May 4-5 saw the second CANA weekend in Portugal. Since the first weekend in December, 2 CANA Welcome groups have been launched: one in Setúbal near Lisbon and one in Portimão. A couple is eager to welcome the CANA mission in Porto, so CANA is growing little by little in this beautiful country.

This weekend took place in Portimão, after Lisbon for the first weekend. We were fortunate to benefit from a year of active and appreciated Community presence, as the venue chosen was Ferragudo, the diocesan pastoral center where the Youth Mission was preparing for last year’s WYD.

14 couples took part in the weekend: 9 couples who had attended the December weekend and 5 new ones; 5 couples from Portimão, 2 from the North (Porto and Viseu) and 7 from Lisbon.

The theme was “The Joy of Love”, supported by Amoris Laetitia, a much-appreciated theme in terms of content, offering much-needed tools for couple life. This time, it was the new CANA national team at work: 4 couples were involved in the teachings, testimonies, logistics, etc. It’s very encouraging to feel the team building up for the continuation of CANA in the country.

On Sunday, we took part in the Matriz parish mass, a place of prayer during the weeks of preparation for the WYD. Padre Mário made us feel very welcome, and gave the CANA leaders the opportunity to give their testimonies and invite us to the CANA week at the end of the mass.

From August 9 to 14, the first CANA week will be held in Setúbal near Lisbon, at the home of Ignatian sisters, where we spent the first weekend. The challenge is for 10-15 couples to sign up: let’s pray.

In conclusion, these two weekends are the sign of a very encouraging start. The meetings with the servant couples and participants have been a source of great joy for us each time. We feel like we’re riding the wave of WYD and Welcome to Paradise… This country is very welcoming and endearing. The Chemin Neuf spirit is new, different from the rather traditional local Church… and eagerly awaited in the words of a CANA couple: “I feel in my heart that the Spirit can renew the Church in Portugal through your Community”.