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Questions and Answers about the Catenian Association

When and where did the Catenian Association start?
The Catenian Associations was founded in Manchester in 1908 (initially as the "Chums") to provide mutual support for Catholic men who found it difficult at that time to progress in business because of their faith. This is no longer a major problem but the importance of sharing experiences and meeting people socially remains.

How is the Catenian Association structured?
The members belong to circles, which are largely autonomous, electing their own officers. Each Circle elects a representative to sit on an area council (Province). The provincial Council elects its own officers and has the responsibility of monitoring the welfare of the Circles in its area and of creating new Circles. Each Provincial Council elects a representative to sit on the Association Grand Council. The Grand Council is the governing body, it promulgate the rules, runs the central office, takes care of association and benevolent funds, etc.

How do I Join?
For all the information you are likely to require, go to the Membership page. You can return here via the Home page.

Is it a secret society?
No; our meetings are open to potential members. The rules and aims of the Catenian Association are available to the public. Meeting places are known and typically comprise a hotel or golf club. Members are encouraged to speak openly about the Catenian Association.

What happens at a circle meeting?
The meeting starts with prayers. As in any association there are some administrative procedures - minutes of the last meeting, discussing and voting on financial matters, election of officers, news and correspondence. There are the ceremonies for enrolling new Catenians and the annual installation of the President and other officers. In addition social matters and golfing events are discussed and plans laid for future events.

Why do you wear insignia?
Only Officers wear insignia, which serves to indicate to members those with official duties in the organisation.

Why do you call each other brother?
This acknowledges the brotherly love between each other and the support each gives. It has no connection with any Trade Union.

Isn't ritual out of place in modern society?
We don't think so. The small amount of ritual is a shared experience that binds the members together and ensures the good order of the meetings.

Are Catenians expected to prefer fellow Catenians at the expense of others in business?
Absolutely not. That would be a misuse of membership and Catenians are not permitted to canvass other members or use the members Directory for that purpose.

Why don't you have women members?
When the Association was set up the position of women in society was different from today and so it was restricted to men. However wives and families play a major role in our activities.