Welcome to the In-home Pre-Cana Program!

What is Pre-Cana?
Photo of Wedding Rings Pre Cana involves a series of talks given by married couples/priests on areas the Church wants engaged couples to discuss ahead of their wedding and helps couples to understand the meaning of the Sacrament of Matrimony.  Engaged couples are asked to spend time considering the permanent and exclusive commitment they will be making to each other, to focus in on their relationship and their love for each other, and to get to know each other even better as they prepare to make a life-long promise.  The In-home format utilized at OLH has the engaged couples meet in the homes of married couples in our parish.  The host couple gives a talk on the topic of the evening, incorporating their own married experiences, which is followed by a discussion with the engaged couples, when the latter can freely share their thoughts on subjects being discussed.  Engaged couples are also asked to do written exercises.  A special private Mass followed by a wine/cheese party is held to celebrate the couple’s completion of the program.

Program Details

The In-home Pre Cana program at OLH is offered three times during the year (spring, fall, and winter) and has the engaged couples meet four times in the homes of married couples in our parish.  Meetings are usually held on weeknights (Monday through Thursday from 8 to 10 p.m.) Up to six engaged couples work together with the same married team couple.

To Register

If you are an engaged couple looking to do In-home Pre Cana at OLH or are a happily married couple that would like to be considered for this ministry at OLH, please contact Linda Helldorfer at (718) 898-3222.  For other Pre Cana programs in the Diocese, please visit:

Requested Donation per Couple: $50

Team Married Couples:

Linda and Bernie Helldorfer
Karen and Anthony Colletti
Anna and Gino Dagri (Pre Cana in Italian and Diocesan Pre Cana)

Topics discussed include:

  • Modern Marriage and the Pressures that are Brought to Bear on Couples Today
  • Communication
  • Future In-laws
  • Financial Expectations
  • Celebrating Holidays
  • Sacrament of Matrimony
  • Faith
  • Sexual Relations in the Married Relationship
  • Natural Family Planning (NFP)
  • Children
  • Jobs
  • Friends

Team Leaders

Linda attended Our Lady of  the Miraculous Medal and Christ the King High School. In 1976 she began working at Brown Brothers Harriman & Co., where she is presently an Assistant Vice President in the Treasury department.  While working, she attended Pace University, majoring in economics, and received a B.B.A. degree in 1983.  At OLH, Linda is a lector, counter, and member of the Senior Goal Group.  Linda is Family Concerns Commission Chair of the National Council of Catholic Women—Diocese of Brooklyn. In 1997 Linda formed “Holiday Harmony”, a volunteer group which sings on various holidays at a local nursing home.

Bernie attended St. Pancras, Christ the King High School, and St. John’s University (undergraduate and law school).  Bernie is a Professor of Law at St. John’s University and coach of the Mock Trial Team and maintains a private law practice.  At OLH, Bernie is a Eucharistic Minister, a Trustee, a member of the Finance Committee and a member of the Senior Goal Group.  He is also the Chair of the Diocesan Review Board for the Diocese of Brooklyn and is a Knight in the Order of St. Gregory the Great, a Papal honor.

Linda and Bernie were married in 1980.  Although they have no children, they are thankful for their niece, nephews, and godchildren.  Bernie and Linda adopted their dog Smokey in 2000 from a shelter in Montana.   At OLH together they coordinate the In-home Pre Cana program and co-chair the parish’s Annual Blood Drive.  In 2008 they were invested into the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem.  Linda and Bernie are Committee Members of the American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life of Middle Village and co-captains of the Relay team, Hikers of Hope.