Student Profile

Robert Bruce McKay

Age: 21
Year: Sophomore
From: London, England
Major: Either English or History
Hobbies: Drinking tea, spelling 'colour' correctly, hanging out with friends, listening to music, and playing poker
What is your favorite class or professor? That is a really hard call. I’d probably have to go with Prof. Michael Brown, especially for Ethics. The class was always really interesting and Prof. Brown is extremely engaging and always great fun.
What extra curricular activities do you participate in? This semester I play rugby for the college, which takes up a fair chunk of my time. (Come watch us beat Franciscan University of Steubenville on April 12!) I also get involved in intramural volleyball and dodgeball.
What's your favorite thing about Christendom? I love the friendly atmosphere here. Everyone is so helpful and wants to talk and to help wherever they can. It’s also nice to have found a college that plays rugby so far from home.
Why did you choose Christendom? I was really unsure about coming at first, but I spoke to a friend who had come and he reassured me about the place. I came for a weekend to visit and three months later I was on a plane coming for good.
What surprised you the most about Christendom? The people; when I heard about Christendom I thought that everyone would be very lofty and ‘holier-than-thou,’ but that’s really not the case. Everyone loves to relax and have fun and I really enjoy that about the place.
Plans after graduation? Everyone asks me whether I’ll stay in the States or move back home and I really don’t know. I’d miss England if I stayed, but I guess I’ve got two years to figure my life out before I’m on the street.
Any parting words of advice for prospective students? If you have any pre-conceived notions of what Christendom is like, forget them. Come and visit, meet the faculty and students and then make up your mind.

Student Life


Battle of the Brains: Dorm Wars Quiz Bowl

The Dorm Wars Quiz Bowl was two days of intense play on Thursday and Friday evening. Four representatives from each Dorm Wars team took their places in the basement of the Commons to show off their knowledge in this single-elimination event.

The first round of competition on Thursday had four pairs of teams facing off against each other. There were twelve questions for the quiz bowlers. Students had to answer questions on topics that varied from science to sports to theology to animals. In each round, competitors who successfully answered a question were also given a chance to answer a bonus question for extra points. The top four teams that were left after Thursday’s game returned on Friday for the championship. The team "Sean of the Dead" came away victorious with first place.

Joe Marra, Brigid Coyne, Michael Arnold, and Peter Zinman get their game faces on.

Junior Bernadetter Sartor, sophomore Robert Johnson, junior Thomas Yarnell, and freshman Rachel Hoover represented team Conquering Cacti.

Members of the Beauties and the Beasts deliberate over a question.


Mardi Gras Masquerade

On Saturday night students joined together in St. Lawrence Commons to enjoy swing dancing with friends during the last dance before Lent. The theme, Mardi Gras Masquerade, was well-received, and classmates loved the opportunity to impress each other with their ornate and original mask designs. The delicious food, upbeat music, beaded necklaces, and sparkling lights all made the atmosphere worthy of the theme, and kept students happily entertained throughout the night.

“I thought the event was very well put together—the music, theme, and food were spectacular,” sophomore Elisabeth Roberts said.

The dance was a great success, providing students with a break during Midterms.

Senior Lauren Enk looking lovely in her colorful mask.

Sophomore John Hebert grins as he swings his partner.

Dancers show off their unique masks.

Senior Klarissa Blank and Freshman John Paul Heisler smile for the camera.

Seniors Matt Speer and Katie Shannon strike a pose.

The students had fun and kept the dance floor full all through the night.


The Final Race!fr. planty

The final Dorm Wars competition took place this past Sunday, March 2, with the Team Relay Races. Four members of every Dorm Wars team took part in a series of one-mile races around Christendom’s campus, thereby completing a total of four miles per team. Although the weather was frigid and wet, Christendom students braved the cold and rain in an effort to bring their team one more victory before the end of the Dorm Wars events. Dr. Jesse Dorman, the Dean of Student Life, monitored the event, and team mates came to cheer on their runners to victory!

“The relay was an exciting race because of all the great runners who participated,” says freshman Timmy Cook. “I was very proud of our team for coming in first place, which we were able to pull off due to the consistency and effort of our team.”

And they're off!

Senior Sean Ryan passes off the next mile to senior Sean LaRochelle.

Teammates help each other finish the last mile!

Seniors Andrew Hepler and Zach Smith finish strong!

Members of the winning team, "Iron Rango"


The End of the Games

The campus-wide series of friendly and competitive events, Dorm Wars, came to a close this past Sunday evening with an awards ceremony in the St. Lawrence Commons. The four teams who overall had the greatest number of points from all the Dorm Wars events this semester were announced. Representatives of the teams were called on stage as Miss Caitlin Bowers, Director of Student Activities, presented the winning trophies. “The Ostracized” came in first place overall, “Iron Rango” came in second place, “Sean of the Dead” came in third place, and “The Beauties and the Beasts” received honorable mention. In addition, a slide show with pictures from all the events was displayed for all students to relive the many glorious moments of the 2014 3rd Annual Dorm Wars.

“It was great to see so many people come out to the closing ceremonies,” says junior Steven Hyland. “Overall, I believe that Dorm Wars was a great success this year, with lots of fun events that allowed us to make new friends and build up the Christendom community.”

Caitlin Bowers presents the winning trophy to senior Jordan Mann of "The Ostracized"

Members of the second-place team, "Iron Rango"

Representatives from the winning teams take their rightful places on stage!


The Taste of Giving

The Student Philanthropy Board held a special event this past Sunday evening called “The Taste of Giving” at Aspen Dale Winery in Delaplane, Virginia. The Student Philanthropy Board is run by eight students in the senior class of 2014, and their mission is to educate their fellow classmates on the importance of alumni donations to Christendom College, encouraging them to pledge to begin donating immediately after graduation. Students in the senior class, faculty, and staff came together to drink wine, discuss the Philanthropy Board, and listen to several alumni speakers talk about the topic of alumni giving. Mr. Stephen O’Keefe (’93), Major Patrick Weinert (’98), and Mr. Paul Jalsevac (’03) all spoke about their experiences at Christendom College and why they give back to the college. They also held a question-and-answer session with the students. Everyone enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere of the winery, and the many delicious snacks and desserts that accompanied the wine.

“I think that the Aspen Dale Philanthropy event was a huge success, and everyone really enjoyed themselves and gained a lot of insight into the importance of giving back to your alma mater,” says senior Peter McShurley. “The speakers were excellent and the wine and venue were wonderful.”

Seniors enjoying an evening at the winery with their classmates.

Mr. Stephen O’Keefe (’93) and Major Patrick Weinert (’98) explain why they give back to Christendom.

Mr. Paul Jalsevac, Director of Development Operations, with members of the Student Philanthropy Board.

Students discuss the talks during one of the breaks.



Mardi Gras Party

The Student Activities Council hosted a pub night on Tuesday for students to celebrate Mardi Gras, or Fat Tuesday, by eating lots of food and enjoying sweets and other pleasures that many people sacrifice for Lent. Kilian’s Café was decorated with lots of Mardi Gras beads, masks, and streamers that were brought to the event by Christendom students from Mobile, AL. In addition, students made and served real gumbo for the occasion, and there was real Louisiana King Cake and Moon Pies! The pub night served as a great study break, for many students are in the middle of midterms this week, and also as a great way for friends to have a fun evening together before many separate for Spring Break next week.

Freshmen and sophomore students enjoy their homemade gumbo.

Sophomore Melissa Lucas provided Moon Pies and beads for everyone.

Everyone enjoyed the laid-back atmosphere and good company.

Enjoying the snacks and Mardi Gras beads!



Rome Report

with Philip Gilbert

"You Are Peter"


While we were on the bus to Rome returning from Pilgrimage Week, our chaplain Fr. Dan told us that there had just been a consistory to create new Cardinals. After every consistory there is usually a reception open to the general public so that people can congratulate and greet the new Cardinals. Not only was this a rare opportunity to greet a newly-created cardinal, but to see the inside of the Papal Palace, where the reception was being held. A large group of us took advantage of this opportunity and congratulated Cardinal Gerard Mueller, the Prefect for the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith. It was amazing and exhilarating to go inside a region of the Vatican that is normally inaccessible to the general public and greet a man who may someday become pope. [See the video below.]

The next day being Sunday, we went to St. Peter's for Mass. Because of the consistory, only a small amount of people were given tickets to get inside the basilica, so we secured a place to stand near the front of the square. Shortly after Mass, Pope Francis appeared in his widow high above Vatican Square to say the Angelus. Having never been to the Angelus before, we weren't in an ideal position to see him, but after a bit of maneuvering we were able to catch our first glimpse of Papa Francesco.  Through the railing atop the colonnade, we could just barely see the white-clad figure of the successor of Peter, waving just as amiably as a next-door neighbor at the thousands of Catholics from all corners of the world cheering in the square below.

Later in the week, we all went on the Scavi Tour in Saint Peter's. The tour took us down two levels from the main floor of the basilica to the city streets of the ancient pagan necropolis. Our tour guide illustrated for us the step-by-step development of veneration and protection of the tomb of the Bishop of Rome, as well as the discoveries of the WWII-era archeology conducted in the secrecy of night. It was absolutely incredible to see the development of the basilica and the great lengths at which Constantine the Great went to build it exactly over the tomb of Peter.

Our tour ended with the amazing climax of being able to look at the jawbone that shared the Mystical Supper with Jesus. We stood in silent amazement in the tiny little space behind the chapel of the tomb, peering to see the holy relics through a narrow gap in the ancient rock. At that moment everything made sense: the efforts of Constantine to move an entire hill rather than build in a nearby valley; the immensity and grandeur of the basilica; the very reason for the Church being centered here in Rome. It all comes down to a few simple words spoken to a simple fisherman thousands of years ago:

“You are Peter, and upon this rock I build my Church.”

Entrance to the papal palace.

Entering the reception hall in the papal palace.

At the papal palace.

View of papal Mass through St. Peter's collonade.

Enjoying the Coliseum.

The Roman Forum: an excellent classroom.


Crusader Sports Center

Rugby Season Opener Ends Tie vs. Catholic U

The last time the Christendom Rugby team played Catholic University of America was two years ago when the Crusaders shocked the Cardinals on their home field with a St. Patrick’s Day win. Now, two years later, the Crusaders hosted the Cardinals rugby team on March 1, opening the 2014 season.

Under second-year head coach Theo Smith and with an undefeated record under their belts from last year the team was ready to build on that success during this spring campaign.

After graduating a significant number of players from last year’s team, this year’s squad features 15 new faces included in which are nine freshmen, six of them being on the starting 15. The team returns many key contributors from last year’s team, including sophomore Rob McKay, who, it seems, can’t be taken down by less than four men. Fellow sophomores Patrick Audino and Sean Salmon, along with seniors Connor Coyne, Ben Scrivener, and Conor O’Donnell, will be tasked with leading the young team throughout the season.

With the bagpipes having been played and each team shouting their last minute war-cries, the 2014 season began. From the very start of the match, it was clear that much of the game would hinge on the forwards of Christendom. The roster of Catholic University included a total of 31 young men, most of their forwards looked bigger and stronger than those bearing the Crusader jerseys—but looks can be deceiving. The Christendom forwards held their own. Not only early in the game, but also as the game went on, scrum after scrum, ruck after ruck and tackle after tackle. The front group of Crusaders seemed to grow stronger and fought to hold the front-line.

With Rob McKay, Bobby Crnkovich, Hal Kokes, Matt Farrall, Michael Kopp, Ed O’Brien, Eddie Kelly, and Conor O’Donnell holding the front position, the backs could target the holes in the Cardinal defense. After nearly 18 minutes of back and forth, Catholic University struck first working the ball slowly down the field before scoring a tri. The Crusaders bounced back and sophomore George Dewey found an opening for the first Christendom tri of the season.

Peter Gaetano, this year’s Thomas S. Vander Woude Memorial Scholar Athlete Scholarship recipient, busted through the Catholic U defense multiple times carrying would-be tacklers. One such run tacklers were no-where to be found and Peter would score his first tri as a Crusader to give Christendom a 12-7 lead into the half.

In the second half Catholic University tied the match up at 12-12 before freshmen Martin Norton would win a sprint contest on the sideline and park the ball in the tri-zone for another Christendom score, and a 19-12 lead. Catholic U, with just over 6 minutes remaining, then scored the game tying tri.

With so many new faces and limited field practice due to the enormous amount of snowfall this winter the game served as a good first match for the young Crusaders, despite being disappointed in not getting the “W.” The team is off for spring break and hosts George Mason University on March 22 at 1 p.m.

more pics on picasa



Special Report

The Story of a Small Town: Historic Front Royal

During the school year, Christendom students call the small Virginia town of Front Royal home. While it may not be a booming metropolis, Front Royal more than makes up for its size with charm, character, and a fascinating history that stretches back to pre-Revolutionary times. Front Royal had its beginnings in the 1750’s when a French Huguenot named Peter LeHew bought land in the area of the current township. Consequently, the little settlement that grew up there came to be called LeHewtown. When real estate speculators bought the property in 1788, they officially changed the name to Front Royal.

Although it has not been positively established how the town came to be called Front Royal, one possible explanation offered is that early French pioneers would refer to the area as “le front royal” (The Royal Frontier) to indicate that it was part of a land grant given by King Charles II to Lord Fairfax. Another story about Front Royal’s name is that it came about because of a large oak tree called “The Royal Tree of England” that grew in the center of the town when Virginia was still a colony. According to legend, the town militia used to train at this spot quite frequently. One day during training drills, a sergeant used the phrase “front the Royal Oak!” to command his soldiers to charge. The words stuck with them, and eventually from this popular phrase came the name of the town, Front Royal.

In the years leading up to the Civil War, Front Royal prospered and grew. While it never became a major city, in 1854 the town did become a stopping point on the Alexandria, Orange and Manassas Gap Railroad that ran between Alexandria and Strasburg. Because of this, the unassuming little town became a point of contention during the Civil War and the Battle of Front Royal took place on May 23, 1862, during which General Stonewall Jackson captured the town from a Union army under the command of Colonel Kenly. Front Royal ultimately survived the hardships of the war. It was always a source of valuable resources such as lumber. In the decades following the fighting, the town built itself up and flourished thanks to its agriculture, manufacturing and grain mills.

Certainly, much in Front Royal has changed since the days when it was the home of a few French settlers—even since the arrival of Christendom College in 1980. The local area has grown in population from 21,000 in 1980 to 38,000. With this growth have come new businesses, which have brought more fine dining and fun shopping experiences.

Find out more about Front Royal and the area that surrounds Christendom College at:

Christendom College campus circa 1980.


Tom McFaddenAsk the Director

Q. I missed the March 1 application deadline, yet, I am still thinking I might want to attend this fall. HELP!

There's nothing to worry about. Well, I guess I shouldn't say "nothing," but there's still a good chance we can get you in this fall....if you hurry!

We are looking to bring in about 135 students this fall. Right now, we have received 265 applications and we have accepted 183 of them so far. About 145 of the 183 have until March 15 to tell us if they are coming. If they all say "yes, we accept Christendom, and we want to be a part of the best educational institution in the land," then we have a bit of a problem. But that never happens. Probably about 120 or so will say yes to our letter of acceptance and that means we will need about 25 more students to fill the class in the fall. But we have another 40 who have until April 1 to tell us if they are coming. If 50% of them say yes, then we will may be all full. And all of these people have until May 1 to ask for their deposits back and to choose not to attend Christendom.

As you can see, it's a bit of a guessing game at times.

The bottom line is this. There is a lot of people coming and going between now and May 1, so my suggestion to you is to apply and get your application in by the end of this month so that you can be ready for acceptance when we find out we have a couple of openings. The online application is free, and it's not all that involved either—just a couple of essays, some letters of recommendation, transcripts, and your standardized test scores, and you will be all set.

For some current seniors, they may be all set on their college choice for the fall, and that's great for them. Others are still wondering what God wants for them, and to those I say, apply to Christendom so that you can have another option for college, and who knows, maybe it will be God's option for you. But, until you apply, you will never know for sure!

If I can be of any assistance to you as you go through the application process, please do not hesitate to contact me. Also, Sadie Bratt will be your Admissions Counselor and will walk you through every step of the process.

God bless,