Born at Montblanch, Catalonia, Spain, 29 or 30 January, 1761; died at Santa Clara, California, 22 Nov., 1830. He received the habit of St. Francis at Barcelona on 4 April, 1777, and was ordained priest probably in 1785. After obtaining permission to devote himself to the missions in America, he sailed from Cadiz in October, 1786, and joined the famous missionary college of San Fernando in the City of Mexico.
In 1793 he acted as chaplain on a Spanish ship which plied between Mexico and Nootka Sound (Vancouver). In the following year he was sent to the Indian mission of Santa Clara, California, where in company with Father José Viader he laboured most zealously until his death. All through his missionary life Father Catalá suffered intensely from inflammatory rheumatism, so that in his last years he could neither walk nor stand unassisted. He nevertheless visited the sick, and preached in Indian and Spanish while seated in a chair at the altar-rail. Despite his infirmities he observed the rule strictly, used the discipline and penitential girdle, tasted nothing till noon, and then and in the evening would eat only a gruel of corn and milk. He never used meat, fish, eggs, or vine. The venerable missionary was famed far and wide for his miracles and prophecies, as well as for his virtues. In 1884 Archbishop J.S. Alemany of San Francisco instituted the process of his beatification. This, in 1908-9, was followed by the process de non cultu publico .
The Catholic Encyclopedia is the most comprehensive resource on Catholic teaching, history, and information ever gathered in all of human history. This easy-to-search online version was originally printed in fifteen hardcopy volumes.
Designed to present its readers with the full body of Catholic teaching, the Encyclopedia contains not only precise statements of what the Church has defined, but also an impartial record of different views of acknowledged authority on all disputed questions, national, political or factional. In the determination of the truth the most recent and acknowledged scientific methods are employed, and the results of the latest research in theology, philosophy, history, apologetics, archaeology, and other sciences are given careful consideration.
No one who is interested in human history, past and present, can ignore the Catholic Church, either as an institution which has been the central figure in the civilized world for nearly two thousand years, decisively affecting its destinies, religious, literary, scientific, social and political, or as an existing power whose influence and activity extend to every part of the globe. In the past century the Church has grown both extensively and intensively among English-speaking peoples. Their living interests demand that they should have the means of informing themselves about this vast institution, which, whether they are Catholics or not, affects their fortunes and their destiny.
Copyright © Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company New York, NY. Volume 1: 1907; Volume 2: 1907; Volume 3: 1908; Volume 4: 1908; Volume 5: 1909; Volume 6: 1909; Volume 7: 1910; Volume 8: 1910; Volume 9: 1910; Volume 10: 1911; Volume 11: - 1911; Volume 12: - 1911; Volume 13: - 1912; Volume 14: 1912; Volume 15: 1912
Catholic Online Catholic Encyclopedia Digital version Compiled and Copyright © Catholic Online