The Catenians are an international network which exists to provide friendship, companionship and offer care and mutual support to its members and their families. Its members are all Catholics and so in their individual lives are shaped by Catholic social teaching, but the promotion of our faith is an individual responsibility and is not the purpose of our Association. Nick Tarr from Bristol Catenians shares news of what has been happening recently with the many Catenians in Clifton Diocese.
Catenians traditionally meet in their local groups, (we call them Circles), about once a month, to catch up with friends and decide on a future programme of events. There’s always such a lot of laughter at meetings! So, you can imagine that the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic has been huge, and most local Circles, including all of those in Clifton Diocese, haven’t met face-to-face since March.
But, Catenians are a resourceful and a resilient bunch, and were quite determined to use modern technology to stay in touch with one another, adopting the ZOOM video-conferencing software as a way of holding electronic Circle meetings. And so successful has it been that Catenians are now all getting used to attending meetings and social events with other Catenians all over the world from the comfort of their sitting rooms. Many new friends have been made and many visits have been made to Australia, India, Bangladesh, Israel, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Malta, Ireland – and yes – even to the other side of the Bristol Channel! We may not be able to meet in person, but, as a result today we are a stronger, more reliant and more cohesive bunch of Catholic friends than we ever were before.
Catenians do not exist for philanthropic purposes, but we actually do a lot of work for charity, both Internationally, nationally and locally. We have always had a particular focus on the support and development of our Catholic Youth, all over the world, and quite irrespective of any connection that they may or may not have with our Association. Internationally, we created the Catenian Bursary Fund which aims to financially support young Catholics who wish to do something wonderful for others; nationally we are a major sponsor of CYMFed and the FLAME series of congresses, and we support the Catholic Vocations initiative. Locally, Catenians in Weston-super-Mare, Bristol, Bath, Salisbury, Swindon, Cirencester and Gloucester, all support their own charities again this year.
So, that’s us, and now we like to meet you too. If you are a Catholic man, aged over 21, we’d like to hear from you, and then perhaps, one day, actually meet with you to tell you face-to-face some of the benefits of Catenianism.
We’d like to think that we might be able to persuade you to join our social network.