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What is a Cana Engagement?

Cana Engagement is an experiential pre-cana retreat designed to bring engaged couples to a deeper level of intimacy through faithful understanding of what it means to enter and live a valid and sacramental marriage.  Throughout the two-day retreat the engaged couples grow closer to each other and God.  They increase their understanding of marriage by learning to give of themselves, how to communicate in a way that deepens their bond, and how living what God calls them to in marriage opens their relationship and future family to the Graces of the Sacrament.   

Register for Cana Engagement

199.00

A Cana Engagement retreat is designed to help engaged couples achieve a strong Christian Marriage by understanding the Sacrament of Matrimony, its covenantal nature, and recognizing that marriage is a life-long commitment requiring serious preparation.

Our next retreat is July 27-28 at St. Jude Catholic Church in Allen, TX.

Saint Jude Catholic Church
1515 N Greenville Ave, Allen, TX 75002
Saturday 9AM-6PM | Sunday 9AM-4:30PM

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WHAT SHOULD WE EXPECT?

Beginning Saturday morning, you and your fiance will be in a room with other retreat couples where you will be taken through a variety of activities from engaging lectures on various aspects of Catholic teaching on marriage and relationships, personal reflections, written exercises, and demonstrations. Afterwards, you and your fiance will have the opportunity to practice what you have just learned with each other in a private conversation discussing important topics that will prepare you for a healthy, happy, holy marriage. 

Cana Engagement is not group therapy and your privacy will be respected. When done, the group reassembles, with the chance to comment upon their shared experience. After the group sharing, the next topic will be presented.  Learning a new concept, practicing it with your spouse, and gaining insight from your fellow retreatants is the format of the weekend.  While couples are free to share and ask questions, no one is obligated to self-disclose, if they prefer otherwise.  The couples retreat is in-depth, practical, authentically Catholic and up-lifting.  Cana Engagement is a life-long journey towards greater connection, deepening love, and holy faithful marriage. 

IF YOU COULD BE A FLY ON THE WALL, YOU WOULD SEE . . .

On the first morning: a room full of faces – some eager, some solemn, a bit apprehensive from anticipation of the unknown.  You will see those who dragged their fiance and those who are dragged-along because the Church requires you attend marriage preparation; and you will see couples who mutually view the marriage preparation weekend as an exciting step towards a happy, holy married life.

BY SUNDAY NIGHT, YOU WILL SEE . .

Engaged couples who are happy, smiling, demonstrating their affection for one another, and feeling hopeful for the coming Covenantal and Sacramental marriage they are seeking. At the close of the retreat, they are open, hopeful, committed, grateful, enlightened, encouraged, and understanding. There are sly smiles, wide grins, happy tears, tender embraces, and hopeful eyes.

WHO SHOULD ATTEND THE RETREAT?

Any couple may benefit from this retreat if:

  • You are engaged and preparing for marriage in the Catholic Church and need a retreat that fulfills the marriage preparation requirements of your parish and diocese.

  • You are in a loving and strong relationship, and aspire to make it even better in hopes of determining if you are ready for a sacramental marriage.

  • You are in a challenging relationship and yearn for spiritual renewal as well as skill development to help you build your relationship for a sacramental marriage.

WHAT TOPICS WILL BE COVERED AT THE RETREAT?

  • Sacrament of  marriage

  • Natural Family Planning overview and purpose

  • Family of Origin and its effects on your pending marriage

  • Marriage Expectations

  • Roles and Responsibilities

  • Friends and Leisure

  • Sexuality and Intimacy

  • Finances

  • Parenting

  • Faith and Spirituality

  • Communication and Conflict Resolution

  • Partner Style and Habits

  • Goals in Marriage

WILL WE BE EXPECTED TO SPEAK IN FRONT OF THE GROUP?

Only if you choose to!  Cana Engagement is not group therapy and your privacy will be respected.  Couples are invited to join in and create a supportive group atmosphere, however we welcome you to participate at your level of comfort.  You will have the chance to comment upon your shared experience, during the optional group sharing.  The emphasis of the retreat is for couples to share with their partner, utilizing the structured format in order to reestablish a loving connection. 

CAN WE ATTEND IF ONE OR BOTH OF US ARE NOT CATHOLIC?

Absolutely, with the understanding that this is a Catholic retreat.

WHAT IF MY FIANCEE IS RELUCTANT TO ATTEND?

Marriage preparation as a requirement may cause one of you to be resistant. It is quite common that one partner is initially less enthusiastic than the other.  However, our experience is that the least excited partner often becomes more enthusiastic than their partner when they grasp their needs might actually get met.  Cana Engagement will equip you  to have a happy, healthy, holy married life.

CAN JUST ONE PARTNER ATTEND THE COUPLES WORKSHOP?

No, because the very essence of the workshop is to increase positive interactions and a deepening understanding between two partners. Both partners must attend and commit to staying for the entire retreat.

WHAT IS THE COST OF THE RETREAT?

The retreat fee is $199, per couple.  

WHAT IF THERE IS NO RETREAT SCHEDULED NEAR US?

Ask your parish or diocese to host a Cana Engagement retreat near you!  

WHAT IF WE HAVE TO CANCEL?

A 50% refund is available if you cancel 60 days in advance of the retreat. There are no refunds if you cancel within 30 days of the retreat.

WHAT KIND OF FOLLOW-UP IS AVAILABLE AFTER THE RETREAT?

Once you are married we encourage you one of our two marriage enrichment retreats, Cana Communication and Cana Commandments.  Your facilitator offers individual and couples counseling at her private practice in Plano, Texas. 

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF ATTENDING THE RETREAT?

You will be given the opportunity to:

  • Grow and nurture powerful and innovative communication skills

  • Share, with your future spouse, your emotional history to discover how your past influences your relationship today as well as how you want your relationship to be throughout your marriage

  • Understand the hidden reasons why you chose one another and how that impacts your power-struggles and your future marriage relationship

  • Co-create a purposeful vision for your future marriage relationship

  • Find a solution for differing opinions with kindness and charity

  • Learn how to hold onto the ardor and affection that initially attracted you to each other

  • Discover the depth of the marriage theology of the Catholic Church

  • Uncover a passageway to emotional healing and spiritual growth within your relationship

IS FOOD PROVIDED?

The parish provides breakfast, lunch, and beverages.  If you have special dietary needs, please alert us and feel free to bring whatever you need.

HOW SHOULD WE DRESS?

Dress is casual, comfortable and we suggest wearing layers in case of varying room temperatures. 

WHAT DO WE NEED TO BRING?

Bring a willing attitude and open heart.  Feel free to bring pillows or anything else you need for your comfort.

WHAT IS THE RETREAT SCHEDULE?

Cana Engagement is a non-residential retreat, which allows you the freedom to sleep in the comfort of your own home or at a local hotel of your choosing.  Lunch is 1 hour and there are breaks scheduled throughout the retreat.  Please plan to attend the entire weekend, as each section of the workshop builds upon the preceding section, thus arriving on time and being present for each part of the retreat is vital.