Grailville was a place to find your place in the world whatever that meant to you.
[WATCH VIDEO BELOW "Grailville: the early decades]
by David Miller
Loveland, Ohio – Elizabeth Murphy, a Symmes Township resident, along with lifelong Loveland resident Elizabeth Robinson made this video about the early years at Grailville. It was made for Grailville’s 65th anniversary in 2009.
Robinson said, “We made a short video with interviews so we could explain how Grailville came to be. All music is music recorded at Grailville from Grailville Choirs. Many of the founding or early members including my mother Mary Schickel, had passed on and we were losing this history.”
Robinson also added that there was a lot of mystery about what Grailville and the Grail was and how Grailville came to be. The video contains many back in the day vintage photos of the former farm and the many women who moved to those rolling hills just on the outskirts of Loveland.
From Holland. It was wartime. WWII. The women came when they did because if not then, they didn’t know if they would ever be able to leave Europe.
They came here looking for a farm with running water, enough buildings to house 50 people and within walking distance of a railroad station. They went two-by-two visiting farms and parishes, so much so they joked they were becoming real estate agents.
Liturgy was the unifying factor of the Grail community. There was a lot of singing. It became a quiet, peace-filled beautiful space; an agricultural and religious life.
The “Year School” was a training program for young women “focused on an integrated life of work and prayer, study and fun”.
Throughout the decades, the Grailville Retreat Center brought visitors from all parts of the world to spend time in Loveland, Ohio.
At one time a truckload of goats, 400 chickens, milk cows, pigs, and canning and preserving 10,000 quarts of farm product. It was described as a rich life, however one “materially simple”.
Spiritually and intellectually very rich. Very rich in things from the ground, sky, and God in many forms.
Trina Paulus said Grailville was a “simplicity” that was ideal for her as a young woman.
Art was equal to every other thing that happened at Grailville.
Visual arts, music, and writing.
Paulus said she thought that the Dutch brought tremendous respect for the arts when they came to this country and Loveland. “It was equal to every other thing we did.”
Grailville had a weaving guild.
Listen to how the Grail women reached beyond Loveland to the world.
They were not there to hold onto what they were doing. Many of the programs that Grailville started were spun out into the world beyond Loveland.
The women launched things that were much broader than themselves.
Grailville didn’t look like a church from the outside.