Roses & Music


Name: Zach Francis
Age: 19
Schofield Barracks, Hawaii
Probably History.
Skateboarding, running, anything with water.
What's your favorite class/professor?
Theology with Prof. Eric Jenislawski. He has a great and dynamic teaching style. It's a really fun class to be in.
What extra-curricular activities do you participate in?
I enjoy playing the intramural sports, but want to try out for the rugby team.
What is your favorite thing about Christendom? I like being able to go to Mass every day and living in the Catholic atmosphere.
Why did you choose Christendom? I came to the summer camp and loved it and wanted to go here ever since.
Plans after graduation? I plan to join the Marines and become a pilot.
Any parting words of advice for a perspective student? It's a lot colder than Hawaii here. Bring warm clothes.


Mega Shield

On the morning of Saturday, November 6, over 140 Christendom students, faculty, staff, and visitors started their morning early after 7:30 Mass by driving to the Planned Parenthood clinic in Washington, D.C., to peacefully and prayerfully protest abortion. This semi-annual event was led by Christendom’s pro-life student group, Shield of Roses, and its President, Senior John Killackey.

“I was really impressed to see so many of my fellow students get up early on a cold Saturday morning to pray in front of one of Washington's abortion clinic,” says Killackey. “It truly is a powerful witness to the culture of life on the front line of the battle against the culture of death.”

Students stood and knelt on the grass in front of the clinic for over almost two hours in the cold, praying four Rosaries, a Chaplet of Divine Mercy, and singing many hymns, including the Salve Regina. While Shield of Roses protests at this same clinic every Saturday morning during the academic year, only once a semester does such a large group of students participate in this rewarding and humbling opportunity.

Last spring, this particular Planned Parenthood facility erected a fence blocking access to the public lawn outside the abortuary, making the prayerful protest more challenging. The students then had to spread out along the sidewalk. This fall, after a lot of litigation and research, it was determined that the grassy area and sidewalk in front of the building are public property, and as a result, students are now able to kneel and pray on the public lawn again.

The choir leads everyone in singing the Salve Regina.

Pub Quiz Night

St. Kilian’s Café hardly even had standing room with the crowd that came for Pub Quiz Night on Saturday night.

This event was put on by the Student Activities Council as a senior fundraiser. Seniors Matt Rensch and Katie Cruser were the primary organizers for the event. Matt Rensch, along with Sophomore Emi Funai and Junior Rob Fetsko, were the MCs. Sophomore Sadie Bratt was the hostess, and she, along with other SAC members, provided delicious snacks and drinks to both the observers and the quiz team members. Nine teams paid to enter the competition, each consisting of five people, and some teams asked a professor or the chaplain to join their team.

“I can never resist exciting quizzes, and this one did not disappoint,” says Freshman Matthew Harris. “The questions kept everyone on their toes, and the atmosphere was terrific. It was definitely an event worth repeating.”

The night turned out to be a great success, as the teams raced to come up with the correct answers to the eight rounds of questions. In the end, the team made up of the Briggs family came out on top and got to take home the prize money. Nevertheless, those students, alumni, faculty, and staff both in the competition and spectating had a fantastic night.

Emi Funai tries to stump the teams with one of her trivia questions.

Seniors Sarah Massett, Nick Freeman, Meghan Walters, and Jackie Brogley enjoy some cookies and conversation.

Sophomores Mark Kraynak, Jacob Akers, Peter Hill, and Philip Briggs enjoyed the pizza.

Students enjoyed games of poker in the Café's upper level.


On Sunday afternoon students gathered at President O’Donnell’s home for Schubertiade. Throughout the event students and faculty performed various piano, violin, choral, and guitar pieces. The afternoon culminated in a choral and orchestral performance of Bach.

Schubertiade was originally created by Franz Schubert and his wife out of a desire to share and practice music in an informal environment. Classical and Early Christian Studies Professor Dr. Mark Clark brought this practice to Christendom with the same intent.

“It was great to be able to sing and hear other people perform in a relaxed atmosphere,” said Junior Meghan Kelly. “It was just an awesome celebration of music and community.”

Dr. Clark leads his choir in song.

The choir was a accompanied by a 10-piece orchestra.

Dr. O'Donnell performs an Irish song.

Freshman Luke Tillotson and Senior Karl Haislmaier perform a Bach duet.

Enjoy this little video featuring the performers from Schubertiade:

Being Catholic Makes Sense

"There is only one reason to be Catholic—not because you love father's homilies, not because they have great youth groups, not because the cutest girl in the world sits in that third pew—it's because it's true," clinical psychologist and radio personality Dr. Ray Guarendi told students on Monday. "If it's not true, get out of it. Go do what you want. But if it is true, it is everything."

His talk, entitled "Why Be Catholic," exposed the common fallacies in the Protestant system that he discovered during his journey from evangelicalism to Catholicism.

Guarendi, a father of 10, is host for the radio show The Doctor Is In, which is featured on Ave Maria and EWTN Radio. He has been a regular guest on national radio and television, including Oprah, 700 Club, and CBS This Morning.

Guarendi explained that he was deep into the evangelical world; at one point he was involved with four Bible studies and a prison ministry. His search for the truth led him to the early writings of the Church.

Senior Mary Hill and her brother, Sophomore Peter Hill, chat with Guarendi following his talk.
"I wanted to see what the Church actually thought like in the first three centuries," he said. In his research he found that the early Church baptized babies, confessed to priests, had a special headship for the Bishop of Rome, and prayed for departed souls.

"All the things that I was told was all Catholic junk that was added on to the pure and simple Gospel message, was there," he said. "That shook me up."

Read more about his talk here.

Downloaded his talk at Christendom on iTunes U.

iTunes U

Experience Christendom Summer Program Reunited

Over 40 high school students from across the nation came to visit Christendom during the first of the College's Experience Christendom High School Summer Program Reunion Visit Weekend.

During the weekend, students participated in classes, visited with current students, heard from the Admissions Director and Visit Program Coordinator Eve Owen, and took part in all of the fun social and religious activities on campus, including Pub Quiz Night and Mega Shield. They were also able to reconnect with some of their counselors and enjoy special activities set up just for them.

One more ECSP Reunion Visit weekend will be held this weekend for summer program participants who took part in sessions 3 and 4 of the Experience Christendom Summer Program in 2010. Go
here to schedule your visit or here to discover how amazing it would be to "Experience Christendom" this summer.

College President Dr. Timothy O'Donnell spoke to the students.

Admissions Counselor Eve Owen discusses the weekend's schedule with visitor Zander Campbell.


So Much To Do, So Little Time!

One begins to realize, as time goes by in Rome, that you really aren't doing as much as you think, because as soon as you hear the amount of time you have left, you realize exactly how much there is that you have NOT done. And then you go crazy.

The past few weeks have been SUPER packed with tours of lots and lots of Churches, visits to museums, trips to Florence, Nettuno, and Venice (the latter of the two not with the school), Halloween parties, Masses in the Catacombs, and lots more.

While I'm beginning to really miss the comforts of home, we've been having so many exciting adventures. The students all went to Florence, where many a lady bought colorful scarves, some indulged in leather, and others just enjoyed bargaining with the street vendors in general. I must admit, it's always been a favorite thing to do, when all the "Romers" come back; I love looking at all the girls' scarves. I find that it is so neat to see how each girl's scarf reflects her personality.

After our Florence adventure, a few of us (myself, Christine Nussio, and Annie Brock) all hopped on a train to Venice. It was quite exciting, and we had our share of bumps getting there, but we made it to Venice in one piece, and absolutely loved it. Venice is one of the most beautiful and serene cities I have ever had the pleasure of being in. It was so lovely, and pictures simply cannot do it justice.

After coming back from our trip, we've been busy with tours; we've gone to the Colosseum, the Roman Forum (both of which were AMAZING), the Sistine Chapel (in the Vatican Museum), we went to Trastevere and saw several Churches, heard Mass said at the Catacombs on All Souls Day. We've explored the Pantheon and the Jewish Quarter. As I said, it's rather nuts how much we have done, and yet how much we feel we have yet to do!

Christine (Nussio) and I also went to Nettuno this past weekend, the hometown of Maria Goretti, where the Basilica which holds the remains of the Saint is located. We had quite the pleasant day wandering through the Basilica, and praying in front of her relics. We also enjoyed splashing around on the beach on the seventy-something degree day, which is just outside of the Basilica. This was particularly fun, and somewhat ironic for me, since when I arrived back at the Residence Candia, I discovered that back home in Ohio, it was snowing. Ah, you have to love these Mediterranean cold seasons; especially if you are used to living in the snow belt of one of the Great Lakes.

While the time of our return begins to creep closer and closer, we all are scrambling to make sure we really "see" Rome. We each have our lists of places to go, and things to see, and yet, I think, once our time here really does come to an end, regardless of whether we've crossed off all the things on our lists, it won't really matter whether we have seen absolutely everything; in fact, I have complete and utter confidence that despairing over the things we didn't get to do won't be what we reminisce about when we are back at home. It will be, most assuredly, the opposite.

Ciao for now!

Christine Nussio and Liz Sartor enjoy the only thing better than a milkshake—a milkshake made with Italian gelato.

Eryn Landry and Sarah Golden enjoy a carousel ride in Florence.

Taking a break while on tour just outside the Pantheon.

Exploring the Pantheon.

Sunset in Nettuno.

Venice: the City of Water.

Annie Brock feeds the famous pigeons of Piazza San Marco in Venice.

One of the famous gondoliers.

Resident Coordinator Beth Doherty and Rome Program Associate Director Katie Ott enjoy the Florentine skyline.

Junior Semester Abroad Fall 2010.


Liturgical Music Minor

Christendom College offers three minors outside the areas of study available through the majors: Liturgical Music, Math, and Economics. This week, Choir Director and Professor of Music Dr. Kurt Poterack gave some insights on the music minor.

Dr. Poterack says that at Christendom there is a great emphasis on the role of sacred music, both on a theoretical and on a practical level.

Christendom realizes that music is an integral part of worship in the Catholic Church and by incorporating it into the areas of study that are available to minor in, it allows others to learn and share liturgical music with the rest of the world.

“We offer a minor in Liturgical Music and in this minor students are given a ground in the teaching of the Church on the role of music in worship. They are given a grounding in the actual practice of liturgical music through the numerous choirs, scholarships, and opportunities for hands on experience,” says Dr. Poterack. “But they’re also given an entrée into that repertoire of Catholic culture and the treasury of sacred music that is an important part of our heritage.”

Several core courses and 18 credit hours are required to minor in Liturgical Music. A few examples are: Music Theory and Composition, Theology of Worship and Its Music, and Gregorian Chant. This minor is administered by the undergraduate Department of Theology.

Dr. Poterack adds, “ if you’re interested in being a part of this, here at Christendom College you can enter into it in so many ways.”

More information may be found here.


Basketball Begins for the Crusaders

With the soccer and volleyball seasons in the past and fall break having been completed the students are into the home stretch of the fall semester, which means it is basketball time.

For both basketball teams there is much excitement and anticipation about what this season will bring. For the men’s team it begins the last season for senior’s Joseph Townsend, Matthew Rensch, and Sam McMahon who began their career at Christendom the same year I began. Joe and Matthew were gone last semester completing their semester in Rome and look forward to having a great senior year. In addition to these three seniors the team welcomes multiple new faces including: Christian Kopek, Juan Ferrell, Jonathan Fiormanti, Brian McCrum, David Booz, and Tim Vander Woude.

The team has high hopes with a year of experience under the belt of the likes of Tim McPhee, Brendan Krebs, Tim Beer, and David Townsend. These sophomores took great strides last year and hopefully will continue this year.

The men’s team began the year off this past Saturday as the team travelled to Johnson City, NY, to play Davis College in the opening game of the season. The Crusaders saw an athletic Davis team race out to an early 10-4 lead and never look back. Hampered by first game turnovers and still adjusting to playing with each other the Crusaders had a rough first half while the Falcons of Davis seemed to be firing on all cylinders. The 2nd half saw the Crusaders settle down and do a better job on the defensive end but just couldn’t find any rhythm on the offensive end to make a run at the Falcons and the Crusaders fell 42-68.

The Crusaders are back in action at the Wagner Classic by Washington Bible College playing Thursday at 8pm vs Washington Bible, Friday at 6pm vs Patrick Henry and Saturday at noon with a rematch against Davis College.

The Lady Crusaders begin their basketball season with great energy and enthusiasm welcoming new faces along the way. Freshmen Mary Barbale, Morgan Kavanagh, and Bridget Vander Woude all make their much anticipated beginnings in a Lady Crusader’s basketball jersey this season. The team suffered a huge loss before the season began when Senior Captain Mary Hill tore her ACL in the team’s last soccer game of the season and will have to spend this season on the sideline helping first year coaches Mr. Mike Brown and Mrs. Nancy Bauer.

With about 17 women trying out for the team Mr. Mike Brown and Mrs. Nancy Bauer were forced to trip the team down to 15, another possible first in the Lady Crusaders ever-growing sports history book.

The Lady Crusaders also started their season off this past Saturday with their opening game at Davis College in Johnson City, NY. The first points of the season were scored by freshman point guard Mary Barbale who hit 1 of 2 from the free throw line. The game was close throughout with Davis holding an 8 point lead which the Lady Crusaders trimmed to three by halftime. The 2nd half saw the Davis Falcons extend their lead before the Lady Crusaders took the momentum and made a 7 point run which was fueled by Morgan Kavanagh’s 3 point shooting. Morgan, who started off the game slow, finished strong by scoring 29 points in her Christendom debut. Bridget Vander Woude chipped in 10 for the Lady Crusaders and Mary Barbale added 12 assists to go along with her 6 points.

The Christendom team had good overall team play with many women playing and giving quality minutes, including Katie Cruser, Emily Baldwin, and Jane Snyder. Emily and Jane harassed Davis’s best player for most of the 2nd half of the game not allowing her to get any open shots off. Mary Kate Vander Woude steadied the team and led the team in rebounds.

The Lady Crusaders definitely took on a new look with the up-tempo presence of Mary Barbale who had numerous fast break opportunities which often resulted in layups or open shots for her teammates or her getting all the way to the basket.

The Lady Crusaders are back in action this weekend as they travel to Asheville, NC, on Friday to play against USCAA Warren Wilson College and then will travel to Knoxville, TN, on Saturday to play Johnson Bible College.

Best of luck to both team’s as they begin their seasons and we look forward to what has the makings for a great season of Christendom basketball.

Senior Sam McMahon looks for the open man.

Senior Jane Snyder looks to add a couple to the Lady Crusaders' score.

Q. How’s the food at Christendom?

A. As a former restaurant manager and as someone who likes to cook a lot, I have had plenty of experience in the food service business. I’d have to say that the food at Christendom is pretty good, and it keeps getting better each year.

We have found that most people coming to Christendom are used to having a bowl of cereal for breakfast, a sandwich for lunch, and a nice sit-down well-prepared meal with their entire family at dinner.

At Christendom, we believe that our offerings at each meal service, although not prepared and cooked by Mom, are diverse, delicious, and filling. Of course, you are going to get some students that will disagree with this statement, but in general, I believe this to be truthful.

At Christendom, meals are served at one specific time each day and all those interested in eating are expected to show up to the dining area at that time and eat with everyone else. For breakfast you could expect to find the kitchen serving things like bacon and eggs, egg sandwiches, egg burritos, pancakes, home fries, bagels, waffles, omelettes, french toast, sausages, eggs benedict, and the like. There are also a bunch of cereals from which to choose. For lunch, you normally get a choice of three different items. One or two are served hot, and we always have the “Sandwich Bar.” Every day you can go through the “Sandwich Bar” line and have a freshly made deli sandwich for lunch. Also, during lunch (and dinner), there is a fresh salad bar and a choice of delicious homemade soups and a variety of fruits. And a very popular item is the “Ice Cream Bar,” available after every lunch. And for dinner, the meals that are served are generally comfort foods, or foods that “Mom” would make.

For students who have special dietary needs, the kitchen staff is available to figure out how they can best serve them. Also, for students who need to be off the meal plan, the College has a number of “house” dormitories where students have access to a full kitchen and can provide their own meals.

This year, we have a new Executive Chef named Dennis Paranzino, and I must say that I am very impressed with what he has done so far. I ask a lot of students what they think of the food, and unless they are extremely picky eaters, they tend to say it’s pretty good. In fact, all of the class presidents and other members of the Student Activities Council meet with the Chef twice a semester to let him know feedback about the food and there is a comment box available all the time.

For more information about dining services, please refer to this newly created web page.
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.