A novel catalytic material is prepared by dispersing a catalytically active species, e.g., one or more platinum group metals, on a support phase that contains a high porosity, meso-pores high surface area (HPMPHSA) material. The HPMPHSA material has a porosity, measured in milliliters per gram of material, that is typically at least about 30 percent greater than that of a corresponding conventional material, preferably at least 50 percent greater. In a particular embodiment, the support phase of the catalytic material contains a HPMPHSA alumina having a porosity of about 0.9 ml/g, whereas a conventional alumina typically has a porosity of about 0.45 ml/g. The surface area is above 90, preferably above 100, more preferably equal or above 150 to 160 m.sup.2 /g. The support phase may be wholly composed of the HPMPHSA material or it may be composed of a mixture of the HPMPHSA material and a conventional material. Such a mixture preferably contains at least about 20 percent HPMPHSA material, by weight, e.g., 20 to 50 percent by weight.