Grail (women's movement)

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This article is about the women's religious movement founded in 1921. For the movement inspired by the work of Oskar Ernst Bernhardt, see Grail Movement.

The Grail is a community of about a thousand women from 24 countries, many different cultures and very different backgrounds and work situations. The Grail was started in 1921 as the Women of Nazareth by Fr. Jacques van Ginneken, a Dutch Jesuit. He felt that many new possibilities were opening up for women and that a group of lay women, unconfined by convent walls and rules, could make an immense contribution to the transformation of the world. By 1939 the Grail had become a colourful movement involving thousands of young women in the Netherlands, United Kingdom and Germany, challenging them to deep personal and spiritual commitment. Pioneers in Catholic feminist theology, the Grail in the USA voted in 1969 to admit women of other Christian denominations, and in 1975, to accept Jewish women as members.[1]

The Grail was started in Australia in 1936, in the United States in 1940, in New Zealand in the late 1930s, in Brazil and South Africa in 1951, in Uganda in 1953, in Portugal in 1958 and subsequently in Tanzania, Ghana, Nigeria, Italy, Mexico, Canada, the Philippines, Papua New Guinea, Mozambique, Kenya and Sweden. Grail members are also working in Belgium, Belize, Cape Verde, Egypt, France, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Malaysia, Switzerland, Ecuador and Zimbabwe.

Ecclesiastical status[edit]

In England, the Grail has the status of a secular institute within the Catholic Church, an association of lay people making a permanent commitment to a particular form of Christian life.[2]


  1. ^ "History of the Grail in the U.S.". Website The Grail in the USA. Retrieved February 26, 2013. 
  2. ^ "The Grail Secular Institute". National Conference of Secular Institutes (England). 

External links[edit]