The Cana Institute programs are designed to enrich lives. Married lives. Single lives. Spiritual lives. YOUR life.

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Led by husband-and-wife team Bridget Brennan and Jerry Shen, our workshops, seminars and retreats allow you to explore your spirituality, strengthen your commitments and build better relationships.

Take a look at our current programs, and check back often for new offerings, or sign up for our mailing list.




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Our weekend retreats are designed for  couples committed to building a stronger, more spiritual marriage




Our popular workshops allow you to work constructively on yourself and help improve your relationships


For Singles


Our singles programs will teach you to gain confidence and improve communication skills so you can learn to be your best YOU. 


Marriage Retreats

The Cana Institute offers a variety of programs for spouses to attend and learn together. Our immersive retreats begin Friday evening and continue through midday Sunday on select weekends throughout the year. 


Marriage and the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius Loyola

This retreat teaches you how to integrate Ignatian Spirituality into your married life through the exercises of St. Ignatius. It provides a guide to achieve greater intimacy by finding God in your daily graces and challenges.  

Bridget Brennan and Jerry Shen will use their book, Falling in Love...Finding God; Marriage and the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola, to lead you and your spouse through a weekend of instruction, reflection and transformation to more spiritually integrated marriage.

Growing in Love with One Another, Growing in Love with God: The Marriage Journey

From “How and Why We Decide to Marry” to “Where Do We Go From Here: Changing our Habits”—plus a variety of related topics dealing with love, marriage, intimacy and communication – this program offers insights and instruction that will resonate every couple. Use this weekend to reconnect, renew and reenergize your relationship with each other—and with God.


Retreat Weekends:

"Falling in Love, Staying in Love and Finding God in it All!"
Couples will be invited to reflect on their marriage journey, and in that reflection come to understand more clearly how God works in and through our very ordinary married lives.

To find out more or to schedule an event, contact Bridget Brennan.

314 313 0613


What they're saying...


“The depth of the message and the conviction with which you both presented is a testimony to how seriously you work to make a couples’ retreat so valuable to us.  We have a much greater appreciation of what the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius can do for our spiritual and marital lives, both individually and as a couple.”

— Jordan and Marianne W.,
Oshkosh, Wisconsin


Singles Programs

Not every relationship is about love and marriage. What about the bonds you build with your family? Your interaction with coworkers? Even your spiritual connection with God? 

The Cana Institute offers programs that are specifically tailored to assist single people who are navigating the difficult challenges of building and maintaining relationships in today's world.

Serious Singles

Gain confidence and create a purposeful life intention in only 5 weeks. This popular program is designed for single men and women interested in learning an emotionally intelligent approach to their life choice. You’ll also learn practical relationship skills.

$100 per person

This program is also available for presentation to private groups.
For more information or to schedule this workshop, contact Bridget Brennan.

314 313 0613


Starting Fresh

One-day workshop for adults who are widowed or divorced

Starting fresh is often scary. You can feel vulnerable, unsure of yourself, confused…especially if  you’ve experienced a loss. In this workshop, Bridget Brennan, a trained group facilitator and experienced relationship guru, provides some very basic, practical tools to move you towards Starting Fresh with hope and confidence.

  •  Reclaim your life:  Who are you?  Where are you?  Where do you want to go?
  •  Create a vision for your life
  •  Learn from your past relationship history
  •  Make choices toward finding God in your life
  •  Discover how you can live a more authentic, meaningful life
  •  Overcome fear and obstacles that hinder Starting Fresh

Workshops are typically scheduled from 8:30am – 4:00pm. This workshop is also available for presentation to private groups at places of worship, community or educational centers.

For more information or to schedule this workshop, contact Bridget Brennan.

314 313 0613

What they're saying...


“This class is fantastic. I’ve seen the resources engaged couples get and I want access to those same ideas and exercises. If people could figure this stuff out before getting engaged, or even if they just want to be single, I think it would help a lot.”
— Benjamin S. 



Marriage Prep
Mini-Weekend Workshops

Saturday: 7:00 PM to 9:30 PM and
Sunday: 12:00 PM to 4:30 PM

2019 Schedule

May 18 - 19
June 22 - 23
September 7 - 8
November 2 - 3

2020 Schedule

January 11 - 12

Our 2020 schedule is being developed. Check back for more dates, or sign up for our mailing list to receive information about upcoming events happening in your area.

Workshop fee is $200*

For more information about attending one of these valuable workshops, contact workshop coordinator, Joseph Milner.

314 997 7305

*Participants provide their own housing. Directions to the workshop venue located on the Saint Louis University campus will be provided upon registration.

Opposites Attract

Don’t let all those little differences become a big problem — embrace them instead! 

Each of us has personality traits that help define who we are.  Learning to understand and appreciate our differences helps to improve communication and allows us to accept and respect each other’s individual perspective. This workshop will outline basic personality traits that will help you appreciate and build on the differences in your relationship.

For more information or to schedule this workshop, contact Bridget Brennan.

314 313 0613


What they're saying...



“This workshop was very informative, the presenters were easy to follow and they all shared relevant stories.” 
— Brandon R.


“We found the conflict resolution, financial discussion and communication tips most valuable.”
— Frank & Melanie M.


“We so enjoyed meeting other couples who are embarking on the Marriage Journey.”
— Lisbeth & Roger F.


"Fun yet insightful. Shined a bright light on how our differences can be a blessing.”  
—  Jill and Tom M.