Coffee House


Name: Tim McPhee
Age: 20
Goldens Bridge, NY
Basketball, golf, napping, Mario Kart, dancing.
Who's your favorite professor?
Ethics with Prof. Michael Brown. I actually looked forward to that class everyday and never wanted it to end. Prof. Brown has a way of keeping your attention the whole time—plus the topic was really cool.
What extra-curricular activities do you participate in? I'm on the basketball team. I love basketball and have ever since I can remember. It keeps me in good shape and Coach Vander Woude is mad cool. I love you coach!
What is your favorite thing about Christendom? I love playing basketball and hanging out with my friends. Basketball is my outlet for everything. The people here that I'm close to are great. I'd be lost without my best friends and girlfriend. [ahhhh...]
Why did you choose Christendom? Coach Vander Woude persuaded me to come here for basketball.
What has surprised you the most about Christendom?
The variety of people here. You can find so many different types of people.
Plans after graduation? Take an hour long bath with bubbles.
Any parting words of advice for a prospective student?
Learn how to nap and swing dance.


Appreciation Week

Last week was "Appreciation Week" at Christendom College, where students showed their admiration for everyone who works to make Christendom the place it is. Throughout the week, the student body honored different sections of the school’s workers. The chaplains, staff, faculty, Cavalier cleaning services, and kitchen staff were included in this celebration and each department had a day dedicated to them.

“It is important for us to show our appreciation to everyone who works for Christendom because our school is so unique in everything it does and it would not be that if these great people did not do the fantastic work that they do every day,” says Senior Katie Cruser. “Whether it’s the Cavalier staff working behind the scenes or our professors teaching us, everyone here comes together to make Christendom the place that we love.”

Fr. Planty received a check for 12 bags of chocolate for getting 12 answers to Papal trivia correct.

Chef Dennis and his crew got some colorful new aprons.

Staff Take on the Students in Volleyball

Wrapping-up appreciation week, on Friday night, the faculty and staff "served" the students up some serious volleyball at a faculty/staff versus students volleyball match. The students really enjoyed the chance to have some friendly competition with the faculty and staff, and had a blast playing volleyball.

Crusader Rugby

Last Friday, the Crusaders beat George Mason University's rugby team,19-13. This spring looks to be another great season for Crusader Rugby. Enjoy the video below:

Coffee House

The St. Lawrence Commons was packed Saturday night as the students got ready to enjoy a series of performances by their own classmates for this year's Coffee House.

There were tons of great acts performed, including a very comical skit about the plights of the Admissions Office, a few historical comedic skits, and a sneak peak of this year's Mystery Dinner Theater. There were also a few musical performances, including Freshman Kelsey Ingold's "An Alto's Lament," a humorous song about an Alto who just wants to sing the melody, a song performed by Junior Megan Kelly (with some help from Senior Matt Rensch, Junior Rob Fetsko, and Freshman Maribeth Kelly) called, "My New Philosophy," and the song "Popular" from the musical "Wicked" performed by Freshman Klarissa Blank and Sophomore Rachel Milani. As usual, there were also comic routines, including Freshman Katie Shannon's routine of Demetri Martin jokes.

Coffee House was really a great time, and the students loved watching, listening to, and enjoying their classmates performances.

The evening was emceed by Kirk the Crocodile Hunter (Junior Kirk Slocum) and his mate, Kate (Senior Katie Cruser).

Sarah Hallbur sings Mozart's "Non so piu cosa son."

Freshman Matthew Harris plays Mozart's Fantasia in D - blindfolded.

Freshman Joe Duca joined Seniors Steve Curtin and Ben Allen in performing a comedic skit called "The Duel."

Seniors Bernadette Horiuchi and Scott Lozyniak did a parody of Titanic.

Sophomore Rachel Milani sang "Popular" from Wicked.

Senior Lauren Oligny and Sophomore Jake Akers gave a sneak peek of this weekend's Mystery Dinner Theater.

Sophomores Eric Maschue and Theresa Lamirande made the audience laugh as cheerleaders at a chess tournament.

Breathing Catholic Air - Admissions Office Skit
(Remember everyone, it's a skit...i.e. comedy...not to be taken seriously.) Happy

Sloth vs. Hope

On Tuesday, College Chaplain Fr. Donald Planty continued his series of talks on the deadly sins and the healing of spiritual illnesses with a discussion on the deadly passion of sloth, or despair. Using specific references from Sacred Scripture and the Desert Fathers, Fr. Planty explained this particular vice with great specificity, as well as its opposing virtue of hope.

He described the many symptoms of sloth, including a lack of desire to do anything, avoidance of prayer, inopportune tiredness, desire for distraction, and a lack of balance. He then discussed the many ways to overcome the passion of despair by describing how to develop self-control and discipline of the will, courage, patience, and perseverance.

“I think this is pretty common sin,” says Freshman Allesandra Tarantino. “The talk was very interesting—it showed me a lot of the manifestations of sloth and how we can help ourselves and others prevent despair.”


Day-to-Day Life in the Eternal City

This Friday, we’ll hit the halfway mark: six weeks since our arrival in Rome, and a good time to look back and reflect on everyday life in the Eternal City. Of course, there really is no such thing as a “typical day in Rome,” for each day holds adventure in store: some new discovery that can change our view of ourselves, our friends, our faith, our lives. Nevertheless, after six weeks, life has developed into a basic routine, with three broad categories of day: class days, tour days, and weekend days.
In an ideal world, my Mondays and Thursdays (class days), would begin with a leisurely twenty-minute stroll through the streets of Rome to the building where our classes are held: just the other side of Saint Peter’s Square.

However, it doesn’t usually happen that way. More often than not, I end up taking ten or fifteen minutes to sprint along the Vatican walls and across Saint Peter’s Square, rushing into the classroom as the bells of Saint Peter’s remind me that yes, it is nine o’clock, and yes, I have made it to class on time again... just.

Class days are just what they sound like; from nine until 11:30, and then again from 1:30 to five, we sit in our classroom, learning to bring others to Christ in Apologetics, plumbing the profound depths of Roman history, and exploring the intricacies of the Italian language.

After class, it’s time for the walk back to Residence Candia (our apartment complex), this time the relaxed, twenty minute version, walking through the now empty streets that earlier swarmed with tourists standing in line for the Vatican museums, while eager (not to mention desperate) tour guides waved clipboards in the air, shouting “Hello Lady! Speaky English? Sistine Chapel English tour, miss all the lines!”

Tour days are a chance to learn Art and Architecture by walking around and experiencing it, instead of poring over a book. On Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, we explore the many different and strikingly contrasting aspects of Rome. There is the ruined Forum of the Ancient Romans, the symbol of a great civilization whose time is over, and there are the majestic major Basilicas, external manifestations of a Church that will continue through all ages.

Finally, there are weekends: those wonderful days that bring with them the freedom to explore the many treasures of Italy, and even other European countries. Three times during the Christendom Rome semester, we have three-day weekends, allowing for extended trips. This semester, some students have ventured as far as Malta and France, while others have taken advantage of our location in central Italy to visit the many sites of pilgrimage and tourism in this country, such as Naples, Pompeii, and Monte Cassino.

Of course, life in Rome isn’t all a fairytale. It’s everyday life, just like anywhere else in the world, and it contains its fair share of frustrations. It’s easy to rise above these difficulties, though. All you have to do is remember that you’re living day-to-day life in the Eternal City.

On the Path of the Pilgrims Tour with Prof. Noronha.

Our Italian teacher, Ms. Benzaia.

At the Capitoline Museum with Prof. Elizabeth Lev.

Exploring Tivoli on a free weekend.

After a tour of the Roman Forum.

St. John the Evangelist Library

One of the central hubs of Christendom College is the St. John the Evangelist Library.

“Christendom’s library is unique from other university libraries," says Mickey Krebs, the Library’s Acquisitions and Serials Assistant. "Its mission is to enlighten the student in the way of faith and reason, specifically according to the books placed in the library and the general philosophy of the library to be the hub of learning at the College.”

Krebs says that each student is reminded of this upon entering the rotunda of the library when they glance at the inscription from Pope John Paul II's encyclical Fides et Ratio.

"Just on entering, the Catholic atmosphere is there," she says. "It is very different from other libraries where I have worked, which are secular in nature for the most part, even though housing countless books on the classics and arts.”

The library, completed in 2004, has over 90,000 volumes of works that have been collected specifically to aid those seeking a Catholic based, liberal arts education. Maps, dictionaries, encyclopedias, and handbooks are located on the main floor Reference section, which students frequently use for research papers and projects.

Internet is available through Wi-Fi and there are many computers, which provide Internet access, on the main and lower levels.

Throughout the library there are study carrels as well as group study rooms located on both the main and gallery levels. Also on the gallery floor is the Rare Book and Special Collections Room. This area contains histories of religious orders, rare collections of lives of the saints, and other ecclesiastical, spiritual, and literary works from the sixteenth through nineteenth centuries.

An extensive collection of over 250 current periodicals is on the main floor, available for all students to use for research or pleasure. The library also offers access to more than 50 full-text electronic books and periodicals—primarily through VIVA, the Virtual Library of Virginia Consortium. Another useful aspect of the library is Interlibrary Loan, which offers access to the collections of libraries throughout the country and the world.

The library is open Monday –Thursday for 12 hours a day and over 100 students/patrons pass through the doors each hour.

Click here to see more photos of the library.


The Great American Game Starts Another Season

Some would argue that in American nothing signals the warm weather and spring season more than the sound of baseballs hitting the mitt and the ting of the bat hitting the ball. For the Crusader baseball season this time has arrived.

Despite threats of snow and rainy days throughout the first months of the new year, the baseball team and dedicated coach John Mercandetti, Sr., were doing preseason workouts, including throwing and batting in preparation for the 2011 spring season. Since Christendom doesn’t have its own baseball field much of the early season practices were completed in the gymnasium with the use of the batting cage and numerous other drills and situations devised by coach. Due to the ever-chancy weather in the Shenandoah Valley the team was only able to get outside on a real field just once before the first set of games against Baptist Bible College on March 15th.

In every sport the first couple of games do a great deal for the rest of the season in focusing in on strengths and weaknesses of the team. The first two games against Baptist Bible were no different. Having just come off of spring break 3 days prior, the team excitedly took the field for the first time on what turned out to be a beautiful spring day.

The Crusaders are able to they play their home games at the top-notch Bing Crosby stadium located in Front Royal, VA. With the feel of a major league park—just scaled down a bit—the Crusaders began their 2011 campaign. Junior Pat Stein took the mound for the first game for the Crusaders and held the Defenders of Baptist Bible scoreless until the 3rd inning when they got on the board. Both teams were hampered by first game jitters at the bat and in the field and Baptist Bible pulled out a 10-3 victory.

Starting shortstop Dan Mitchell, Pat Stein and freshman Joe Marra hit well for the Crusaders. The 2nd game saw the fielding woes continue as both teams gave unearned runs to each other. Dan Mitchell pitched 5 solid innings giving up 6 runs although only 3 of them were earned. Pat Stein continued his solid hitting going 2 for 3 with a run and an RBI but the Crusaders fell 4-12.

The next Crusaders outing saw the team matched against the Chargers of Lancaster Bible College on Saturday March 19th at Bing Crosby Stadium. With the first game jitters behind them the Crusaders ran out to an early 2-1 lead thanks to Dan Mitchell and Pat Stein who both had hits. Pat Stein pitched a solid 5 innings, striking out 4.

Baptist Bible would claw back into the game and tie the game in the 3rd inning and take the lead in the 5th. The Crusaders fought back and had runners in scoring position with the tying run at the plate but couldn’t come through as they fell 2-5.

In the second game of the doubleheader, both teams would sharpen up defensively only giving up 1 error per team. Dan Mitchell pitched 3 innings giving up just one run. The Chargers would score a run in the 3rd and another in the 4th before adding two in the 5 to take a 4-0 lead. However the Crusaders would battle back and score 1 run in the 6th and after scoring 1 in the 7th and with runners on the Chargers came up with a couple of big fielding plays that got them out of the game with a 4-2 win.

The baseball team has already steadily improved since being able to practice regularly outside due to the warm weather and look to get their first wins of the season on Saturday as they travel to Phoenixville, PA, to take on the Valley Forge Christian Patriots in a doubleheader beginning at 2:30pm. The Crusaders lost a close game to Penn State Mont Alto on Monday. They take on Cheyney University on Saturday April 2nd. We hope many fans are able to make it out to see the team in action.

Freshman Sean Ryan slides safely into third.

Pat Stein sends his fastball flying.

Dan Mitchell sends the ball to first for an out.

Matt Naham hits the ball high and far.

Q. When I go to college, I want to be able to have a lot of life experiences, ones that broaden my worldview and give me the opportunity to become a leader when I graduate. Due to Christendom’s small size, although I know I will get a great Catholic education, I sometimes wonder if I will be given enough exposure to the rest of the world and given the ability to gain leadership qualities. Any thoughts?

A. This question is one that is asked of me quite often. Some think that because we are such a faithful, close-knit college community, maybe our students are unable to meet the challenges of the so-called “real” world after graduation. I am here to say that this is an incorrect assumption, and here’s why.

Not in spite of our small size (409 students), but because of it, our students are able to flourish even more than they could at a larger college/university with more offerings/activities/clubs. Here’s why I say this. At Christendom, anyone, from any major or in any grade level can take part in any or all of the various activities. You don’t have to be a drama major to act in our plays. You don’t need to be a music major to sing in the choir or perform in musical variety shows. You don’t need to be on athletic scholarship to play for our varsity teams. You don’t need to have run your high school’s student government in order to make become a member of our Student Activities Council. Also, there are so many activities and events on and off-campus that allow for our students to broaden their understanding of today’s world.

Christendom provides its students with ample opportunity to put into practice what they’ve learned by enfleshing the spiritual and corporal works of mercy:
  • Going on Spring Break Mission Trips
  • Volunteering at a Local Crisis Pregnancy Center
  • Feeding the Poor and Homeless in Washington, DC
  • Visiting Nursing Homes and Local Shut-Ins
  • Assisting at a Local Parish’s Soup Kitchen
  • Organizing Red Cross Blood Drives
  • Participating in Prayerful Pro-Life Gatherings.

Students are encouraged to think and act globally while expanding their cultural horizons during their Junior Semester Abroad in Rome:
  • Live within ten minutes of the Vatican
  • Attend daily Mass and Papal audiences at St. Peter’s
  • Explore Rome, Florence, Assisi, and Siena
  • Learn the Italian language and experience the culture.

To help students become as well-rounded as possible so that they can be effective lay leaders, the College promotes a number of diverse campus groups, activities, clubs, and societies:
  • Pro-life (Students for Life, Shield of Roses)
  • Religious (Legion of Mary)
  • Political (College Republicans)
  • Intellectual (The Cincinnatus League)
  • Public-speaking (Chester-Belloc Debate Society)
  • Acting (The Christendom Players, Mystery Dinner Theater)
  • Social (Swing Dance Club, Film Club)
  • Service (Holy Rood Guild, Outreach)
  • Recreational (Equestrian Program, Shogi Club)
  • Music (Christendom Choir, Schola Gregoriana).

The College has an extensive Speakers Program which enables students to learn about a diverse range of topics and interact with some of today’s most successful leaders:
  • Major Speakers Program
  • Politics Practica Program
  • St. Thomas Aquinas Lecture
  • Faith & Reason Lecture Series
  • Departmental Guest Speakers Program
  • Formation Speaker Series.

To give students the chance to grow in responsibility and strengthen their character, a variety of leadership opportunities are offered:
  • Student Life Office Resident Assistant
  • Admissions Office Student Ambassador
  • Student Activities Council and Government
  • Presidential Advisory Committee
  • On-Campus Employment

Finally, Christendom offers its students many cultural opportunities to broaden their worldview and understanding:
  • Poetry and Prose Reading Events
  • Trips to Washington, DC - Kennedy Center, Museums
  • Vocal, Orchestral, and Piano Musical Performances
  • Art Shows and Discussion Groups
  • Movie Nights and Dances
  • Beato Fra Angelico Fine Arts Program
  • Cultural Heritage Celebrations (St. Patrick’s Day, Oktoberfest, Italian Night, etc).

At Christendom College, tomorrow’s leaders are here today. Join us.

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.

Celebrating the Saints


Name: Sadie Bratt
Age: 19
Dixon, Illinois
Philosophy with Music Minor
Singing, tennis, skiing.
Who's your favorite professor?
Dr. John Cuddeback and Prof. Sharon Hickson. They are so enthusiastic about their classes that they can make anyone love them.
What extra-curricular activities do you participate in?
Soccer, choir, and Student Activities Council (SAC). I play soccer because my brother persuaded me to; choir, because I love singing; and SAC, because… why not?!
What is your favorite thing about Christendom? [Sophomore] Kat Anderson! Plus, I love the fact that we get a great education that incorporates Catholicism into every facet, and that all our teachers really want to see us succeed.
Why did you choose Christendom? I want to have a good foundation before I go on to teach others.
What has surprised you the most about Christendom?
Not much. I think I had a good idea of what it was before I came.
Plans after graduation? I would like to go to music school and become a choir director.
Any parting words of advice for a prospective student? Don't be scared to do something new. And never ever ever ever give up.


The Legion of Mary... and Juggling Machetes?

What do these two things have in common? Well, College Alumnus Fr. Francis Peffley '86, for one. Fr. Peffley came to speak to the students of Christendom about the Legion of Mary, what it is, what it involves, what its members do, its benefits, and many more aspects of it. He encouraged students to look into joining their local chapter of the Legion of Mary, commenting that students see great results from joining the Legion, not only in their spiritual lives, but academic lives as well.

Following his talk, he showed off his amazing juggling skills - juggling not only baseball bats and basketballs, but also machetes, and even a mixture of bowling balls and machetes!

Christendom's active Legion of Mary club meets Tuesday nights at St. Augustine's, and is led by the club president, Junior Martin Schmidt.

Fr. Peffley is a priest at Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Gainsville, Va. You can visit his website here.

Juggling bats.

Don't try this at home... Fr. Peffley juggles a couple knives and a bowling ball.

Babette's Feast

On Friday night students gathered at St. Kilian’s Café to watch the classic Danish film Babette’s Feast. Before it started, Philosophy Professor Dr. Douglas Flippen spoke about the film—his favorite movie.

The film is based on the novel of the same title by Karen Blixen. Babette’s Feast focuses on two sisters, Martine and Philippa, whose minister father founded a small Protestant sect in the late 1800’s. Even when their father dies, the sisters never marry and stay together in order to run services for their church. The story explores both sisters' lives when they were young beautiful women and also the story of how Babette, their French housekeeper, became a part of their lives. Babbette’s generosity is shown throughout the film and the sacrifice that she offers the sisters in the end makes the movie worthy of its Academy Award.

“This was a great movie,” said Freshman Elizabeth Francis. “It has an inspiring message and everyone seemed to enjoy it.”

Dr. Flippen highlighted the sacramental themes found in the film. A talk entitled "The Eucharistic Symbolism in Babette's Feast" was delivered last year by Dr. Flippen and is available for download at Christendom on iTunes U.


St. Patrick's Day

Thursday night, the St. Lawrence Commons was a sea of green, as the Christendom College community, students, and faculty alike, gathered for the annual St. Patrick's Day dinner and celebration.

The kitchen kicked off the evening with some delicious Irish fare, such as Shepherd's Pie, Soda Bread, Potatoes, Corned Beef, and the like. Just as dinner was ending, a group of young men started the evening with a bang (pun intended) as a "gunshot" rang in the commons, beginning the reenactment of the battle between the Black and Tans and the Irish Republican Army.

After the reenactment, at seven o'clock everyone poured back into the Commons for the beginning of the St. Patricks day show, which started with the procession of St. Patrick, St. Brigid, and St. Columcille, played by the children of college professors Dr. Mark Clark and Dr. Stanford. The saints blessed the audience and college chaplain, Fr. Donald Planty, who then read St. Patrick's Lorica.

Following that, the Hibernian Guard, led by history professor Dr. Brendan McGuire on the bagpipes, marched in. From there, the "Clansmen" led by college president, Dr. Timothy O'Donnell, guided the audience through many traditional Irish songs and all enjoyed the many varied acts, including Irish Dancing, Fiddle playing, and poetry.

Fr. Planty reads the Lorica.

Prof. McGuire leads the Hibernian Guard in.

Sophomore Alicia Stanton played the tin whistle and Senior Nick Freeman played the violin with the Clansmen.

Senior Mary Kate Vander Woude sang "The Foggy Dew."

Prof. McGuire read the Easter Proclamation of 1916.

The Hibernian Guard joined the Clansmen lifting their swords to "Sound the Pibroch."

Three of Admissions Director Tom McFadden's daughters performed a traditional Irish dance.

Senior John Killackey and Freshman Sean Deighan played a couple jigs and reels.

Philosophy Professor Dr. John Cuddeback joined Dr. O'Donnell for a couple songs.

Sophomore Eileen Dziak has performed at national Irish dance competitions.

Freshman Therese Francis gives a high kick during her hard-shoe dance.

St. Patrick's Day 2011 Video

Debate Society's Career Night

On Friday night, The Chester-Belloc Debate Society hosted 15 speakers—both guests and faculty members—to speak at the society’s Professional Development Night.

The evening was held in order to educate the society’s members in matters of pursuing jobs in a variety of professional departments after their education at Christendom. Professor Eric Jenislawski, who teaches theology, encouraged students to take advantage of the opportunity to improve their resumes, and gain experience interviewing.

“This is something I've been encouraging for a long time, and I'm really glad to see that we've made it happen," Prof. Jenislawski said. "This sort of thing is really important for Christendom students”

Speakers from many different professional backgrounds gave valuable advice to students on how to go about pursuing a professional career and how to make the most of a liberal arts degree, among other things.

The Chester-Belloc Debate Society holds intellectual debates twice monthly, arguing philosophical, theological, and political topics in order to encourage critical thinking, foster political leadership, and promote the Catholic intellectual life by seeking and defending Catholic truths.

Alumnus Colin Mason, Director of Media Production at Population Research Institute, spoke on careers in media.

College Admissions and Marketing Director Tom McFadden discussed career opportunities for liberal arts students outside of academia.

Connie Marshner, President of Connie Marshner & Associates, spoke on careers in fundraising and company development.

La Festa di San Giuseppe

The Solemnity of St. Joseph was celebrated on Saturday, with a series of events all evening. Beginning with meditations in the chapel led by Fr. Planty, Christendom College students, faculty and staff joined in prayers, including the Litany of St. Joseph, and then processed into the St. Lawrence Commons behind the statue of St. Joseph. After a blessing by Fr. Planty, everyone sat down to a delicious Italian meal, including a variety of freshly baked breads made by both students and faculty members.

Later that evening, a special Pub Night was held in St. Kilian’s Café in honor of the solemnity. Students enjoyed chatting with friends over yummy snacks, playing card games, and listening to the many talented student musicians perform. Several groups performed original songs and crowd favorites. Even Chaplain Fr. Planty sang a few fun songs that everyone joined in singing.

“The St. Joseph Solemnity Pub Night was packed, which was awesome!” says Freshman Sean LaRochelle. “Everything about the night was great, especially the food and the talent.”

Processing from the Chapel to the Commons.

Fr. Planty blesses the bread.

Sophomore Philip Briggs samples some of the homemade bread.

Students, faculty, and staff enjoyed the meatballs and Calabrese bread made by Associate Director of Admissions Mike Schmittino.

Sophomore Theresa Lamirande played a couple originals.

With Freshman Colleen Anderson on guitar, Freshmen Faith Leopold and Emma Kavanagh sang a few songs.


In the Arms of Mother Church

Every day, a long line of pilgrims stretches across Saint Peter’s Square, as thousands congregate at the spot that has drawn countless saints and faithful Christians from all over the world, and, of course, the inevitable tourists.

As our group of forty joined this line, our president, Dr. Timothy O’Donnell, who visited us in Rome last week, began his tour of Saint Peter’s by pointing out some of the architectural features. In particular, he drew our attention to the design of the Colonnade, which curves around to symbolize the arms of the Church, embracing the faithful who have gathered in the Square. Atop the Colonnade stand the images of the Saints, figures of inspiration, and reminders of the real communion of all the members of the Church, in Heaven and on Earth.

Yet the saints are present in Rome as far more than stone carvings that stand motionless and aloof, hundreds of feet above us and inaccessible as the pagan deities of ancient Rome. They become vividly present, as we walk the streets that many of them walked, and view the ground upon which their blood spattered when they gave their lives for Christ.

On March 9, the feast day of Saint Frances of Rome, Dr. O’Donnell led us on a pilgrimage to the sites hallowed by the life of this great patroness of Rome: a mystic who achieved sanctity first as a wife and mother, and later, after her husband’s death, as a Benedictine nun. Visiting Saint Frances’ house and convent, and praying beside her tomb, I came in contact not with a cold marble statue, but with a real woman, who shared the same joys and sorrows as millions before and since her time.

When George Weigel, the biographer of John Paul II, addressed our group, he also emphasized the theme of our closeness to the saints. He pointed out the similarities between John Paul II’s student days and our own— challenging us to follow in the footsteps of this great Pope. Karol Wojtyla wasn’t born in a white cassock and skull-cap with a halo. He was a living, breathing, normal human being. It’s up to us to follow his example.

Just as the saints are more than the far-off, smiling figures in haloes that stand around in Churches, so too, those who lead the flock of Christ are not the cold-hearted tyrants that the modern-world would have us believe. Last week, when we had the privilege to enjoy lunch with Cardinal Arinze, a prince of the Church. I was struck by his humility and warm friendliness.

The Church is no cruel tyrannical queen, sitting far away on a throne. No, the Church is a fond mother, embracing each of her children, and drawing each one in towards Christ, the Redeemer, Who, from the facade of Saint Peter’s, wherein He is really present in the Sacrament of His love, looks down tenderly upon the members of His mystical body.

Chillin' in the Vatican gardens.

President O'Donnell, his wife, Cathy and Rome Director John Noronha enjoy lunch with Cardinal Arinze.

Cardinal Arinze snaps a photo with students in Rome.

Students enjoyed a live performance during a festival in Piazza Navona.

St. Patrick's Day in Rome: Dominic Viera, Katie Francis, and Chris Foeckler perform an Irish dance.

St. Patrick's Day in Rome: David Frank is joined by Brian Killackey on the tin whistle.

Waiting to see the Pope at last Wednesday's audience.

Pope Benedict XVI waives to Christendom College at last Wednesday's Papal audience.

Spring Break Mission Trips

During Christendom College's spring break, 61 students traveled to Honduras, the Dominican Republic, and New York City for missionary work. The students' work ranged from evangelization efforts to digging latrines.

Twelve students went to Honduras, along with alumna Mary Kate Hunt, Associate Dean of Student Life Tambi Spitz, and Fr. John Luke of the Community of St. John. Twenty-four students and Theology professor Raymund O'Herron went to the Dominican Republic. Philosophy professor and Missions Program Director Michael Brown joined a group of 25 students to do missionary work in New York City.

To read more about their experiences click here.

Please enjoy the following video filmed by Chronicler Reporter Maeve Gallagher, who went on the Honduras mission trip.


Crusaders Win Rugby Tournament

The Rugby team under the guidance of first year head coach Don Briggs, in their first game this season (with more than half the team being rookies), lost their first rugby game in the tournament at Hampden-Sydney College by one try (goal). This first game was against Christopher Newport University, a team that beat us two years before and were nationally ranked as 15th in the nation. The Crusaders played like gentleman fighting every minute and barely losing, and keeping their patience against injustices. At the end of the game they knew they had nothing to be ashamed of, and the new players knew now what a real rugby game felt like. Senior Ben Ranieri and Junior Joe Long scored the two tries in this game.

The second game was a grand sight to see! Ben Ranieri, Sophomore Hugh Bratt and Freshmen Joe Duca, Patrick McKenna, and Andrew Hepler all scored in this game—freshmen representing their class in a big way. The Crusaders came out looking for redemption from a loss undeserved, and they scored six tries to Lynchburg University's one. The entire team was flawless in its execution of plays and form, driving through the other team time and time again.

The Third game was played against Hampden-Sydney itself, the team that had just previously beaten Christopher Newport. The two teams spent the next forty minutes giving everything they had to this game! Christendom held Hampden-Sydney at their try line for three drives and let in only two tries against. Christendom scored five against them. Patrick McKenna, Ben Ranieri, Junior Gabe Schuberg, and Senior Aaron Tatum scored in this game. After the game the teams met and they all praised the team for constituting themselves in a Christian manner.

The Christendom Crusader Rugby Team won the tournament by the most points scored. This is the first tournament that the team has ever won, though they had a winning season last year.

"Every team invited us to play them again, anytime we would like," Ben Raneri said. "The guys played like Catholic gentleman, they played like Crusaders."

Coach Briggs went on to comment, “The men played extremely well in all three matches and represented Christendom in a tremendous fashion.” The Crusaders are back in action on March 25 at George Mason University in Fairfax, VA, beginning at 6pm, directions can be found on the Christendom Rugby page.

Crusader fight for control of the ball.

Raneri takes the ball down field.

Patrick McKenna charges ahead.

Q. I really like the idea of Christendom, and I think that going there will make me a better person, but I am still unsure if I will be able to get a job or gain any useful career-related skills while studying the liberal arts. Can you give me any assurances that I will be able to get a job after graduation, please?

A. There is a famous statement that is said of Jesus’ Real Presence in the Eucharist: For those who believe, no explanation is necessary. For those who do not believe, no explanation is possible. Although I am not equating the Real Presence with the fact that a liberal arts education is one of the best educations out there for gaining employment, I am saying that there are two groups of thought on the issue, and it is sometimes very hard to bridge the gap between them: the believers and the unbelievers. But I will try.

When someone asks me this question, here’s how my typical response comes out: “What do you want to do when you graduate? What I mean is, what job do you think you will not be able to get if you graduate with a liberal arts degree? The reason I ask this is because our alumni are involved in just about every career field possible (OK, we don’t have any astronauts or circus performers…yet), so there is really no need to worry about the ability to find a job or achieve your ‘dream career’ upon graduation. In fact, I can probably name for you the alumnus or alumna who is doing the job in which you are interested.”

Now, after hearing my little spiel, some look at me with trust and say to themselves: “Wow, he just said that they have alumni doing all kinds of things in all kinds of fields that are unrelated to the majors that they offer here. He would most certainly know whether there is a whole slew of alumni living on the streets, unable to find work, and he would probably not be able to sleep at night if he were sitting there lying to me and all other prospective students about the value of the liberal arts degree. I guess an education at Christendom does prepare you for the workforce, as well as for life. Sign me up.”

And then there are the others. “Man, this guy thinks he can convince me with a few catch phrases and pointed questions? I still don’t believe it. I want to be a software engineer, or maybe an accountant, but then again, maybe I want to be a journalist, a restaurant manager, a dentist, or possibly a computer programmer. How’s this liberal arts degree going to help me do any of these things? Where’s the proof? Show me the money, McFadden.”

Here’s the deal. As I’ve mentioned before (and it is certainly worth repeating):

  • Liberal arts students advance more quickly to middle and senior management positions than their colleagues who pursued other fields of study . . . these graduates become employees that are ready to learn (AT&T Management Study).
  • The liberal arts are more effective in teaching communication skills, general knowledge and information, an understanding of people, an appreciation of ethical concerns, an ability to organize and prioritize, and vital leadership skills (Fortune 500 study).
  • Business leaders value liberal arts grads for their critical thinking and problem-solving skills, strong writing and speaking skills, self-discipline, exposure to diverse ideas, and global perspective (Hobart & William Smith Colleges study).
  • Strong communications skills are the single most important attribute a candidate can have – and also the one most lacking among job applicants (Poll of hiring managers by the National Association of Colleges and Employers).
  • A broad liberal arts education is preferred for future CEOs – blending knowledge of history, culture, philosophy, and economic policy, with international experience and problem-solving skills (The Wall Street Journal).
  • Employers focus on finding graduates with the right skills rather than the right major, as a new employee with the right skills can easily learn the specifics of an industry. Employers desire transferable skills, skills employees take with them to any job, such as written and verbal communication skills, the ability to solve complex problems, to work well with others, and to adapt in a changing workplace – and these are characteristic of a liberal arts education (Survey by National Association of Colleges and Employers).

Also, Christendom graduates do very well on their graduate school entrance exams (LSAT, MCAT, GRE, etc) and go to a variety of graduate schools such as Notre Dame, Harvard, William & Mary, University of Virginia, Oxford, George Mason, and Catholic University. They earn MBAs, MSEEs, JDs, MDs, PhDs, MSNs, and MAs in things like law, engineering, business, accounting, philosophy, theology, history, political science, architecture, dentistry, medicine, nursing, and everything in between.

Through the Christendom alumni and career network, we are able to help our students prepare for their life after graduation. We aid them in career preparation through talks and workshops, through presentations and meeting with them one-on-one. We help them with resume writing and interview skills; job exploration and graduate school search; alumni networking and job placement. We have a number of companies and organizations who specifically look to Christendom for their next employees.

An interesting thing to think about is this: Most people do not end up working in the career field that they majored in at college. Therefore, picking a specific school to attend because of a specific major that is offered is certainly no guarantee (a 50/50 chance) that you will actually work in that field. The difference with studying at Christendom and majoring in one of our offerings (history, theology, political science, classics, English language and literature, or philosophy…with minors in math, liturgical music, and economics), you can be almost certain that you will not actually work in the field of study of your major. Out of our close to 1600 graduates, very few are employed in their area of study. But they are broadly educated, and therefore, not limited to one area of employment. They are able to move around from career field to career field, if they wish. They can more easily move up the management ladder. They do not have to go back to school for more training if they choose to change jobs. They can do anything.

Alumnus Sean Kay
Partner at Pricewaterhouse Coopers
“What do you want to do when you graduate? What jobs do you think you cannot get with a degree from Christendom?” You want to be an Electrical Engineer, talk to Damian Fedoryka. Interested in peoples’ teeth? Talk to Dentist Sam Aronhime. How about an architect? Peter Jensen. Computer programmer? See Bennett Ellis at IBM. An Accountant? Talk with Sean Kay, a partner at Pricewaterhouse Coopers. Marketing professional? Check out Dave Greiner at Agent X. Like the idea of nursing? You need to talk with Jill Vander Woude. Interested in Journalism? Robyn Lee at
Faith & Family magazine can help you out. Want to try your hand at law enforcement? John Curran at the FBI’s your man. Law? Matt O’Herron at Turbitt, O'Herron & Leach PLLC. Finance and investing? John Clark, CEO of Paladin Financial. Non-profit Management? Mark Rohlena, CEO, Catholic Charities in Colorado Springs. Education? See Catholic school principal Frank Nicely.

Whatever you want to do tomorrow, can be achieved on our campus today. Believe it.

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.

Music & Marid Gras


Name: Tim Johnston
Age: 20
Ellington, Connecticut
Undeclared - maybe Political Science
My Catholic Faith, ultimate frisbee, Lord of the Rings, piano, improv, talking, making friends
What's your favorite class/professor?
I really love all my classes, but my favorite is probably History of Western Civilization with Prof. McGuire. I love history and his enthusiasm for his subject makes learning about the past incredibly fun and interesting.
What extra-curricular activities do you participate in?
I participate in intramural sports (esp. dodgeball) and the swing dance club as well. In the future, I'd like to get involved in the school plays and Shield of Roses.
What is your favorite thing about Christendom?
I love the diverse range of personalities at Christendom. Also the way that what we learn in a particular class can overlap and expand on other classes—and all of this is tied into the Faith.
Why did you choose Christendom?
I had my graduation from Seton Home Study at Christendom and really fell in love with the campus. Christendom had everything I wanted in a college: small student body, a strong sense of Catholicity, and a good balance between academics and extracurricular.
What has surprised you the most about Christendom? People here are pretty normal and the food is surprisingly good. Gotta love desserts.
Plans after graduation? Not really sure. I'd like to do something low level in politics, like being an aid or assistant to a politician, but no definite plans as of yet.
Any parting words of advice for a prospective student? Extend yourself, get to know other people, and Christendom will become like a second family. Also don't be afraid to ask upperclassmen for advise or help. They are some of the best help you can find for exams and papers.


Life on Tap

Last Tuesday night a large group of juniors and seniors gathered in St. Kilian's cafe to hear Career Counselor Keith Robinson speak and give tips and advice on interviewing skills.

He spoke on how to prepare for, and how to handle the interview, as well as the general structure of most interviews and how to approach them.

Mr. Robinson conducted a seminar style presentation which sought answers to questions from the audience. Each question helped students see how to use their answers to help and not hinder them.

Mr. Robinson worked as an executive coach assisting senior technology executives in their career exploration strategies and career search tactics.

Cup o' Joe Coeli

On Friday night, the Chester-Belloc Room in Regina Coeli was filled with students eager to see their friends perform musical acts. Performances included singing, piano and guitar playing, rapping, and a violin piece as well as many others.

“I loved seeing some of my friends show off their musical skills and perform for us,” said freshman Morgan Kavanagh. “Christendom has so many talented students and I think events like ‘Cup O’ Coeli’ give them a chance to showcase themselves. And Regina Coeli was packed, which just shows how much Christendom students support their friends.”

Students snacked on refreshments and enjoyed watching their friends showcase such amazing talent for a small college.

Sophomores Mary and Sadie Bratt sing with Freshman Katherine Shannon. Sophomore Hugh Bratt joins them on the bodrum.

Sophomore Gloria Klosterman is accompanied by Sophomore John Rogers on the piano.

Freshman Monica Davis and Sophomore Charlie Van Hecke were part of group that did a philosophical rap about Plato.

Seniors Margaret McShurley and John Kilackey played beautiful pieces on their violins. Sophomore Hugh Bratt accompanied them on the guitar.

Sophomore Eric Machue played a couple favorites.

Sophomore Jimmy Munson played great guitar solo.

Sophomore PJ Freeman played a classical number on his violin.

Mardis Gras

This past Saturday night the St. Lawrence Commons was filled with colors and many-a-student in masks as the Christendom Community gathered for a last hurrah before Lent begins. As usual, this will be the last dance until after Easter, so the students were particularly enthused to have a great time at this dance.

To follow on the theme of Mardi Gras, not only were masks available for all to wear, but there was also traditional "King Cake," one for the boys, and one for the girls. Crowns were given to the girl and boy who respectively found the baby Jesus in the King Cake.

The night was further enhanced by the live band that performed. The band was comprised of Seniors Rory O'Donnell and James Hannon, Junior Gabe Schuberg, and Sophomore Dominic Ginski. The band played many fun songs, including the popular "I'm a Believer" originally done by "The Monkeys". They provided a fun atmosphere for the dance, which students really enjoyed.

Fun was had by all, and the students enjoyed the opportunity to have one more dance before the more somber season of Lent begins.

Gabe Schuberg sang "Earth Angel."

The band played fantastic renditions of oldies that were great to dance to.

Sophomores Nicole Koopman and John Rogers enjoy a dance.

A merry Mardi Gras masquerade.

Greed and Generosity

Tuesday night, students gathered in the Chapel Crypt to hear the fifth of Fr. Planty's lecture series, "The Seven, Actually, There are Eight, Deadly Sins." This week, Fr. Planty spoke on "Greed and Generosity."

He opened by briefly talking about shockingly sad statistics of global monetary priorities. He showed how it is hard to grow spiritually when one is so consumed with material things, and quoted St. John of the Cross, saying, "He who seeks pleasure in something will not be empty so that God can fill him with His ineffable joy. . . because his hands are full and he cannot take what God wants to give him."

He continued by talking about how it is fine to provide for general needs, but that people neglect to remedy this problem of greed by not being generous toward those who are less fortunate—largely because we are too willing to hold onto pointless material attachments. He pointed out that the contrary virtue to the vice of greed is generosity, a poverty of spirit, and that we must strive to have a preferential love for the poor, which helps to remedy the problem of greed in mankind.


Tu es Petrus

“I, the Lord, am with you always, until the end of the world” (Matt 28:20).

View from academic center.
In the Gospel of Saint Matthew, these are the last words spoken by Christ before His Ascension, the words with which He promises constant protection to a group of eleven frightened men—to whom He has just given the seemingly ridiculous command to go out and evangelize all nations.

Two thousand years later, thirty-eight college students from a nation over four thousand miles away hear the same words as they gather in the most famous church in the world: a basilica built in honor of one of those same eleven men.

On Monday morning, we officially began our orientation in Rome with Mass in the Crypt of Saint Peter’s Basilica, at the tomb of the Prince of the Apostles. As we went forward for Communion, Christ’s words to the apostles re-echoed through the chapel, and I realized that I, and each of my companions, and the Church we were standing in, were all solid, living proof that Christ has fulfilled His promise—we are members of a Church against which the gates of Hell will never prevail.

We said our farewells to Siena on Saturday morning, and turned our steps—except that we were in a bus—towards Rome. Our wonderful week of pilgrimaging was over, and we were sorry to leave a city brought to life for us by our tour guide’s colorful descriptions of Sienese life; we had seen a Eucharistic miracle, celebrated Mass in the house of Saint Catherine, and explored the many charms of the city that several saints have called home.

However, despite our regret over Siena, many of us breathed a sigh of relief at the thought of settling down in Rome. With our pilgrimage-week at an end, it seemed as though we were going home. Of course, in more ways than one, Rome really is our home, and it’s not just because we happen to live here. It’s because this city is the center of the Church to which we belong, because it is a city sanctified by the countless saints that have walked its streets, and most of all, because it is where our father—il papa, the pope—lives.

The angelus seen and heard by students in Rome last Sunday. (Video jumps to English part of the Pope's address.)
As He fulfills his promise to remain always with His Church, Christ has indeed blessed us in the loving father and faithful shepherd who is Pope Benedict. On Sunday, I saw him for the first time—a tiny white figure, standing at a high window, looking out over St. Peter’s Square. As he lead the assembled crowd in praying the Angelus, and imparted his blessing, the voice of this one man reverberated through the surrounding streets, just as his words of wisdom and light echo throughout the world.

Benedict XVI is the two-hundred-and-sixty-sixth in the line of Popes who have fed the sheep of Christ in unbroken apostolic succession. We need have no doubt that there will be popes enough for yet another two thousand years, or longer, even until the end of the world. For Christ has promised to remain always with His Church. It is founded upon a rock.

The Duomo of Siena.

View of Siena (and the Duomo) from students' hotel.

On tour in Siena: our guide explains the 17 family districts of Siena and the Palio, an annual horse race.

On tour in Siena: in front of the house of St. Catherine of Siena.

Enjoying the Trevi Fountain while hunting for good gelato.

At home it Rome.

Teacher Formation Program

This week, The Chronicler is getting a better look at the Teacher Formation Program, a program that Christendom College offers to senior students to give them the opportunity to be an Apprentice Teacher under a Master Teacher at one of the local schools. The program counts for six credits and lasts one semester, during which Christendom students spend six hours a week first observing and then teaching lessons to both small groups and whole classes.

Dr. Eleanor Kelly
Teacher Formation Program Director
The Apprentice Teacher has his or her choice of five different schools. The Apprentice Teacher also gets to choose the grade level (K-12). He or she keeps a weekly log, which is given to Dr. Eleanor Kelly, the Director of Teacher Formation. As the program director, Dr. Kelly oversees all the school assignments and conducts weekly workshops.

“The workshops include lesson planning, educational resources and materials, and effective teaching techniques,” explains Dr. Kelly. “The major emphasis of the course is on the analysis of effective teaching behavior, both verbal and non-verbal.”

Dr. Kelly further describes how she, along with a group of the Christendom Apprentice Teachers, observes each Apprentice Teacher twice. “At the post-lesson observation conference, all share their analyses of the lesson presentation,” says Dr. Kelly. “The Apprentice Teachers consider this experience most valuable.”

“The Teacher Formation Program is of great benefit to Christendom students because it gives them an opportunity to experience the teaching profession,” says Dr. Kelly. “In addition, the students in the program gain increased confidence, effective communication skills, and a professional attitude.”

After graduation, many Christendom students who participated in the Teacher Formation Program go on to teach in Catholic and lay-run private schools, and many others pursue a Master’s Degree.

Senior Katie Cruser
“I’ve always wanted to be a Kindergarten teacher, and the Teacher Formation Program has really given me hands-on experience,” says Senior Katie Cruser. Cruser goes twice a week for a few hours and helps a teacher, as well as observe and take notes, though helping out in Kindergarten leaves little time for note taking, she says.

"The Kindergarteners get so excited when I come in, and I really look forward to going, Cruser says. "Dr. Kelly really knows what she is doing and gives excellent pointers, and she really makes me and all the other students in the program excited about teaching. It is a great way to get some experience and grow in knowledge of a great profession.”

“I encourage anyone who might be considering a teaching career and all who are interested in home schooling to register for the program,” Dr. Kelly says.

For more information about Christendom's Teacher Formation Program click here.

Members of the Teacher Formation Program, Spring 2011.


Indoor SoccerTakes Over on Campus!

One of the highlights on campus is intramural experience that occurs on Monday and Thursday nights. From 9pm to curfew Christendom students flock to the gym to compete in or to support the different intramural games that are going on. Since the beginning of the intramurals here on campus, the program has achieved great success. Last year about 200 students played an intercollegiate or intramural sport, that equates to over half of the entire student body. Commanding the top spot in the popular in-house sporting events along with volleyball, was indoor soccer.

Like so many other intramural sports, indoor soccer is played in the ever-bustling Crusader gymnasium where it is converted into a den of soccer mania two nights a week. With hockey goals, 4 player teams and no out of bounds one can see what this sport might be the most exciting on campus. Last year the indoor soccer season boasted over 20 teams and a total student participation of about 115 out of 350 students on campus. This year seems to be following suit.

This past Monday evening was the opening night for indoor which consisted of 12 teams and 6 games. The goal of intramurals is to have as level a playing field as possible in terms of the talent of the teams. The more teams capable of winning on any given night, the more fun each team will have and the more excited they will be to play. Coordinators Joseph Stephens and Nicholas Blank have done a great job forming the teams and setting up the whole season which surely will be a successful one.

The games consist of 10 minute halves with free substitutions and no outs, except for rare circumstances. Because of the different rules and regulations in regard to forming teams, it really forces some people to go outside their comfort area and play with people they wouldn’t usually play with, which builds a stronger community—not just in the intramural arena, but on the campus as a whole.

With all the rosters in, the early odds look to favor team 7 which consists of Mike Bugin, Lisa Hill, Blaise Buckner, Francis Aul, Mike Inzeo, and Philosophy Professor Mark Wunsch. Prof. Wunsch is an avid European soccer follower who looks to teach some of his students something outside the classroom!

They will definitely be challenged by a number of other teams including Team 14 which includes Rob Hambleton, Hugh Bratt, Brendan Krebs, Scott Lozyniak and Lauren Oligny. However, with multiple solid teams this season looks to be a very exciting one upcoming.

The entire intramural program here at Christendom is a great example of what students are capable of. Most of the program is organized and run by the students. From helping form the teams, to making the schedules, to refereeing the games—all these things are done by the student workers of the athletic department. These students —especially Joseph Stephens—deserve the credit for the resounding success the program has experienced over the past few years. With plenty of excited students ready to participate and a talented group of student workers, this indoor soccer season has all the makings for another exciting and successful season.

For information regarding the indoor soccer schedule as well as current rosters and standings please visit the intramural blog or sign up to follow us on Facebook or Twitter.

Junior Robert Fetsko fights his way to the goal.

Junior Tim Ginkski challenges Sophomore Chris Roberts.

Sophomore Dean Dewey and Prof. Wunsch fight for control of the ball.

Q. If I apply after Christendom’s application deadline of March 1, what are the chances of me being accepted?

A. The answer is pretty simple. I don’t know! But here’s what I can tell you. We are a small college and we do not plan on growing which means that we have a limited amount of housing available. Therefore, we only plan on enrolling about 115-120 new students this upcoming fall to remain at around 410 total students.

Right now, as of this writing, we have received close to 120 deposits for the fall. Last year at this time, we had only received 70 deposits, the year before that, just 42, so it looks like we may fill up faster than usual. And on top of that, we are awaiting the decision of about 55 other accepted students.

Between now and May 1, we will have some of the 53 send in their deposits, and we will have some of the 120 ask for their deposits back. By May 1, we should have a more solid idea about how things look for the fall. So, right now, I believe that many of those who missed the March 1 deadline and still want to apply will very likely be placed on a waiting list until we can determine if there is any room. Over the past two years, people on the waiting list are usually notified if there is room sometime in late May or early June. And many on the waiting list have gotten in, so don’t despair…

Apply today!

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.