The Grail

An International Women’s Movement

South Africa

In 1936, priests encouraged a group of young women to start The Grail in South Africa. Together, we ran campaigns and organized retreats, liturgies, and courses. We were formally established as an international faith movement of women in the country in 1950. Since then, we have created programs for young women and high school girls and networked with various Catholic lay organizations, including the Joint Council of Europeans and Africans.
With more notable actions of our members, our movement has expanded into more places, including Lesotho and Uganda. We later became ecumenical when women from different denominators were invited to join. Topics such as human beings as children of the same God became one of our focuses.

Raising Consciousness About Injustice

Laws entrenched racial injustice in the country during the ’50s and ’60s. For that reason, we became increasingly involved in efforts to build awareness about discrimination. Our members also worked with other parties, like the Catholic Action for Racial Education, to create opportunities for social cohesion among different races. 

Christian Education and Leadership Training

Most of our members also participated in the interracial and interdenominational training program called Christian Education Leadership Training. It involves exchanging experiences and ideas, which led to friendships and a new view of the church. This training became an important part of our work, while other education, health, and social work programs continued.

Income-Producing Program

For years, our team in Johannesburg has been heavily involved in income-generating activities for women in Soweto and surrounding areas. In 1985, the Women’s Leadership and Training Programme was launched to help women in various provinces in South Africa with developmental issues.

Other Programs

We run extensive programs for girls and women in Durban, focusing on women’s self-esteem and gender analysis, ethics and morality, HIV and AIDs, climate change, and other relevant topics. 
Moreover, we also worked out a practical training program called “Training for Transformation,” which has become one of the networks of The Grail.

Spirituality As the Foundation in The Grail

Prayer groups and spiritual formation are important aspects of each of our work. Among the methods found to be effective in South Africa are personality and human relations. Over the years, our Christian faith has been enriched by liberation theology, feminist spirituality, and creation spirituality. 

Join us in rejoicing in truth, goodness, and beauty. Contact us today to learn more about our projects in South Africa.