woman in pink

March/April 2014

Grantee Grantee Highlights  

Confronting Conflict with Community


Women of the Capital Park Empowerment Project
attend a sewing class

It all started during the summer of 2010, in Columbus, Ohio. The Women of Capital Park apartment community had enough of the violence. But instead of mobilizing out of fear, they came together, empowered. Following an intense summer of violence at the apartment community, a group of Somali women formed the Capital Park Women's Empowerment Project. Capital Park is home to 380 households, 360 of them are Somali.  


The women then partnered with Cambodian Mutual Assistance Association. CMAA was founded in 1980 by a group of Cambodian refugees to meet the needs of Southeast Asians, and all other refugees being settled in Franklin County, Ohio. CMAA provides recent immigrants with English as a Second Language (ESL) courses, employment counseling, and interpretation/translation, among other services. CMAA also helps integrate new immigrants into American culture and workplace etiquette.


Ohio is home to the second largest Somali immigrant population in the United States. Following the collapse of the Somali government, and subsequent civil war, the United States began to admit Somali immigrants into the country in greater numbers. CMAA has a long history of partnering with Somali community organizations. The first initiative for the women of Capital Park was to improve safety, and stem the violence taking root in the community. CMAA was there to help. Continue reading the article here.


Issues of Justice


Caring for Creation: Harmonizing Catholic Social Teaching and Feminist Values

by Anna Zaros, Development Liaison


In college, I interned for one summer at the US Conference of Catholic Bishops. While I worked in the International Justice and Peace office, my desk was located right next to the Care for Creation office. The two offices' materials mingled together on the bookshelves, and I quickly came to learn that Care for Creation was a principle of Catholic Social Teaching, equally important as human dignity and option for the poor. I grew to understand that caring for creation is both a way for us to honor the gifts our Creator has bestowed upon us, as well as a moral imperative in an age where we systematically harm and destroy those same gifts.

My understanding of Care for Creation deepened, however, in my next year of studies. In that year I took a class where I encountered the concept of "ecofeminism." Ecofeminism lays before us the connections between ecology and feminism. Ecofeminism argues that centuries held patriarchal views of domination - of man over nature and of man over women are interconnected. How we treat women is an indication of how we treat nature, and vice versa. Continue reading the article here. 



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Actions Mary's Pence News


Mary's Pence Remembers Founding Board President, Kaye Ashe, OP


We mourn the loss of Sr. Kaye Ashe, the first board president of Mary's Pence. Sr. Kaye is well known for her continuous work for justice and equality, especially for women within the Catholic Church. Her influence continues to inspire us here at Mary's Pence and we are deeply grateful for her contributions to our world. To learn more about this inspiring woman, read this article in National Catholic Reporter.


We Love to Meet our Supporters!


Do you live in the Cincinnati, Minneapolis/St Paul or St. Louis area? Then come join Mary's Pence at the following upcoming events:


Mary's Pence Cincinnati Area Meet and Greet

Sponsored by the Board and Staff of Mary's Pence
April 27, 2014 - Grailville, OH

St. Brigid's Building

932 O'Bannonville Road,

Loveland, Ohio 45140

Drop in anytime between 1:30 and 3:30pm to socialize with other Mary's Pence supporters, board, and staff. Gilda Larios, Mary' Pence ESPERA Facilitator, will give a brief update. Snacks and beverages will be provided. 


82nd St Paul & Minneapolis Archdiocesan Council of Catholic Women Convention

April 30-May 1, 2014 - New Brighton, MN

St. John the Baptist Church

Visit our booth at the convention - we'll have a raffle, informational materials, and resources for parishes.


Association of U.S. Catholic Priests National Assembly

June 23-26, 2014 - St. Louis, MO 

Mary's Pence will be present at the Assembly - stop by and visit our booth! We'll be especially sharing ways to use Mary's Pence materials to enhance your parish's social justice activities.


Do You Have Suggestions for our Summer Reading List?


We are just on the verge of Spring, but before you know it Summer will be here, and we will be lining up our piles of books to enjoy while we're, hopefully, lounging ocean or lake-side! Do you have a book you'd like to recommend for our Summer Reading List? We tend to include books that focus on topics of women, feminism, social justice, spirituality, and Latin America. Call or email us with your recommendations: 651-788-9869 or anna@maryspence.org.


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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: Confronting Conflict with Community


Issues of Justice: Caring for Creation: Harmonizing Catholic Social Teaching and Feminist Values

Mary's Pence News 








  Earth Day Reflection

O amazing Creator, there is no end to the awe we feel in the face of your magnificent creation. Words cannot convey our gratitude for such an undeserved gift.


We praise you for the beauty that stops us in our tracks wherever we turn. We revere you for the fecundity of creation that has spewed forth life and goodness for billions of years.


We thank you for the multitude of ways that the natural world sustains and nourishes us in body and spirit. We are humbled that we are part of such a display of your glory.


Our hearts overflow with love for You, revealed in the wonder of creation. May we all join in a song of gratitude.


-From National Catholic Reporter



Mary's Pence

 Contact us: (651) 788-9869