A Funny Mystery


Name: Alexis Thornton
Cambridge, OH
Theater, singing, piano, cosmetics, volleyball.
Who's your favorite professor?
Prof. Michael Brown did a great job teaching Ethics (Philosophy 201). He is so funny and the class really brought to light the role of philosophy in theology.
What extra-curricular activities do you participate in? I enjoy intramural volleyball and also serve as a student ambassador. The plays keep me busy backstage, helping with make-up, directing, and lighting.
What is your favorite thing about Christendom?
I love how the chapel is a 2-minute walk from my residence hall and how the students really live their faith. You can see virtually every student at Mass between the two daily Masses. It is awesome that it means so much to them.
Why did you choose Christendom?
I was hesitant to choose Christendom because I was interested in a science major. My mother persuaded me to try it for a year—and I am so glad she did, because I love it!
What has surprised you the most about Christendom? I was surprised at how many social events Christendom hosts. There is always one thing or another going on!
Plans after graduation?
I plan to go on and get my masters, then pursue a teaching career.
Any parting words of advice for a prospective student? Don't let a major get in the way of attending. Not only because you will probably change your mind, but also because the curriculum will enrich and enhance any path in life you choose.


The Human Dimension to Economics

Dr. Sophia Aguirre, an associate professor of economics at the Catholic University of America, delivered a lecture entitled “Freedom for All: An Integral Approach to Economic Development” on March 30 to students and faculty of Christendom College.

Aguirre, who has testified in front of Congress and the U.N., explained that the economy can not be measured only by the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), inflation, and unemployment rates in a nation. The quality of life of its citizens must be taken into account—their education, health, life expectancy, and potential.

“Those countries that have the highest GDP have the highest suicide rate,” she noted. “So there is something wrong there. It is not just about the GDP anymore.”

Human capital is a key factor in economics. If a nation’s people are not well, then they do not work well and can drain a nation’s resourses, she said.

“In the United States we spend close to $1.3 trillion a year on the break down of the family,” she said. “This is rehab, prisons, reformatories—and 25% of that is the Social Security of those who have no one to claim them—to me, that reflects the break down of the family.”

Read more about this fascinating lecture here or download it at Christendom on iTunes U.


Dr. Aguirre presented many startling statistics about the relation between healthy families and the economy. Her research can be found at faculty.cua.edu/aguirre.

Sophomore Anna Whittaker and Senior Francis Aul discuss the topic further with Aguirre following her talk.

President O'Donnell to Host EWTN Series

Last week, College President Dr. Timothy O'Donnell shot a 13-part series for EWTN entitled “The Catholic Epistles: the Voice of Christ in the Voice of the Apostles.” A film crew from EWTN came out and filmed the series in the St. John the Evangelist Library.

Dr. O'Donnell has hosted numerous shows on EWTN including
The Glory of the Papacy and Luke: Meek Scribe of Christ.

Mega Shield

Once a semester, Shield of Roses, Christendom’s pro-life student group, brings a large number of students to the Planned Parenthood in Washington D.C, to prayerfully protest abortion. On Saturday morning, April 2, over 50 Christendom College students took part in this amazing opportunity to try to make a difference and save the unborn. Shield of Roses members peacefully protest outside this same clinic every week, but the many additional students who joined the group this week made for an especially influential demonstration.

“I’m one of the sidewalk counselors for Shield of Roses and I was really excited to see other students inspired by participating in Mega Shield this weekend,” says Sophomore Sara Federico. “Enthusiasm was overflowing from students who don’t usually attend and I was deeply inspired by their questions and comments. Their presence makes me even more certain that Christendom students will be a leading force against abortion over the next few decades.”

Standing and kneeling in prayer for all the mysteries of the rosaries and other prayers and hymns, Christendom students were a powerful witness for life this past weekend.

Mystery Dinner Theater

On April 2-3, Christendom College's senior class presented a mystery dinner theater production, Hi-Jinks on the High Seas. Directed by senior Catherine Briggs, the performance was filled with the great humor and fun typical of this annual event. A fundraiser for the Senior Class Gift, the event drew large crowds at each performance and raised over $6,000.

Christendom's dramatic and comedic talent was out in full force. Characters filled the stage with color, including sheikhs, pirates, hillbillies, Frenchmen, and more.

"It was an awesome experience," said senior Troy Spring who performed in the play. "It was really well organized and professional. It took a lot of hard work and energy, but it was really rewarding. The people that came were really entertained."

The senior class hopes to raise $8,000 to replace the scoreboard in the gym, which broke at the end of the basketball season this year.

"It needs to be replaced before the fall semester," Senior Joe Townsend said. "It's a gesture of thanks for the wonderful education we have received at Christendom College and this event gets us really close to our goal. We have a few more fundraisers that I think will get us were we need to be."

The hillbillies were played by Sophomore Jake Akers and Senior Lauren Oligny.

Jean Claude Escargot (Senior Nick Freeman) with his wife and femme fatale, Mimi (Freshman Katie Shannon) .

Unlikely old friends: the Frenchman, the sheikh, and the pirate reminisce about their days on broadway and sing Moses Supposes.

An ex-Interpol officer, played by Sophomore Anthony Readings, tried to get in on the Sheikh's diamond trading scheme and ended up "sleeping with the fishes."

Detective "Joe," played by Junior Catherine Marra, tries to find out who the killer is.

And the killer is nabbed.

Musical Talent On Display at Schubertiade

On Sunday afternoon many of Christendom’s musically talented students arrived at the home of President and Mrs. O’Donnell for this year's second Schubertiade. Classics Professor Dr. Clark and Choir Director Dr. Kurt Poterack led the casual gathering of musicians. Many students performed a variety of classical pieces. The diverse types of instruments ranged from cellists to flautists.

“This is my second semester attending this event and once again, it’s a really great time,” said Senior Blaise Buckner. “The O’Donnells are very gracious hosts and the musical performances are excellent. ”

The afternoon culminated in a performance of a portion of the Magnificat by Dr. Clark’s choir and orchestra.

Freshman Veronica Halbur sang an operatic piece and was joined by Sean Connolly on the piano.

Drs. Poterack and Clark sang a duet.

Senior Karl Haislmaier played cello, accompanying violinists Junior Melanie Bright and Freshman Elizabeth Francis.

Dr. Poterack directed the choir and the orchestra.

Thomas More and the Liberal Arts

“Thomas More may have been killed unjustly, but his memory and his achievement lived on,” professor and author Dr. Gerard Wegemer told students and faculty on April 4, during a lecture entitled Thomas More on the Liberal Arts: How He Brought the Renaissance to England.

A professor in the English Department at the University of Dallas and author of several books on Thomas More, Wegemer said that More believed that the liberal arts were essential in the education and formation of the mind, so much that he dedicated himself to a life-long pursuit in the liberal arts.

“And this is why your education is so important," Wegemer said. "To be able to put in context—in the broadest context of nature, history, and God's laws and man's laws—what one can do for the common good and to bring the greatest measure of peace of justice that might be possible in your time.”

This was the second talk in the Faith and Reason Lecture Series and can be downloaded at
Christendom on iTunes U.


Dr. Wegemer used works of art from the life of Thomas More to illustrate his points.

Sophomore Dominic Krestyn discusses the topic further with Wegemer.

Wegemer and members of the faculty discuss More's use of humor to present the truth.


Day-to-Day Life in the Eternal City

As night falls on Rome, the Via delle Conciliazione—earlier filled with a constant stream of open-topped tour buses, motorbikes, and taxis—becomes almost deserted, with only the occasional city bus driving past, while two or three police cars sweep vigilantly around Saint Peter’s Square. At this time of day, the lights come on to illuminate the almost life-size, bronze Stations of the Cross that line this road. Now is a perfect time to make this powerful meditation, with the Obelisk of Saint Peter’s Square standing tall in the background, holding high its relic of the True Cross. These statues draw the Christian in to the sufferings of Christ, as others walk by, some prayerfully, some in open mockery, some in bemusement, and some going about their business without seeming to notice, just as on that first Good Friday.


Life-size Stations of the Cross on Via della Conciliazione.
There is only one place in the world where Lenten pilgrims can literally retrace the steps of the suffering Christ, stand on the soil on which He stood, and view the sites of the Passion. That place is the Holy Land. Yet, the city of Rome, though it is not built upon the land walked by Christ, offers many Lenten graces to the faithful. For the pilgrim to Rome can participate in some of the most ancient traditions of the Church.

One of these traditions is that of the Station Churches. Every morning, Christendom students have the opportunity to attend Mass at the Station Church for that day. The Station Church tradition is one that dates from as far back as the late second or early third century, when the early popes would conduct pastoral visitations of all the Churches in Rome. In the sixth century, the list of Station Churches was officially set out, and since then, Christians have gathered annually in the same ancient Churches, each containing some relic of the early saints and martyrs, some of whom might themselves have participated in this devotion.

Last Saturday, Christendom students followed another tradition begun by a saint, Philip Neri, who began the custom of the Seven Church Pilgrimage. During Lent, he would lead the youth of Rome on a walking pilgrimage to the four major basilicas of Rome, and three minor basilicas. We began with early morning Mass at Saint Mary Major, and ended, several hours and thirteen miles later, with the late afternoon splendor of Saint Peter’s.

There’s definitely more to spending Lent in Rome than walking resolutely past gelaterias, and turning down the delights of chocolate cornetti. Here, there’s the opportunity to grow closer to Christ and His saints through the traditions of the Church. And as an aid to keep the sufferings of Christ in mind, the Romans hold precious relics of the Passion: the nails, the thorns, the lance, the wood of the Cross—all reminders of God’s love for the world, and that He humbled Himself for us, even unto death on a Cross.

In front of Christ's manger at Santa Maria Maggiore, a Major Basilica of Rome.

On the Seven Church Pilgrimage with Fr. Rust.

Station Church Santi Giovanni e Paolo.

Reading Ovid's Metamorphoses on the terrace outside the classroom.

Apse of Santa Maria in Trastevere, a Station Church.

Enjoying the view of St. Peter's Square from the terrace of the academic center.

The Chapel of Christ the King

The Chapel of Christ the King is very appropriately the highest building on campus and at the center, and is therefore the heart of Christendom College. This week, The Chronicler is getting a better look at the Chapel—both inside and out.

The building itself has a traditional, aesthetic character, and parts of it reflect the many churches in the country that contributed to its construction. The altar, pews, carved wood Stations of the Cross, tabernacle, and windows were all donated by the Arlington Diocese and came from Sacred Heart Church in Winchester, Virginia. Perhaps most significant of all the donations, the beautiful, vivid window depicting Our Lord’s Sacred Heart was placed appropriately above the tabernacle, thus honoring the name of the Chapel, as well as the College’s yearly dedication to Christ’s Sacred Heart.

On April 8, 1995, Jan Cardinal Schotte came from Rome to consecrate the new Chapel of Christ the King, and this important anniversary is commemorated each year by the whole community at Christendom College (In fact, we celebrate it tomorrow as a Solemnity..on a Friday during lent...which means celebration!). Cardinal Schotte brought with him a gold chalice and a paten, two beautiful gifts from the late Pope John Pail II, and these are on display in the Chapel and brought out for special occasions. In addition, the Chapel has a relic of the True Cross, donated by alumni. Also donated is the statue of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus directly in front of the Chapel, which was solemnly blessed on February 15, 1996.

Because of its style of liturgy, the Chapel of Christ the King has a very traditional and beautiful choir, Gregorian chant, polyphony, incense, traditional hymns, and Novus Ordo Latin Masses. In addition, there are several Eucharistic and Marian processions throughout the year.

The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is offered twice daily on weekdays and Saturdays, giving students the awesome opportunity of going either at 7:30 a.m. or 11:30 a.m., and there is a common Mass for the entire campus on Sundays at 10:00, with brunch served immediately afterwards. In addition, Confession takes place twice daily, as well as Eucharistic adoration and the Rosary. Students are truly blessed to have so many wonderful opportunities to grow closer to God every day, and this is just one of the aspects that makes Christendom College to be so distinctively Catholic.

Gifts from Pope John Paul the Great: chalice and paten.

The community gathers every Sunday for Mass at 10 a.m.

Many bishops and cardinals have celebrated Mass in the chapel. Above Francis Cardinal Arinze says Mass for the student body last semester. Cardinal Arinze will return to Christendom this summer.

Read more about the past and the future of Christ the King Chapel here.


Interview with a Crusader

This week I caught up with one of our student athletes, Robbie Hambleton, for a quick interview.

What varsity and intramural sports do you play?
I have played on the varsity soccer, rugby, and baseball teams. All three are great sports, but very different. I think it’s a lot of fun playing different sports, because each one brings something different to the table and requires you to work on a completely different set of skills. I have been able to participate in all the intramural sports at some point or another. The reason I play intramurals at Christendom is because it’s a great way to take a break from studying and do something physical.

What’s your favorite sport?
Hockey. Unfortunately though, Christendom does not offer it yet. Probably never will, but oh well.

How long have you played sports?
I have been playing sports ever since I can remember. However, I started playing organized baseball and swimming when I was around 7 years old. I played organized baseball for the longest while growing up. I also played backyard football and street hockey, as well as a little bit of basketball.

Why do you play the sports you play?
I have played a lot of different sports, and I enjoy playing all of them, some more then others. However, I would say the main reason I play sports is because I love to compete and because they are just down right fun. Also, there is nothing like knowing you played one hundred percent physically and mentally when competing seriously at whatever sport. It makes the victories that much more sweet and losses that much less painful. However, I love to play for recreation as well, when winning and losing is the last thing on my mind.

What is special about Crusader Athletics?
I really like how Crusader Athletics views sports. Sports are not seen as an end in themselves, but rather as a kind of formation. Sports are a great way to grow as a man or woman in light of the Catholic faith. Crusader Athletics emphasizes the necessity to give one hundred percent. Because if you can’t give your all for the sport you love then how are you going to give your all in your school or prayer life? If you’re slacking off in sports and showing up late and being lazy, then what does that mean about the other aspects of your life? The view that Crusader Athletics has and the qualities they try to instill are invaluable.

Robbie is pitching for the Crusaders this season.

Q. Even though I have been accepted, can I still retake the SAT or ACT to see if I can get a higher score so that I can get a better academic scholarship? Do you superscore SATs?

A. Students who have been accepted can continue taking the SATs as many times as they want to try and improve their scores to get better academic scholarships. If a student hits a 1920 on the SAT (combined best scores of reading, writing, and math), he/she automatically receives a certain amount of money. If the score goes up to 2061, more money is given. And if they get a 2300, even more money. So, many believe that it is well worth the $45 fee it costs to take the SAT again (next test dates are May 7th – must register by tomorrow April 8th – and June 4th). The next ACT test date is June 11th and the scholarship levels are 29-31 gets a certain amount of money, and then 32-34 gets more, and 35-36 gets the most.

On a personal side note, although my children are ineligible to receive academic scholarship (due to the fact that they get free tuition), I have them take the SAT a number of times to try and get academic scholarship level scores. I have them take it for the first time when they are about 14 (or just about to turn 15) since I know that I am going to have them take it again and again until they do the best that they can do. I never want anyone to tell me that since my kids are, well, children of the Admissions Director, that they are getting a pass on doing well on the SATs. So far, my two eldest have done quite well, but only after taking it a second time. They both used a book called, "Cracking the SAT" (http://www.amazon.com/Cracking-2011-College-Test-Preparation/dp/0375429824) and they raised their score by a couple hundred points each. If you are going for scholarship, this is the book to get!

Whatever the final score is the day that the student arrives on campus in the fall is the final scholarship score we go with. I hope this helps!

Director of Admissions
[email protected]
800.877.5456 ext. 1290

If anyone has questions about applying, visiting, scholarships, financial aid, campus life, rules and regulations, majors, core curriculum, transfer credits, or even about the food here at Christendom, please do not hesitate to contact me at any time.