This is the second year of the CANA mission in Senegal facilitated by a highly motivated and dynamic national team and participating couples. CANA International and a couple from Burkina do their best to support and train them. After numerous contacts, the local Church is adopting us.

Gilles CORMIER, CANA International

A dynamic team and programme

With the help of Claude & Rachel KONDE from Burkina Faso, we continue to support the development of the CANA mission in this country. For this reason, I took time to continue the training of the national team, to review the programme as a whole and to help facilitate the last weekend of the year (May 11-15, 2023).

In September 2022, 16 couples joined the CANA fraternity for the year, divided into 4 fraternities, all based in Dakar. The CANA Senegal national team is made up of four highly motivated couples. In addition to the basic 3-weekend programme, they enjoyed a wonderful Valentine’s evening organized in conjunction with the diocese, and are currently preparing the CANA Week planned at the end of July. For this second year of responsibility, this is very encouraging!

Weekend on “Lasting as a couple”

This was the 3rd weekend of the year open to new couples. So 20 couples took part: 10 from CANA fraternities and 10 from outside (4 from CANA Welcome courses). Not forgetting 19 lively young children! For the second time, the weekend was held at the famous Keur Moussa Abbey.

With the experience of this second year, CANA’s pedagogy is better and better understood. Both the couple exercises and the two teachings helped them to delve deeper into the essential subject of “lasting as a couple”. We heard two beautiful testimonies of forgiveness in the evening, which resonated well with the participants. The monks’ liturgy was beautiful and helped everyone to pray.

The couples at the service have clearly understood the spirit of CANA and are eager to share it widely. At the review, despite their fatigue, everyone was happy to have been able to give of themselves. And the participating couples were delighted. Some of the new couples said they would be back for the CANA week. This is a great incentive to open up our weekends to other couples!

CANA mission update

The 4 classic fraternities of the CANA fraternity are highly motivated and meet monthly. In addition, CANA Welcome brings together 3 groups of 4 couples each, in 2 different parishes.

We need to continue developing the leadership training programme. Next year’s CANA retreat, which all the “elders” have requested, will be a new feature and the key to putting down roots. They also want to benefit from the new “CANA Listener” training course, to be able to accompany couples in crisis. Parish priests also need relay couples on this delicate issue.

Let’s end with a beautiful reason for thanksgiving. After only two years of activity in the Diocese of Dakar, we can say that CANA has become an integral part of the pastoral care of couples and families. The parish priests and the bishop of Dakar have confidence in us and do not hesitate to call on CANA Senegal to give testimonies.

Meeting with priests

On the first day, I was delighted to discover the beautiful historic city of St Louis in the north. The cathedral is the first church built in West Africa (1828). The parish priest made us feel very welcome and is keen to launch CANA Welcome. On the last day we met the priest in charge of the national commission for family, education and life, Father Paul MACODOU, who is delighted with CANA’s active involvement in Senegal.  Finally, Father CYR, the parish priest of the Maristes parish, renewed his support and asked us some very good questions about what’s next in terms of accompanying couples, ongoing training for older members, help for couples in difficulty…

It’s very promising!

Overall, I’ve noticed that this young CANA fraternity has grown in maturity over the past year. It is eager to move forward and grow as fast as possible. The next step will be the CANA retreat. General support and training for the national team and fraternity leaders will remain essential for the future. Wilfried & Rose KOUNDE, CANA Senegal national leaders, are very committed and keep the “fire” to evangelize.

It’s very promising!