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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 are an institute for academic studies currently seeking approval by the Catholic Diocese of Lansing. We exist for academic enrichment and are open to the University of Michigan and surrounding community, welcoming to 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. 

Who funds the Kateri Institue?

We are a self-funded organization in the process of becoming a 501(c)(3) organization. Our federal tax ID number (also known as an EIN, Employer Identification Number) 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. Her decision was unpopular in her community. Nevertheless Kateri never strayed from her devotions, her prayers, or her vow.  She often prayed for the conversion of her fellow Mohawks. 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 name, Kateri, is the Mohawk form of Catherine, which she took from St. Catherine of Siena.

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.

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