With the Church being criticised from all sides, belonging to a group of strongly-supportive Catholics has never been more important.
John Mulligan, President of Province 14 explains: ‘The Catenians are an association of Catholic laymen who are committed to their faith, their families, to those in need and to each other. Our primary purpose is to establish a network of friends, which enhances their family life, strengthens their faith and sustains them in difficult times. We support each other, the Catholic Church, young people and those in need.’
‘Catenians have a strong presence as active members of many parishes in the diocese, support our parish priests in numerous ways and are major supporters of the National Office for Vocations,’ said Denis Murphy, Director of Province 14 and Board Member of the National Council.
Describing some of the work that the Catenians undertake, Dennis notes: ‘In response to a suggestion from Bishop John Arnold, we have developed the “Catenian Catechist Initiative” which supports the wishes of Pope Francis that we should become missionary disciples. We support our young people through the Bursary Fund, Helping Young Catholics Make a Difference, by sponsoring their activities through the Individual Project Awards in such places as Zambia, Mantanani Island, Zimbabwe, Malawi and, closer to home, the Lourdes Award. To date over £1,000,000 has been donated.
The Association is the main sponsors of “Flame” and organises the annual public speaking competition for Sixth Form students, which attracts Catholic youth from all over the country. In addition, each circle organises its own local charitable projects, collectively raising significant sums each year.’
Speaking of the significance of the association to the members, he adds: ‘Our friendships are developed through meeting together locally once a month and enjoying a varied programme of social events together with our families and the widows of past members.
‘The Catenian Golf Society and the Caravan and Camping Fellowship cater for these special interests. The Rosary Group members commit to one decade of the Rosary daily and have so far recycled 175,000 rosaries to other countries. In alternate years, there is an official pilgrimage to Rome or the Holy Land and we support pilgrimages to national and local shrines.’
Sean Duff, Membership Officer for Province 14, said that many Catholic men are not members of any Catholic groups: ‘Among our Catenian circles, we can openly discuss our faith with like-minded and supportive people. It helps keeps us both individually and collectively strong, especially when our faith is under fire from outside.’
Membership is open to Catholic men aged 18 and over and, through them, to their families. To find out how to become a Catenian contact Sean Duff, Membership Officer, Province 14 (which includes the Diocese of Westminster) at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Catenain Association is active in the UK, Australia, Ireland, Malta, Nazareth, Southern Africa and is growing rapidly in India.
For more information visit www.thecatenians.com.