The Catenians

How did we start?


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.