top of page

Common Queries

Are you affiliated with University of Michigan?

Our affiliation is informal. We are faculty, staff, and students at the University serving the university community, but not an official university organization.

Are you open to all faiths?

We exist for academic enrichment and welcome Catholics and non-Catholics alike who wish to learn about and engage with the Catholic intellectual tradition.

Are you connected to any UM student groups?

We co-sponsor the Cinema Sanctus film series with Catholic Student Evangelization (CSE), a registered student group at the University of Michigan, and collaborate with Michigan Catholics on various projects. 

Who funds the Kateri Institue?

We are a self-funded organization. Our federal tax ID number (EIN) is 88-4018230. We happily accept donations. To make a tax-exempt gift, please contact us.

Who is Kateri?

Kateri Tekakwitha is a Catholic saint, the first Native American to be canonized by the Catholic Church. She was born in the Mohawk village of Ossernenon in 1656. Her mother was an Algonquin and her father was a Mohawk chief. Kateri was noted in her village as a skilled worker, diligent and kind. At age 19, she converted to Catholicism and took a private vow of chastity, pledging to marry only Jesus Christ, a decision that proved to be unpopular in her community. Nevertheless, Kateri never strayed from her devotions, her prayers, or her vow. The Jesuit missionaries who served her community recounted that she often fasted and engaged in self-mortification. Kateri became ill and passed away at age 24 on April 17, 1680. Her Christian name, Kateri, is a Mohawk form of Catherine, which she took from St. Catherine of Siena. St. Kateri's attributes include the turtle, simple wooden crosses, and the white lily. She is often called the Lily of the Mohawks.

St. Kateri Tekakwitha was canonized by Pope Benedict XVI on Oct. 21, 2012. She is the patroness of ecology and the environment, people in exile, people persecuted for their faith, people suffering from skin ailments, and Native Americans.

Click here to learn more about St. Kateri's life and virtues.

Click here to read Pope Francis's meditation on St. Kateri, given at a General Audience on August 30, 3023. 

bottom of page