Congratulations on your decision to marry.  It is our pleasure to help you prepare for the Sacrament of Marriage. To obtain the current brochure click Pre Cana 2021.

What is Pre Cana?

Pre Cana is an experience centered one-day program. Various presentation styles are used to aid in the preparation of couples for the Sacrament of Marriage.

Who should attend?

Pre Cana is intended for couples where the bride and groom are both entering marriage for the first time.  While this program is recognized by the Church, Journey to Matrimony is the preferred program of the Diocese of St. Petersburg (for first marriages). For this reason, not all priests and deacons consider Pre Cana adequate preparation.

Because the Church cares about you and your upcoming marriage, please…give Journey to Matrimony first consideration. We realize this is a greater commitment but as couples prepare to enter into a sacrament and spend a lifetime together, our hope is that they would want to do more rather than less preparation. This more comprehensive alternative will help provide a stronger foundation on which to build your future. To obtain the brochure click Journey to Matrimony 2021

What if one or both of us have been previously married?

Regardless of length of time or circumstances, if the bride and/or groom were previously married we suggest attending the Remarriage Program.  While we make this recommendation, the priest or deacon providing sacramental preparation determines this requirement. If this option wasn’t previously discussed, we encourage you to speak with the clergy you are working with to see if this might be more suitable. Click Remarriage 2021 for a brochure.

When should we attend?

It is recommended that this phase of the marriage preparation process be completed a minimum of 3 months prior to the wedding. Attending with less notice is possible providing this is acceptable with the priest or deacon assisting with your sacramental preparation.

What if we can’t attend together?

To adequately prepare, it’s best when all aspects of the process are done as a couple. Because Journey to Matrimony and Pre Cana are both couple-based experiences, we are unable to accommodate individuals.  If extenuating circumstances exist that prevent you from attending together, please contact the priest or deacon assisting with your sacramental preparation. Since clergy determine the preparation requirements, they will be able to direct you on how to proceed.

How much does it cost to attend and what is included?

As long as you apply before the deadline the cost is $85 per couple. After the deadline the cost increases to $125 per couple. The fee covers materials, meals, and all other program expenses.

Should we call first to check availability?

Actually…it’s better to just submit your paperwork.  Be mindful that space is subject to availability and couples are confirmed in the order applications are received.  The time spent waiting for a response might be the difference between whether or not we can accommodate you, especially if space is limited.  Penalties only go into affect once couples are confirmed.

2021 Schedule & Application Deadlines

Just a reminder…a $40.00 late fee applies to applications submitted after the deadline.

February 20th* (Deadline 1/28/21))

May 8th* (Deadline 4/15/21)

July 24th (Deadline 7/1/21)

November 20th (Deadline 10/28/21)

*Pre Cana will also be offered in Spanish on these dates as well as October 16th

Can we register after the deadline?

As long as space is available…yes…but be mindful that a late fee applies.

Apply online by clicking here.

Please note:  Whether you apply online, by mail, or in person, this is only the application process and does not guaranteed a spot for your preferred date.  Space is subject to availability at the time the application and payment are received.   

Important – if the priest, deacon or parish assisting with your marriage preparation only provided you with information for Journey to Matrimony, the Office of Marriage & Family Life does not have the authority to confirm you for Pre Cana.

How will we know if we’re confirmed?

Once your paperwork is processed, written notification will be sent to each e-mail address provided.  This will acknowledge receipt of you application, confirm the date for which you are registered, and give any additional information you need to be aware of.  Every attempt is made to accommodate couples for their preferred date.

Where is Pre Cana held?

The program is typically held at our retreat center in Lutz.  The address will be included in your confirmation letter. The program begins at 8:45 a.m. and ends no later than 5:00 p.m.

Who do we contact if we have questions or need further assistance?

All contact regarding Pre Cana should be with the Office of Marriage & Family Life.  E-mail is the best way to reach us since we have access to this when we’re away from the office. Contact Debbie Alexander at or 727-341-6847.