What is Cana?

Cana Ireland runs a six day programme (Cana Week), where couples have the opportunity to experience the importance of their marriage, spend time together exploring essential matters such as dialogue, intimacy and commitment, while at the same time being open to God showing them the wonderful gift of each other.

Cana is a worldwide ministry of the Chemin Neuf international Community which developed out of a small prayer group in Lyon in France in 1973. The prayer group was led by a Jesuit priest Fr. Laurent Fabre who still leads the community. Cana is present in over 40 countries offering couples a new and enriched vision of their marriage.

Cana Couples

The Cana Week

The Cana week, a six day programme, provides couples with a break from the normal routine of daily life, giving them an opportunity to spend time together to strengthen their marriages.

What happens on the week?
  • A warm and welcoming environment.
  • A place to rediscover the romance and intimacy of your relationship.
  • An opportunity to share with each other the richness and challenges of married life.
  • A safe space to talk about the things that really matter such as communication, forgiveness, intimacy, commitment and prayer.
  • An opportunity to meet other couples who care about the role of family in today’s society.
  • An opportunity for God to change the water of our daily lives into the new wine of a wedding feast.
What about the Children?

At Cana children 3 years old to teens are invited to their own programme and are looked after by a team of volunteers.  Recreational games and activities are adapted to their own age and spiritual development.  Child protection policies are in place.

Participating in the Cana Week programme means that your children will be cared for lovingly but separately for an extended period in the morning and again in the afternoon each day.  If separation is an issue for you or your child, you might consider waiting until he/she is older in order to get full benefit from the week.

Unfortunately we don’t have the capacity to take care of children under 3 years old.  If you have a child under this age we suggest you bring an au-pair or family member to take care of your child throughout the week.  The au-pair of family member will be the sole responsible person for your child at all times, independent of older children.

If you have any questions/concerns about this, please talk to us directly.

Who is Cana for?

The Cana Week is for any couple who love each other and are open to the work of God in their relationship. Couples of all ages are welcome to attend the Cana Week. It is also suitable for engaged couples.

The programme is based on a Christian understanding of marriage and is open to all Christian denominations but also has much to offer those who are searching.

The week is not for couples whose marriage is going through major difficulties. Couples who are currently undergoing counselling are recommended to complete their course before attending the Cana Week.


The Cana Week is a non-profit undertaking and is made possible through the efforts of many volunteers. Cana Ireland receives no financial support from outside bodies including the Church.

The suggested contribution is €600 – €700 per couple and €700 – €800 per family for the week. Accommodation and all meals are provided as well as materials for children’s activities and the couple’s programme. The organisers would like to make this opportunity available to as many people as possible, regardless of financial means. Costs will be kept as low as possible.

How to apply

If you would like to secure a place on our next Cana Week, (see dates), please complete the Cana Registration Form and return it to us with a deposit of €100.

Request more information

If you are still discerning or would just like to know more about Cana Ireland, you are most welcome to contact us.

What happens after Cana?

After taking part in a Cana Week, couples who wish to, can join a Cana Fraternity for ongoing friendship, prayer and support. The Cana Fraternity provides an opportunity for each couple to deepen and consolidate the experience of the Cana Week and to grow through praying and sharing with other couples. Those who wish to be part of a Cana Fraternity make an annual renewable commitment to attend a monthly fraternity meeting, two weekends and one week of training.

Cana and Children

Cana Couples

Cana Couples

Cana Couples

Cana Couple

Cana Family

Cana History

In 1975, several couples expressed a desire to Fr. Laurent Fabre, (founder of the Chemin Neuf international Community) for a retreat centred on marriage and family life. The retreat took place in La Baume Sainte Marie in France. In 1980 a synod on The Family took place in Rome, the Community decided to send four people, simply to be there, to support to the bishops and to pray for their meeting. Some months later, the first Cana Week took place in Les Pothières, the Community’s Training Centre, near Lyon in France.

During the last 32 years, Cana has spread to over 40 countries. The fruit of Cana for couples offers couples a new and enriched vision of their marriage. In Ireland, the first Cana week took place at Castledaly Manor, Athlone in 2012. Since then, Cana in Ireland has grown as couples who have experienced the grace of Cana are spreading the word and inviting others to set apart this special time for transforming their marriages.

Cana Couple