November/December eNews
Youth Voices: Creating a Space for Altruism
Youth Rise Texas, Austin, TX

Youth Rise Texas is a start-up grassroots organization in Austin, Texas, that provides leadership development for youth whose parents have been deported or incarcerated. The majority of Youth Rise
participants are young women of color. A first-time Mary's Pence grant recipient, Youth Rise
their first Summer Youth Organizing Institute in August. Mary's Pence recently spoke with founder and director Kandace Vallejo a
bout the success of the program in its first few months.

"Young people are excited to speak out and to have their voices heard."
-Kandace Vallejo, founder and director of Youth Rise Texas

This summer, six teenagers came together to share stories of their experiences. They were the first participants of Youth Rise Texas's 8-week leadership workshop, the summer Youth Organizing Institute, and they had one thing in common: Each of them had experienced having a parent deported or incarcerated, completely removed from their lives with very little warning or explanation. Youth Rise creates a space for youth to open up about the stories of themselves and their families. Participants then craft and perform monologues from these stories, bringing their experiences to the wider community.

Storytelling Bridges Differences
Storytelling brings participants from different backgrounds and interests closer together. Sharing and listening to one another's experiences shows them that they have more in common than they would have known outside of Youth Rise.

Educators Can Change the Story
Dr. Roxanne Meshar is a past board chair of Mary's Pence. Dr. Meshar taught Catholic theology at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota. In September, Mary's Pence helped support her participation as the keynote speaker for the international educators' conference "To Teach is To Build" in Slovenia. These are some selections from her paper, "Curriculum Development: Political, Subversive, Dangerous." See below for her reflection on the conference.
"The most dangerous question to ask, 'Who benefits?'"

Asking, "Who benefits?" when constructing or participating in a curriculum is crucial for uncovering bias, recognizing underlying systems, and combating systemic social and economic poverty. Every curriculum comes from a certain point of view, and if this view goes unquestioned, bias becomes part of the lesson being taught.

"Those of over privilege (if we speak of 'under privilege' then we must also speak of over privilege') created an educational system that robs too many children of their cultural heritage while preferencing Euro-centric and androcentric history instead."

Dr. Meshar explains ways that educators can counter bias by teaching students to identify poverty-creating systems in our society and increase awareness and empathy. Identifying our own social locations- she gives the example of white, middle class, American, Catholic, female, educated, etc.- is a key way to become aware of bias. We are all limited by our own experiences, so it's important that everyone brings their perspectives to the table.

Dr. Meshar also asks: Whose stories do we tell and how do we tell them? 
A Taste of Slovenia
Dr. Roxanne Meshar

Slovenia was not a country I expected to visit, but thanks to a grant from Mary's Pence I attended the international educators' conference "To Teach is to Build" at the Biotechnical Center in Naklo, Slovenia in October. Educators participated from Austria, Italy, Germany, Norway, Serbia, Slovenia, Spain and the United States. 

Kick off the season of giving by participating in this worldwide giving day on December 1 with a gift to Mary's Pence.  Donate here.

Give the Gift of 
Mary's Pence
Give the gift of social justice. When you donate to Mary's Pence in honor of a loved one for a special occasion or in their memory, we will send a beautiful card announcing your gift. If you would prefer to send the card yourself, let us know and we will send you a packet for you to use at your convenience.  Click here for more information about honor and memorial cards.

Stocks in Our Stockings!
Do you have long-term appreciated stock that you're thinking of selling off to make a donation? Instead, consider putting stocks in our stockings this holiday season by transferring stocks directly to Mary's Pence.  F or more information, see our website or email 
Mary's Pence Jewelry Makes Great Gifts
Mary's Pence is more than simply the grants we give. We provide a place for people of faith to support women and social justice. We provide a place where donations of any size are valued.   And  we live the value of women supporting women .  This symbol has been turned into a pendant and earrings, available as a gift for donations of $60 for the pendant and $40 for the earrings. 
2016 Calendars Have Arrived!
If you would like to receive a Mary's Pence 2016 Calendar of Women, email us at and we will send you one.

We want to partner with your faith community! 
As leaders in your faith community begin planning for Christmas and Lent, make sure they keep Mary's Pence in mind. C onsider making Mary's Pence part of your Giving Tree this year.   We also offer Lenten Soup Supper packets with prayers and readings to guide your reflection as well as delicious Latin American soup recipes. To l earn more about these and other great opportunities for partnership with Mary's Pence,  click here

Join the Legacy Circle!
For information on making a bequest or naming Mary's Pence as a beneficiary on your retirement or life insurance plan, please call our office at 651-788-9869 or  email 
If you have already planned a legacy gift for Mary's Pence, please let us know! We would like to be able to thank you for your generosity.  Click here for more information on the Mary's Pence Legacy Circle. 

Genevieve O'Hara  talks about joining the Legacy Circle.
Ubi Caritas

"Ubi Caritas" sung by the CWU Chamber Choir
English Translation
Where charity and love are, God is there.
Love of Christ has gathered us into one.
Let us rejoice in Him and be glad.
Let us fear, and let us love the living God.
And from a sincere heart let us love one.
Where charity and love are, God is there.
At the same time, therefore, are gathered into one:
Lest we be divided in mind, let us beware.
Let evil impulses stop, let controversy cease.
And in the midst of us be Christ our God.
Where charity and love are, God is there.
At the same time we see that with the saints also,
Thy face in glory, O Christ our God:
The joy that is immense and good, Unto the
World without end. 

Latin text
Ubi caritas et amor, Deus ibi est.
Congregavit nos in unum Christi amor.
Exsultemus, et in ipso jucundemur.
Timeamus, et amemus Deum vivum.
Et ex corde diligamus nos sincero.
Ubi caritas et amor, Deus ibi est.
Simul ergo cum in unum congregamur:
Ne nos mente dividamur, caveamus.
Cessent iurgia maligna, cessent lites.
Et in medio nostri sit Christus Deus.
Ubi caritas et amor, Deus ibi est.
Simul quoque cum beatis videamus,
Glorianter vultum tuum, Christe Deus:
Gaudium quod est immensum, atque probum,
Saecula per infinita saeculorum. Amen.

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.




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