Sister Melanie DiPietro, S.C., To Receive Honorary Degree May 6

Sister of Charity Melanie DiPietro, S.C., J.D., J.C.D., a civil and canon lawyer who has spent much of her career working on issues of the church in civil society through Catholic Charities USA (CCUSA), will be the commencement speaker and receive an honorary degree at the May 6 commencement of Saint Vincent Seminary.  The vespers service begins at 5 p.m. in the Archabbey Basilica.

Catholic Charities agencies across the nation share a mission to provide service to people in need, to advocate for justice in social structures, and to call the entire church and other people of good will to do the same. For more than 100 years, CCUSA has been committed to supporting the nationwide network of Catholic Charities agencies in executing their mission and has provided the tools and resources to enable each agency to live out its mission in these challenging times. Threats to religious liberty and the way Catholic Charities agencies conduct business continue to pose unique problems. Navigating issues related to the church in the public square require CCUSA to devote ever-increasing attention and resources to help member agencies to contend with such difficulties.

CCUSA made a significant commitment to providing proactive and practical advice to its member agencies by hiring Sister Melanie. A native of Greensburg, Sister Melanie entered the Sisters of Charity of Seton Hill in 1962. She received her bachelor’s degree in political science from Seton Hill University, a master’s degree in urban studies from Occidental College, and holds a juris doctor from Duquesne University and a doctorate in canon law from the University of St. Thomas in Rome. She was a shareholder in the law firm of Buchanan, Ingersoll and Rooney, where she worked extensively with nonprofit corporations in governance, transactional and litigation matters. 

Sister Melanie taught at Seton Hall Law School, where she was director of the Center for Religiously Affiliated Corporations. She is an elected member of the American Law Institute and currently serves on the board of Holy Family Institute and on the Legal Commission of Caritas Internationalis, with many published articles on the interrelationship of canon law and American nonprofit corporation law.

At CCUSA, Sister Melanie has assisted member agencies with implementation of canonical principles in their governance structures and analysis of federal and state laws impacting the ability of Catholic Charities to provide services in the community. Sister Melanie has been available to all agency members, to help navigate the church-state waters in times of increasing complexity.

A livestream broadcast of commencement will be available at this link: