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.

The Merchant of Venice


Name: Michael Bobrowski
Age: 20
New Bern, NC
Sports, the great outdoors, art, and hanging out with friends and family.
Who's your favorite professor and what's your favorite class?
All the professors are great in their own way, but I would have to pick Mrs. Hickson's ENGL 201 and Dr. Cuddeback's Metaphysics as my two favorite classes. They strive for excellence in the classroom and exude a true love for the material.
What extra-curricular activities do you participate in?
I am currently a member of the varsity baseball team and Students for Life. I also enjoy participation in the intramurals and assisting the Admissions Office as a Student Ambassador, Last, but not least, I have been honored to assist our dedicated chaplain, Fr. Planty, at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass as an altar server. I've committed myself to all these things because I feel it is important to become involved on campus and serve God and neighbor.
What is your favorite thing about Christendom?
The people are definitely my favorite part about Christendom. I have never before encountered such a vibrant, loving, and faith-filled community.
Why did you choose Christendom?
I chose Christendom because I knew it would prepare me for life's many challenges and it would assist me in fulfilling my vocation to "restore all things in Christ."
What has surprised you the most about Christendom? Christendom has surprised me most in how much this college experience has changed my life. I have not only grown academically and spiritually, but I have also been able to foster true friendships that will last a lifetime.
Plans after graduation? God willing, I hope to attend Sacred Art School in Florence, Italy, to pursue a career in sculpting.
Any parting words of advice for a prospective student? Make the most of your college experience, for it is a once in a lifetime opportunity!


Student Art Show

While Christendom is certainly known for its academic brilliance, the students of the college are also incredibly artistically talented. Aside from the plays and the musical events the college holds every year, an art show is held in the St. John the Evangelist Library. Many different works by students are displayed in the show, including photography, pencil sketches, charcoal, sculpting, and painting.

To add extra incentive for students to participate, there is a contest in each category with a prize of fifty dollars to the winning artist. The pieces are judged by Christendom staff who are proficient in the various areas, for example Craig Speiring, a professional photographer judges the photography, while Mr. Armstrong judges the sculptures and paintings.

The art show is a great way for students to think outside of their normal academic box, and encourages them to share their talent with others. Senior Megan Rolla, who works in the library, and has several pieces displayed, loves the art show, and encourages everyone to participate.

“It's really really impressive to see what the students can do," she says. "People that you never would have guessed, bring in some really amazing pieces.”

Sketches, sculptures and more are on display. The sculpture of a child's face is by Sophomore Mike Bobrowski.

"J.R.R. Tolkien" by Freshman Morgan Robey.

The Merchant of Venice

The Christendom College Players brought Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice to life at the Warren County High School Auditorium on April 8-10.

The play was dedicated to English Professor Dr. Patrick Keats, who not only performed a small role in
Merchant, but also helped direct the play (see "Special Report" below). His thirtieth theatre production at Christendom, Keats was joined by alumnus Mike Powell in assisting alumnus Peter Smith, the play’s primary director. With costumes and sets mirroring the 1920’s, the play showcased Christendom’s dramatic talent as actors tackled the many stirring scenes and complex themes of the play.

Merchant has just about everything one could ask for in a play," Keats said. "We had some very colorful characters, such as Shylock, the devious moneylender, and the lovely Portia, who matches wits with him—a suspenseful courtroom scene, three sets of romantic lovers, and some of Shakespeare's most beautiful verse."

Seasoned Christendom player and senior Steven Curtin played the complex character of Shylock, the Jewish money-lender. His performance captured the passion, greed, and sorrow found in one of Shakespeare’s most famous characters.

Sophomore Olivia Aveni gave a very memorable performance as Portia, the young Venetian heiress. Her presence on the stage carried the great dramatic weight found in the play, particularly in the famous courtroom scene. Freshman James Ciskanik was her strong leading man, Bassanio.

The fool, Lancelot, played by Freshman Matthew Harris, kept the audience laughing.

The first suitor: Prince of Morocco played by Freshman Andrew Clark.

The Prince of Arragon (Sophomore Matt Camp) finds a surprise in the poorly chosen silver casket

Harris and Keats, as Lancelot’s father Old Gobbo, gave the audience a taste of professional Shakespearean theater.

Sad news from Venice comes to Bassanio.

Lorenzo (Freshman Zachary Smith) receives a letter from "fair Jessica."

Portia and her waiting maid, Nerissa—played by Kathleen Deighan—devise a plan to test the devotion of their men.

The famous courtroom scene was very well done.

Family Visit Day

On Monday, the Admissions Office held its second Family Visit Day of the semester. Prospective students and their parents were able to sit in on classes, take a tour our campus, attend Mass, enjoy a Q & A with a student panel, view a presentation of our Rome campus by Admissions Director Tom McFadden, hear special presentations on our spiritual and academic life, and even take a look inside the residence halls.

It was a great opportunity to learn more about Christendom's unique educational apostolate. If you'll be a college-bound senior next semester, look to our
visits webpage in the future for similar Senior Visit Days in the fall.

The student panel related some of the fun times they've had Christendom—here in Front Royal and in Rome.

Director of Admissions Tom McFadden chats with a visiting family about what makes Christendom unique.

Admissions Counselor Eve Owen takes the girls on a tour of the campus and the women's residence halls.

Ballroom Dancing

Every Tuesday night in the St. Lawrence Commons, Senior Matt Rensch and Sophomore Jessica Inzeo teach open ballroom dancing lessons. Students learn how to waltz, tango, cha-cha, foxtrot, and more.

“Ballroom dancing is a really fun way to learn new types of dancing,” says Sophomore Matt Camp. “It is also a nice break from school work on a stressful Tuesday night.”

It is always easy to tell which students have been attending ballroom classes, since they are usually the ones showcasing new moves at the school dances!

Practicing their moves: Sophomores Matt Camp and Jessica Inzeo, Fresman Loretto Spiering and Senior Matt Rensch.

Got Tea?

Tuesday night in Kilian's Cafe, there was a crowd of students, faculty, and locals alike, looking to become more informed about the Tea Party. Mark Lloyd, Chairman of the Virginia Tea Party, came and presented a few in's and out's, and answered questions about the Tea Party, essentially, what it is, where it got it's name, and a few basic principles.

He emphasized how important it is for our generation to stay informed, to watch the news, and to pay attention to what is going on in the government so that we can be aware of what is going on, and the changes that are happening, and need to happen in the government.

The College Republicans, one of the many political groups at Christendom, often hold events such as this one to keep the campus informed about political matters, and encourage involvement in the political world.

Zach Martin, Chairman of the College Republicans at Liberty University, addressed students briefly as well.


I'll be back next week...

Yes, we do study over here in Rome. Happy I'm taking a little break to focus on a paper and a presentation that I have due. I'll be back next week to fill you in on all the latest treasures of Rome that we've discovered.

Enjoy this glimpse into our Rome program from Christendom's DVD, Breathe Catholic:

Christendom's Theater Guru: Dr. Patrick Keats

Dr. Patrick Keats is an integral part of the drama community at Christendom College. During this "Special Report" he shares some insight into the drama world and what it takes to become involved.
How long have you been involved with drama at Christendom?
I became the faculty moderator for the Christendom Players during my first year here, in the fall of 1992.

How many productions have you directed and/or produced?
Starting in the spring of 1993, I have produced and/or directed thirty major productions as well as about a half dozen other, shorter plays.

What has been your favorite play to direct?
It’s hard to talk about “favorites,” but there are a few that do stand out. Certainly Hamlet, which we performed in 2005, would be high up on the list. Among the musicals, Oliver has a warm place in my heart: it was the first musical Christendom ever did. But I also think of The Scarlet Pimpernel, with the amazing costumes and production numbers; and Hello, Dolly!, which combined lovely songs and costumes with some extremely funny scenes. Truly, I’ve enjoyed all the shows we have done, but a few others that come to mind as especially satisfying for me personally were A Man for All Seasons, Here Comes Mr. Jordan, An Ideal Husband by Oscar Wilde, and T.S. Eliot’s The Cocktail Party.

What is your favorite part of working with the Christendom Players?
As far as the work goes, what I like best is to coach the actors individually or in small groups, helping them to find their characters and use all their creativity and vocal/physical skills to bring these roles to life. It’s an incredible experience to watch a group of students, some of whom may be inexperienced, bond together and work to create something excellent to glorify God and edify the audiences. It’s also fantastic to be working on these shows with my wife Lily, who has become an important part of the Players.

About how many students are involved in every production?
This varies. Some of the bigger musicals, like Hello,Dolly! or The Scarlet Pimpernel, have a cast of between 30-40, sometimes more. In addition, there are usually anywhere from 10-20 other students working on such things as set construction, makeup, costumes, etc. I always try to pick plays that have at least ten good acting roles.

How many productions are done each year?
Since 1999 we have ordinarily done two plays each school year, one in the fall and one in the spring.

How many plays have the Christendom Players performed?
Well, since I’ve been here there have been more than thirty. But before that, Christendom put on such plays as Barefoot in the Park, The Lark, and The Importance of Being Earnest. As I understand it, the Players as a formal group began in the late 1980’s with The Importance of Being Earnest and A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Why is it important that a liberal arts school have a drama group?
It’s important both from the performing and the viewing end. No less an authority than Aristotle, writing more than 2,000 years ago, wrote and lectured on the value of theater. Aristotle even provided the basic vocabulary and frame of reference for understanding drama. Doing good theater—or at least doing it as well as our budget and circumstances allow—is very important to the college community. I myself have witnessed, firsthand, the amazing good it does for those involved: in terms of gaining confidence, working together with others toward a common purpose, providing a product that is entertaining and also instructive.

If your interested in performing in Christendom Players productions when you attend Christendom, try out! Auditions are open to all. If you have any further questions about drama at Christendom, please feel free to contact Dr. Patrick Keats at pkeats[at]


Rugby Secures Consecutive Winning Seasons…
and Then Some!

The Crusader Rugby team took a 4-1 record into the weekend with 3 games left in the season. The next two weeks of competition would determine if the team would continue its solid play under Coach Briggs and finish consecutive winning seasons or if they would lose steam down the home stretch due to being outsized almost every game. The club had already recorded notable wins against Hampden Sydney, Lynchburg, and George Mason when they entered the weekend playing at Washington College on Saturday and Montgomery Community College on Sunday. The two games over the weekend told the tale of the two areas of the team, with Saturday being dominated by the forwards and Sunday being the day of the backs.

The team has taken huge strides since their first game, playing a more team-oriented game. The match against Washington College on Saturday was no exception. As usual the Crusaders were outsized at nearly every position but that was nothing new to the team and they made up for it with outstanding passing, team play, and a never-die attitude. It was a close first half between the two sides. Dominic Donahue played a wonderful game consistently blowing through rucks, making tackles and always being there for the team without stopping. Once the second half came around the Crusaders began the onslaught as they would amass 67 points in the total game. Andrew Hepler and Ben Ranieri played a tremendous match each scoring three tries a piece. It was a team effort with solid play also from Joe Long, Connor Coyne, Dean Dewey, and Conor Knox. Freshman Patrick McKenna also had a solid performance as the bigger and stronger Washington College would be dismantled by the athleticism, speed, and endurance of the Crusaders. The final score: 67-16. With that, the Crusaders notched their second straight winning season.

On Sunday against Montgomery Community College, the Christendom team would take complete control of the match and dominate until the final whistle. Hugh Bratt, Patrick McKenna, Eric Maschue, and Joe Long all played a great game for the Crusaders including strong runs and solid passing. With the team taking complete control early into the game, Coach Briggs was able to balance the rotation and play everyone multiple minutes throughout the game. Everyone contributed to the victory and the score tells the story: Crusaders 93, Montgomery College 0!

“In the two games no one person played amazing, but as a team we played really well and that is why we won so convincingly,” said Tommy Salmon, who completed multiple conversions in the two games.

Since losing their first match of the season, they have rattled off six wins in a row and look to finish the season with another on Saturday against American University in Frederick, MD. These recent victories give the team its second consecutive winning season—a first in the history of the rugby program at Christendom.

The team—working together—charges down field.

Junior Joe Long flies past the opposition.

Don't mess with Senior Jack Donohue

Junior Gabe Schuberg battles for every last inch.

Freshman Patrick McKenna tosses the ball to Sophomore Hugh Bratt.

Sophomore Tommy Salmon takes the ball down field.

Freshman Andrew Hepler slips past his opponent.

Crusader Rugby 2011.

Q. I am only a Junior right now, but I am very interested in possibly attending Christendom after my graduation from high school next year. What are some things I should be doing to prepare for my senior year that would better my chances of being accepted to Christendom, and better my chances of doing well there if I enroll? Thanks!

A. My biggest recommendation for anyone who is seriously considering attending Christendom and is finishing Junior year is to attend one of our “Experience Christendom” Summer Programs (ECSP) or our Latin Immersion Program. I can’t tell you how important these programs are in helping interested students determine if Christendom is the place for them.

During the week-long ECSP program, students are taught by Christendom’s finest professors in Theology, Philosophy, History, and English Literature. You get the opportunity to experience real Christendom College classes and to see what this whole liberal arts business is about. You get to meet some of our current students who will be serving as Program Counselors and see if they are the type of students you want to be around or become. You get to spend time in our residence halls, eat our food, enjoy our surrounding areas, spend time with faculty and staff at their homes, and just have a lot of fun with about 40 other high school students from across the country who are, normally, quite similar to you in beliefs, family background, experiences, and outlook.

During the
Latin Immersion Program, students are immersed in an active Latin program where they will be taught by some of the finest "active Latin" teachers in the world. They will also have classes in Theology, Philosophy, History, English, and Astronomy, as well as take part in all of the fun activities listed above in the afternoons and evenings.

Secondly, take your SATs or ACTs as soon as possible, if you haven’t already. We will be having a competition for two full-tuition scholarships this fall, and in order to be eligible to compete, students must have a 2100 or higher on the SAT (all three sections) or an ACT score of 32 or above. The competition will be held sometime in late October or early November and it will be necessary that you have these test scores prior to coming to campus and meeting with the faculty panel (more information about this Padre Pio Full-Tuition Scholarship Competition will be forthcoming on our website as we know more). So, don’t wait until the beginning of October to take the tests because your scores may not come in by the due date. Think about taking it this May or June, or, at latest in September.

Third, start looking around at college websites and reviewing college-guides, such as The Newman Guide, if going to a Catholic college/university is important to you. You should also come up with a list of things you “need” at college (location, major, price, etc), a list of things you “want” at college (certain extra-curricular activities, free laundry, wi-fi, etc), and a list of things you “don’t want” at college (intervisitation, anti-Catholic clubs/groups/speakers, cement wall dorm rooms, etc). Then, once you come up with your lists, call around and talk with Admissions Directors/Counselors at different schools to see what they say about all of these things. At that point, you could probably cross off a couple of your top schools, based on the answers you received. Then, once you have it down to two or three colleges, plan to make a campus visit during the fall semester of senior year.

For Christendom, the admissions committee is looking for a number of things in order to accept you. They are looking for SAT scores of 1650 or above or ACT scores of 24 or above (they do make exceptions, but that is their standard); they want to see well-written and thought-out essays; high school transcripts are important to them and they hope to see a GPA of 3.0 or above; and lastly, they want to see two letters of recommendation – one personal, the other academic. The academic letter of recommendation should be written by someone other than a parent (even if the parent is the main homeschooling teacher), if at all possible.

So, I hope these things help you out in your college selection process and if I can be of any further assistance, do not hesitate to contact me anytime!

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.

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

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" ( 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.