The CANA team at Les Pothières (the CANA house near Lyon) wishes you a very happy Christmas and New Year 2024. Before looking ahead, we wanted to take a look back at the last twelve months to understand how the Lord led his CANA mission in 2023.

In figures, it’s a great harvest: 26 countries visited by members of the CANA International team in France or from other countries. Around 1,100 couples had their first CANA experience during 91 CANA Weeks! And 138 weekends, not counting all the training courses for local leaders and 47 retreat weeks in the 50 countries where CANA is present.

We were able to see that the pandemic is now well behind us and that couples are thirsty to come and nourish themselves again and meet up with other couples to share what they are going through. For many of them, the last few years have not been easy, and the economic crisis has weighed heavily on their daily lives. They had to choose once again to take time for their relationship.

As we announced in September, our team has been renewed and rejuvenated! There are now 14 couples and 2 consecrated sisters at the service of the countries, accompanying the leaders, listening to what is happening on the ground and training new teams. This allows us to stay more in touch with each reality, which is important in a world in the process of transformation.

As you may have read in previous articles, CANA has embarked on a development that we feel is essential to meet the expectations and needs of the new generation of couples and all existing marital situations: CANA Refresh!

Here are a few examples of this change in approach, where we take more time to listen to what people have to say, leading us to adapt our proposals locally.

The latest addition: Portugal. It’s one of the great fruits of World Youth Day. The fact that 16 couples took part for the first weekend is encouraging, especially as many of them are now motivated to launch CANA in their country.

But let’s also note in the pipeline : we are also planning a more dynamic 4-day CANA week, a couple’s hiking trip in the mountains, a parish family festival, a weekend around Lake Hautecombe, or even “CANA Sarepta” for widows and widowers which is continuing its experimentation in Burkina Faso and will be extended to other African countries. We’ll see where the Holy Spirit leads us in 2024, but the most important thing is to be able to build together and locally.

And we are pleased to note that the proposals that have proved their worth are still in demand on every continent: “CANA Parents” to respond to the major questions of parenthood, “CANA Welcome” which is launching in new parishes.

In the future, we have a strong desire to encourage more local initiatives and more horizontality between our countries so that the mission can be deployed as close as possible to the needs. We will certainly have to adapt our governance accordingly and provide tools to enable everyone to get started and find out what is being done elsewhere (such as a digital platform). Our message is: “Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” – Rev 3:22.

So let everyone feel called to serve the couples and families of this world. There are so many needs, and the workers are still few and far between! Get in touch with us!