woman in pink

December 2014


Your Gift is Doubled Today Only for Giving Tuesday!


Can we count on you to support Mary's Pence today with a gift, and help us reach our matching goal?

Through Mary's Pence you give both locally - supporting Mary's Pence Grants in the United States and Canada - and you give globally through the ESPERA program! Your donation creates powerful change across the Americas!


Today, your gift will be matched dollar for dollar (up to $2,000) by a generous donor who wants to encourage you to support women creating justice and equality! Click here to help us reach our matching goal!

Grantee Highlight
Women's Rights are Human Rights
by Dana Coppock-Pector, Communications Intern


North Carolina has consistently had the ninth highest adolescent pregnancy rate in the Country. It is also the eighth most likely state for human trafficking. At WomenNC, a Mary's Pence Grantee based out of Cary, North Carolina, innovative and resourceful young college students are addressing inequalities in their own communities, as well as challenging national and international injustice that affects women around the world.


Amanda Eubanks, the co-chair of the Fund Development committee of WomenNC, described the WomenNC Fellowship Program as "rooted in the idea of local to global and global to local." She explained that every fellow chooses a research topic that is aligned with the U.N. goals from the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW). After picking a topic, each fellow decides on a local North Carolina organization to volunteer with, and on which they will model their research. They present their research in North Carolina. Then, they represent North Carolina at the annual United Nations CSW Conference in New York. Afterwards, they return and present their UN experience and research findings to their community. Local, global, local. 


WomenNC is an all-volunteer organization, whose mission is to lead North Carolina's youth in the elimination of injustice against women and girls. Mary's Pence funds have gone into growing the WomenNC CSW Fellowship Program, which, since 2009, has trained 23 young women and men who have gone on to influence their peers and respective communities. Fellows challenge national and global issues, from high rates of female poverty, rape, and domestic violence, to a basic lack of education, technology, and access to affordable health care. Click here to continue reading about the work of WomenNC.


JusticeIssue of Justice   

The Justice of Funding, the Funding of Justice


Do you know the story of how Mary's Pence came to be?


Mary's Pence arose out of a lack of funding for women. The idea for was born in 1987 at a prayer meeting in Chicago, after two women religious were denied a grant from the diocese to fund their active and successful prison ministry, while a priest received a substantial amount to start a new program.  The women lamented, "What we need is a Mary's Pence," a play on Peter's Pence, the Pope's annual church collection for the poor.


Mary's Pence founder, Maureen Gallagher, later prayed out her frustration, imagining all the bishops and cardinals who refused to help women in ministry meeting God.  Each one was asked by God "Why did you do nothing to help women minister?" and then they were banished.  Maureen found herself before God, who asked, "What did you do to help women minister?"  Maureen said, "I'm a woman, I couldn't do anything."  God asked again, "What did you do?"  Maureen then knew Mary's Pence needed to be formed and that she would be the one to do it.


She gathered a founding board and started a fund to give women access to money for seeding or growing projects, especially with economically disadvantaged women and children. Named for Mary of Nazareth, Mary of Bethany, and Mary of Magdala, Mary's Pence seeks to embody the example of ministry practiced by the women at the foot of the cross, who dared to remain when the other disciples had fled.  Like them, Mary's Pence provides accompaniment and resourceful support to the poor, the imprisoned and the oppressed.


Twenty-seven years later, women still often find ourselves having to compete for increasingly scarce funding in a marketplace that is weighted against us. Women come up against the prevailing perception that women benefit more from programming directed at men, or the poor benefit from what trickles down from the rich, or that programs directed by women are lightweight, second rate, and less urgent. Especially in the institutional Catholic Church, women are often the ones raising or donating the funds, but sometimes have little say in how money is allocated.


Mary's Pence was born out of injustice in funding, so now we fund justice! In February, Mary's Pence starts our next grant cycle. We are always looking for new and innovative projects to fund that work towards women's economic justice and empowerment. We look for projects that are led by women, that are benefiting women, and that foster systemic change. This might be by:

  • Educating the community and shaping public perception
  • Developing skills and leadership in women
  • Creating advocacy on a social justice issue
  • Strengthening women's communities and organizations
  • Amplifying women's voices on issues of importance
  • Improving women's economic security

Mary's Pence works internationally through our ESPERA Program, but right now, we are focusing on new grantees within the United States. We work with small organizations (a budget of under 150,00 dollars) that might have a hard time securing funding. Mary's Pence is a place where women are given priority in resource distribution as they work on projects of empowerment among economically disadvantaged women and children in the Americas. We hope that this initial support will help open the door. This is not charity, it is justice. It is women supporting women, providing the funding for social change.


Think about the communities that you are involved in, or pass the word on to women's organizations in need of funding, and apply for a Mary's Pence grant today!



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Actions Support Mary's Pence


It's not too late to give the gift of Mary's Pence Jewelry!


Mary's Pence is more than simply the grants we are able to give. We provide a place where donations of any size are valued.  We provide a place for people of faith to give to support women and social justice.  And we live the value of women supporting women.  


This symbol, of women supporting women, has been turned into a pendant and earrings, available as a gift for donations of $60 for the pendant and $40 for the earrings. 



Involve Mary's Pence in your Lenten Gatherings!


Lenten Soup Supper is a traditional way to bring community together during the Lenten season. In the coming year, Mary's Pence can provide materials for a brief discussion on social justice, and a short video to share Mary's Pence work. Find more information about our Praying in Solidarity with Women of Latin America through our Lenten soup supper packets here.



We envision a world where empowered women and their communities flourish in solidarity and justice. Mary's Pence invests in women across the Americas by funding community initiatives and fostering collaborations to create social change.

Imaginamos un mundo en el cual, las mujeres empoderadas y sus comunidades, florezcan en solidaridad y justicia. Mary's Pence invierte en iniciativas comunitarias de mujeres en las Américas y fomenta la colaboración para crear cambio social.


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In This Issue


The Justice of Funding, The Funding of Justice







"In a Way the 

Grain Can Feel"

from Love Poems from God


Remember, God, that we are the plants in your fields

so connected to the



that you know what would happen

if you did not rain

upon us.


And if your light ceased to lift us from the ground and craft our bodies,


how might we near you like the suns?


Remember, God, to love us in a way 

our souls can taste

and rejoice





Mary's Pence

 Contact us: (651) 788-9869