INSIDE THIS ISSUE...
As we start out the month of March, I want to remind all of our alumni and friends of the great need Christendom has to raise enough money during this fiscal year (ending June 30) to enable us to move forward into our big 35th Anniversary year next year.
We have a lot of events planned next academic year, including a number of events on campus, and some big events off campus, as well. The main event will be the 35th Anniversary Gala Dinner Dance on April 6, 2013, with Cardinal Raymond Burke acting as the Chairman of the Honorary Dinner Committee. He will be in attendance, that evening, as well. More info about that will follow in the future.
As alumni, I am sure that you are very interested in seeing Christendom prosper and grow, and the only way we can continue to do this is to have your support, not just financially (although that is a very important part of the solution), but also through your good words about the college to your friends, relatives, and children.
For many of you reading this, your days on Christendom's campus were not all that exciting, what with having only 5 or 6 buildings on campus, and just about no budget to do any kind of exciting events or activities, or buy/cook decent food. Then there are others who have gone here with all 20+ buildings, with activities every weekend, winning sports programs, dances, lectures, trips to here and there, and even coffee shops.
Regardless of all the exterior activities that went on, Christendom students have continually been given the same academically rigorous education in the liberal arts, accompanied by a great formation program to enable them to truly learn, live, and love the faith. If you've been away for a while and haven't been keeping up on all the latest and greatest, make sure you update your info to make sure we have you on our mailing list. Also, if you have friends, children, or relatives who are approaching their Junior year of high school, maybe you can suggest that they take a look at what Christendom has to offer (including our summer programs).
Christendom is doing wonderful things for many many people, and it would be great if you could help others learn more about us. I want to close with a quote from an alumnus named Chris Carney. Chris, in his own words, was maybe not the most ideal student during his one year here on campus back in 1987-88, but he says the following: “I learned more in 1 year at Christendom, than all 3 years at University of Kansas combined. What I learned at Christendom has served me personally and professionally for the last 20 years!"
There are many of us like Chris (yours truly included), who did not necessarily take full advantage of all that Christendom had to offer, and there are those of you out there that were involved in everything. We are all now alumni of Christendom, all with our own gifts and talents, and we should all be working to restore all things in Christ. And dare I say it, maybe we could all be looking at our alma mater as one of the main reasons that we are where we are today, and maybe we could work just a little harder to give back to Christendom for all that has been given to us.
Please donate if you can and spread the word to family and friends!
Until next time.....Tom McFadden, Director of Admissions, Marketing, & Alumni Relations (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Before Instaurare, there was the Christendom College Report. These little pieces of history are great to read to get insights into Christendom College and its origins. Enjoy!
Name: Thomas Cole
Graduation Year: 2004 (recipient of the Student Achievement Award)
Major: History and minor in Philosophy
Grad school? George Mason University, Master of Arts in History (American History concentration), 2007 (the picture is from his graduation)
Current Occupation/Job Title: High School Teacher at Holy Family Academy in Manassas, Virginia, since graduation from Christendom -- I am in my eighth academic year.
Why did you choose to go into this field?: I have simply thrived when given the chance to teach -- from assisting at summer camps to leading study groups at Christendom, to my teaching career and my own summer camps. There is a satisfaction and thrill in presenting the truth and passing along what little wisdom I have to others that I have not found matched by anything other occupation. Unlike other teachers, I look forward to returning to the classroom each Fall!
How has your Christendom College education/experience helped you in your profession?: It helped lay the intellectual, disciplinary, and academic foundation that I use each day in the classroom. The reading, writing, and speaking skills given to me during my years are Christendom are really the staples of the school day, and made the transition to graduate school quite smooth. Called upon as I am in a small school environment to present several subjects besides my specialty of history, the habits of liberal learning I practiced at Christendom are essential! I also learned a tremendous amount about what makes a good teacher simply by observing the example of my professors at Christendom. Imitation is the highest form of flattery, right? Certainly, too, I benefit from the friendships I have with Christendom peers and classmates. It really is fantastic to have a group of friends who are not only committed Catholics, but who are real intellectuals ever ready to discuss serious issues or offer constructive thoughts. Finally, I might note that my semester in Rome, Christendom's first, was really key in enkindling in me a deep and lasting love of not only the Church, but its traditions and continuity. The Church, like the liberal arts and really the City of Rome itself, has a magnificent unity in its variety, and every age and layer has such wealth to share!
What are you doing in your professional life to "restore all things in Christ.": I am in the field of forming high school students intellectually, morally, and physically, presenting to them the truths of the Faith, the History of Holy Mother Church, and the beauty and order of Creation. All this while offering an example of the Catholic life to my students at an institution dedicated to a classical education in conformity with the Magisterium -- how can one more directly work to restore all things in Christ outside of a sacramental calling?
What do you miss most about Christendom?:The ability to walk to everything that you needed, especially the sacraments, but also friends and community. What a blessing that was!
Anything else?: I might note that three things that I took from my years at Christendom have had a particular significance to my life so far: first, my marriage to my lovely classmate, Audra (Powderly) Cole, '04. Secondly, my love for the Church, and most especially for her venerable traditions! Finally, my habit of intellectual study and discourse -- begun in a particular way at Christendom, and carried on with the help of Christendom friends and coworkers. How crucial it is to associate with the right people!
Coffee House. It's an event to remember, right? Some of our best memories from college are from the various talent and variety shows that the students put on, and none is bigger than the annual Coffee House production. Over the years, the talent continues to shine, and The Grapevine will now be featuring an oldie but goodie clip in every issue, until people start throwing tomatoes and other vegetables at the screen:)
Here are a couple of classic fake ads for Christendom from the late 1990s, starring Dan Fedoryka and Benoit Flippen. Funny stuff.
"He had less than the perfect speaking voice and polish and yet he spoke more eloquently than all but the rarest few. With his unique presentation he brought history to life, transformed it from merely something in the past into part of the very fabric of our lives. He painted it upon a canvas that included all of time, all people great and small, me, you. In the process history came to be seen in its true light - no longer a monstruous ball of knotted yarn but rather the finest masterpiece of art from the brush strokes of the Artist of all. Dr. Carroll, for making 'the light bulb go on' in my mind that the Incarnation happened and that it is the pivot point of my life and of all history, thank you. If not already, may you soon enjoy eternal joy with Him to whom you devoted your life." - Tom Brock '85
"Dr. Carroll gave so much to so many for the greater glory and honor of God. He helped us to love and understand our Catholic heritage and history, so that we, in turn, could help others. We are blessed to have a treasure trove of brilliant writing from him. Many generations to come will benefit from his labors. May he rest in the peace of Christ and receive a great reward from our Lord!" - Fr. Scott Rader '87 (valedictorian with Dr. Carroll on the right)
"I was only able to attend Christendom College for one year. However, it made an unbelievable impact on my life! I came from a broken home and it was there that I came to see the beauty of our Catholic family, and I grew far deeper in my faith. Christendom gave me a strong spiritual basis, and it is still a rock that I lean on as I pursue my career in the film industry. Without the formation received there, I would more easily be swayed by the world, but the 'Christendom bubble' served as a cocoon, in which young souls are fashioned and strengthened. God bless Dr. Warren Carroll for his incredible contribution to society and to the reign of Christ the King! I will always fondly remember those various history talks that he would give in the basement of the library one evening per month. I remember thinking, here is a giant, a man who has, is, and will forever have made an impact upon all of Christendom; the world." - Sequoia Sierra '08-'09
"Dr. Carroll was a great man and he was the reason I went to Christendom. When I was younger, I had the great privilege of reading his books The Guillotine and the Cross, The Last Crusade, Our Lady of Guadalupe and the Conquest of Darkness, The Rise and Fall of the Communist Revolution, etc., and decided that when I went to college, I wanted to go where this man taught. His books are exciting, painstakingly researched and moving. But more than that, they make sense of history by setting up the narratives from a Christological perspective. Without emphasizing Christ, history is simply a litany of chance occurrences that mean nothing. His books give meaning to man's existence and help us to better understand God's plan for us. The world will sorely miss him."- Becket Adams '08 (with the glasses, between O'Donnell and Carroll, above)
Check out alumnus Chris Carney '87-'88: Click on "Your Performance" button.
Here's Mark Rohlena's '00 latest blog.
Alumnus John Janaro's latest blog.
Heather Tansey '03 and Peter Jensen '99 (look above for a picture of Peter wearing a skirt) are engaged...nbd. Well, actually, it is. According to Heather, these two love birds have been on the fence and off the fence for just about as long as The Grapevine has been around - 10 years. Now, they have decided to settle down, get married, and live happily ever after. Now there's a fairytale romance....ahhhhhhh. Congrats to them both....and it's about time.
David and Elizabeth Rice Wallace ('05) still live in Front Royal, still have two wonderful boys and do not want the Grapevine to die!
Even though she missed her Graduation Mass (great story behind that ), Mary Harrington '11 made it through graduation weekend without mishap. Now she is working as a History teacher at the Aquinas Academic Center in Front Royal and living with awesome roommate Caitlin Bowers. Mary enjoys teaching, even if she sometimes is mistaken for a student :). When she is not working, Mary uses her free time for adventures. One of her recent adventures was co-directing the Fall Christendom Play, Room Service. It was a truly joyful experience and great show, especially Sunday, when Mary's dad and sister drove from IL to watch it. Mary would like to thank the Christendom community for all the prayers that were offered for her baby brother Sean “Jack” Matthew after his freak accident in July. She is happy to report that Jack has fully recovered and has been nicknamed “Miracle Boy” by the family. They are truly grateful for how fast people stormed heaven with prayers, they worked!
Sylvia Smith, '07, has decided to adopt a vegan diet this year for a new year's resolution, and this Lenten season she's found support from some Eastern-fast-doing fellow Christendom alums: Katherine (Melton) Hayes ('08) and Anthony Smitha ('05). Katherine even created a Lenten recipe Facebook group to share meat-free, dairy-free recipes! There, another alumna, Alaina Furlong, shared a link to a yummy Pasta e Broccoli recipe: http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2011/03/dinner-tonight-pasta-e-broccoli-recipe.htm
Eve Owen ('10) and Paul Mercer were engaged over the New Year and will be married on August 3 in Eve's hometown of Saint Paul, Oregon. The wedding date is a special one for Eve as her paternal grandparents were also married in her hometown parish on August 3, 1942! Eve will be leaving her post in the Admissions Office this Spring :( but is happy to be starting this next chapter of her life. (picture below)
This winter Angela Gaetano and Clare O'Reilly drove up to Canada with Camille Jansen to St. Joseph's Oratory in Montreal. After their pilgrimage they made their way over to Ottawa to stay at the Jansen's beautiful home on the St. Laurence river and visit with Monica and Ben Ferri. A good time was had by all as well as good weather. The picture is taken on the frozen river where they were walking! Left to right: Clare, Ben, Baby Ferri #1 (Chiara), Baby Ferri #2 (James), Monica Briggs Ferri, and Angela Gaetano.
Lydia Thigpen Borja ('04) and her husband, Michael, are delighted to announce that they are now a family of four. Sofia Therese was welcomed into the world on February 9. Her older brother, Francisco, thinks she's the bee's knees! The Borjas are living very happily in the small southern town of Thomasville, Georgia, where the flowers have been blooming for weeks already. It's a great place to visit to escape the winter blues--visitors are always welcome!
Alumna Meridth Wise is now the editor of Dapped Things. Check it out!
Kelly Henson [formerly Kelly Mulhern, Class of '06] recently traveled from NC to give a presentation at Notre Dame University, IN on: Hyper-Vulnerability and Hypo-Vulnerability: Disordered Female Orientations, Empathetic Friendship, and Jane Austen’s Heroines.
Once upon a time she swore she would not become "one of those Christendom girls who is obsessed with Jane Austen." One thesis written on Persuasion, several classes taught on Austen at a college-preparatory academy, and one presentation given at Notre Dame later, she is ready to admit that she also loves to read and study Jane Austen and will probably continue to do so for some time.
The conference Kelly participated in was part of the Edith Stein Project, a grassroots effort at Notre Dame to reflect on our culture and the perennial questions of mankind through the lens of Catholic scholarship and the writings of Edith Stein. Kelly was pleased to run into Joanie Watson ('06) there. However, she also thinks that she should be running into lots more Christendom people at this fascinating venue for conversation and community. Several of the major speakers even mentioned Christendom by name as one of the few places in America where people were taking these themes seriously--prove them right! Check out the link below so you can come (and maybe present??) next year!
For more information see: https://sites.google.com/a/nd.edu/idnd/edith-stein-project/2012-conference/schedule or feel free to contact Kelly: HensonKJ@gmail.com
On an unrelated note, Kelly and her husband Larry Henson ('06) are expecting their second little one (a girl) this March!
Nikole (Hill) Clarkson (08) and Bart Clarkson married on August 20, 2011 in Shiner, TX. They met while Nikole was working for the Alaska State Legislature in Juneau and Bart was working in Seattle. CatholicMatch: it works! Wedded bliss suits us both just fine. If any Christendom friends plan to visit Austin for South by Southwest, drop us a line: email@example.com.
Here are some of alumna Anita Crane's ('93) latest articles:
- ‘This gets people’s attention like nothing else'
- Rubio: ‘Life is not a political issue’
- GOP candidates stunned by abortion survivors
- Catholics fire shot at Obama contraceptives
- Praised by Vatican official, ‘Doonby’ hitting screens
From Bunny Martell Cerny '04: "Just wanted to say hello to my friends out there. We are in the process of putting our house on the MLS and hopefully moving to the western 'burbs of Kansas City on the KS side, to be closer to family, friends and baby-sitters. Gerard (4) and Meg (3) recently had birthdays, and Francesca will be 2 at the end of March. Tommy is going on 6 months. Here's a recent picture of Tommy. If any of you pass through the KC area, feel free to look us up. Best way is to email me - firstname.lastname@example.org"
Ben Hatke's '00 book Zita and the Spacegirl was just awarded the Graphic Novel of the year Cybil award!! Very impressive and what an honor. Proof that the Christendom education has endless amounts of opportunities!Micah and Kathleen (McKinnon) Willard '08 are happy to announce the arrival of their son, Joseph Stephen, born February 5th just in time for the Super Bowl. He joins big sister Maria! They are planning a move back to Front Royal this summer where Micah will be teaching at Chelsea Academy. Be sure to stop by and visit if you are in town!
1. Name: Natalie Lucas
2. Hometown and year at Christendom: Fairhope, AL. Junior.
3. Parents names: Mike '90 and Mary Taggart '89 Lucas
4. How influencial were your parents in your decision to attend Christendom?Although the decision was definately my own, my parents did play a large part in my decision to come to Christendom. Growing up, I listened to all of the stories about the amazing times they had during their four years and dreamed of one day coming here to make my own stories!
5. What do you think is the biggest change at Christendom from what you hear of the old days? Besides a few more students, I feel like Christendom is the same as it was when my parents were here. Same principles, same classes, same awesome people!
6. Are there any advantages of being a "legacy" student (i.e. an alumni child)? As a legacy child, you come to Christendom having an idea of how it's going to be while at school. Also, knowing that your parents were walking around on the same campus twenty years before is a comforting thought if you are feeling homesick :)
7. Have you had any of the same teachers as your parents?I have had a couple of the same teachers my parents had, including Mr. O'Herron and Dr. Marshner.
8. Do you have any favorite stories that they used to tell about their days at Christendom? One of my favorite stories is one my dad tells me about his summer working on the Christendom campus. He and a few other guys were living in a two story apartment and would save pizza in their fridge to eat later. However, every night they went to eat it, it was gone! Then they figured out that the guys living below them were taking the pizza back to their room to eat themselves... so, the next night they decided to have a little fun and put soap on the pizza! After the pizza had been stolen, they could hear the yells from downstairs about how bad the pizza tasted!
What are all of the past student achievement award winners up to these days?
Well, it was inaugurated at graduation in 1985, so here goes (if mistakes are made, it is the fault of Tom McFadden, editor) ....
1985 - Joseph Brown - Now Fr. Joseph Mary Brown of the Community of St. John
1986 - Hope Chesanek - Now Hope Johnson, Pediatric Nurse in Alabama
1987 - Kevin Walsh - Now Fr. Kevin Walsh, Diocese of Arlington, VA
1988 - Michelle Dawson - Now Michelle Charba, wife/mother in Olumpia, WA
1989 - Leslie Cummings - Now Leslie Alexander, wife/mother in WA
1990 - Vivian Cabler - Now Vivian McIntyre, wife/mother in Saint Mary's, KS
1991 - Kathleen Moriarty - Now Kathleen Williams, wife/mother/teacher in OH
1992 - Kevin Peek - Now Fr. Kevin Peek, Catholic diocese in GA
1993 - Andrew Youngblood - In PA, married with children, involved in education
1994 - Denise Belleville - Now Denise Woltering, wife/mother/educator in VA
1995 - Jeanette Miller -Now Jeanette Gieske, living in TX
1996 - Mark Wallacavage - Working at a hospital in PA, married
1997 - Bjorn Lundberg - Now Fr. Bjorn Lundberg, Diocese of Arlington, VA
1998 - Bernadette Almeter - Now Sr. Mary Immaculate of the Eternal Father, NY
1999 - Anthony Stephens - Now Fr. Tony Stephens, Fathers of Mercy, KY
2000 - Sarah Akers - Director Human Resources for FOCUS in CO
2001 - Paul Kucharski - Philosophy professor at Fordham Univeristy in NY
2002 - Therese Peters - Elementary School Teacher in CA
2003 - Michael Schmitt - Stone Mason, VA, married with children
2004 - Thomas Cole - see profile above - Educator in VA, married with children
2005 - Siobhan O'Connor - Lives in NY
2006 - John O'Herron - Law Clerk, VA Supreme Court, married/children
2006 - Joan Watson - Works at Aquinas College in Nashville, TN
2007 - Andrew Bodoh - Lawyer, VA
2008 - Flannery O'Connor - Now Flannery Lancaster, Nurse in FL.
2009 - John Mercandetti - Works at Seton Home Study, VA
2010 - Sarah Miranda - Graduate student in Washington, DC
2011 - Matt Rensch - Seminarian at Providence College, Diocese of Vermont
What's going on this summer? Apparently, it is the summer of love!
Philosophy professor, Dr. Doug Flippen, likes to keep a tab on our alumni, so much so that he carries around with him a little notebook with the names, dates, and places of marriage of our alumni. He is the go-to person for this type of information, and he's not even on Facebook!
So, without wasting another moment, here's what we know about this summer:
There are 23 alumni-related marriages coming up this summer (from May-August), with 11 of them being alumna-to-alumnus marriages. We currenly have 318 alumnus-to-alumna marriages. That's a whole lot of cake that will need to be eaten! And to top it off, there are at least seven more scheduled for early fall as well. I guess that's why Christendom is for Lovers.
I recently had the good fortune of getting a sneak peak at the soon- to-be-released film "October Baby". It will open in probably around 300 US theaters on March 23 and if it ends up playing at a theater near you (or even a theater far from you), I strongly recommend checking it out. To briefly summarize, it is the story of college student Hannah, who finds out somewhat suddenly one day that not only was she adopted but she was a survivor of a failed abortion as well.
Upset, angry, and curious, she sets out on a road trip (with
childhood friend Jason) to find her birth mother. The film is certainly unabashedly pro-life but I think it is actually more importantly a film about forgiveness. And it is family friendly though the "thematic elements" will go over the heads of little ones.
Keep an eye out for two possible old familiar faces: John Schneider
as the dad (he was Bo Duke on "The Dukes Of Hazzard" and Jonathan
Kent on "Smallville") and Jasmine Guy as a nurse (she was Whitley
Gilbert on the Cosby Show spinoff "A Different World"). If I have
intrigued you in any way, please head over to www.octoberbabymovie.net to see a trailer and other videos (especially "Shari´s Story") that should significantly adrenalize your interest. The website also has a list of the theaters where the movie will be showing. This one is worth supporting, folks. -Walter Janaro