Thrills and Chills from the Stage


Name: Bernadette Donahue
Midlothian, Texas
Singing, music, reading, watching movies, and spending time with family or friends.
What's your favorite class/professor?
This is a hard one! I definitely love Prof. Brendan McGuire's history class, but I also greatly enjoy Dr. Patrick Keats' literature class. I love reading the books and then discussing them with Dr. Keats. He is a very incredible teacher.
What extra-curricular activities do you participate in?
I try to make it to Shield of Roses every week. I don't play on a sports team, but I am playing in the Powder Puff game this Sunday. I've really been enjoying the practices.
What is your favorite thing about Christendom? The strong faith that is being lived out here, by the professors, students, and staff. I believe that our Catholic Faith is the most important aspect of our lives. Being surrounded by the Faith helps me grow closer to God.
Why did you choose Christendom?
I chose Christendom because of the solid truths that are being taught in the classroom. I never have to worry that what I am being taught is untrue.
What has surprised you the most about Christendom?
The food is pretty good.
Plans after graduation? Go back home to Texas, and serve God in whatever field He is calling me.
Any parting words of advice for a prospective student?
Bring rain boots and warm clothes. It get's cold here!


On Sacred Architecture

College Chaplain Fr. Donald Planty gave a wonderful talk to a group of students, faculty, staff, and a few local parishioners on Tuesday night, November 9, in the basement of the library. Entitled “The Law of the Church and the Design and Building of Churches: Canon Law and Sacred Architecture,” his presentation was both spiritually and intellectually enlightening. The talk was actually a summary of his doctoral dissertation, which investigates the rules governing sacred architecture according to Canon Law. Canon Law governs the principles and norms of both the liturgy and sacred art.

“It is only fitting to have appropriate architecture in our churches, for the most important event takes place there—the Mass. I think most students at Christendom are aware of the need to have an appropriate church building, but I doubt many could explain why,” says Junior Fran Dewey. “Father Planty gave excellent historical and liturgical reasons for what sacred architecture really is. Even though Christendom is not exactly training any architects, we should definitely still be able to give an informed defense of authentic sacred architecture.”

All enjoyed discussing the topic further at the reception following the talk.
Fr. Planty explained how essentially, there are two fundamental principles of sacred architecture: the liturgical function and its symbolic representation. While the styles of Catholic churches have changed, the fundamental forms of churches have not. Churches should be different from secular buildings in their function and structure, for the church building symbolizes Christ and His Church.

Due to the praise he received for his presentation, Fr. Planty is considering making a larger presentation of this topic in the future.

Volleyball Season in Crusader Gymnasium

For many Christendom students, Monday and Thursday nights are dedicated to intramural volleyball. One of the most popular intramural sports at Christendom, volleyball always draws a crowd.

“Intramural volleyball is so much fun and allows everyone to participate, even if you’re not on a sports team normally,” Sophomore Anna Harris says. “It’s a great, non-competitive environment where you can meet new people and really enjoy yourself.”

Intramural volleyball is available for Christendom athletes to partake in as well as those who do not play sports at the varsity level. Many students who do not wish to play volleyball come to watch the games and cheer on their friends.

“That’s what is so terrific about it—volleyball is something everyone enjoys,” Harris says.

Senior Karl Haislmaier taps the ball over the net for a point.

Freshman Michael Arnold spikes the ball over Sophomore Charles Rollino.

An Appointment with Death

The Christendom College Players filled the Skyline High School Auditorium with mystery, thrills, and laughter with their performance of Agatha Christie's Appointment With Death on November 12-14.

Appointment With Death, tells the story of Drs. Theodore Gerard and Sarah King, who while holidaying in Jerusalem, encounter the strange Boynton family. The family head, Mrs. Boynton, is a sadistic and tyrannical mother who attracts the strong dislike of many people around her—including her family. When she is found dead, Gerard and King work to solve the case.

Directed by Christendom English Professor Dr. Patrick Keats and Alumnus Peter Smith, the play successfully captured the intrigue and excitement for which Christie’s plays are so well known.

“This play, though less famous, appealed to Peter and myself because of the complexity of the characters, the masterful study of evil and its portrayal of how that evil can take over a family,” Keats said. “The play is so much more than just a ‘whodunit’ murder mystery.”

Keats worked tirelessly behind the scenes, from organizing the set construction to coaching actors. His hard work coupled with a colorful and delightful cast showcased Christendom’s dramatic talent.

“It's difficult to recall a group of actors that has been more hard-working, enthusiastic, or easier to work with,” Keats said.

Every year the Christendom Players produce two plays: one in the fall and one in the spring, both produced and directed by Keats. And because Christendom does not have a drama department, students from across all disciplines are welcome to audition for the performances, making Christendom's liberal arts experience rich in the fine arts as well.

Lily Keats, wife of Dr. Keats, Maribeth Kelly and Freshman Maeve Gallagher did a marvelous job with the costumes, carefully capturing a sense of the period (1937) and making sure that each character had a distinct look and style.

Sophomore Alexis Thornton and the other makeup & hair artists did their homework carefully, getting across the 1930's style and keeping the characters unique and distinctive.

A shining light on the stage was Sophomore Nicole Koopman who played the strong and caring Dr. Sarah King. Her chemistry with her fellow players was strong across the board and she played an excellent foil to the conniving Mrs. Boynton.

Sophomores Sarah Belk and John Schofield oversaw the set design and construction. They and their teams worked very hard, in their portrayals of both a Jerusalem hotel and the ancient city of Petra.

Senior Margaret McShurley played the creepy Mrs. Boynton. Her portrayal of the deranged woman sent chills through the audience as she manipulated and psychologically terrorized her family members.

Steve Curtain gave a memorable performance as Dr. Theodore Gerard and Freshman Savanna Buckner captured the flightiness and fear of the psychologically disturbed Ginevra Boynton.

Surges of comedic energy hit the stage whenever Sophomore Philip Briggs and Freshman Joe Duca were on.

picasa See more pics here.

"Experience Christendom" Summer Program Reunited 2

Forty-six high school students from across the nation came to visit Christendom during the second of the College's Experience Christendom High School Summer Program Reunion Visit Weekends.

During the weekend, students participated in classes, visited with current students, heard from the Admissions Director and Visit Program Coordinator Eve Owen, and saw Christendom's talent shine at the Fall Play, Appointment with Death. They were also able to reconnect with some of their counselors and enjoy special activities set up just for them, including a dance.

This weekend is the last of this semester's Visit Weekends, but there are plenty more lined up for next semester. Go
here to check out the schedule and plan your visit or here to discover how amazing it would be to "Experience Christendom" this summer.

Reunited: Visitors Evelyn Hildebrand, Kate Van de Loo, Sarah Jamieson, and Marissa Feiring.

Camp Counselor and Junior Tommy Salmon swings with Kayla Friel.

Visitors enjoyed dancing Contra-style dances once again.

And, of course, the Virginia Reel, as well.

"Experience Christendom" Summer Program Trailer

You should "Experience Christendom" too! Start planning your summer today!


Feeling at Home in Germany

hile we all have thoughts of home dancing through our heads, what better way to increase homesickness than to go to a place like home?

This past free weekend, which was quite anticipated, found many "Romers" traveling to various European countries. There were travelers to Greece, Barcelona, Vienna, Paris, and Germany, among other places. I myself enjoyed a lovely trip to Germany, with fellow classmates Eryn Landry and Sarah Golden.

I must sheepishly admit, that I will be singing the praises of Germany mostly, but hey, the Rome Program provides the opportunity, right?

It is lovely when one has relatives and friends in European countries and are able to come and visit them, while seeing another country. Friday morning, the three of us girls flew into Germany, Karlsruhe, to be exact. As soon as we exited the airport, we were welcomed by beautiful sight of trees! As silly as that sounds, when one spends so long in the very urban city of Rome, the sight of trees and grass is more than welcome.

Germany is SO beautiful! It is filled with the quintessential rolling hills, big forests, green trees, and old German houses. I would be lying if I said it didn't remind me of Christendom, and our beautiful Shenandoah Valley. What's more, if the scenery doesn't make one miss home, the company sure does!

German is so clean, and beautiful, and the people are so very nice. And: they eat meat. One thing that I (and many other "Romers") have missed about America is the meat. Germans, however, have meat in abundance, which Sarah, Eryn, and I experienced with great pleasure.

The only problem with Germany is that it made us realize how much we missed home! Seeing familiar landscapes, eating familiar foods, seeing friendly faces. It makes one realize how long it has been since they've been home.

While we all are realizing how much we miss home, we know how amazing this experience is—we know how incredible this is, and that we are experiencing once in a lifetime opportunities.

I know it's perfectly normal to feel homesick and to be excited to come home, but at the same time, we should feel grateful that we live where we live. We are excited to return to Christendom, but we will be striving to experience this last week in Rome with renewed vigor and new eyes, so as not to take a second of this amazing experience for granted.

The Karlsruhe Palace.

Sarah Golden enjoys a view of southern Germany's rolling hills—similar to Shenandoah Valley of Virginia.


Minoring in Mathematics

After covering the Liturgical Music minor last week, this week, The Chronicler will take a look at the Mathematics Minor. While one mathematics and one science course are required to graduate from Christendom College, many students take advantage of the opportunity to broaden their mathematical knowledge by minoring in Mathematics.

Eighteen credit hours are required to obtain a mathematics minor, and courses offered by Christendom include Introduction to Mathematical Thought, Euclidean Geometry, College Algebra and Trigonometry, Calculus I, II, and III, Linear Algebra, and Probability and Statistics. General Physics classes can be used to complete the mathematics minor as well, and these classes are Introduction to Scientific Thought, Descriptive Astronomy, General Physics I and II, and Laboratory for General Physics I and II.

Dr. Greg Townsend, head of the Department of Mathematics and Natural Science, says that mathematics and physics have always been incorporated into the liberal arts curriculum, for these subjects are not only excellent preparation for the study of higher sciences, but they offer insight into reality.

“They have always been considered part of a preparation towards the study of the higher sciences, like Philosophy and Theology, because they introduce students to the practice of logical demonstration and the notions of causality, abstraction, and unity of the subject which the other higher sciences take up,” Townsend says.

“We are quite proud of what we do here and happy that the students take the courses,” he says. “We feel we offer them something unique in giving them a special, different perspective on the science and mathematical subjects that they take, where they wouldn’t be introduced anywhere else.”

More information may be found here.


First Victories for Crusader Basketball

The men’s and women’s basketball teams got their first wins of the season this past week. The men grabbed 2 wins in the Wagner Classic held at Washington Bible College and the women beat Johnson Bible College on Saturday.

The Lady Crusaders travelled south to Asheville, NC, on Friday night to compete against Warren Wilson College. The Lady Crusaders had a slow performance after the 7 hour drive but fought back hard to be just down 1 with a few seconds left. Bridget Vander Woude’s shot went in and out and Warren Wilson escaped with the victory. The Lady Crusaders were led by Mary Barbale’s 24 points and 11 rebounds, 19 of her points came in the 2nd half.

The next day the Lady Crusaders travelled to Knoxville, TN, to play Johnson Bible College. The Lady Crusaders who trailed by 15 points at 2 different times in the game would not give up. Senior Mary Kate Vander Woude would continue to rally her team emotionally and the team responded as the Crusaders came from behind to win by 5 in a dramatic first win of the season. The team was led in scoring by Morgan Kavanagh who poured in 32 points and Mary Barbale had another double-double with an impressive 21 point, 20 rebound performance and Bridget Vander Woude added 10 points for the Lady Crusaders who are back in action today at Penn State Mont Alto and will have their season home opener on Friday against Lord Fairfax Community College.

The men’s basketball team had a tough 3 games in 3 days participating in the Wagner Classic hosted by Washington Bible College. In fact, coupled with the classic and the 5 games in 7 days this coming week, the Crusaders will have 8 games in 10 days, a grueling feat for any team. The first game of the Wagner Classic featured the Crusaders vs. the home team Washington Bible Cougars. The game saw the athleticism and speed of the Cougars race out to an early lead which they held for the majority of the game. With 5 minutes to play in the game and the Crusaders down 20 they began a fierce comeback that would cut the lead to 5 with just over one minute to play. The Cougars responded by hitting their last 2 shots and pulled out a close one against the Crusaders.

The next day the Crusaders got their first win of the season against Patrick Henry College whom they defeated by close to a 30 point margin. In the final game of the classic the Crusaders were paired against Davis College who just a week prior had defeated the Crusaders by 25 in the season opener. This game was dramatically different as the Crusaders would set the tone by their tough defense and solid offense. Davis College would lead for the majority of the game until the Crusaders overtook the lead with just over 4 minutes to go. The teams would trade baskets but the stifling defense of the Crusaders would not allow Davis to get within striking distance. David Booz and Matthew Rensch would both hit a pair of key free throws down the stretch that would put the game out of the reach and the Crusaders would win by 5. The team was paced by Brian Fox’s 15 points, Matt Rensch’s 13 and Tim Vander Woude finished with 10 points.

The Crusaders opened up at home on Tuesday night against Division III Randolph College. Christendom shares some history with Randolph as this is just the 4th year that Randolph has had a men’s basketball team after switching from an all women’s school to a co-ed institution. Randolph and Christendom played in Randolph’s first game of their men’s history just 4 years ago. Yesterday’s game would see the Crusaders struggle against the speed and overall solid team play of the Randolph Wildcats. The defensive pressure of the Randolph team would cause many Christendom turnovers which were turned into points for the Wildcats. The Crusaders would battle the entire game to their credit but couldn’t find anything that would work against the fierce defense of Randolph as Randolph would win big.

The men’s team is back in action on Friday at Patrick Henry College.

Mary Kate Vander Woude scores on a fast break.

David Booz takes a shot.

Brendan Krebs flies around the hoop.

Brian Fox looks to add 2 more to the Crusaders' score.

Q: What is a typical day at Christendom like? How many hours are spent in class, study, prayer, and free time?

A. Great question! Well, first of all there is never really a typical day. Depending on which year you are in and what you are majoring in you will have classes at varying times. But, in general, here’s what I can lay out for you:

Monday through Friday: Mass is offered at 7:30 am. Breakfast is served from 7:45-8:30. Then classes begin at 8:30. On Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays classes are 50 minutes each. So, classes are from 8:30-9:20, 9:30-10:20, and then 10:30-11:20. Then everything stops and our community Mass is offered at 11:30am. (with confessions heard for a half hour prior to it and sometimes all the way up until Communion time around noon). Between the end of the 7:30 Mass and the beginning of the 11:30 Mass we have Eucharistic Adoration where students sign up to adore Christ in the Blessed Sacrament in half hour increments. Following Mass is lunch which is served from 11:45-12:45. Then classes resume from 1-1:50, 2-2:50 and 3-3:50. Dinner is then served from 5:15-6:00 and then the Rosary is said in community in the Chapel at 6:00, at which time confessions are also heard from 6-6:30pm nightly. Then, there are a couple of classes offered at night, but normally they are upper division classes for Juniors and Seniors.

On Tuesdays and Thursdays, classes are 1 hour and 15 mins long. Classes go from 8:30-9:45, 10-11:15, 1-2:15, 2:30-3:45, and 4-5:15. Other than that everything is as listed above.

A freshman at Christendom normally takes 6 classes, worth 18 credits, and generally spends 18 hours of his/her week in class. The rest of the time can be used to pray, play, study, work, build friendships, eat, or whatever. A typical freshman class schedule may be this:

8:30-9:20 Euclidean Geometry
9:30-10:20 Literature of Western Civilization
10:30-11:20 Elementary Latin
1:00-1:50 Fundamentals of Catholic Doctrine

8:30-9:45 Introduction to Philosophy
10:00-11:15 History of Western Civilization

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.

Roses & Music


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


Mega Shield

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

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

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

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

The choir leads everyone in singing the Salve Regina.

Pub Quiz Night

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

Dr. Clark leads his choir in song.

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

Dr. O'Donnell performs an Irish song.

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

Enjoy this little video featuring the performers from Schubertiade:

Being Catholic Makes Sense

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read more about his talk here.

Downloaded his talk at Christendom on iTunes U.

iTunes U

Experience Christendom Summer Program Reunited

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

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

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

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

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


So Much To Do, So Little Time!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ciao for now!

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

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

Taking a break while on tour just outside the Pantheon.

Exploring the Pantheon.

Sunset in Nettuno.

Venice: the City of Water.

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

One of the famous gondoliers.

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

Junior Semester Abroad Fall 2010.


Liturgical Music Minor

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

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

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

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

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

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

More information may be found here.


Basketball Begins for the Crusaders

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Senior Sam McMahon looks for the open man.

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

Q. How’s the food at Christendom?

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

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

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

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

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

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

For more information about dining services, please refer to this newly created web page.
Director of Admissions
[email protected]
800.877.5456 ext. 1290

If anyone has questions about applying, visiting, scholarships, financial aid, campus life, rules and regulations, majors, core curriculum, transfer credits, or even about the food here at Christendom, please do not hesitate to contact me at any time.

Trick or Treat?


Name: Olivia Rose Aveni
Age: 19
Manassas, VA
Political Science
Cross country, creative writing.
What's your favorite class/professor?
Nicomachean Ethics with Prof. Michael Brown. He is one of the most engaging and exciting teachers I have ever had; and his ethics class has seriously made me reconsider switching my major from political science to philosophy.
Do you play any sports? I play intramural volleyball and soccer, and I love running—especially on campus in the fall, because we have some gorgeous trails.
Do you participate in any drama or music related activities?
I love acting and have been blessed with several roles in the Christendom Players performances.
What is your favorite thing about Christendom? The people! I have made the most incredible friendships in the past few years.
Why did you choose Christendom? Even though I went to a Catholic high school, I didn't want to presume that I was strong enough to take on our culture right away. I wanted the strong Catholic education to strengthen me so that I can go out and successfully conquer the world for Christ!.
Plans after graduation?
I would like to work in politics; ultimately for an elected office.


Have You Scene It?

Last Tuesday, students and faculty arrived at St. Kilian’s Café for “Have You Seen It? Movie Night,” hosted by the Library staff. The theme for this semester's "Have You Scene It?" was “Great Speeches.”

Scenes from classic films like
Bridge Over the River Kwai, 12 Angry Men, and Apollo 13, depicted moving and celebrated speeches from the movies.

“This event was a great idea ,” said Freshman Rebecca D. “I hadn’t seen many of the movies that were shown but after viewing the inspirational speeches I definitely want to watch them.”

Popcorn and other refreshments were served throughout the night and all who attended agreed that the event was an enjoyable and memorable one.

“I’ll definitely be attending the next “Have You Seen It? Movie Night,” added Rebecca.

Students enjoy discussing the films with Library Staff Member Mrs. Mickey Krebs.

Time for Some Spiritual Growth and Male Bonding

The Men’s Convocation—an annual event held in conjunction with the Women’s Convocation—was held this past Friday night in the Crusader Gymnasium. There was a large number of gentlemen in attendance, and this significant turnout was due in part to Fr. Planty’s fantastic talk on chastity, work, and prayer.

“Fr. Planty’s talk was both inspiring and very helpful,” says Sophomore David Townsend. “The pizza and wings made the night,” he added.

After listening to the talk and eating, everyone split into teams and played numerous games of ultimate dodgeball, which proved to be both intense but tremendously fun.

Liberal arts colleges normally have trouble attracting men, but not Christendom. The camaraderie and spiritual formation found at events like these continues to make Christendom a hot spot for men who are dedicated to the life of the mind, body, and the spirit.

Dodgeball in Crusader Gymnasium is always an intense experience.

Life in the Single Years

All the female students were invited to the Women’s Convocation on Friday at St. Kilian’s Café. Theology Professor Mary Stanford was the guest speaker of the night. Discussing the single life as a vocation, she encouraged young women to look at this time in their lives as a time of growth and preparation for the rest of their lives.

“Mrs. Stanford’s talk was awe inspiring—it gave in-depth meaning to some of the ever present questions pertaining to women of our age,” said Senior Ania Zganiacz. “In addition, the fluidity and enthusiasm of the discussion that followed showed what a great group of young women we have at Christendom. I was really impressed with the wisdom and strong character of the girls. They are going to do great things!”

Freshmen Madeleine Murphy and Margaret Horiuchi enjoy the chocolate fondu and the other delicious fare.

Prof. Stanford's talk can be downloaded at Christendom on iTunes U.

iTunes U

Oktoberfest: Das Gut

Saturday night featured one of the Christendom Community's favorite events, Oktoberfest. Christendom students enjoyed traditional German cuisine for dinner before participating in games. Stein racing, keg rolling, and doughnut eating were among the many exciting contests.

Women, wearing traditional dirndls, and men wearing lederhosen danced the night away at the Oktoberfest dance. A Polka contest, Virginia reel, the Ländler, and the Lady’s chain, as well as several other dances were performed.

“Oktoberfest is truly the high point of my fall season,” said Sophomore Kathryn Anderson. “The German food was so appetizing and I loved seeing everyone in traditional German attire.”

English Professor Dr. Robert Rice led a group in singing the Bavarian Anthem.

Associate Director of Admissions Michael Schmitt, Theology Professor Dr. Eric Jenislawski, and Dr. Rice love their German heritage.

The Beer Barrel race.

Racing with german steins. Contest are judged on speed and the amount of water that remains in the glass. Above visitor Kat Charba races her cousin Freshman Marilyn Charba.

Sophomore Chris Roberts tries his hand, or perhaps - his feet, at barrel walking.

Sophomore John McFadden takes a turn with visitor Gabi Muskett during the Virginia Reel.

The Ländler, as seen in The Sound of Music.

Students and visitors alike enjoyed the Lady's Chain.

And of course, the polka!

Crusader Weekend Big Success

Over 30 high school students from across the nation came to visit Christendom College during the College's second Crusader Visit Weekend last weekend.

During the weekend, more than half the students participated in a full-tuition scholarship competition and met with a faculty panel. All of them had the opportunity to sit in on classes, visit with current students, hear from the Admissions Director and Visit Program Coordinator Eve Owen (pictured above), and take part in all of the fun social and religious activities on campus, including Oktoberfest, Convocation, and the Halloween Dance (as detailed in this issue).

Two more Crusader Visit Weekends will be scheduled for the Spring semester. More information about visiting Christendom can be found

Trick or Treat?

In an effort to add even more to the excitement of Halloween night, the gentlemen in St. Benedict’s Hall hosted trick-or-treating for the first time for all the Christendom ladies. Every room on all three floors was fully stocked with candy on Sunday night, as girls ventured into the boys’ dorms, some dressed in full costumes, eager to relive the childhood joys of trick-or-treating.

A few of the boys got really into the Halloween spirit, creating “haunted houses” out of their dorm rooms. Juniors Pat Stein, Jeremy Vierling, and Senior Peter Ciskanik created the most terrifying room by far. With strobe lights and many terrifying accomplices, no girl was able to suppress screams once inside.

“I really enjoyed dressing up and getting candy from the boys, and the haunted house was a blast,” Freshman Hannah Ethridge said. “They did a great job scaring the girls with it!”

Senior Nick Lowry was a zany witch that led the girls through the "haunted house."

The trick-or-treating put everyone in the perfect mood for the Halloween Dance in the Commons that immediately followed it.

A Night of Costumes and Dance

Students arrived at the St. Lawrence Commons Sunday night for the Halloween Dance. Everyone was dressed in his or her most creative Halloween costumes. Throughout the night Freshman Class President Joe Duca announced various activities, such as long-board races and costume contests.

“This was the best dance I’ve been to so far at Christendom,” said Freshman Karen Hambleton. “The costumes were so original, it was fun seeing everyone dressed up.”

Refreshments were served throughout the night and all the students voted for their favorite costume. Mike Bobrowski won “Best Costume,” - he came as Mike Wazowski from Monsters Inc - Kathleen Deighan won “Funniest Costume,” and a group of Freshmen dressed as Greek gods and goddesses won “Most Original Costume.”

The gods of Greek mythology.

The cast of Clue.

Mike Bobrowski, dressed as Mike Wazowski from Monsters, Inc., won best costume.

The Three Musketeers show that they can dance as well as they sword fight.


It's Time to Catch Up!

Though Christendom was on a couple weeks ago, we in Rome stayed quite busy! I'll catch you up, so you are all up to date on what we've been doing.

The Rome students were all positively thrilled and excited to have Dr. O'Donnell and Mrs. O'Donnell join them for some events in Rome. It was so lovely to see familiar faces after being in Rome for over half a semester. We all felt so welcomed, even though we were the ones welcoming them! Dr. O'Donnell's tour of St. Peter's was absolutely amazing, and so very informative. I think I speak for the whole class when I say, we were all very grateful for the knowledge that he shared with us on the very unforgettable tour we received.

Other lovely happenings included our day trip to the town of Orvieto, where we saw the magnificent Duomo, where a Eucharistic miracle is kept, as well as the chapel with the cross which spoke to St. Thomas Aquinas. Christine Nussio and I went together to the Church of San Domenico, where the cross is kept. When we entered, the Church was empty, and very peaceful and quiet. It was a really amazing experience to be able to just kneel and pray before the cross in complete silence, and after some time in prayer we sang "Tantum Ergo" together. It was a really beautiful experience.

Aside from being very intellectually and spiritually thrilling (as most weeks in Rome are), these past two weeks were also incredibly musically thrilling!

As a bit of a musically-obsessed person myself, I have enjoyed the experiences immensely. Several of us went to a concert of Mozart's music, held in Santa Maria Ara Coeli. The Church itself is gorgeous, and the music was just lovely. Six of us girls also enjoyed a very fun experience of going to see Guiseppe Verdi's opera "La Traviatta." We had a wonderful time getting dressed up and going "out on the town."
The day after seeing Verdi's opera, the Christendom students had the incredible opportunity to go to a Papal Concert, where Verdi's Requiem Mass was performed! It was the most beautiful concert I have ever had the privilege of attending. The choir was wonderful, the orchestra was exquisite, and the soloists and conductor were phenomenal. Additionally, we were all quite excited, because "Il Papa" was there enjoying the concert alongside us. Finally, several of the Christendom girls once again got dressed up and hit the town to see the ballet, "Sylvia" which also had an amazing orchestra, as well as extremely talented and graceful dancers.

Additionally, the Rome students have enjoyed seeing the beautiful Vatican Gardens, visiting the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith, and had the privilege and incredible experience of attending the canonization of six Saints!

It never ceases to amaze me how very blessed we are, to have the opportunities we do in Rome. The beauty, majesty, and glory of the Catholic faith is so alive here, in so many ways, and we continue to discover it every day. We look forward to continuing to growing even more in our faith as we continue to experience the Faith in so many profound ways.

Till next time,

The Vatican Gardens: Hanging out in the Pope's backyard.

Dr. O'Donnell's tour of St. Peter's is a favorite for all Rome Program students.

Students enjoyed a few meals with Dr. & Mrs. O'Donnell.

Detail of the Duomo in Orvieto.

Christine Nussio (top left) explores Orvieto, a medieval city on a hill.


My 7 Favorite Things to Do in Front Royal

Chronicler Reporters Madeleine Murphy and Maeve Gallagher took the video camera into Front Royal in order to show you their 7 favorite things to do in our local town.



Athletics at Christendom

Christendom has a lot to offer its students in the realm of athletics. Watch this brief excerpt from our "Breathe Catholc" DVD for a nice introduction to Crusader sports.

Q. What are the deadlines for admission? Do you offer alternatives to regular admission such as early decision, early action, rolling admission? How many applications did you receive last year? What % were admitted?

A. Good question. Our admissions deadlines are December 1 for Early Action, and March 1 for Regular Admission. Early Action means that those students who complete their applications and send them to us by December 1 will be notified of our Admissions Committee’s decision by December 15. At that point, any students who are accepted do not have to notify us of their intent to enroll at Christendom until February 1, although plenty of students tell us earlier than that. In fact, we’ve already received 4 deposits for the Fall 2011 semester! Even after a student deposits their $500 to reserve their place in the incoming class, that deposit is fully refundable up until May 1, as long as we are notified in writing on or before that date.

Regular admission means that students send in their complete application to us before March 1 and are then notified on April 1 of the Admissions Committee’s decision. Those students would then have until May 1 to make a non-refundable deposit of $500 to hold their spot.

But, we also do a type of Rolling Admission in that we normally review the applications as they come in and notify students of our decision within a couple of weeks. So, in reality, although we have these official dates set up, we do try and move through applications and send out acceptance letters on a more regular basis. So, if someone completes their application today (essays, letters of recommendation, SAT or ACT scores, transcripts), there is pretty good chance that they will be notified of our decision by next week.

Last year, we ended up with 350 applications, accepting 280 of them (80%). This year, though, we are experiencing a lot of interest in what we are doing and have received 40% more applications already this year. On top of that, we are having a smaller than normal graduating class which means that we are going to be looking to bring in somewhere around 105-110 new students, rather than the normal 125 new students. This will mean that, unfortunately, we will not be able to accept as many students as normal, so I would recommend applying sooner, rather than later, if you are interested.

My advice to anyone truly interested in attending Christendom is to apply early! In that way, you can know whether you have been accepted to Christendom early and that would give you plenty of time to discern whether you want to join Christendom’s family in the fall.
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.