top of page
Image by Yoav Aziz


The Kateri Institute for Catholic Studies enhances intellectual life at the University of Michigan with academic, cultural, and social programming steeped in the Catholic intellectual tradition. Kateri Institute programs pursue the Catholic life of the mind with the university community in its search for truth, beauty, and goodness.


1. Founded in 2022 by University of Michigan faculty and alumni, and named for St. Kateri Tekakwitha, the Kateri Institute for Catholic Studies offers a home for students, faculty, and staff at the University of Michigan to integrate their studies with the Catholic intellectual tradition. As the higher education environment has become increasingly secularized, the Kateri Institute supports Catholic students, staff, and faculty on campus, and demonstrates to our university and surrounding community the vitality and importance of the Catholic intellectual tradition in academic disciplines and endeavors.​


2. The patron saint of the Institute is Kateri Tekakwitha, “Lily of the Mohawks.” We venerate St. Kateri for her charity, courage, and apostolic zeal. She is a model of spiritual life in the diverse, even conflicting cultures in which she lived. While we are not a student ministry, we sponsor votive masses every semester devoted to St. Kateri and other saints.​


3. The Church comprises “apostles, prophets, evangelists, shepherds, and teachers” to spread “truth in love” (Ephesians 4:11, 15). Of these missions, the Kateri Institute embraces the charism of teaching, and looks to participating faculty at the University of Michigan for the intellectual direction of its programs. Institute members include faculty, alumni, and Catholic community leaders supportive of academic pursuits at the University of Michigan and other intellectual environments. The Kateri Institute confidently recognizes that its free inquiry into the nature and content of truth is advanced by adherence to the teachings of the Magisterium of the Catholic Church (Lumen Gentium 25). The Kateri Institute does not engage in political advocacy or issue statements on public policy issues.​


4. The Kateri Institute primarily focuses its offerings on undergraduate and graduate students at the university. These offerings include lectures, seminars, purposeful receptions, discussion groups, book clubs, a literary magazine, a film series, pilgrimages, symposia, and other such programs that present the mind of Christ in its varied manifestations. When fully developed, the Kateri Institute aims to also offer a cohesive course in the Catholic intellectual tradition, recognized by a certificate of completion. 


5. Recognizing that Jesus calls us to a life of friendship (John 15:15), the Kateri Institute emphasizes collegiality in its programs. For example, Kateri seminars are sometimes limited in size and feature sit-down dinners to facilitate community and conviviality in a spirit of intellectual freedom and mutual respect. Although focused on the university, many of Kateri’s programs are open to the broader community and hope to make a positive contribution to the life of our neighbors.​


6. As a self-sponsored, 501(c)(3) incorporated entity, the Kateri Institute works in collaboration with St. Mary’s Student Parish and St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church as well as parishes in Ann Arbor. Several local priests and religious are members of our Affiliated Faculty and Clergy advisory board. We also collaborate with Catholic Student Evangelization (CSE), Michigan Catholics, the Thomistic Institute Student Chapter at the University of Michigan, the Society of Catholic Scientists at the University of Michigan, the Thomistic Institute in Washington, and the Lumen Christi Institute in Chicago. We are a member of the In Lumine Network of independent institutes for Catholic thought on university campuses.​


January 26, 2024

bottom of page