Pre Cana Ministry

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, I am sending you updated guidance regarding marriage preparation and the celebration of weddings for 2021. We will communicate any changes to these protocols if they develop.

For all weddings scheduled through 2021:

  • Bishop Persico has dispensed from the obligation to make an in-person marriage preparation retreat (such as Pre-Cana, NOVA, and Engagement Encounter) for those couples whose weddings are scheduled to take place in the Diocese of Erie anytime from now through December 31, 2021.
  • Couples are encouraged (but not mandated) to do an online marriage preparation retreat. Links to recommended online retreats are below.
  • All other portions of the marriage preparation process (such as FOCCUS, M-A and M-B forms, theological discussion, etc.) are still required and may be done by video conferencing if necessary.
  • Weddings celebrations (whether during Mass or outside of Mass) must follow Commonwealth, diocesan and parish COVID protocols in place at the time of the wedding.

Marriage Preparation Retreats July 1 through December 31, 2021:

  • Those retreats scheduled after July 1, 2021 should plan to proceed at this time, but we will reevaluate that plan in the next few months in light of the changing COVID situation.

Please direct questions or requests for additional information to Deacon Steve Washek at or 814.824.1215. In the meantime, be assured of my continued prayers.

Msgr. Edward M. Lohse
Vicar General

Online marriage preparation retreat options:

Steps before registering for Pre Cana