What is the Maris Stella Institute?

Our Mission

Our mission is to provide bishops and their dioceses with systematic courses in the “Catechism of the Catholic Church” and other magisterial documents as a means for adult faith formation and catechetical certification.

Our Vision

To this end, we envision a comprehensive center of studies offering specialized programs and services leading to a Diploma in Catechetics (with a Specialization in the Catechism of the Catholic Church) or Advanced Diploma in Catechistics (with a Specialization in the Catechism of the Catholic Church). 

Each program and/or service mutually benefits the other programs and/or services.

  • Adult Catechetical & Theological Sessions (ACTS) for adults seasoned with life experience
  • Young Adult Catechist Society (YACS) where young adult master catechists form fellow young adults
  • Advanced/Continuing Formation to Renew Certification (Non-Master Catechist Track)
  • Advanced/Continuing Formation to Renew Certification (Master Catechist Mentorship Program)

After completing the proscribed course of studies, graduates may present themselves to their local dioceses for obtaining or renewing their catechetical certification.

Our Staff & Faculty

Maris Stella Institute

Founded on Sacred Scripture, rooted in Sacred Tradition, and in union with the Magisterium of the Catholic Church, we are a diocesan-approved catechism institute of master catechists, catechists, and teachers dedicated to catechizing as a spiritual work of mercy for the new poor and spiritually neglected of our time.

We are a diocesan-approved catechetical center of higher studies for basic and advanced learning in magisterial teaching as defined by the General Directory for Catechesis (GDC) 251-252 & Catechesi Tradendae (CT) 71. Based in American Canyon in the Diocese of Santa Rosa, we provide opportunities for adult and young adult faith formation at basic, advanced, and master catechist levels as well as in English, Spanish, and online.  Participants may earn an MSI Diploma in Catechetics with a Specialization in the Catechism of the Catholic Church  or an MSI Advanced Diploma in Catechetics with a Specialization in the Catechism of the Catholic Church.  Graduates' local dioceses then determine suitability for certification.

We also provide spiritual offerings, community support, and administrative services to support students on their spiritual journey. The ultimate goal of everyone in Maris Stella Institute is to go to heaven, to be a saint, and to help others go to heaven and be saints as well! So far, the Maris Stella Institute has graduated over 100 adult students and continues to help souls deepen their love for Christ and His Bride, the Catholic Church

MSI expanded from the Young Adult Catechist Society (YACS) after determining that it was necessary for young adults to gain experience and develop teaching experitse outside of the young adult audience.

All board members, administrators, faculty, staff and all students make a public profession of Faith and take and sign the Oath of Fidelity as well as entrust their catechetical work through Consecration to Mary.

Our Patron Saints

(Sept. 5, 2009)

Mary, Star of the Sea

St. Albertus Magnus

St. Augustine

St. Catherine of Siena

St. John the Evangelist

St. John Henry Cardinal Newman

St. John Paul the Great

St. Paul Miki

St. Pedro Calungsod

St. Teresa of Avila

St. Therese the Little Flower

St. Thomas Aquinas

Bl. Peter To Rot

Bl. Pier Giorgio Frassati

MSI Medal