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Meet Recent Graduates

By Gloria Falc√£o Dodd, Director of Academic Programs

The International Marian Research Institute at the University of Dayton had two graduates for the spring of 2019, one for each of the two types of IMRI's degrees granted in collaboration with the Marianum in Rome. These pontifically recognized degrees license the graduates to teach theology in Catholic seminaries and to work in Catholic institutions. These two graduates represent the 33rd student to receive the Licentiate of Sacred Theology and the 37th student to receive the Doctorate of Sacred Theology.

Father Alexandre Awi Mello, I.Sch., received his Doctorate of Sacred Theology, but since he lives in Rome and was unable to attend the graduation in Dayton, his diploma was presented to him after he gave a presentation at the Pontifical University of the Marianum in Rome. His dissertation, "Mary-Church: Mother of the Missionary People; Pope Francis and Popular Marian Piety from the Latin American Theological-Pastoral Context," was directed by Father Thomas Thompson, S.M. Mello has been working as the General Secretary for the new Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life at the Vatican since September 2017. He also teaches a course on Mary in Liturgy and Popular Piety once a year at the Dehoniana College, beside the Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida in Brazil.

Richard Lenar walked in the graduation ceremony on May 11 to receive his Licentiate in Sacred Theology from the International Marian Research Institute and the University of Dayton. His thesis, "The Figure of Mary in Italian Opera: Theological Foundations and Technical Analysis," was also directed by Thompson.  Lenar is now writing a dissertation to complete the requirements for a doctorate. He hopes to secure a position in the Church or in academic life.

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