CANA History in Uganda

Since 1995

Since 1995 when the first Cana week was conducted in Uganda, the mission has spread to a large portion of the country to-date. Cana in Uganda is present in 165 parishes in 11 of the 19 catholic dioceses. These include Kampala, Masaka, Mbarara, Kabale, Kasese, Fort Portal, Hoima, Luwero, Gulu, Tororo and Jinja. While the mission has touched and changed the lives of over 14000 couples in various ways and degrees, on average 1,800 of these couples are committed in over 360 fraternities across the country annually.

Milestones

  1. In the last 28 years, over 14,000 couples have participated in a Cana training programme of one kind or another. There is a markedly renewed commitment to sacramental life and to the matrimonial vows by majority of the couples in the Cana fraternity. Cana training sessions have also increasingly become a vehicle for mass weddings in several dioceses.
  2. Dozens of priests and religious sisters have attended various Cana formation programs and are involved in the mission within their home dioceses. Bishops have offered exceptional support to the growth and expansion of the Cana mission in their respective dioceses.
  3. With the help of the Chemin-Neuf Community in France (and recently in Uganda), the Cana Fraternity in Uganda continues to receive pastoral and training support by the CANA International Team. This has helped to strengthen and deepen the formation programme of the couples to sharpen their leadership and training faculties. Through these efforts, all dioceses where Cana is present in Uganda have local leadership and organisational structures that enable them to organize and facilitate the various trainings with the guidance of their bishops in their respective pastoral arrangements. At the apex, a National Leadership Team is in place to coordinate the mission across the country. The National Team maintains a healthy working relationship with the Lay Apostolate Commission of the Uganda Episcopal Conference through the Director of Lay Apostolate at the Catholic Secretariat.
  4. It is worth noting that Cana has groomed a new crop of leaders and servants in the church, not only in the family apostolate but also in other areas such as the parish councils and small Christian communities. A considerable number of Cana fraternity members have transited into catechists in many parishes where Cana is present.
  5. Peaceful and stable families: The experience of forgiveness, reconciliation and renewal of their commitment during the Cana Sessions has helped majority of the couples to rediscover and work for peace and stability in their marriage and families. Thus, CANA is another building block to lock out domestic violence.
  6. Family support mechanism: The local Cana fraternity provides an excellent support mechanism for accompaniment, sharing, learning and growth for all the members. Through the monthly fraternity meetings, various topics on marriage and family life are discussed, which provide space and opportunity for couples to help or find help from others depending on their experiences and needs. In a properly functioning fraternity, there is immense opportunity to resolve most issues and great prospect to learn most of what is essential for effective Christian marriage and family life.
  7. Holistic development: Cana has in the majority of participants cemented the unity and cohesion of couples; the net result of which is a balanced and accelerated growth and development of couples and families. More than ever before, couples practice joint-decision making, share family resources and responsibilities in ways that enhance family welfare and are committed and open to joint planning and implementation of their social, economic and spiritual development activities.

In summary, Cana has provided resources for couples to practice dialogue, forgiveness and prayer in their daily life. Couples who care to live these values create for themselves an ever-growing opportunity to deepen their love; and in so doing, become missionary couples by word and example at the service of other couples and families.