Congratulations on your decision to marry!  It’s our pleasure to help you prepare for the Sacrament of Marriage.

What is Pre Cana?

Pre Cana is an experience centered one-day program using various presentation styles in order to aid in the preparation of couples for the Sacrament of Marriage.

Who should attend?

This program is intended for couples where both the bride and groom are entering marriage for the first time.  While Pre Cana is recognized preparation, it just meets the minimum preparation requirements.  Because of this, Journey to Matrimony is the preferred/recommended program for the Diocese of St. Petersburg.  For these reasons, some priests and deacons will not accept Pre Cana as adequate preparation.

Please know that the Church cares deeply about you and your upcoming marriage.  As you look toward entering the sacrament , we encourage you to give the Journey to Matrimony program first consideration instead.  While we realize this is a greater commitment,  it is our hope that this more comprehensive alternative will provide a stronger foundation on which couples can build their marriage and future together.  To obtain the current brochure click on Journey to Matrimony 2020.

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

Since Pre Cana is geared toward those who will enter marriage for the first time, regardless of circumstances if the bride and/or groom were previously married it is our recommendation that these couples attend the Remarriage Program.  While this is our recommendation, ultimately it is the decision of the priest or deacon preparing the couple who determines which program they should attend.  If the clergy you are working with didn’t discuss this option with you, we encourage you to contact them to see if perhaps this might better meet your needs. 

When should we attend?

We recommended that engaged couples complete this phase of their marriage preparation a minimum of 3 months prior to the date of their wedding.

What if we are unable to attend the program together?

We realize you are preparing for one of the most important steps you will ever take…marrying someone and committing yourself to them for the rest of your life!  In order to adequately prepare for your future together, it is always best when marriage preparation is done as a couple.

Occasionally, extenuating circumstances exist that prevent this from happening.  Because the activities at Pre Cana are couple-based, we are unable to accommodate individuals.  Those who are unable to attend together should contact their parish for assistance with completing this phase of the preparation process.

What should we bring?

  • Your fiancé
  • A light sweater or jacket if you have a tendency to get cool

When does the program begin and end?

Pre Cana begins at 8:45 a.m. and concludes by 5:00 p.m.

How do we register?

If your marriage preparation is being done at one of the parishes in the Diocese of St. Petersburg, typically they will provide you with this information. Complete the registration form from the current brochure and submit by mail or in person to the Office of Marriage & Family Life with the requested payment . We are unable to accept phone, fax, email or online registrations.  As mentioned above, Journey to Matrimony is the preferred program of the diocese.  If Pre Cana is accepted by the priest or deacon assisting with your sacramental preparation, click here to obtain the current brochure.  Please be mindful of the registration deadline.

Can we register after the deadline?

Providing there is still space…yes…you can register after the deadline however a late fee will apply.

When is Pre Cana offered?

Except in rare cases, Pre Cana is typically held the third Saturday of selected months throughout the year.  See below for the current schedule.

2020 Schedule

Please Note:  A late fee of $40 applies to registrations submitted after the deadline.

Program Dates & Registration Deadlines

*February 15th (Deadline 1/27/20)

March 21st (Deadline 3/2/20)

April 18th (Deadline 3/30/20)

*May 30th (Deadline 5/11/20)

June 20th (Deadline 6/1/20)

July 18th (Deadline 6/29/20)

September 19th (Deadline 8/31/20)

*October 17th (Deadline 9/28/20)

November 21st (Deadline 11/2/20)

March 21st (Registration Deadline 3/2/20)

*During these months, Pre Cana is also offered in Spanish.  Click on the brochure link if you prefer to attend this program instead.  Spanish 2020

Where is Pre Cana held?

Pre Cana is held at our retreat center in Lutz.  The address will be included in your confirmation letter.

How will we know if we’re confirmed?

Once your paperwork is processed, acknowledgment will be sent to each email address listed on the registration form. This will also include an attachment of a confirmation letter with additional details.  In the absence of email, written notification will be mailed to the bride’s home.

Should we call to check availability?

Couples frequently call to check program availability before submitting their paperwork.  While this may seem helpful, in cases where availability is limited, this can be the difference between whether or not you get confirmed.  Since payment will not be processed unless we are 100% sure we can accommodate you, it is best to submit your registration form as soon as possible.

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

All contact regarding this program should be with the Office of Marriage & Family Life.  Since the retreat center serves only as the host facility, their staff is unable to answer any questions you may have.

The best way to reach us is by E-mail as we have access to this from off-site locations and frequently respond after normal business hours. The email address is: deb@dosp.org or by phone 727-341-6847.