writing Your Name  

by Kelsey Tape, Mary's Pence Volunteer 


How often do you write your name in one day? For some people, writing their name is an act that's easily taken for granted. For other people, it's an act they aspire to complete - it means a better and brighter future for individuals, but also a stronger future for countries.

Haitian Connection, a non-profit organization dedicated to a compassionate response to the poverty many Haitians encounter, and a partner of the Mary's Pence ESPERA program, is strengthening literacy education of a small Haitian community. 

In March 2013, Renate Schneider, Maryknoll associate and founder and coordinator of Haitian Connection, joined Mary's Pence board and staff members, as well as representatives from other ESPERA groups, at our Encuentro meeting in Guatemala. At the meeting, Renate brought before the group the struggles and hopes of responding to poverty in Haiti. Through conversations and deliberations these women concluded that literacy education was a necessary response.

Learn more about the situation of Haiti and how the partnership between Haitian Connection and Mary's Pence's ESPERA program is working to alleviate poverty and illiteracy by continuing to read



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Mary's Pence Lenten Soup Supper Materials are Available 


Interested in hosting a Lenten Soup Supper? Mary's Pence has created a Lenten Soup Supper packet titled "Solidarity in a Time of Separateness" that includes powerful reflections and prayers about standing in solidarity with women who are experiencing poverty.


Here's what people said about last year's Lenten Soup Supper titled "The Story of the Three Bowls:"  

We had about 30 participants from the community here for the prayer and soup supper. A first for us in Lent. The prayers and readings were very reflective. [Our local High School] art class made bowls for a Chapel reflection piece. We had them centered on a table in the room and during the reading of the three bowls I referred to the three types of bowls - including the cracked one and held each up for all to see.  - Sr. Donnna Day, SL, Loretto Community, St. Louis, MO   


Our Lenten Soup Supper was a success for Mary's Pence, as well as for the parish.   We had 48 people come-[a] good number for our parish.  They loved everything.  We had a 35 minute prayer/reflection in church and then went downstairs for the supper.  Two women who own a bakery made delicious vegetable soup and bread--all of which they donated to our cause.  People were eager to hear about Mary's Pence.  - Judy Schiavo, St. Matthew Parish, Hastings On Hudson, NY   


Materials for our Lenten Soup Supper Packets ("Solidarity in a Time of Separateness," "Three Bowls," or "Praying in Solidarity with Women of Latin America") can be found on our website. Please contact Anna at 651-788-9869 or anna@maryspence.org for any questions or to be sent the materials by mail or email. Mary's Pence will provide materials, as well as technical assistance with the organization of a Lenten Soup Supper in your parish or intentional faith community.


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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 Highlight: Canadian Voice of Women for Peace


Issues of Justice: The Future Begins with Writing Your Name 

Mary's Pence News 








  God, our refuge and strength, 
our help in times of trouble 
Have mercy on the lands where the earth has given way. 
Have mercy on the lands where the weather has destroyed livelihoods. 
Prosper those who rebuild houses, and strengthen those who rebuild hope so that all the communities of Haiti 
may face the future without fear.


Christian Aid - Prayers for Haiti  



Mary's Pence

 Contact us: (651) 788-9869