The Grail in the USA

The History and Future of “Hope For The Flowers,” Una McGurk

Hope For The Flowers won the Christopher award for the most inspiring book of 1972 when it was published. Hope’s publisher in English, Paulist Press, has manufactured and distributed over 3 million copies in English. But, did you know that  Hope For The Flowers actually emerged from an earlier book written for the Grail?  The First book was a simple history and Theology of Hope intended to encourage Grail searchers who were experiencing the exhilarating but challenging changes of the 2nd Vatican Council.

When Trina was evacuated from her Grail work in Akhmim, Egypt in 1967 during the 6 Day War, she landed at the International Grail Center in Paris, and fortuitously found the Hope manuscript in one of the office cabinets. She began to carry the book around with her.  After she arrived back in the states in 1969, she had a providential encounter with a Paulist priest at a liturgical week event where she was attempting to sell Egyptian weaving from Akhmim. He agreed to read it back in his hotel room that evening and then asked her the following day to visit them in New York to discuss a publishing deal. She did visit and was given a publishing contract and $500 advance to complete her Theology of Hope.

 

One fateful April day in 1970 as Trina struggled to complete The Theology of Hope, the 2 caterpillars we know and love, Stripe & Yellow, crawled out of the earlier Hope manuscript and Hope For The Flowers was born. The story was 90 percent complete in that first day. Trina skipped meals as the story seemed to flow right out of her onto the paper. It took the next 2 years to add and polish the other 10 percent, hand-letter and laboriously hand separate each color and tint layer for all the illustrations in those pre-computer days.

 

With its 40th Anniversary coming up in September, we are risking to transform Hope For The Flowers again, this time into an animated film. It takes a lot of money to make a quality animation. On Valentine’s Day, the ever-growing Hope team launched the initial fundraising effort to raise enough money to create a quality pilot on www.Kickstarter.com, which is a “crowd-funding” platform for creative projects designed to create a community of producers.

 

Individuals may pledge any amount of money for the project and choose to receive one of the rewards (located at the right of the project page – see link) or “no reward at all” (they just want to support the project) and then they become part of the team and the creative process from start to finish.

 

Check out: http://kck.st/yAoyrw for more information (or a more easy to remember way is to visit www.kickstarter.com and enter “hope” in the search bar then you can access the project by clicking on the picture of the familiar yellow book as). It’s an exciting process with suspense and new people joining the Hope team and making comments every day.

 

The way Kickstarter works is you can pledge only with a credit card. You will ONLY be charged IF we reach our goal of $150,000 by April 14th at 6pm. If we do not hit our goal, your card will NEVER be charged. We happily accept checks directly, but you will not have your name as a backer on the Kickstarter list, just on our gratitude list and the Hope website!

 

(See every question about pledging Kickstarter you could ever have answered here: http://www.kickstarter.com/help/faq/backing%20a%20project)

 

THANK YOU to all the Grail members who have joined the Hope team so far! We really appreciate your support with this exciting project!

 

THANK YOU also to The Grail Council which has agreed to serve as fiscal sponsor for larger contributions (details still being worked out with Noreen ~ stay tuned!).

 

P.S. (from Trina). I read Una’s draft with surprise and some emotion. To have her help and eagerness to spread the message of cooperation rather than competition which is at the core of Hope For The Flowers, and to have caught so much of the spirit and history of Hope and its coming out of the Grail’s and my own continual search for meaning, is a tremendous blessing to me. Una actually thrives with the possibilities and demands of the social media, which seems essential for major outreach in 2012. Some of you met Una at Grailville during the General Assembly.  

 

In her simple way, Yellow, our female hero, is the stronger and the leader of love. She is the first to truly understand that the juice inside pushing her, is asking her to not crawl back on the pillar just because all the other caterpillars seem to be climbing on it. She knew something wasn’t right and resisted even when her dear love, Stripe, pushed her to go back with him. Broken-hearted, but willing to wait rather than do something she didn’t believe in, she wandered. When she sees an old Caterpillar who seems all twisted up in something, she asks the essential Grail question in a very basic and simple way, “You seemed in trouble.” “Can I help?”  

 

In response to her question she is given the gift of understanding her own destiny –  accept the cocoon and be transformed. She “risked for a butterfly,” is transformed and is able to inspire her love to change his life. At the end, without either of them knowing the further amazing results of their own change, the whole horrible pillar dissolves.  And there is lots more “Hope For The Flowers.”  

Your Comments?

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*