Catenians are an association of Catholic men who are committed to faith, family and friendship. Catenians support the Catholic Church, young people and those in need. Life-long friendships are developed by meeting once a month and enjoying a varied programme of social events.
- To foster brotherly love among our members and to develop social bonds among our members and their families
- To support one another in the practice of our Faith.
- To support and encourage Brothers, their families and widows as needs arise.
- To support Brothers in difficulty or need including maintaining and administering benevolent funds through the Catenian Association Benevolent and Children’s Fund
- To advance the interests and development of young Catholics and to assist them in the choice or pursuit of a career, including the promotion and support of the Catenian Association Bursary Fund
- To help our clergy and to encourage and support vocations to the religious life in appropriate ways.
- To support charities which the Circle, Province or Association considers are worthy and relevant.
How did we start?
The Catenians were established in Manchester in 1908 at the behest of Louis Casartelli, the then Bishop of Salford. For the first two years the Catenians were known as “The Chums Benevolent Association, and its original and essential characteristics were typical of many male societies established in the period before the First World War.
Bishop Casartelli was one of a number of Bishops who were anxious to see Catholic communities break the bonds of restricted education, low social status, and limited political power and influence. They acknowledged that the Chums, and later the Catenians, were a force for good and a vehicle for action.
The name Catenians derives from Catena, the Latin word for Chain. Each member is seen as a link upon which the strength of the whole chain depends.
The Association spread rapidly across the UK but did not become established offshore for almost 50 years. Since then development followed largely on colonial lines. Overseas growth in recent years has been rapid. We now have some 10,000 members in Africa, Australia, Bangladesh, India, Ireland, Malta and The Holy Land as well as the UK.
How do we operate?
Members join the Association by being enrolled into a local branch. Depending upon their size these branches are known as Groups or Circles. In turn the Groups and Circles are grouped administratively into Provinces, which support them. Each Province elects a Director to serve on the international governing body. If there are insufficient Circles in a region to justify a Province, they are administered by a Development Director.
Catenian membership offers deep and lasting friendship and support to Catholic men at all stages of their lives, whether married or single. This friendship is based on the firm foundation of a shared faith and is enjoyed by their wives (whether Catholic or not), their children and continues after a member’s death with widows being supported and involved on a continuing basis. The monthly meeting provides a time for relaxed enjoyment among supporting and faithful friends. The varied local social programme caters for all ages and provides a light-hearted environment in which friendships flourish.
Whatever difficulties you face in life there will be members and their wives committed to helping you. Should a Brother suffer financial difficulties there is a benevolence fund to provide assistance. Even after you have died Catenians will continue to pray for you and all deceased members at every meeting and at Masses through the year.
How do I join?
To join, contact any of the following: