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The Napa Institute’s 10th Summer Conference to feature Cardinal Zen, Archbishop Chaput

The conference will focus on evangelization, conversion, and living a life of faith in a secular culture.


The Napa Institute will present its 10th annual Summer Conference this July in Napa, California.

This year’s theme is “Answering Your Call in the New Evangelization,” and the conference will be held at The Meritage Resort in Napa. Featured speakers include Cardinal Joseph Zen, Archbishop Charles Chaput, Bishop of Spokane Thomas Daly, Bishop of Green Bay David Ricken, Bishop Robert Vasa, Tim Gray of the Augustine Institute, Fr. Robert  Spitzer, Fr. John Riccardo, Ryan Anderson and many others.

Participants will have the opportunity to attend Mass in both the Ordinary and Extraordinary Forms, go to Confession, receive spiritual direction, and participate in adoration of the Blessed Sacrament.  There will also be fine food and wine, and visits to local wineries and breweries.  The cost to attend is $2,600 for meals, drinks, keynotes and breakout sessions; hotel, transportation and travel are not included in the fee.  Priests and religious receive a 50% discount.

The Napa Institute events are built on the “three pillars of Community, Formation, and Liturgy.” There are keynote sessions each day based on the theme for that day, as well as breakout sessions that delve into current topics. This daily themes for this summer’s conference include “Called to Greatness: Personal Conversion as a Path to Renewal”, “A Light in the Darkness: Evangelizing the Non-Religious”, and “Living the Faith in a Hostile Culture”.

John Meyer, Executive Director of the Napa Institute, spoke recently to CWR about the conference.

CWR: What is the purpose of the summer conferences?

John Meyer: It is threefold.  First, we want to form Catholic leaders.  Next, we want to expose them to the richness of Catholic tradition and liturgies.  Last year’s conference drew 700 people, for example, and throughout the conference we had 100 liturgies going on.  And third, we want to promote camaraderie between bishops and priests, lay Catholic leaders and those involved with a variety of Catholic apostolates.

CWR: What turnout are you expecting?

John Meyer: We occupy two hotels across the street from one another, The Meritage Resort and Spa and the Vista Collina Resort, and in past years have bought out all the rooms.  Seven hundred is our typical sellout crowd and it is what we had in previous years.  This year, with the COVID-19 pandemic, we’re going to draw in the range of 350 to 400.

About 40% are benefactors or lay professionals with an interest in the Catholic faith.  Another 40% are active in Catholic apostolates and ministries.  Last year, we had about 75 organizations represented, groups like the Augustine Institute.

The remainder is priests and religious.  Last year, we had about 15 or 20 bishops attend, and 100 priests.  This year, we already have 12 bishops who have so far agreed to participate.

CWR: What changes have been made this year due to the pandemic?

John Meyer: We’ve been working closely with the county and the local bishop, Robert Vasa, and plan to exercise social distancing.  We’ll have Mass on an event lawn that can hold 1,500, for example, but we’ll have one quarter that number so people can be spaced out.  We’ll also have live-streaming talks should people want to stay in their hotel rooms.  We understand if people want to stay home because of COVID-19.  We gave everyone the opportunity to cancel their reservations, and many took us up on that.  But we still expect it to be an outstanding event.

CWR: Who would be a good fit to attend this conference?

John Meyer: Anyone who is a leader in their community who wants to be better formed in their faith and make connections with other Catholics nationally.

CWR: What will be some of the highlights at this year’s conference?

John Meyer: The first half of the conference will be on your role in evangelization.  The second half will discuss the COVID-19 crisis: how the Church can move forward, respond to future crises and questions of religious liberty.

We’ll have events going on at both properties, The Meritage Resort and Spa and the Vista Collina Resort, more than any single person will be able to attend.  We’ll have talks and breakout sessions, concerts and movie screenings and opportunities for social time.  All of our events are designed to create interaction among participants, and to feed the mind, body, and spirit.

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About Jim Graves 230 Articles
Jim Graves is a Catholic writer living in Newport Beach, California.


  1. Napa Institute is now grossly obsolete and out of touch. Bunch of rich traddy Catholics hobnobbing. Jesus wouldn’t be there.

    • Chris Who do you think should be there if any? If the Napa Institute in your opinion is out of touch for the lay people seeking to update their Christian Education and Christian Leadership roles, where do they need to go to fulfill their requirements to continue been lay ministers for the Church? Give us your best suggestions and like you, let us make our own critical decision. Thanks for sharing with the CWR readers.your opinions and suggestions. By the way do not forget to listen to Pope Francis Pentecost sermon. It may be something helpful for you there.

    • I’ve been looking for someone who knows exactly what Jesus would say, do, and who he would associate with. Thank you for identifying yourself as this person.

  2. Chris Sampson :’Napa Institute is now grossly obsolete and out of touch. Bunch of rich traddy Catholics hobnobbing. Jesus wouldn’t be there.”

    Have you been there to witness that? I haven’t but I have close family who’ve been invited to participate. For the record they live in a rural part of one of the poorest states in the union & are surrounded by trailer homes, goats, & chickens.
    I understand the Napa Institute has other attendees who may have more comfortable lifestyles but I don’t think it’s a good idea to make sweeping assumptions. And as Christians shouldn’t we first assume the best in others?

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