Santa Clara University

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Catala Club History

The Catala Club of Santa Clara University was established by James J. Lyons, S.J., in 1930, one hundred years after the death of Magin Catala, O.F.M. who was known as the “The Holy Man of Santa Clara.”

Magin Catala was born in Spain on June 13, 1761, and entered a Franciscan Monastery at age 16. He was ordained a priest in 1785. The following year, Fr. Catala left Spain and spent the next six years in apostolic work among the Indians in the mission areas of New Spain, now Mexico.

In 1794, Fr. Catala arrived at Mission Santa Clara in Alta California and spent the next 36 years teaching the basics of Christianity, reading, writing, and farming.

Fr. Catala died on November 22, 1830, and his body was interred in the Mission Church on what would become the Santa Clara University campus. A bronze plaque commemorating his life and indicating the site of his grave is located to the left of the Crucifix Altar in the church.


From its first meeting on April 27, 1930, to today, the Catala Club has welcomed women of diverse backgrounds and occupations to become part of the Santa Clara University family and to contribute to the university’s educational mission.

The Catala Club began as a support group of ladies who volunteered to assist the Jesuits at Santa Clara in caring for the vestments, altar linens, and other needs of the Mission Church. The club evolved into a women’s service organization.

The Catala Club has a long tradition of selfless service and dedication to Santa Clara University. Our motto is Service, Support and Spirituality.


The Catala Club’s main activity is to provide financial assistance to deserving undergraduate students at Santa Clara. Fundraising events are held periodically. The proceeds are assigned to the Catala Club Endowed Scholarship Fund of Santa Clara University and to the Paul L. Locatelli, S.J., Endowed Scholarship Fund.

Many members of Catala also belong to other campus organizations and many are recognized through the President’s Club for their generosity.

Catala Club Endowed Scholarship Fund:

  • established in 1930
  • principal balance as of June 30,2010 is $1,916,749.59
  • income allocated for scholarships 2009-10 was $91,072.00
  • eleven students received Catala Scholarship support 2009-10 academic year

The Paul Locatelli, S.J.. Endowed Scholarship Fund:

  • established 1997
  • principal balance as of June 30. 2010 is $864,799.56
  • income allocated for scholarships 2009-10 was $6498.00
  • two student received funds 2009-0710 academic year.


The symbol of the Club is a pink rose. The Club’s pin is triangular. The top symbolizes God and the base symbolizes friendship among its members. The pin also represents the three special virtues embodied in the Catala motto: Service, Support and Spirituality.

The Catala Club Coat of Arms:


The symbolic elements of the Coat of Arms are defined as follows:

Red and Gold

Visored Helmet
Defense of truth and wisdom

Acanthus Leaves
Greek emblem of the fine arts and an early Christian symbol of immortality

Upper Left Quarter
From the Coat of Arms of the Family of Saint Ignatius of Loyola

Upper Right Quarter
From the Coat of Arms of the Franciscan Order

Circular Seal of Santa Clara University with IHS (the first three letters of the name of Jesus in Greek); three nails of the Crucifixion; the American Eagle; thirteen stars representing the original American colonies; 1851, the founding date of the University; A.M.D.G., the Jesuit motto: “Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam” (for the Greater Glory of God)

Lower Left Quarter
Mission Santa Clara de Assis founded January 12, 1777

Lower Right Quarter
Mission Bell inscribed with the Spanish Bourbon Coat of Arms, the symbol of the preservation of Spanish culture in California

Ribboned Motto
“Monstra te esse Matrem” - Be to us a Mother


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