to Christendom's Alumni E-Zine. If you have information that
you would like to share with your fellow alumni, send it to
the Grapevine Editor, Marie Antunes, at email@example.com.
The editor reserves the right to include or exclude any information
submitted for publication in The Grapevine.
Grapevine Online is uploaded on the First Friday of every
month. It will have a couple of sections (when information
is available), namely, Class Notes (your basic information
on alumni babies, weddings, jobs, etc.), Calendar of Events,
and Links to various
recent stories about Christendom College and/or the Alumni
2008 edition of The Grapevine Online
Notes / Calendar of Events / Links
to Stories / Prior
Man for All Seasons:
Thomas S. Vander Woude
think of Tom Vander Woude, I will always remember that trademark
smile he invariably carried with him during his last few years.
They say the smile mirrors the soul, and his disposition never
stopped reflecting the kindness of his heart, not to mention
his sense of humor. I cannot help but say a few words about
this one-of-a-kind man. Though I do humbly add that what
I say will never be enough to raise a full appreciation of
all that he did for this community and my community back home
in Manassas, where he resided with his wife, and son Joseph.
at Seton school Monday evening for an impromptu prayer vigil
for the repose of Tom's soul, hours after he had passed away.
To my amazement, a Fox 5 local news team showed up and inquired
about the events of the day, as well as Tom's life in the
community. As it turns out, word spread quickly not just about
his heroic death, but of all that he did while alive. We searched
and searched throughout the school for some token of Tom,
a picture maybe, or a plaque, but found nothing.
spirit is with the school to this day. While he sent his six
of seven sons to school there, he coached basketball and soccer
for years. "He never took a cent," Principal Ann
Carroll added. Not a cent. And in the days after his death,
I learned much more. He had helped lay the gym floor. He had
even constructed the bleachers in the gym with the help of
a few other parents. All volunteer work. To this day, not
one single memento of Tom hangs in the school, because he
would rather it be that way. He did so much, but shunned the
spotlight. He performed countless other volunteer projects
at the school. "He was the kind of guy that would give
you the shirt off his back," reported Lee DeBrish to
the Washington Post. "And if he didn't have one, he'd
buy one for you."
Tom also affected many young lives as a coach. He trained
his players not just for the game, but for life, to be good
young Catholics. I remember when he encouraged us (the 2006-2007
Crusader basketball team) to go to confession before road
trips, to be in the state of grace lest something happen.
And he attended daily Mass as he had done for years on the
morning of his death, just hours before God called him home.
by example. He was not a man of many words, but his actions
spoke for all he believed in. For years he and his wife attended
adoration more than once a week at local parish All Saints
Church in Manassas. They did it from 2-3 A.M. He was also
the sacristan at Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Bristow.
With his wife, together they would dress the altar and set
up/clean up before and after Mass at the Brentsville High
School auditorium, before the diocese built the church in
Bristow which was completed this past spring. The Vander Woude's
simply stored all the equipment in their barn.
parishioner entered the church to pray for the family on Tuesday,
she noticed the sanctuary candle was not lit. Tom had done
it every day.
a family man. He divided up plots of land on his 33-acre property
for his sons and their families to stay close by. He could
usually be seen with his grandchildren on the farm, who loved
to pitch in with the chores. And of course, Josie was there
as well, as so many neighbors told of their always seeing
him with his dad.
up in the community, Josie was the only Down Syndrome kid
I really knew. But I never treated him any differently than
the others, because Mr. And Mrs. Vander Woude raised him that
way. They saw the humor and blessings he brought to their
lives, and simply raised him with the love and respect they
raised their six other sons with.
humor was ever present. I remember telling him of my unorthodox
suspension freshmen year for streaking one night. He smirked,
paused, and said, "Well, you all must have blended in
well with the snow." Josie would always try to push bounds
too, whether it was performing karaoke on someone else's equipment,
ignoring his Dads words that they had to leave for home, or
sneaking in a soda when he wasn't supposed to. While doing
his duty as a good father to Josie, Tom would also wear his
smirk and chuckle at times like those, because he simply saw
the humor in the situation. He possessed a fabulous personality,
an unflappable one.
an ageless wonder. It baffled my mind, how, at age 64, he
was commuting multiple times a week to Front Royal to perform
his duties as athletic director. Sometimes he would even practice
with the basketball team. Many times, he drove the bus on
long road trips to Pennsylvania or New York. We would get
home in the late hours, and he still had a one-hour commute
to home ahead of him. But he loved doing it, as his oldest
son Fr. Tom Vander Woude attested. He even suited up for the
faculty/staff flag football game last year. After he bruised
his ribs, he still participated, but as a referee.
on the last few years in which I was privileged to see Tom
on a occasional basis, I always enjoyed stopping by his office
for a chat, or going over to the family house in Nokesville
for a family gathering. My sister Katy married his son Chris
in 2007, so for the last two years our families grew closer
together. "It was a home," Fr. Tom remarked of the
house in which so many guests were welcomed over the years
and indeed it was a home not to mention one in where Tom performed
countless projects as a handyman. "He was always working
on something," mentioned Pate Quest.
an amazing human being, but what touched me the most about
his life is that he accomplished everything in the most ordinary
way. By all accounts he was not an extraordinary man of fame
but he did ordinary things-raising a family, helping other
people, serving God in church-extraordinarily well. God bless
you, Mr. Vander Woude, and thank you for all that you did
for us here on earth.
rest grant unto him, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine
upon him. And may the souls, and all of the souls of the faithful
departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.
published in The Rambler September 15, 2008
& Theresa (Ford) Fisher ('03) are
pleased to announce the birth of their first daughter, Abigail
Therese Bernadette, on September 16th, 2008. Welcoming the
little princess home are her older brothers, Nicholas, Zach,
and Nate, who still are becoming accustomed to all the pink
invading a house heretofore colored in red, blue, and John
(Howes) Hernandez ('00)
is currently living in Irving, TX where her husband Rudy is
pursuing graduate studies at University of Dallas. They have
two sons Edmund (five) and Peter (four) and they have just
begun homeschooling. Neva is also very excited to have begun
editing a new website, which you can check out by going to:
She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
('02) and Leah ('03) Coffee and family recently made a
trip to Delaware in June to visit fellow alumna Bethany
Sargis ('03) at her Beach house, Atsa Nice. The
kids were amazed by the ocean, as they have never had occasion
to see more than a puddle standing in a cornfield. Such is
the life of those who grow up in the middle of Nebraska! The
Coffee family also needs to announce the birth of Emma Grace,
pictured above! The beautiful little lady was born on March
25, 2008 and has the sweetest disposition. James (4) and Maureen
(2) do their best to give her a multitude of opportunities
to learn as many self defense maneuvers as developmentally
possible for her age. She hangs right in there with them.
and Niki (Calio) MacDougall (both '06)
would like to (very belatedly) announce the birth of their
daughter, Marie Therese, born on May 1 at 1:27pm. There is
a competition to determine which parent she most resembles.
news item comes from Melody (Stachyra) Pegis ('95): A
Catholic, pro-life, NFP-only physician is coming to town!
Bernard and Melody Pegis are moving their family to
Front Royal, VA, where Bernard, a family practice physician,
will soon join Skyline Family Practice. Christendom staff,
alumni, students, and the like are most welcome to test out
his medical abilities!
Cervantes ('99) graduated
from University of South Dakota School of Law this past May.
He passed the bar and was sworn in as an attorney last week.
Attached is a picture of him taking the attorney's oath. His
young son, Rafael, had to get in on the action as you can
see. To reach Joe and his wife Torey, please email them at
a year down at St Peter's Catholic Church in Beaufort, SC,
the promised land for the United States Marine Corps, Father
Christopher Smith ('99) has been assigned to St Francis-by-the-Sea
on Hilton Head Island to take care of the school and the Hispanic
Community there. Exchanging military maneuvers and grenades
for tennis matches and martinis by the pool, Father is enjoying
his new dolce vita assignment in one of the world's best vacation
destinations. The parish is about as far removed as possible
from the glories of the Skerisian rite of Christendom days
past, but the occasional Latin Mass around the diocese brings
back memories of the Christendom community, if for no other
reason than he keeps running into Christendom people down
in Dixie. Please also remember the soul of his mother, Nancy,
who passed away in June of this year, fortified by the sacraments
of Holy Church, Deo dicamus gratias! Drop Father a line at
if you are on your way down to the Carolina coast.
(88) and Sue (89) Kosten (Belleville)
welcomed their 9th child into the world on March 16th. Corinne
Frances Kosten, pictured on the right, joins her siblings
Kate, Claire, Thomas, Joseph, James, Colette, Colleen and
Greg. She shares her birthday with our Pastor and fellow Christendom
Graduate Fr. Francis Peffley of Holy Trinity Parish
in Gainesville, VA.
August 9th, Elizabeth Stephens ('05) and Nathan Traugott
were married at St. Anthony's Church in Milwaukee, WI. After
a wonderful honeymoon in Mexico, they returned to Homer, Alaska
where they plan to live happily ever after in their igloo
Nathan just bought.
Fathers of Mercy in Auburn, Kentucky (the community that includes
6 alumni priests, Fathers: Bill Casey, David Wilton, Ben
Cameron, Frank Fusare, Louis Caporiccio, and Tony Stephens)
are pleased to announce that their new "Chapel of Divine
Mercy" has been completed and was dedicated on Saturday,
August 23rd. They hope and pray that this chapel will be a
place of pilgrimage where many souls will experience God's
Mercy and Healing. The following is a link to a local news
story and a slideshow from the Dedication Mass:
Penny ('97) is excited to announce that last spring she
had her third book published, The Story of Our Lady of
Victory. It is a picture book that she originally wrote
and illustrated (see below) for her daughter Victoria about
the Battle of Lepanto. It is available from Requiempress.com.
Agnes and her husband Daniel and their six children are all
doing fine and still live in Whitehall, PA.
Schmidt ('05) is very happy to announce that she is now
working in the Diocese of Arlington as the Coordinator of
Young Adult Ministry! She plans events such as Theology on
Tap and works to support different parish groups. All young
adults (in their 20s & 30s) are welcome to join the newsletter
listserv. It is updated weekly and provides information for
all diocesan and parish-sponsored young adult events. She
hopes to see everyone soon! To register please go to: http://www.arlingtondiocese.org/yam/young_adult.php
Kish ('03) would like to annouce her engagement! She is
getting married on Feb. 7th at Our Lady of Hope Catholic Church
in Potomac Falls, VA to Kenneth Poulos from MD!
WEEKEND October 10-12, 2008
follow this link to register online, or to update contact
3, 2008: Life on Tap
4, 2008: Bens Bash
5, 2008: Oktoberfest
6-10, 2008: Spirit Week
October 7, 2008: Rosary Procession
October 10-11, 2008: Girls and Guys Soccer Tournament
10, 2008: Alumni vs. Crusader Basketball Game, Post-Game Reception
11, 2008: Alumni Picnic & Reception, Homecoming Dance
12, 2008: East vs. West Game
13, 2008: Major Speaker: Mrs. Camille Pauley
18-26, 2008: Fall Break
27, 2008: Dr. Carroll Lecture
Releases and Campus News: http://www.christendom.edu/news/releases.shtml
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