In December 1922, Pope Pius XI issued Ubi Arcano Dei Consilio, an encyclical letter that introduced the terms “Catholic Action” and “lay apostolate” into the literature. Technically, Catholic Action is the work of the laity in support of the hierarchy. However, over the next half century this more restrictive definition would be broadened through the efforts of numerous individuals and groups who in varied ways sought to manifest the social teachings of the church through direct service to the poor and those who lived on the margins of society.
The Grail Movement, the Young Christian Workers, and the Christian Family Movement
Catholic Action groups, especially in the United States, were quite prominent beginning in the interwar years and continuing to the onset of Vatican II. The Grail Movement, originally founded in Holland in 1921 by Jacques van Ginnecken, migrated to the United States in 1940 and was headquartered at Loveland, Ohio. This worldwide spiritual renewal assisted women exclusively in three specific areas. First, participants were encouraged to actively engage ecumenical dialogue. Secondly, women were educated to help them realize their full potential. Lastly, the Grail Movement promoted international and intercultural cooperation. Read more