Religious freedom and trade
the catholics came to America in the 1600's for religious freedom.they were also unhappy with their system of government in their homeland.
If you count Christopher Columbus as the first European to arrive in the New World, that would be Catholics.
They came, primarily to Maryland, to escape persecution in England.
to escape a kingdom that did not allow them to worship freely
Both religions came to America trying to find separation from the English religious turmoil. Not all Protestants came to America at first, but the non-Anglican sects did because they did not want to admit King Henry VIII was the head of the Church of England. The Catholics came over mainly when Maryland was created originally intended to be a haven for Catholics but, because of financial regions, had both Protestants and Catholics. Eventually, lots more people wanted to come over.
I would say in 1492 because that is also when the first Catholics came to America. Please forgive me if I am incorrect but if I am try Google.
All came seeking religious freedom which was not present in England at the time.
Almost 24 percent of the 301 million US Citizens are Catholics.
Most of the catholics live in Italy, Spain and South America.