Prayerful preparation

Couples Participate in Pre-Cana Classses

The 2018 Pre-Cana marriage preparation program was held March 10 and 17 at the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist in Munhall, Pa. Father Tom Dansak addressed the topics of “Communication, Forgiveness and Intimacy.” He emphasized that marriage is a lifelong process and forgiveness is one of the most essential spiritual elements of a marital commitment. Without it, resentments mount, inhibiting growth and intimacy. Using various video clips, Father Tom emphasized that a healthy relationship requires humor, sacrifice, open communication, trust, a positive outlook and intimacy.

A presentation on “Marriage and Sexuality” was given by Dr. Matthew Kenneth Minerd, a professor at SS. Cyril and Methodius Seminary. Dr. Minerd explained the Church’s teaching on human sexuality and contraception.

“Finances and Budgeting” is an important component to the program because many divorces occur over money and its proper management. Sandee and Mark Collins shared personal experiences and challenges they had to deal with in their life together regarding finances. Their message to the couples accentuated a common commitment to the basic principle that what you have is given to you by God, not to serve yourselves but to serve others as well. This principle helps to maintain marital unity.

Chris and Amanda Singel guided the couples through a group process activity on the “Elements of a Healthy Marriage.” They highlighted the importance of mutual respect for each other’s individuality. In addition, the blending of families, responsibly parenting and an openness to change was illustrated in an insightful PowerPoint presentation.

In 1998, the Pre-Cana Program was created by the Office of Religious Education for the Archeparchy. Many dedicated and faith filled individuals participated in the organization and presentation offered in this program. Deacon Dennis Prestash has been actively involved since its inception. His topics for the 2018 program were: “Why a Church Wedding?” and “Theology of Marriage and the Crowning Ceremony.” Deacon Dennis laid the foundation for the vocation of marriage, explained the meaning of the Crowning Ceremony and took the couples to the Nave of the Cathedral to demonstrate the ritual.

Eleven couples from the folowing parishes participated: SS. Peter & Paul, Erie, Pa.; St. Michael, Canonsburg, Pa.; St. Michael, Campbell, Ohio; Holy Ghost, McKees Rocks, Pa.; St. Michael, Hermitage, Pa.; SS. Peter and Paul, Tarentum, Pa.; and St. John Chrysostom, Pittsburgh.