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Catenians commemorate past members, support work of 2020 Plenary Council


Offering support to Catholic men, the mission of the Association is to strengthen family life through friendship and faith and a cornerstone of this calling is to provide ongoing support to the families of deceased brothers. Photo: Ron Tan.

By Eric Martin

About 150 Catenian brothers and their wives attended the Western Australian Catenian Association’s annual Commemorative Mass, held at St Mary’s Cathedral on Sunday 3 November 2019.

The Mass was an important occasion to celebrate the achievements of deceased brothers, commemorate their memory as a community, and provide an opportunity for comfort and sharing for the wives and family members left behind.


The Catenian Association is a fellowship of Catholic laymen that started in England in 1908 and is now active around the world: in Australia, South Africa, Zimbabwe and India. Photo: Ron Tan.

Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB offered the Mass in memory of the deceased Catenian brothers and wives of Province 20 of the Association in WA.

He warmly welcomed the gathering of Catenians at the Cathedral, outlining the values of the Association and the contribution it was making to Catholic laymen seeking faith based friendship with men who share similar beliefs and interests.


The Association has been functioning in Perth since 1977 providing faith-based friendship to almost 400 members in WA. Photo: Ron Tan.

“We were privileged that Archbishop Costelloe was able to celebrate the Mass with us,” said Keith Morgan, Provincial President of the Catenian Association in WA.

“And were most appreciative of his words of support and encouragement to our Association and members.”

Even though the homily for the 31st Sunday in Ordinary Time focused on the story of Zacchaeus, a challenging link to a commemorative service, Archbishop Costelloe drew on the recent launch of the second stage of Plenary 2020 to illuminate the importance of having a heart like Jesus, a key factor behind so much of the work that the Catenians do in supporting the Archdiocese.


The Catenians of Province 20. Photo: Ron Tan.

“I want to reflect, in the light of this morning’s Gospel [and in honour of our dearly departed Catenian brothers], on what ties our Archdiocesan Plan of Renewal and the Plenary Council together,” Archbishop Costelloe said.

“It is of course the realisation that at the heart of any renewal in the Church, a deeper fidelity to God, who has revealed himself to us in Jesus, must be our primary goal.

“If we are to have the same mind, and heart, that was in Christ Jesus, we will have to allow him to work this transformation within us – for we certainly cannot do it on our own.”


The Cathedral filled, as people of all ages came together to acknowledge the impact that members of the Association have had on their lives. Photo: Ron Tan.

The Association has been a driving force behind the successful implementation of the Plenary Process across many parishes in Perth (such as the Pastoral Care Community formed by East Fremantle, Myaree, Palmyra and Attadale Parishes), faithful to the notion that a successful Plenary will be an effective measure for growth and renewal for WA in particular.

When Brisbane Archbishop Mark Coleridge announced the Plenary Council 2020 in October 2017, the Province of the Catenian Association of WA established a PC2020 Subcommittee in November 2017, to assist with the rollout of each phase.

According to Dr Graham Mahony, a member of the Catenian Association Australia Province of WA, the Catenians were inspired by the Australian Bishops Plenary Council 2020 mandate, “which have prompted the Church to review, analyse, and discern the signs of the times, to listen anew to the Spirit, and to chart its course into the future”. 


The Catenian Association of Western Australia’s Commemorative Mass is an opportunity for the family of departed brothers to honour those who have gone ahead. Photo: Ron Tan.

Their fidelity to Jesus, the Archdiocese and the Plenary 2020 process during this exciting time of renewal, exhibited the Catenian heart of Service as demonstrated by the departed brothers and wives, whose lives were celebrated at the Commemorative Mass.

The President was thrilled with the number of brothers and wives attending the Mass.

“We are always appreciative of the opportunity to be able to remember our deceased members in St Mary’s Cathedral with such a solemn and beautiful ceremony, made all that more special with the accompaniment of the wonderful St Mary’s choir,” he concluded.