First woman rector of pontifical university in Rome appointed by the Vatican

Sister Mary Melone ©Antonianum

Angeline Franciscan Sister Mary Melone, 49, has been nominated by the Vatican as rector of Rome’s Pontifical Antonianum University. She is the first woman to hold this position at a pontifical university in Rome.

The university, run by the Order of Friars Minor, offers degrees in canon law, theology, philosophy, biblical studies, as well as archaeology.

Sister Melone was elected dean of theology in 2011, the first woman to hold the title. During the years 2001-2002 and 2007-2008, she headed the religious studies department. Also at the Antonianum she obtained her PhD in 2001 with a thesis on “The Holy Spirit in Riccardo di San Vittore’s De Trinitate.” She currently serves as president of the Italian Society for Theological Research (SIRT).

In a 2011 interview with the Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano, Sister Melone expressed that, though she does not assume the label of feminist theologian, she believes theology done by women can bring a different approach to mystery and add richness to the discipline.

Sister Melone’s faculty profile:

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