Christmas Can't Be Very Far Away


Name: Kerri Sciscilo
Manassas, Virginia
English Language & Literature
Reading, sleeping, facebooking and occasionally picking up the guitar... and making homemade peppermint mochas for my dorm. Happy
What's your favorite class/professor?
Every class in my second semester of sophomore year was phenomenal, especially Prof. Bracy Bersnak's history class and Dr. Patrick Keats' literature class. Catholic Modern Literature with Dr. Trey Stanford has been amazing, as well as any class with Prof. Sharon Hickson. Overall, one of the most incredible classes I have taken at Christendom was Art & Architecture of Rome... in Rome.
What extra-curricular activities do you participate in?
I played volleyball my junior year,but I could tell the team was intimidated by my bench-warming skills, so I left my athletic career at that. Happy I've done stage crew for a couple of plays and I am a volunteer counselor at the Crisis Pregnancy Center here in Front Royal.
What is your favorite thing about Christendom? Without a doubt, my favorite thing about Christendom is the friends and acquaintances I've made, as cliché as it sounds! Not to mention the teachers that constantly encourage the students and serve as examples of good Catholic men and women. Christendom serves as a path to better understanding the Catholic Faith, and throughout my three and a half years, I've truly come to appreciate that.
Why did you choose Christendom? My older brother came here seven years ago and I remember him walking away at graduation with a lot of solid friends and a genuine appreciation for the professors and academics. I remember thinking, "I want that." (Seven years later my brother still hangs out with those friends and talks about his old college professors.)
What has surprised you the most about Christendom? The sincere interest the teachers have in the formation of their students in multiple aspects of life.
Plans after graduation? Go to a few weddings and take a few naps. Happy But really, I hope to teach elementary school—preferably second grade.
Any parting words of advice for a prospective student?
Trust in God, put away your books on Saturday night, enroll int he Rome Program, and stick a dollar in the tip jar at the café.



One of the many Senior fundraisers this year was the annual “Win-a-Date” raffle. There were six choices: Sophomores Dan Mitchell and Anthony Readings, Junior Paddy Norton, and Seniors James Hannon, Matt Rensch, and the mystery man, Mark Doran. Throughout the week, the boys answered questions during lunch in front of the student body. Everyone was able to enter their name or a friend’s name into the drawing for a small fee.

The lucky ladies who won were Juniors Molly Morey and Frances Allington, Sophomores Eileen Dziak, Colleen Harmon and Sara Federico and Senior Bernadette Horiuchi.

“Although it might sound like win-a-date would be awkward for the guy and the girl, it was actually a really great experience going to one of Christendom’s best events with a really great guy,” Frances Allington said.

Senior James Hannon answers one of the humorous questions during lunch.

A Festive and Fun Christmas Formal

Christmas Formal, perhaps the most anticipated and exciting event of the semester, if not of the whole year, took place this past Saturday night, December 4, in the Crusader Gymnasium. The gym was ornately decorated for the occasion, with over 70 real Christmas trees, a Nativity scene, lights, and other Christmas trimmings covering all parts of the gym.

“The SAC really went all out this year with the decorations, and I loved how the dance floor that they brought in was much larger this year,” says Senior Elise Anderson. “It was an overall amazing night, and I couldn’t have asked for a better time.”

A fancy holiday dinner and desserts were served for all at 6 pm, followed by an address by College President Dr. Timothy O’Donnell. The senior class also sang songs about all the members of their class to the tunes of famous holiday songs. The dance began shortly afterwards, and everybody thoroughly enjoyed themselves dancing for hours to an assortment of music, including many Christmas favorites.

Dr. O'Donnell told students that we ca relate to the prophets in the Old Testament in their deep longing for the coming of Christ.

The Ladies enjoyed a few dances with Santa Claus (Senior Bill Waller).

Anastacio Hinojosa swings with Sophomore Olivia Aveni.

The dance floor stayed hoppin' all night.

The Formal heightened the anticipation of Christmas for all the students.

Campion Christmas Party

On Sunday night, students made their way to the girl’s Campion dorm where the annual Campion Christmas Party was being held. All the girls on each floor spent the day decorating their floor with a different theme. The basement floor was decorated as Narnia, the middle floor captured the feeling of Charles Dickens, and top floor was transformed into an “Elf” themed journey.

“Decorate my home away from home with my girls really got me excited for the Christmas season,” Freshman Colleen Anderson said. “A little bit of competition among the floors didn’t hurt the spirit in the least and added to the festivities. I think the creativity of the girls really showed through during the party. It was a great experience.”

Students enjoy a game of Scategories by the fireplace.

"I passed through the seven levels of the Candy Cane forest, through the sea of swirly twirly gum drops, and then I walked through the Lincoln Tunnel." (Elf)

Caroling in the Rotunda

On Tuesday night, December 7, Christendom students took a break from their studying by joining in singing carols in the Rotunda of St. John the Evangelist Library. Led by campus chaplain Fr. Donald Planty and library staff member Mrs. Mickey Krebs, a group of students got into the spirit of the Christmas by singing an assortment of favorite Christmas songs.

The choir sang several rehearsed songs together, and they were joined by a number of students who wished to join in, as well as a few students who brought their musical instruments to accompany the singing. In addition, hot apple cider and donuts were served.

“Singing Christmas carols makes the season so much more exciting,” Sophomore Olivia Aveni said. “I thought we sang a great collection of songs this year, but my favorite by far was ‘O Come, O Come, Emmanuel’.”

The violins played by Sophomores Taylor Anderson and Sarah Halbur, along with Freshman Veronic Halbur, were beautiful.

The acoustics in the Rotunda made the carols resound with full and amazing sound.

Shenandoah Showdown

On Tuesday night the fifth bi-annual Shenandoah Showdown was hosted by Christendom’s Boxing Club in the Crusader Gymnasium. Three match-ups took place: Seniors Peter Ciskanik and Mike Inzeo, Junior Andrew Ciskanik and David Byers, and Seniors Joe Ruel and Steve Curtin.

The crowd welcomed the return of former-chaplain Fr. Daniel Gee as the referee of the matches. Each match consisted of three rounds. The first winner was Mike Enzeo and the winner of the second match was David Byers.

The highly anticipated main event between Steve Curtin and Joe Ruehl had everyone in attendance on their feet and cheering. After three grueling rounds the middle weight champion of Christendom was announced—Joe Ruhl.

“Equal contenders put their hearts on the line and gave an amazing show,” Senior Ben Ranieri said. “With nothing left, each boxer gave his all and showed the crowd what it is like to truly be a boxer.”

Inzeo gets ready to go in for the kill.

Curtin and Ruhl exchange blows to the head.

Fr. Gee announces Ruhl as Christendom's new champion.

Dancin' and Singin' at Pub Night

On Wednesday night, December 8, the semester's last Pub Night was held in the St. Lawrence Commons. It was by far one of the most exciting and entertaining Pub Nights of the year.

Organized by the SAC and especially Sophomore Jacob Akers, the event featured several big bands, each of which played a variety of fun songs that everybody knows, as well as a few originals. Sophomore Theresa Lamirande and her father opened up the night with a few of her own original songs. She was followed by Sophomore Eric Maschue, who was accompanied by Sophomores Alicia Stanton and Hugh Bratt. Sophomore Jimmy Munson, Junior Rob Fetsko, and Sophomore Matt La Fave showed off their musical talents next, and they were followed by the two bands Nick Freeman & the Texas Heat and Don Juan and the Long Johns.

“The degree of musical talent at Christendom is just unbelievable,” Freshman Pat McKenna said. “I loved every single performance, and especially how the crowd really got into the music and was even dancing.”

In between musical acts, everybody helped themselves to yummy snacks and drinks, and fine beers were served to those over 21.

It was a great way to relax before the craziness of finals.

Theresa Lamirande has an album available for download in the iTunes Store.

Alicia Stanton always brings a lot of energy to the stage.

Jimmy Munson, Rob Fetsko and Matt La Fave show off their skills.

Don Juan and the Long Johns played a few hits from the 90's.

Nick Freeman & the Texas Heat got everyone up and dancing.


Deck the Halls

As we are getting deeper into Advent and closer to the Christmas season, Christendom College is showing its true excitement by decorating for the joyful season. The student body truly goes all out in preparing for the birth of Christ, expressing their enthusiasm and anticipation by decorating elaborately and beautifully. The gym is always the most lavishly decorated building on campus, in preparation for Christmas formal. The Student Activities Council heads the decorating, and along with countless student volunteers, spends hours making the college campus beautiful and appropriately trimmed for the Christmas season.

“Helping set up for Christmas formal was really fun," Sophomore Nate Collins says. "To be there to help decorate the gym was an awesome experience because it was a wonderful time to bond with great people. Also, being there to help transform the gym into the amazing scene that became Christmas formal—to see it happen right before my eyes—was such an exciting and fulfilling experience.”

In addition, some of the dorms get really into the spirit of Christmas, decorating their halls for the occasion. Campion Hall, one of the girls’ dorms, is known especially for its floor decorating competition. All three floors decorate their halls in different themes, and there is a competition for the overall best hall. With less than two weeks left until everybody goes home for Christmas break, Christendom College is losing no time preparing for the birth of Christ, and it still is in the process of decorating for the season.

Seniors Lauren Oligny and Bernadette Horiuchi prepare the center pieces for the Christmas formal tables.

Senior Catherine Briggs helps Junior Molly Morey decorate the second floor window of the gym.

Sophomores Sarah Belk and Rachel Milani create and paint the fireplace used in the Formal's photo spot.

Sophomore Philip Briggs gives the tree the trim.

Creating the "the sea of swirly twirly gum drops."

The Wardrobe of Narnia in Campion's Basement.

Freshman Angelica Cintorino puts the finishing touches of Narnia up.


A Winter Wrap-Up

Well here we are one day before finals begin in cold and blustery Virginia with a chance to look back at the world of Crusader sports for the past few months. The semester through the eyes of the sports department has been a great success with four out of the five teams having a .500 winning percentage or higher and with numerous faces making big statements for their prospective teams.

It all began a few warm months ago in September when the fall sports got under way. The women’s soccer team battled to a respectable 6-6 record considering they had lost numerous players and done a changing of the guard in all but one position. The team welcomed talented new-comers Morgan Kavanagh and Rachel Snyder. Of the six wins the Lady Crusaders tallied three of them would be come-from-behind wins which showed the toughness and determination of this group.

The Lady Crusader volleyball team did a complete turnaround from last year, finishing with its first winning season in the sports history with a record of 11-6. First year head Coach Mr. Mike Brown’s team featured the talents of 4 new starters including freshmen Mary Barbale and Bridget Vander Woude. The team also featured key upperclassmen leadership from Sarah Masset, Bernadette Horiuchi and Mary Kate Vander Woude. Bridget Vander Woude led the team in kills for the season and the program looks ready to continue their winning ways next season.

Finally, the men’s soccer team rewrote the history books this past fall finishing with an impressive 13-4 record. The team boasted 5 wins in their first six games which were played in 9 days. 27 players made up the team which was very deep at each position and many of the teams wins were pure attrition due to the other team wearing down late in the game while the Crusaders shuffled talented players in and out. The Crusaders defeated NAIA and USCAA rival Southern Virginia 1-0 for the first time in Christendom History a far cry from the 7-0 defeat the Crusaders suffered nearly 10 years ago by the same team. The team was led in scoring by Johnny Ciskanik and featured a defense that only gave up 15 goals in 17 games. Ranked 6th at the end of the season in the USCAA, the highest mark any men’s soccer team has achieved in the college’s history. The team says goodbye to seniors Sam McMahon and James Hannon who will graduate as the winningest seniors in history.

The basketball season for the Lady Crusaders came to a close just a week ago when the team finished wrapping up the first winning semester in the team’s history finishing with a 4-3 record. The team has turned the tables yet again due to the stellar play of Mary Barbale one of the three starting freshmen that make up the team. In the seven games, Mary has put up numbers that have continued to turn heads. She has two double-doubles and two triple-doubles in her short career and is averaging close to 17 points a game. Her freshmen counterparts, Bridget Vander Woude and Morgan Kavanagh, are also averaging in double figures in points. Morgan has already had multiple 30 point games. The team has been solidified by the leadership and determination of Mary Kate Vander Woude and the rebounding ability of Jane Snyder and Emily Baldwin. The team will look to continue their winning ways next semester in hopes of securing a winning season for the first time in a very long while.

The men’s basketball team at Christendom has continued to improve and has taken some hard hits along the way playing some very talented teams such as Division III Randolph College and Gallaudet University. The team defeated Davis College in their fourth game of the season after losing to them in the season opener by over 20 points. The team has lost a couple close games to Washington Bible College and Lord Fairfax Community College the latter coming on a night where senior shooting guard Matt Rensch had a breakout game going for 30 points and shooting over 60% from the field. The team has added many new faces and in the process has added great depth. David Booze and Tim Vander Woude both freshmen have broken into the starting line-up. Coach Vander Woude has started eight different players this semester and with the continued development of the team that number might go up in the second semester. The crusaders will finish their semester season this Saturday hosting Mid-Atlantic University (formerly Roanoke Bible College) in a Shenandoah Chesapeake Conference game that has conference implications.

Overall, the past few months have been a great time for Christendom sports and we look forward to more of the same in the spring semester of 2011. We wish you all a very blessed Advent and a Merry Christmas!

Morgan Kavanagh sends the ball to the net.

Bridget Vander Woude gives the Lady Crusaders another point.

Paul Nangurai battles through Southern Virginia's defence.

Rensch takes it to the hole.

6'7" Brian Fox is hard to stop.

The Cazies came out in record numbers with buckets of spirit.

Q: I am interested in going into the field of education when I’m done with my studies. Is Christendom College a good choice for a person who has this goal, and specifically, what does Christendom have to offer a person who has this goal?

A. This is a very good question and, in fact, one that is asked of me quite often. As a general answer, a Christendom education is beneficial to anyone interested in any field of work because of the overall well roundedness of our program. We educate our students, rather than train them. We believe that by giving our students a classical liberal arts education, they will be ready to meet all of the challenges that come their way upon graduation. In fact, we have seen this to be the case with our graduates. Our graduates are involved in many varied and different careers, from medicine to law, journalism to law enforcement, from owning their own businesses to working on Wall Street.

Now to address the specifics of the question: What does Christendom have to offer a person interested in entering the field of education upon graduation?

To begin with, a large percentage of our alumni have gone on to teach, mostly at the elementary and secondary levels, but some have chosen to pursue graduate school and teach at the college level. We have alumni teaching at Providence College, DeSales University, Jacksonville State University, University of Dallas, Catholic University of America, New York State University at Albany, Christendom College, Fordham, and elsewhere. In fact, I used to be a teacher for a number of years and also spent a year serving as a Headmaster of a small private elementary school in New Hampshire.

Through our core curriculum, through the study of history, philosophy, literature, theology, political science, math, and science, our students are truly educated in the things that matter. They are not educated to do one thing or another, but are simply educated. Because of this, those who have an interest in teaching are always welcomed, and even sought after, by many Catholic school systems. School officials realize that although teaching methods are very important, the most important thing in teaching anyone is the love and knowledge of the Faith and the desire to pass on, not only head-knowledge, but more importantly, a love of God, His Church, and the good Catholic life in general. Christendom College prepares its students for that.

Other colleges, in their education programs, may teach its students how to teach math to 4th graders, or how to organize your classroom to make it more learning friendly. We believe that these things will work themselves out once you are in the classroom so there is no real need to spend a bunch of money and time on being trained in specifics when you will end up learning these things on-the-job later.

Now for those who may want to get their feet wet in teaching before graduation, we do offer a Teacher Formation Program as part of our curriculum. Seniors are given the opportunity to work as teacher aids with local Catholic and public schools, helping to plan classes and teach certain subjects. More information on this program can be found by going here.

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.