about the napa institute

At the Napa Institute, you are invited to take part in a new renaissance for God and his people.

In his article, “Catholics and the Next America,” Archbishop Chaput delivered a prescient warning to American Catholics regarding a growing trend toward secularization in American culture, with Catholics facing dwindling relevance, threatening their ability to be heard.

In response, the Napa Institute was formed to help Catholic leaders face the challenges posed in the “next America” — to continue the work of the Apostles and their successors, the Bishops, heeding Christ’s call for ongoing evangelization.

In light of the Archbishop’s new book, “Strangers in a Strange Land,” the Napa Institute is more committed than ever to supporting Catholic leaders in their missions. The thesis of this new publication is that life in America is passing through a religious revolution. In the past, a common Christian culture existed which transcended partisan struggles, giving citizens a shared framework for behavior and belief. But today another vision of the nation’s future has emerged that not only sees no need for Christianity but, in many cases, views the Christian faith as an obstacle to its ambitions.

The Archbishop challenges Catholics to not retreat from the public square and encourages us to renew our minds through the message of the Gospel. It is the goal of the Napa Institute to play a significant role in that renewal; to serve as a leaven in educating, forming and networking Catholics who, in turn can be sources of renewal for their parishes, schools, neighborhoods and small communities of which they are a part. We wish to support catholic leaders in becoming countercultural forces in building institutions and habits that will carry the faith and the faithful, with their children and grandchildren, forward.

In this mission, we entrust all things to Our Lady of Guadalupe, patroness of the New Evangelization and Patroness of the Americas.

The Napa Institute Prayer

Heavenly Father, we beg You to send down your Holy Spirit upon us to inspire our presenters and to reveal Your Truth to all who are gathered at this conference. By the light of Your Spirit, bolster our efforts to understand better the teachings of your Holy Catholic Church. Equip us to bear witness to Your Truth in the Next America, a culture that is ignorant of Your ways and hostile toward Your Church. Imbue us with a greater desire for the Sacraments and for authentic formation in the Faith. Instill in us a greater love of our neighbors, especially the poor. Impress upon us a greater awareness for our respective vocations. Enlighten our minds and our hearts to more fully recognize that Reason and Faith are complementary, that You are the Creator of the Universe, that You have a plan of salvation, and that we, despite our limitations, are called to participate in that plan with the help of Your grace. Embolden us to advocate more effectively in the public square for religious liberty, free movement of peoples with reasonable regulation, and the sanctity of human life, marriage, and the family. We humbly ask all of this through Your Son, Our Lord, Jesus Christ and the intercession of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Patroness of the Americas, to whom the Napa Institute is consecrated. Amen.

This prayer has been approved by
The Most Reverend Robert F. Vasa, Bishop of Santa Rosa

history of the napa institute

From our founding in 2010, the Napa Institute has sought to bring people together to deepen their faith and their relationship with Jesus Christ, with the goal of returning home from each conference informed and inspired to participate in the new evangelization. We began with one annual conference and have grown to include conferences, pilgrimages, and events around the world – from Napa, CA to the Holy Land.

  • October 3-5, 2018

    Annual Principled Entrepreneurship Conference on the Dignity of Work in partnership with the Busch School of Business.

  • August 29 - September 2, 2018

    A Domestic Pilgrimage to Chicago visiting historic churches and spending a day touring the University of Notre Dame.

  • August 20-22

    Napa Institute in partnership with Word on Fire hosts priest from around the country for a conference on homiletics.

  • July 11-15, 2018

    Eighth Annual Conference focuses on the magisterium of Pope St. John Paul II and dives deeper into the joys of Catholic faith, family, and love.

  • April 21-24, 2018

    The Ukrainian Catholic University hosts the Napa Institute for a conference on Overcoming the Challenges of Twentieth Century Totalitarianism and Twenty-First Century Post-Truth Culture.

  • April 15-21, 2018

    A Poland Pilgrimage led by papal biographer, George Weigel, exploring the homeland of Pope St John Paul II on the 40th anniversary of his election to the papacy.

  • October 4-6, 2017

    Third business conference with the CUA Business School focuses on Good Profit, featuring Charles Koch and other dynamic speakers from the corporate, religious and academic realms.

  • September 1-12 2017

    A counter-reformation pilgrimage to Spain and Fatima following in the footsteps of St Ignatius of Loyola, St. Teresa of Avila and St. John of the Cross.

  • July 26-30, 2017

    Seventh Annual Conference highlights Archbishop Charles Chaput's new book, Strangers in a Strange Land: Living the Christian Faith in a Post-Christian World.

  • April 23-26, 2017

    Second International Conference held in Vienna, Austria with the International Theological Institute on Catholicism in our Modern World.

  • March 7-8, 2017

    Washington, DC Symposium on Public Policy and our Catholic Faith brings together leaders in government and Catholic apostolates.

  • July 6-10, 2016

    Sixth Annual Conference hits 500 attendee benchmark, with keynote speakers including Timothy Cardinal Dolan, Bishop Robert Barron, Carly Fiorina and Rick Warren.

  • April 9-18, 2016

    Holy Land Pilgrimage led by renowned biblical scholar Dr. Tim Gray.

  • April 3-6, 2016

    First International Conference held in Rome, Italy with the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross (Santa Croce) on the topic of Church management.

  • March 15-18, 2016

    Second business conference with the CUA Business School focuses on Human Ecology, featuring expert speakers from the corporate, religious and academic realms.

  • October 2, 2015

    Napa Institute cosponsors a conference with Courage and Ingatius Press on Living the Truth in Love, a pre-synod gathering in Rome.

  • September 25, 2015

    Napa Institute hosts a dinner event during the World Meeting of Families with special guest speaker, Dr. Robert George, one of the country's leading conservative intellectuals.

  • September 23, 2015

    Napa Institute attends the Canonization of St. Junipero Serra with Pope Francis I and hosts a reception for all US Bishops after the Mass in Washington, DC

  • July 30 - August 2, 2015

    Fifth Annual Conference highlights Christoph Cardinal Schonborn, Archbishop of Vienna and editor of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, presenting on the Catechism.

  • Sept. 24-26, 2014

    First business conference with the CUA Business School held in Washington, DC on the topic of Liberty and Solidarity.

  • July 24-27, 2014

    James Cardinal Harvey, Archpriest of St. Paul Outside the Walls in Rome and former Prefect of the Papal Household, and William Cardinal Levada, former Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith under Pope Benedict XVI and highest ranking American in the Roman Curia, join us at the Fourth Annual Conference.

  • Sept. 25-29, 2013

    First Pilgrimage held in Mexico City with Archbishop Jose Gomez to honor Our Lady of Guadalupe and discuss Immigration in the Current Times.

  • Sept. 19-20, 2013

    Together with Notre Dame University's Center for Ethics and Culture, Napa Institute hosts its First Symposium.

  • August 1-4, 2013

    Bishops come together on the first Bishops Panel during the Third Annual Conference to discuss issues our Church faces.

  • July 26-29, 2012

    Second Annual Conference is held with over 200 guests in attendance.

  • July 28-31, 2011

    Archbishop Jose Gomez of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles speaks at the First Annual Conference in Napa Valley, CA.

  • Sept. 2010

    Napa Institute is Founded

napa Executive Leadership

Rev. Robert J. Spitzer, S.J.

Napa Institute President and Co-Founder
Co-Founder and President, Magis Center of Reason and Faith

Fr. Robert J. Spitzer, S.J., Ph.D. is the President of the Magis Center of Reason and Faith (www.magiscenter.com), and President of the Spitzer Center (www.spitzercenter.org). The Magis Center produces books, videos, documentaries, and social media resources on the close connection between faith, science, and philosophy, happiness and suffering, and virtue and freedom. The Spitzer Center facilitates programs to help Catholic dioceses and institutions with strategic planning, organizational culture, and spiritual practice.

As President of Gonzaga University from 1998 to 2009, he oversaw extensive growth in the student body and facilities, as well as the academic and faith programs. He is the host of a weekly international one-hour EWTN television program – Father Spitzer’s Universe – concerned with contemporary issues of faith, science, philosophy, and culture.

He has published ten books, some of which have won national awards. He is also completing an encyclopedic volume and on-line tool – The Catholic Faith Compendium – to complement The Catechism of the Catholic Church with scientific and anthropological evidence, theological and philosophical explanation, and spiritual practice. He has published many scholarly articles and makes one hundred presentations per year.

Fr. Spitzer appears frequently on television shows like: The Larry King Live show (with Stephen Hawking), the History Channel, the Today Show, and the PBS series Closer to the Truth. He has appeared on dozens of nationally syndicated radio programs and has produced nine series for EWTN Catholic television and radio.

He held two distinguished academic chairs at Seattle University and Gonzaga University, and received awards for outstanding faculty member at Georgetown University and Seattle University. He received Gonzaga University’s’ highest award, the DeSmet Medal, in 2009.

Timothy R. Busch

Chairman of the Board and Co-Founder
Founder, The Busch Firm
President and Chief Executive Officer, Pacific Hospitality Group
Founder, Trinitas Cellars

Tim Busch is founder of The Busch Firm, which specializes in estate and tax planning, and the representation of religious organizations. He is the CEO of Pacific Hospitality Group, a company that owns and operates eleven hotels throughout the United States.

Tim and his wife, Steph, are involved in many Catholic organizations, including the Magis Institute and the Napa Institute, which they co-founded with Fr. Robert J. Spitzer.

Long time advocates of Catholic education, Tim and Steph co-founded St. Anne School in Laguna Niguel and JSerra Catholic High School in San Juan Capistrano. In 2016, the Catholic University of America named the Tim and Steph Busch School of Business and Economics, in recognition of Tim and Steph’s generous support of the school.

His Excellency, Most Reverend Paul S. Coakley, S.T.L., D.D.

Ecclesiastical Advisor for Napa Institute
Archbishop, Archdiocese of Oklahoma City

Archbishop Paul S. Coakley was born to John and Mary Coakley in Norfolk, Va., in 1955 and lived there with his father, mother and older brother, John, until he was age 2. The family relocated to Metairie, La., where his sister, Mary Christina, was born. After beginning his elementary education at Saint Mary Magdalen Catholic School, the family moved in 1965 to Overland Park, Kan. Archbishop Coakley’s secondary education was completed in public schools in Overland Park.

After graduation from high school, he attended the University of Kansas where he completed his undergraduate studies in English and Classical Antiquities in 1977. During this period he was a student in KU’s Integrated Humanities Program, where he studied under John Senior, Dennis Quinn and Frank Nelick.

Upon completing university studies, Archbishop Coakley traveled in Europe and briefly considered a monastic vocation at the Abbey of Notre Dame de Fontgombault in France, before returning to begin seminary studies for the Diocese of Wichita in 1978.

He completed his studies at Mount Saint Mary Seminary in Emmitsburg, Md., and was ordained a priest on May 21, 1983 at The Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception. After serving as a priest of the Diocese of Wichita for 21 years, he was appointed Bishop of Salina on Oct. 21, 2004. He was ordained and installed as Bishop of Salina on Dec. 28, 2004.

On Dec. 16, 2010, Bishop Coakley was appointed by Pope Benedict XVI as the fourth Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City. He was installed as metropolitan archbishop on Feb. 11, 2011.

Archbishop Coakley has selected “Duc in Altum” (Put Out into the Deep) as his episcopal motto. It is found in Saint Luke’s gospel when Jesus, after teaching the crowds from Simon’s boat, invites the apostles to “put out into the deep” and lower their nets for a catch (Lk.5:4). Obedient to Jesus’ command, Simon Peter and his companions cast their nets as directed, and “caught such a great number of fish that their nets were at the breaking point” (Lk. 5:4). Jesus calls the Church today, as always, to put out into the deep, as a witness to hope, to hear and to respond joyfully to his word with faith and confidence. It is a call to embrace the challenges and opportunities of the New Evangelization.

He has served on numerous committees for the USCCB and as an Apostolic Visitor for the Holy See. In 2014, he was named to the Pontifical Council for the Laity. In 2015, he hosted the World Meeting of Families and visit of Pope Francis to Philadelphia. He participated in the 2015 Synod of Bishops on the Family in Rome and was named a permanent member of the council for that synod.

John Meyer

Executive Director, The Napa Institute

John Meyer is the Executive Director of the Napa Institute and served in that role since June of 2014.  John and his wife Kristin were married in 2005 in Chicago and currently reside in San Juan Capistrano, California.

As converts, John and Kristin share a love for the Catholic Faith.  John was raised in a nondenominational Christian church in Oak Brook, Illinois and entered the Catholic Church in 2009.  In Chicago, they volunteered and served on the local board for several charities and parish ministries.  John decided to join the Napa Institute team after feeling called to serve the Church in his professional career.

Prior to his role at the Napa Institute, John spent 10 years in Commercial Real Estate.  In 2006 he co-founded with Kristin, Capital Commercial Real Estate, Inc., a commercial brokerage firm based in Chicago and licensed in 7 States throughout the United States.  As a broker, John specialized in retail and multi-family development. Kristin Meyer currently serves as the President of Capital Commercial Real Estate.

John received his undergraduate degree in Economics from the University of Illinois in 2004.  In 2016 John began to pursue a Master of Theology degree from the Augustine Institute.

napa administration

Mary Baggott

Executive Assistant to Tim Busch & Napa Institute Foundation Grant Administrator

Nathan Borchers

Corporate Sacristan, The Napa Institute

Jean Jacoby

Registrar, The Napa Institute

Cathleen Ojeda

Vice President of Operations, The Napa Institute

Ben O'Neill

Director of Mission Advancement, The Napa Institute

Clare O'Reilly

Event Coordinator, The Napa Institute

Bailey Sparks

Conference Manager, The Napa Institute

Tonianne Zottoli

Marketing and Digital Manager, The Napa Institute

Napa Institute Board of Directors

Dr. Timothy Gray, Ph.D.

President, Augustine Institute

Mary Hasson

Fellow, Ethics and Public Policy Center

Francis X. Maier

Senior Fellow, Ethics & Public Policy Center and former Senior Advisor & Special Assistant to Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M, CAP.

Mike Warsaw

Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of the EWTN Global Catholic Network

Dr. Vincent Phillip Muñoz

Director, Center for Citizenship & Constitutional Government, University of Notre Dame

Napa Institute Ecclesiastical Advisory Board

Most Reverend Samuel Aquila

Member of the Ecclesiastical Advisory Board, Archdiocese of Denver

Most Reverend Michael C. Barber

Member of the Ecclesiastical Advisory Board, Diocese of Oakland

Archbishop Timothy P. Broglio

Member of the Ecclesiastical Advisory Board, Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA

Most Reverend Salvatore Cordileone

Member of the Ecclesiastical Advisory Board, Archdiocese of San Francisco

Most Reverend José H. Gomez

Member of the Ecclesiastical Advisory Board, Archdiocese of Los Angeles

Most Reverend Borys Gudziak

Member of the Ecclesiastical Advisory Board, Eparchy of Saint Vladimir-Le-Grand de Paris (Ukrainian)

Most Reverend Steven J. Lopes

Member of the Ecclesiastical Advisory Board, Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of Saint Peter

His Eminence Gerhard Cardinal Müller

Member of the Ecclesiastical Advisory Board,  Cardinal-Deacon of Sant’ Agnese in Agone

Most Reverend Thomas John Paprocki

Member of the Ecclesiastical Advisory Board, Diocese of Springfield

Most Reverend Robert F. Vasa

Member of the Ecclesiastical Advisory Board, Diocese of Santa Rosa

At the Napa Institute, I have seen visible signs of the Mercy of Jesus. We must realize that we have a living God who takes care of us in a very loving and merciful way. And Jesus is so approachable, willing to heal us from our brokenness. He will help us to be healed and transformed. I think that through these healings, what I see is a call to see what God wants from us, to transform the lives of others. Myself, I was transformed through those healings to see that I was called to spread the Mercy of God.

- Br. Mauricio

I look forward to the Napa Institute all year. I have attended the past 5 years and now it feels like a big family reunion. The Napa Institute helped to launch FOCUS’ expansion in the West coast and has introduced me to lifelong friends. In fact, my husband and I ended our honeymoon in Napa this year. I can’t think of a better way to start our marriage than with the beautiful liturgies, inspiring Catholic keynotes, and hundreds of holy models of marriage. I am forever grateful to the Napa Institute! Cheers to many great years to come.

- Grace Dill, Fellowship of Catholic University Students

The Napa Institute Conference offers a fantastic opportunity for mission-based organizations to meet with other business, community, Church, education, and organizational leaders to forge strategic partnerships and advance common interests. Many of them are people we would otherwise not have the opportunity to meet.

-Camille Pauley, President and CEO of Healing the Culture

I have attended the Napa Institute twice and plan to return again in 2017. It is truly an outstanding experience. The speakers are impressive, extremely intelligent and well spoken promoters of the faith, each in their own way. They have motivated me to explore a number of topics further on my own. Most of the speakers seem to be there for the whole time, allowing many opportunities for personal conversations with them. There are two people that I have identified as the smartest people I have ever personally met in my life and both were Napa Institute speakers. Both the large, general sessions and the breakout, small group formats have been great opportunities to get to know people in the Church that you may not have heard before, people with something valuable to tell you about how they try to live the Gospel.

The Meritage is an outstanding venue. Comfortable, well maintained facilities and the meals are quite a bit above the typical convention fare.

Besides the speakers, I have greatly appreciated the many opportunities every day for Mass, including the eastern rite Holy Mysteries. There were days when I went twice! The other activities, such as the cooking classes and wine tasting events, are a good mix with the other events as well. The evening gatherings after dinner are a great opportunity to talk at length with interesting Catholics that you would never otherwise have met.

My wife, who is not Catholic, attended with me last time and she’s eager to return. I think that’s as high a level of endorsement as I can imagine!

-Patrick D.