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Welcome

A very warm welcome to the Southampton Catenians website. We are one of the founding branches (or ‘Circles’ as we are known) of the Catenian Association having been inaugurated on 9th April 1913, just 5 years after the Association was established.

The Catenian Association is an international organisation of Catholic laymen and permanent deacons. We have a focus on family, friendship and fun with the common factor of sharing the same faith. Many Catenians have a prominent role in their local parishes and Diocese as well as Catholic lay organisations.

We meet on the 1st Monday of each month, unless a Bank Holiday, at the Doubletree by Hilton Hotel, Southampton.

Visitors from other Circles are always welcome and please contact our Dining Secretary by the preceding Thursday if possible. Alternate months are ladies nights. In addition to Circle meeting evenings we have a very active social programme. Please look at our “Meetings” page for more details.

Additionally we welcome Catholic men who would like the opportunity to meet others to build lifelong friendships with them and their families. If you are interested then please come and meet us and see how we can enrich your lives and you can enrich ours.

Please look at our membership pages for details of how to become a member and frequently asked questions.

 

 

A Message from Southampton Circle President, Tony Murray

Having been a member of the Catenians for some years I have always felt the friendship, compassion and engagement of an Association that has the love of Jesus Christ at its centre. With a busy life as the Headteacher of a Catholic school a considerable distance from my home, I have not always been able to attend meetings or be as active as I would like within our Circle. However, the opportunities the Catenians offer to mix and socialise with others of the Catholic faith, from all walks of life, is not only enjoyable and rewarding, but also an opportunity to discuss and share matters of polofaith in an open and supportive environment.

As well as monthly meetings, we have frequent social events at which we encourage the participation of all, including on a number of occasions, family involvement. Whilst ostensibly a men’s organisation, wives get fully involved in the social life of the association. We enjoy many social activities, many which involve our families, helping build a strong bond in a loving, caring, Catholic organisation.

Mutual support of our fellow brothers and families and the widows and the families of deceased members is at the heart of our Association. However, we are also outward looking and in particular we embrace the opportunity to support charities. Each year, the President will nominate charities for the major focus and support from the members of the Circle.

This year I have chosen HCPT and Catholic Home Care as the Presidential Charities, which allow us to support children and the more elderly with a local focus. HCPT (The Pilgrimage Trust) has, “A vision of changing lives through Pilgrimage, sharing God’s gifts of love, friendship and joy.” Every Easter HCPT takes disabled and disadvantaged children on a pilgrimage to Lourdes. As a result of Covid-19, pilgrimages have not been possible in 2020 or 2021 and there is now a considerable waiting list. Our focus will be on our local group, Group 170.

Catholic Home Care is co-ordinated through the City Centre Catholic Parish in Southampton and has now been in operation for over 30 years. It supports more elderly people, helping those people to stay in their own homes and currently works with nearly 100 people, all with varying needs, with a dedicated team of 18 paid carers, offering help with various household tasks, as well as befriending and offering a sitting service. 

We are a forward-thinking circle and we welcome and encourage new members and new ideas. We have a strong affiliation with the Southampton University Catholic Society of Students (Cathsoc) and our Catholic educational establishments as well as established links with our parishes. As we emerge from lockdown and things start to open up once again and we are able to socialise and mix, we will aim to grow our Association further through encouraging new members. We will particularly look forward to welcoming families and young members.

COVID 19

Due to the corona virus outbreak and the social distancing now in place, all Council and Circle meetings will be held by Zoom until further notice. Our social programme will remain in place while the situation evolves but please expect events to be cancelled until the current restrictions are lifted. Our focus during this time will be on the welfare of our members and Circle widows. We plan to establish a “ring-around” system to ensure everyone is contacted at least once a month and we will endeavour to provide assistance where we can to anyone experiencing difficulties. If you know of anyone requiring help or you need help yourselves please do not hesitate to contact our secretary Folkert Van Galen (fvangalen@aol.com). 

The age profile of our members falls into the high risk category. As such we must take very seriously the restrictions that are in place. Our Circle exists to provide mutual support for brothers, their families and our widows in times of need so let us be open to the needs of others. Let us also pray for each other that we may all keep safe through this difficult time.