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Pre-Cana Information

Beginning a marriage is perhaps the most important step that people take in their lives. It is an event for which life often prepares us poorly. While love is the foundation of marriage, love alone cannot be our only preparation for marriage, for married life may be difficult and may feel "less-than-loving" at times. The church cares deeply for couples entering the sacrament of marriage and offers these Pre-Cana sessions as part of the preparation for your life together. These marriage preparation sessions will assist you in discovering within your relationship those significant areas of strength and uniqueness upon which to build a lasting, loving marriage.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why must we attend these sessions? Are they mandatory?

In view of the many stresses which affect marriage in today's society, the Catholic Church wants to help engaged couples to think and communicate more fully about areas of married life which may or may not have been discussed before. As you may be aware, matrimony is a sacrament and in the Catholic Church, all sacraments (with the exception of anointing of the sick) require some form of preparation on the part of the adult, parent, or child. Participation in a marriage preparation process/program prior to the sacrament of matrimony is the policy of the Archdiocese of Baltimore.

What will take place at these sessions?

Pre-Cana Conference is 12 hours in length; group size is limited according to space restrictions on campus.  Loyola employees and spouses present on topics of communication, family of origin/roles, faith and spirituality, conflict resolution, family and parenting, and finance and decision making based on their own life experiences.  You'll be asked to listen to presentations on these topics and engage in personal sharing with your future spouse.  Couples will be able to discuss topic areas not discussed in depth during the dating process.  Couples will have the opportunity to ask other couples "best" practices and strategies for preparing and enduring a healthy marriage.  Couples will receive access to the FOCCUS online assessment information to complete and discuss with their priest and/or deacon in the preparation process.  

When should we register?

The Archdiocesan policy "Marriage in the Lord" requests that you both, as an engaged couple, contact the priest or deacon to witness your wedding at least six months before your proposed wedding day. The priest or deacon will act as principal advisor in your formal marriage preparation process. You should discuss with your presider which form of formal Marriage Preparation is best for your situation. Since each Pre-Cana series fills quickly, please register for the marriage preparation program immediately after that first interview with your clergy advisor.

Programs Available

Archdiocese of Baltimore Pre-Cana Conferences

The Archdiocese of Baltimore offers Pre-Cana classes for Baltimore couples at a variety of locations throughout the year. Please contact the marriage preparation and enrichment office to inquire about class availability, ask questions, or to register for their classes. Contact information:

Marriage Preparation and Enrichment

Archdiocese of Baltimore
320 Cathedral Street
Baltimore, MD 21201

Baltimore Catholic Engaged Encounter Conferences

The Engaged Encounter weekend utilizes a dynamic process based on listening, writing, and dialogue. The process encourages the engaged couple to concentrate on building a relationship. The weekend extends from 7:30 p.m. Friday evening to approximately 4:30 p.m. Sunday afternoon. Free from the pressures and distractions of daily living, the engaged couple has the opportunity to concentrate exclusively on each other, while examining the essential issues they will encounter within the marriage relationship.

The design of the Weekend encourages the couple to explore mutual strengths and weaknesses, goals, aspirations and attitudes concerning family life, children, sexuality, finances, the church, and society. The couples are encouraged to communicate in terms of planning their marriage, not only a wedding day celebration.

All weekends are held at Holy Trinity Spiritual Center in Pikesville. Please direct any questions or inquiries regarding these weekends to the Engaged Encounter office at the address and telephone number below:

Baltimore Catholic Engaged Encounter
P.O. Box 255
Joppa, MD 21085 -0255

Home - Baltimore Catholic Engaged Encounter



Also, we strongly recommend viewing the For Your Marriage website prior to your wedding preparation program and throughout your marriage.


If you are looking for an online program that will accommodate your busy schedule, please review the online program the Archdiocese recommends: online class

or online class

Copy of certificates of completion should be sent to the wedding coordinator at