November 17th


An Interview with Michele R. Pistone, J.D. Professor of Law, The Charles Widger School of Law, Villanova University.

Hosted by S. Maria Pascuzzi CSJ, SSL, STD

Michele R. Pistone, J.D., is a professor of law at Villanova University School of Law, where she has taught since 1999. She founded the school’s in-house clinical program, as well as the Clinic for Asylum, Refugee and Emigrant Services (CARES). Through CARES, Professor Pistone works with law students to provide free legal representation to asylum seekers and others fleeing persecution and violence. She is also the Founding Director of the Villanova Interdisciplinary Immigration Studies Training for Advocates (VIISTA). Professor Pistone has served on the University’s Partnership Committee with Catholic Relief Services (CRS) since 2004, and through the Partnership has organized conferences on human trafficking, Iraqi refugees, and the migration of unaccompanied children in collaboration with CRS.

Professor Pistone has written extensively on immigration and refugee protection, including on issues related to detention of asylum seekers, expedited removal, overseas refugee resettlement, as well as on the migration of skilled and educated migrants. Her book, Stepping Out of the Brain Drain: Applying Catholic Social Thought in a New Era of Migration (Lexington Books), which she co-authored with JMHS co-editor, John J. Hoeffner, as well as other articles and book chapters, looks at migration through the lens of Catholic Social Thought.

Professor Pistone has taught at American University Washington College of Law, Georgetown Law, and as a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Malta. Before becoming a professor, she served as the acting legal director of Human Rights First, where she coordinated a Congressional campaign to defeat certain legislative initiatives that would have imposed stricter restrictions on asylum protection.

Maria Pascuzzi CSJ, SSL, STD is the current director of the Spirit Alive Institute. She is a trained biblical scholar, with degrees from the Pontifical Biblical Institute, and the Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome, Italy. Her area of expertise is the NT, with special focus on the letters of Saint Paul. She has taught, lectured, and published books and articles in her field and is an active member of the Catholic Biblical Association and the Society of Biblical Literature. During her academic career she has also held various administrative roles. In Jan 2021, Sr. Maria enrolled in the VIISTA program at Villanova University to train to become a Department of Justice Accredited Advocate for immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers.