First female president elected to International Federation of Catholic Universities

27 Jul 2018

At the conclusion today of the 26th General Assembly Meeting in Saint Patrick’s College, Maynooth, the International Federation of Catholic Universities elected its first female president.

Dr Isabel Capeloa Gil (see picture below) is the Rector of the Catholic University of Portugal, a university with 12,000 students across 18 faculties, schools and institutes.

The host of this year’s assembly, Rev Professor Michael Mullaney, President of Saint Patrick’s College, welcomed this historic election and wished Dr Capeloa Gil every success in her term of office.

In her acceptance address Dr Capeloa Gil said she will “work to make the power of the few the strength of the many”.

This year’s General Assembly took place from 23 to 27 July on the theme ‘Catholic Universities, Working in Solidarity as Responsible Agents from the Local to the Global’.  Over 200 university presidents, vice-presidents and international development officers attended the conference which was held for the first time at Saint Patrick’s College.   

The Assembly discussed how to bring Pope Francis’ Encyclical Letter of 2015, Laudato Si’ on care for our common home, into the very heart of this global network of third-level institutions by addressing issues linked to the social responsibility of Catholic universities.

The meeting in Maynooth agreed to hold the next General Assembly of IFCU in Boston College, USA in 2021.


Notes to Editors

  • Saint Patrick’s College, Maynooth, Co Kildare, has been forming men for the priesthood since 1795, becoming a Pontifical University in 1896.  The College now comprises the seminary and the Pontifical University, which offers degrees in theology, philosophy, and theology and arts.  The Trustees of the College are the Governing Body of the College.  The membership is defined by successive Acts of Parliament.  The current Trustees are the four Archbishops of Ireland together with 13 other bishops.  Archbishop Eamon Martin, Archbishop of Armagh, is the chairman of the Trustees of the College.  See

For media contact: Catholic Communications Office Maynooth: Emma Sisk 00353 (0) 86 145 6694 and Katie Crosby 00353 (0) 86 862 3298