ORE programs fulfill community needs: Pre-Cana 2016

Pre-Cana, Women’s Day Events Enrich Participants of Varied Demographics

Two programs, the Pre-Cana marriage preparation program and Women’s Day of Reflection recently were conducted and sponsored by the Archeparchy’s Office of Religious Education (ORE) on March 5 and 19, and April 16, respectively. ORE Director Sister Marion Dobos, OSB expresses gratitude to the many presenters, volunteers and
attendees who participated in these community-building events.

11 Couples Prepare For Vocation of Marriage

Eleven engaged couples from the Archeparchy of Pittsburgh gathered on two Saturdays in March at the Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist in Munhall, Pa. for two full days of marriage preparation. The “Pre-Cana” preparatory program is sponsored by the Office of Religious Education (ORE).

Part I of the program began on Saturday, March 5, 2016 with Sister Marion Dobos, OSB, Director of the ORE, who welcomed the couples and led the opening prayer.

During the first part of the morning session, the couples broke into small groups to reflect upon and discuss the wide range of questions pertaining to marriage. This session concluded in a discussion with the entire group.

Archpriest Dennis M. Bogda, rector of Saint John the Baptist Cathedral, met with the couples in the Cathedral church to discuss many of the Byzantine Catholic traditions. Learning about the iconostasis, tetrapod, holy table, sanctuary, nave (and more) was especially helpful to those new to the Byzantine Catholic Church.

The afternoon session that day began with the topic “Elements of a Healthy Marriage,” presented by Chris and Amanda Singel. In their PowerPoint presentation, Chris and Amanda addressed various situations married couples often experience. Following are some important messages that they shared with the couples:

  • Do not just grow old together, mature together.
  • Grow through struggles … love is “an act of the will.”
  • The life of Saint Peter the Apostle gives many examples for married couples. In spite of making mistakes and often saying the wrong thing, he continued to make the effort to love Jesus and embrace His message.

Marian Mignogna, CPA, addressed the topic “Finance and Budgeting.” Her Power- Point presentation and detailed handouts provided an excellent review of the financial obligations which the couples soon would be experiencing. Marian addressed the following topics:

  • Strategies for Budgeting and Saving
  • Five Common Sources for Money Stress
  • Ways to Control Spending and Increase Saving
  • Establishing an “Emergency Fund”

Part II of the Pre-Cana program was held Saturday, March 19.

Father Valerian Michlik, pastor of Saint Gregory Byzantine Catholic Church, Upper St. Clair, Pa. presented the topic “The Importance of Liturgical Worship in Marriage and Family Life.” Father Valerian quickly captured the attention of the couples when he compared them to the “Faithful Couple” – two giant sequoia trees in Yosemite National Park – that after years of growing so close together became joined at the base.

Father Valerian continued by addressing the following:

  • The meaning of “Liturgy”
  • 4 experiences of worship
  • Parish community
  • Sharing the sacred space (church)

“Why a Church Wedding?” was the topic presented by Deacon Dennis Prestash and Father Will Rupp, who serve St. John the Baptist Parish in Hawk Run, Pa. The PowerPoint Presentation for this theme also included married couples sharing their reasons and the importance of having a church wedding.

As Pope Francis says, “The challenge for Christian spouses [is] remaining together, knowing how to love one another always, and, doing so in a way that their love grows.”

Father Dennis Bogda then presented “The Theology of Marriage: Crowning Ceremony.”

The couples gathered in the Cathedral and listened as Father Dennis explained the meaning of the Mystery of Crowning. One enthusiastic couple was chosen to participate in a mock ceremony, which showed firsthand what they will experience on their wedding day.

The 2016 Pre-Cana Program concluded with the presentation of certificates signed by Archbishop William Skurla to the engaged couples. The Pre-Cana Program is offered once each year, usually in the month of March. ORE Director Sister Marion Dobos advises couples of the Aarcheparchy of Pittsburgh who are planning on getting married in 2017 to check the Office of Religious Education page on the Archeparchy’s website, www.archpitt.org for upcoming 2017 Pre-Cana Program dates.