The Catenian Association was founded in 1908 at the suggestion of Bishop Louis Casartelli, then Bishop of Salford. The Association began life in Manchester with the rather old fashioned title of “The Chums”.
In those early days of Catholic emancipation, young Catholic laymen needed support in their faith in the day to day life they lived.
The social environment in England for Catholics was still rather hostile at that time. Young Catholic laymen needed support in their faith in the day to day life they lived. The law preventing Catholics from practising their Catholic beliefs had only been abolished some 60 years before, so attitudes were slow to change against the Catholics. In the English middle classes, deep paranoia over the role of the Catholic Church, especially in education remained.
Catholic laymen also experienced difficulties and discrimination in relation to employment and this in turn affected their family life and the lives of their children. The Association was made up of branches called “circles”, each forming a link in a chain of Catholic brotherhood and provided mutual support for each other and our values and although the challenges have changed significantlythis support today is as important as it was in 1908.
In 1915, the Association changed its name to the Catenian Association, derived from the Latin word “catena” meaning chain. The Association was made up of branches called “circles”, each forming a link in a chain of Catholic brotherhood.
This chain has now grown and spread worldwide under the auspices of the Holy Spirit from Manchester, where it was first forged, all the way to Australia.
Catenian values can be summarised in the words, faith, family and friendship.