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The Family is Growing
Cana Family Institute has new Episcopal Advisor and Logo

Cana Family Institute Logo
CFI has a new logo.

The “family” is growing for the Cana Family Institute (CFI).

The CFI Board of Directors, made up of laity and clergy, will now have an Episcopal Advisor, Bishop Ronald Gainer of Lexington, Kentucky.

Last year, Familia became a division of CFI and, according to Executive Director Jeannine Backstrom (an RC member living in Minneapolis, MN) the organization aims to expand its outreach to provide “programs for parents of adolescents, marriage dialogue training for priests, and marriage counseling for couples through local branches.”  There are also plans to offer programs in Spanish for the Hispanic community.

“Our goal is to find better and more fruitful ways to serve the Church by helping to address the daily challenges to authentic marriage and family life,” said Jeannine.  “CFI focuses on personal accompaniment and the integral formation of husbands and wives, and assisting parish pastors through partnership in their marriage and family evangelization work.”

Bishop Gainer has been “a friend” of Familia, and now CFI, since he spoke at the 2009 Familia conference that took place in Lexington.  The bishop’s new advisory position will help bring the Cana Family Institute towards its goal of establishing the group as an approved Catholic institution.

“It’s one piece of a non-linear
Bishop Ronald Gainer
Bishop Ronald Gainer of Lexington, Kentucky
puzzle,” said Jeannine.

Another step toward legitimacy has been the creation of a visual identity for the Institute, now sporting a new logo.  A contest last year challenged friends of Familia to submit ideas for the logo, and the board eventually selected the submission from Lee Orrison of Kansas City, an RC member and a graphic designer.

“His concept came from the idea of family and the concept of the cross,” said Jeannine. “The image is intended to suggest the link between a husband and wife, symbolized by the two arms of the cross, linked together to form the cross, which is the family linked to Christ.”

The CFI board is currently involved in writing statues for the Institute, with the help of a Catholic canon lawyer in the Archdiocese of St. Paul/Minneapolis, where Familia first began offering its programs.  The recommendation for this canonist came from the diocesan Chancellor for Canonical Affairs, who has been advising the group on how to proceed thus far.

And another next step, or piece to place in the “puzzle,” will be to submit Cana Family Institute statutes to the competent ecclesial authority for recognition as a Catholic entity.

Finally, the group is working to strengthen the Familia leadership in 20 dioceses throughout the US including Atlanta, Georgia; Houston, Texas; Covington, Kentucky; Cincinnati, Ohio; and Lansing and Kalamzoo in Michigan.  A leadership conference will be taking place from March 7 - 9, 2014, in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota.

Anyone interested in discerning a leadership role at the Cana Family Institute, at the national or diocesean level,
CFI Conference Flyer
is encouraged to attend the conference and can get more information at email Cana Family Institute at



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