CANA Academy


Cana Academy’s mission is to advance personal and cultural renewal through innovative opportunities for classical education.

We established Cana Academy as a response to the call for mercy in our time. In that spirit, we take special direction from the parable of the Good Samaritan and commit ourselves to cross the road where we can provide our neighbors educational opportunities they would not have otherwise. We are actively helping to build a culture of encounter. Mindful that Christ first reached us, we seek to encounter others, to encourage their hope, and to foster friendship and solidarity, all through our educational works.

We call our mission an academy as our focus is on study, teaching, and bringing people together. The first great academy, founded in ancient Greece, was inspired by the life and death of Socrates and animated by the love of wisdom and the desire for the city’s good. As a form of community, the academy later found new life in the heart of Christian culture. It found greater depth and height there, since goodness and the love of wisdom were now wed to the love of Christ and the Gospel image of our humanity.


Andrew J. Zwerneman is the founding president of Cana Academy. He earned a B.A. in history and an M.A. in Government and International Relations from the University of Notre Dame and an M.A. in Catholic Doctrine from the Pontifical Institute at St. John’s University in New York City. In the early 1980’s Andrew worked as the New York correspondent for the National Catholic Register. In 1986 Greenlawn Press published his book In Bloody Terms: the Betrayal of the Church in Marxist Grenada. For thirty-four years, Andrew has taught or consulted in classical schools. Most of his career he taught with the national group of Trinity Schools. For nineteen years, he served as a headmaster, two for the public charter school, Tempe Preparatory Academy in Tempe, Arizona, and seventeen for the independent school Trinity School at Meadow View in Falls Church, Virginia. During those seventeen years Andrew was on the management team for Trinity Schools, Inc. Through his consulting firm, The Academy Project LLC, he and his team developed the curricula and trained the faculties of Thomas MacLaren School in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and Trinity Academy in Portland, Oregon. He has coached headmasters with the Great Hearts Academies and lectured for principals studying in the M.Ed. program for Administration and Supervision at Marymount University. Andrew and his wife Jeannette have been married for thirty years. During that time they have devoted themselves to helping others to learn, mainly in schools but in continuing education efforts outside of school environments as well. They continue this lifelong commitment with the establishment of Cana Academy.


CANA Academy Visions: Inspirational People, Art & Music, the series engages senior participants in a lively kind of learning: Each month a Cana Academy presenter offers a brief, visual-based lecture and leads a seminar discussion on the topic at hand. The title of the inaugural VISIONS event was Marc Chagall: Émigré Artist who Loved America

Andrew Zwerneman

“We are actively building a culture of encounter.”

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February Presentation

Brother Yun: From Pagan to Apostle in Communist China

March Presentation

Auguste Rodin: Life and Courage Cast in Bronze

April Presentation

Bach at the Wall: Rostropovich, His Cello, & the End of Berlin’s Division

May Presentation

Le Chambon-sur-Lignon: Little Village: Heroic Villagers in Occupied France

June Presentation

Seamus Heaney: The Poet of Ireland’s Living Roots

July Presentation

Caravaggio: The Painter Who Saw The Greatest Biblical Figures in The Most Common Italian Faces

Complete a Seminar Survey

August Presentation

Bruce Olson – A Scandinavian American Christian Missionary

Complete a Seminar Survey

September Presentation


Amazing Grace
America’s Most Beloved Hymn

John Newton, in a moment that marked his spiritual conversion, wrote the words from personal experience. “Amazing Grace”, with the message that forgiveness and redemption are possible regardless of sins committed and that the soul can be delivered from despair through the mercy of God, is one of the most recognizable songs in the English-speaking world. Author Gilbert Chase writes that it is “without a doubt the most famous of all the folk hymns”.

Presentation, Live Performance & Sing Along by Helen DeCelles-Zwerneman
Accompanied on piano by Julia DeCelles-Zwerneman

Thursday, September 14th, 2017
2:00-3:00pm and 7:00-8:00pm

at Hubbard Hill Chapel/Auditorium