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About The Kateri Institute

Open Book

Who Are We?

The Kateri Institute for Catholic Studies offers a home for faculty, staff, and students at the University of Michigan to integrate their studies with the Catholic intellectual tradition. It fosters an atmosphere of friendship and intellectual exploration in a university setting. Its activities include seminars, lectures, symposia, lunch discussions, book clubs, film series, and sponsored masses.  

The Kateri Institute for Catholic Studies is in the process of incorporating as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, and as a private association of the faithful in the Catholic diocese of Lansing, Michigan.

The Kateri Institute for Catholic Studies is inspired by St. Kateri Tekakwitha.  Read about her at this link.

Traditional Library

Life of the Mind

The Life of the Mind series is our primary academic offering for the 2022-2023 Academic Year. 

This project is about asking the "big questions" of existence. Why is the natural world so beautiful? Why does it have an intelligible order? Why is there a world at all? We're dealing with the unavoidable questions at the foundation of all thought. We're fostering intellectual friendship, freedom, and respect. We're pursuing truth in community.

The Life of the Mind is comprised of public lectures and application-only seminars. Each semester has its own theme: "The Transcendentals" in the Fall, and "Ways of Thinking" in the Winter.


Who We Are


Professor Scott Lyons

Scott Lyons is an associate professor of English at the University of Michigan where he teaches courses on Native American literature, Catholic literature, critical theory and more. He is the author of X-Marks: Native Signatures of Assent; The World, the Text, and the Indian: Global Dimensions of Native American Literature, and a range of essays including “The Bible in Native American Literature.” A descendent of the Ojibwe and Dakota tribes, Lyons was raised on the Leech Lake Reservation in northern Minnesota. He is a parishioner of St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church in Ann Arbor.


Professor Howard Bromberg

Howard Bromberg is a Clinical Professor of Law at the University of Michigan. He has also served as Chair of the University of Michigan Police Oversight Committee and of the University of Michigan Senate Clinical Faculty Working Group. He has published articles on the Catholic church and capital punishment, history of church and state law in the United States, marriage law,  Flannery O'Connor, St. Thomas More, the Papal States, and on several papal encyclicals.  Before entering academia, he was an Assistant D.A. in the Manhattan District  Attorney's Office and a Legislative Counsel in the U.S. House of Representatives.  He is a parishioner of St. Mary Student Parish in Ann Arbor.


Nicole Hocott

Nicole Hocott graduated with highest honors from the University of Michigan with a B.A. in philosophy. She wrote her Honors thesis on personhood, and specializes in philosophy of religion, metaphysics, and bioethics. She does graphic design for the Kateri Institute as part of her role. While at UM, she served as President of Students for Life for 3 years. She is currently a teacher of philosophy at CTK and HSC. She is also the Young Adult Ministry Coordinator at St. Thomas the Apostle, where she also serves as a music minister and worship leader. She is half-Lebanese, and speaks Arabic.


Kishore Jayabalan

Kishore Jayabalan has a B.A. in political science and economics from the University of Michigan Ann Arbor, where he was executive editor of the Michigan Review. He has an M.A. in political science from the University of Toronto. He is currently chairman of the Commission on Catholic Social Teaching for the diocese of Lansing. From 2005 to 2019, he was director of Istituto Acton, the Rome office of the Acton Institute. He previously served as a staff member of the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, a diplomatic attaché for the Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See to the United Nations in New York, and an international economist for the US Bureau of Labor Statistics in Washington, D.C.

A native of Flint, Michigan, where he attended Catholic schools, Kishore was baptized and received into the Catholic Church by Pope St. John Paul II in St. Peter’s Basilica in 1996.

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Fr. Kyle Shinseki

Fr. Kyle Shinseki, SJ is the chaplain of the Kateri Institute. Fr. Kyle was born and raised in Hawai‘i and serves as a Pastoral Associate at Saint Mary Student Parish, the Newman Center for the University of Michigan. In his current role, he supports Ig.Nite, a weekly student formation gathering; campus outreach efforts; and pro-life student ministry. Prior to joining the Jesuits in 2009, he received a bachelor’s from MIT, where he became Catholic, as well as a master’s from UCLA and an MBA from Northwestern.
He worked in the nonprofit sector in community development and fundraising and the private sector in marketing. Ordained in 2018, he completed a Licentiate in Sacred Theology in 2019.
Prior to arriving in Ann Arbor, he served as Campus Minister at Santa Clara University. He sits
on the Boards of Directors of the National Institute for Ministry with Young Adults and Manresa
Jesuit Retreat House. He enjoys diverse ethnic cuisines; hiking; and Latin American, country,
and Hawaiian music.

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Jane Ziolkowski

Jane Ziolkowski performs web design for the Kateri Institute. She graduated from the University of Michigan with a Master’s in Human-Computer Interaction from the School of Information. She attained a Bachelor’s in English from the University of Dallas. She works as a user experience designer and researcher in the automotive industry. A lifelong Catholic, she is passionate about faith and local community.

Faculty Affiliates

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