Music, Moves, & Movies


Name: Adele C. Smith
Age: 20
Rochester, NY
Layout and design, writing, horseback riding, painting, singing Irish music.
Who's your favorite professor and what's your favorite class?
Dr. Brendan McGuire and his History of the Byzantine Empire. I think Dr. McGuire is brilliant and inspiring. I've yet to find a class that I love more than any of his.
What extra-curricular activities do you participate in? I'm involved in the Chester-Belloc Debate Society, The Rambler, and the Christendom Players. I like the Debate Society because of its professionalism and fostering of intellectual rhetoric. The Rambler gives me a chance to practice layout design, and I've always loved theater.
What is your favorite thing about Christendom?
My favorite thing about the college is the people, from the students to the teachers. I've met some of the greatest people I know here and I cherish those relationships very much.
Why did you choose Christendom? Despite wanting to pursue a graphic design degree, I was encouraged by my brother, Peter ('09) to give Christendom a chance.
What has surprised you the most about Christendom?
Most surprising was the level of Faith. I've ben in public, private and home schools. I graduated from a Catholic High school in the Rochester Diocese. Outside of my family, I've never seen such heightened commitment to one's faith as I've seen here. It is truly a blessing and an inspiration.
Plans after graduation? I'm looking into grad school for graphic design or utilizing my history degree in working at a museum as a curator.
Any parting words of advice for a prospective student?
While there are pros and cons to every school, I think Christendom has a lot to offer. Not only does it have a rich curriculum, but the extra-curricular activities along with the many opportunities to strengthen your spiritual life are all greatly beneficial to any student.


Art Lecture

Professor Olalla Gambra Marine gave an art lecture to a group of Christendom students and faculty on Friday night, April 15, in the St. John the Evangelist Library. She spoke on the topic of “Iconography of the Catholic Creed in Medieval Spain." She went into detail on how the Apostles’ Creed and Nicene Creed are depicted in Medieval Spanish art and iconography in Spanish churches and basilicas, and supplemented her descriptions with many photographs of this artwork. In addition, Professor H. Reed Armstrong, who is also an expert in this subject matter, was present at the lecture to add his own knowledge of this unique study.

Movie Night

Continuing in his tradition of showing great films to the student body on Friday nights, College Registrar Walter Janaro showed a group of students The Bicycle Thieves this week, which is an Italian film from 1949. The movie tells the heartbreaking yet beautiful story of a man named Antonio who is struggling to find a job to provide for his family, since poverty and unemployment have claimed postwar Italy. He finally acquires a wonderful job that requires a bicycle, but his bicycle is stolen, and Antonio and his son Bruno embark on a search for the bicycle, learning many important life lessons along the way.

“I really enjoyed The Bicycle Thieves because I thought it was a really beautiful story,” says Sophomore Sarah Barren. “Plus it helped that there were yummy snacks too!”

The Bicycle Thieves is a profoundly moving story that focuses on the relationship between father and son and on the plight of the impoverished family in war-ravaged Italy.

Swing Dance Competition

The Swing Club held its bi-annual Swing Competition in the St. Lawrence Commons on Friday night, April 15. The competition featured four very impressive couples, who showcased dance styles ranging from the tango to East coast swing. The four competing couples were Seniors Matt Rensch and Elise Anderson, Junior Rocco Levitas and Senior Ania Zganiacz, Junior Rob Fetsko and Senior Liz Newcombe, and Sophomores Nick Blank and Theresa Lamirande.

All dances were completely student-choreographed, and were each unique in their own way. There was a large audience in attendance, who not only voted for their favorite dances, but also got to swing dance with their friends in between each performance. The competition was therefore great fun for all students!

In the end, Rob Fetsko and Liz Newcombe took second place, and Nick Blank and Theresa Lamirande came in first place.

“I had a great time dancing with Nick and we really enjoyed choreographing a routine together,” says Theresa Lamirande. “It was an awesome experience, and I am looking forward to either helping with or participating in this event again!"

Seniors Ania Zganiacz and Rocco Levitas did a tango-style swing.

Seniors Matt Rensch and Elise Anderson were fierce competition.

Juniors Rob Fetsko and Liz Newcombe show off their fancy foot work.

Students enjoyed dancing in between performances.

Sophomores Nick Blank and Therese Lamirande: the winners.

Swing Dance Competition Video

Contra Formal

On Saturday night the Contra Club held their annual Contra Formal Dance. Many students gathered in the St. Lawrence Commons to dance traditional Contra-style dances like the beloved Virginia Reel and the "Ladies Chain.“

This was my first time at the Contra Formal,” said freshman Morgan Kavanagh. “The Commons was decorated so nicely and everyone looked great. The different dances were a lot of fun and I will definitely be coming back next year.”

A student live band played for the formal.

Senior Rebekah Skiba and Sophomore Matt Camp enjoy dancing the Virginia Reel.

Pub Quiz Night

Saturday night was Pub Quiz Night in St. Kilian’s Café. A concept discovered by students during their Junior Semester in Rome, they have adapted the idea for Christendom College. Students divided into teams of five and answered questions on subjects such as Geography, Music, and Sports. Everyone enjoyed the friendly competition and cheers were abundant when the answers were read out loud by emcee and senior, Matt Rensch.

“Pub Quiz Night at Kilian’s is always a lot of fun,” Theresa Jalsevac says. “I like competing, but it’s a great event to watch, too. It’s really cool that we have unique events like this here.”

Sophomores Robbie Hambleton, Theresa Jalsevac, and Colleen Harmon enjoy relaxing at Pub Quiz Night.

Teams at each table try to figure out the right answer.

Chester-Belloc Debate

Sunday night, the Chester-Belloc Debate Society debated the resolution, "The American Revolution was Fundamentally a Product of the Enlightenment."

Both sides were argued extremely well, from Society members including Senior Brady Wilson who serves as secretary for the Society, and Junior Vincent D'Agostino, who both argued con, while other members, such as Junior Christine Nussio and Sophomore Sarah Halbur argued pro. At the end of the evening, the resolution failed, with nine votes against, seven for, and eight abstentions.

Junior Christine Nussio, a member of the Society said, "I really love how the Society rotates between academic disciplines for it's debates; one Sunday, we will discuss a topic pertaining to Theology, another Sunday pertaining to Political Science, where as this past Sunday we debated a historical topic."

The Society's faculty advisor is Theology Professor Eric Jenislawski. All are welcomed and strongly encouraged to attend each and every debate the Society has, as it works to supplement the academic excellence fostered at Christendom.

Sophomore Sarah Halbur makes her argument.

String Quartet

Sunday evening, the Beato Fra Angelico Fine Art Series presented a string quartet concert in St. Lawrence Commons. Senior Karl Haislmaier, and Junior Melanie Bright played both First Violin and Viola, Sophomore Luke Tilotson played the Second Violin, and Freshman Jennifer Nussio played the Cello.

During the first half, the quartet played Handel's "Concerto Grosso in B flat Major, Opus 6, No. 7," and Mozart's "Divertimento in D Major." After a brief intermission, the talented students then performed a piece by Schubert, called, "Death and the Maiden" and finally, an extremely moving and intense piece by Mendelssohn called, "String Quartet in F minor," featuring Senior Karl Haislmaier on first Violin.

Sophomore Chris Roberts really enjoyed the concert. "The last piece was really impressive," he said. "Karl played the violin so intensely, it was really amazing."

This particular group of talented string players has performed for other events as well. Just two weeks ago they performed at the Schubertiade, and will be playing later in the semester for the Baccalaureate Mass. These four students are just one example of the amazing things that happen when there are so many talented people in one place at Christendom.

Karl Haislmaier, Melanie Bright, Jennifer Nussio, and Luke Tilotson: Christendom's Student String Quartet.

Student String Quartet plays Handel's "Concerto Grosso in B flat Major"

Have You Scene It?

On Monday night, librarian Mr. Stephen Pilon hosted another “Have You Scene It?” event at St. Kilian’s Café. The theme for the night was movies with scenes of "redemptive suffering." Mr. Pilon introduced each movie with a brief summary and then the audience watched a clip of the movie that he felt best portrayed the night’s theme.

The film choices included
Bella, A Man For All Seasons, The Mission, and The Song Of Bernadette.

“I’m really happy I came to the 'Have You Scene It?' night,” said freshman Mary Barbale. “Some of the movies I recognized, some of them I did not, but I enjoyed watching all of the clips. Seeing these films inspired my friends and me to check out some movies we might not normally watch.”

Mr. Pilon introduces one of the scenes.

The Passion on the Big Screen

On Tuesday night, April 19, there was a special showing in the gym of The Passion of the Christ, the 2004 film directed by Mel Gibson. Shown on the gym's large wall using a projector, about seventy-five students came to witness Christ’s final hours and Crucifixion, as portrayed beautifully by actor Jim Caviezel. The film begins at the scene of the Agony in the Garden and ends with a brief scene of His Resurrection.

The Passion is such a powerful film, and I get so much out of it spiritually every time I watch it,” says Freshman Michael Scheetz. “I am really glad Christendom gave the opportunity for students to watch it—during Holy Week especially.”

The Passion of the Christ was a major hit, grossing in excess of $600 million. The film won fifteen awards and ultimately became the highest grossing non-English language film ever.


Blessed is He Who Comes in the Name of The Lord

At 7:15 on Palm Sunday morning, I joined the line leading into Saint Peter’s Square for the 9:30 outdoor Papal Mass. Actually, it wasn’t really a line. It would be far more accurate to describe the situation as a crowd of pilgrims, as wide as the barriers would allow, clustered around the metal detectors.

Of course, the gates didn’t open until 8:00, so that meant forty-five minutes of standing around outside the square, followed by another ninety minute wait inside, before the Mass began. But although it’s frustrating to have to deal with the crowds, it’s definitely far from surprising. After all, I’m in the place that every Catholic, given the choice, would choose to visit: in Rome, with the Holy Father, during Holy Week.

When the magic hour of eight arrived, the gates opened, and the crowd around me surged forward. Fifteen minutes later, after sprinting through the square in competition with some rather fierce Colombian Nuns—who left behind them a trail of wreckage among the previously orderly rows of plastic chairs—I found myself, olive branch in hand, seated and waiting for the Mass to begin, and scarcely able to believe my good fortune. I was in Saint Peter’s Square, waiting for the Pope to begin Palm Sunday Mass, and I was sitting in the very front row.

Four hours later, I left the square, this time carrying in my hand a huge, six foot long palm branch, blessed by the Holy Father (yes, I poked at least one person in the face with it in the crush to get out), and carrying in my heart the memory of an unforgettably beautiful and edifying Palm Sunday liturgy.

As the crowds thinned, I found several of my classmates, who had earlier disappeared in the masses, and we compared our experiences. It seemed as though everyone had some beautiful story to share: some had been near the obelisk during the procession, when the Holy Father had stopped to bless the palms, others had been sitting in full view of the Papal altar, and one had even sat on the stage, less than a hundred feet from the Pope. Diverse as our experiences of the Mass had been, however, we were all united with one common joy: the joy of being in the heart of the Church, and celebrating the heart of the liturgical year with the Vicar of Christ.

The altar was set at the oblisque in the center of St. Peter's Square.

The Great Outdoors at Christendom

While Front Royal is a small town, there are many activities to do off campus. As the weather heats up there are an increasing amount of outdoor off-campus activities that Christendom students take full advantage of. Spring is arguably the most beautiful season in Front Royal and the many outdoor recreational opportunities are perfect for this time of year.

The Appalachian National Scenic Trail crosses the scenic Skyline Drive and is the perfect footpath to hike. This path is 2,178 unbroken miles from Maine to Georgia along the Appalachian Highlands. One hundred miles of the trail passes through the Shenandoah National Park.

In addition to being a perfect place for a hike, Front Royal is also known as the Canoe Capital of the Virginia. For large group events students head to the Front Royal Canoe Company for kayak, raft, tube, and canoe trips down the beautiful Shenandoah River. For everyday canoeing and kayaking, students can simply go down to the river on campus with their friends and enjoy a few hours of paddling.

There are also many paths in Front Royal and the neighboring town where bicycle enthusiasts can ride. One of the favorite things for students to do is go horseback riding at Royal Horseshoe Farm, which offers lessons and group trips. No matter what outdoor activity you choose to do, Front Royal always provides beautiful and picturesque views for Christendom students.

Find out more about area attractions on our website or visit

Junior Katie Gutschke goes for a ride at Royal Horseshoe Farm.

Senior Karl Haislmaier and his brother, Paul, participate in last year's Canoe Tournament.

Senior Mary Kate Vander Woude heads down a trail in Shenandoah National Park, leading a group of students from the Experience Christendom Summer Program.


Baseball Drops 2 Against Williamson Free School
Despite Solid Pitching

The Crusaders’ baseball team traveled to Media, PA, this past Friday on last minute notice in order to get two games in against the Mechanics of Williamson Free School before the deluge began on Saturday afternoon. The team who hadn’t played in over a week due to Mother Nature’s consistent rainfall was anxious to back onto the diamond against their Eastern States opponent.

After a grueling 4 hour trip in Friday traffic the team completed a quick warm-up and hit the field for the first inning. The Crusaders who have had a rough season losing multiple games by 2 runs or less were looking to get into the win column. Senior Francis Aul took the mound for the Crusaders. By consistently hitting his spots and moving his pitches around he was able to regularly keep the bats of Williamson off-balance and mostly ineffective. The two teams would bounce back and forth throughout the game, as Christendom went up 1-0 and then Williamson came back 2-1 followed by Christendom mustering 2 more runs to take a 3-2 lead into the fifth inning. Pat Stein and Charlie Rollino lead the offensive charge and Sam McMahon added a double in the game. Williamson would come back and score a tying run and then take the lead in the 6th inning. The Crusaders couldn’t make the comeback in the 7th inning and fell 4-3 despite an overall solid effort—especially from Francis Aul who went the distance for Christendom.

The next day the team began the 2nd half of the doubleheader bright and early at 9 a.m. (Well, that’s bright and early for those in college!) The game was for the most part a duplicate match of the game before with both teams trading good plays and hits. However in the course of the game Williamson had runners at 1st and 3rd, and the infield umpire blocked the vision of shortstop Dan Mitchell and collided with the ball twice, which caused 2 run to score in both instances.

“Never have I seen something like that happen in my 20 years of coaching," Coach Mercandetti said. "Don’t get me wrong, the umpire didn’t cost us the game, but that was definitely an emotional shot to our team to have those 2 runs score in such a way.”

The Mechanics would score a couple of early runs capitalizing on a few hits and aggressive base-running. Pat Stein pitched the entire game for the Crusaders and would only allow 3 earned runs as well as going 3-4 in the game at the plate. Sophomore Charlie Rollino got into the swing of things also going 3-4 in the game; both Pat and Charlie now lead the team in batting average, each hitting over .300 for the year. The game was a sort of break-out game for the bats as the team would get 10 hits for the game but were just unable to convert them into runs. The final score read the Mechanics 7 and the Crusaders 3.

It has been a frustrating year for the team since it has been one of the wettest spring’s in the Shenandoah Valley. This has resulted in the cancelation of multiple games and allowing for minimal practice days. Despite the setbacks, the team continues to stay positive, battle and improve daily. The Crusaders look to finish up the season strong after the Easter break when they are slated to play Cheyney University on April 29.

Joe Stein sends another strike.

Sam McMahon looks to nab the pop-fly.

Troy Spring grabs first base.

Charlie Rollino is hitting over .300 for the year.

Q. I applied to a number of colleges and universities, and now, I have finally made my decision and determined that one particular school is the one for me (sorry…it’s not Christendom). What’s the best method to relate this information to the various Admissions Offices to let them know I will not be attending their schools in the fall – email, phone, letter, Facebook? And what should I say?

A. Well, first of all, sorry to hear you won’t be coming to Christendom. I wish you could join us this fall, but I guess God has other plans for you. Let me know if anything changes.

In my opinion, if you have applied and been accepted, it is generally best to send an email to the Director of Admissions or your Admissions Counselor letting them know that you are not going to be attending. Of course, a letter would be just fine, as would a phone call, but I think that an email is probably the best method. When letting the Admissions Office know that you are not coming, it is always best to let them know the reasons why, and where you have chosen to attend. If other Admissions Directors are anything like me, they would want to know this information for their records.

There is really no need to spend a lot of time saying how big a decision this was for you, or how much you have prayed about it, or how sorry you are that you are not attending. Really, the most important information is that you are not attending, that you want your deposit back (if you had placed a deposit), and that you are going to this or that university for this or that reason.

Here’s an example of what you could write:

Dear Admissions Office:

Thank you so much for accepting me to your college but I have decided to attend (Name) College/University in the fall. I chose this college/university over yours because of (financial reasons, better scholarships, closer to home, better campus, larger dorm rooms, choice of major, size of student body, semester abroad programs, type of liturgical worship, more extracurricular activities, etc.) Please refund my deposit as soon as possible.

Short and to the point without making it sound like you are “breaking up” with the Admissions Office. Happy

Have a very blessed and holy Triddum!
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.