CANA is the mission of the Chemin Neuf Community serving couples and families and has been developing programmes for them since 1980. It has its roots in Ignatian spirituality and the Charismatic Renewal, and runs its programmes in about fifty countries around the world.
CANA’s programmes address married and unmarried couples and single parents of all Christian denominations, regular practitioners as well as casual and non-practicing. The 6-day CANA Week is the heart of the programmes. Like the Cana Week, retreats, thematic weekends, and other one-off events, provide a programme of progressive formation, respectful of the freedom of each individual and including all the dimensions of the person in order to encourage their wholeness. Approximately 15,000 people of all ages are welcomed each year. Nearly 5,000 couples are engaged in CANA fraternities and have a multi-year training programme with monthly meetings.
The aim is to help couples to deepen the vocation of marriage and lay the foundations of a strong, lasting and fruitful union. Particular emphasis is placed on 30–45-year-olds. Couples receive practical tools and guidelines, and an accompaniment from which to base their choice to love each other and to renew their love on a daily basis. In times of peace and in times of turbulence, they walk in fidelity to God’s plan for man and woman. They also learn to pray and to base their married and family life on Christ. They can become missionary witnesses in their respective places of life and commitment (family and friends, school, work, society, parishes and churches).
Conscious of the changes in society and encouraged by the two successive synods on the family, CANA has carried out a renewal process aimed at clarifying its vocation and updating its programmes. These are becoming increasingly diversified in order to consolidate the family unit, to bring back into light the fruits of Christian marriage, and to walk with the people affected by the new trends in family lifestyles.
CANA is also for men and women who are considering a future engagement in marriage (CANA Marriage Prep), who wish to be accompanied in their mission as Christian parents (CANA Parents and Family), who are going through a difficult period such as separation (CANA Hope), or who are engaged in a new union after a divorce (CANA Samaria). Confident in the action of the Holy Spirit in the hearts of all, CANA wishes to embody the words of Pope Francis in his Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia (2016): “In every situation that presents itself, the Church is conscious of the need to offer a word of truth and hope… The great values of marriage and the Christian family correspond to a yearning that is part and parcel of human existence. If we see any number of problems, these should be a summons to revive our hope and to make it the source of prophetic visions, transformative actions and creative forms of charity.” (AL 57)
A true “school” of the family and the couple where one experiences the joy of loving, CANA expresses its mission by this formula: “Cana, for a deeper, stronger love”.