Homecoming Weekend


Name: Jacob Akers
Woodbridge, VA
Hobbies? Acting, singing, making movies, comedy.
What's your favorite class/professor?
My favorite class this year is Old Testament with Prof. Peter Dunstan Brown. He gets everyone fired up about scripture with all the insight he brings to the classroom.
Do you play any sports?
I love playing all sports, but haven't played any intercollegiate ones here. I have really enjoyed the intramurals. My favorite sport is definitely soccer, which I played in high school.
Do you participate in any drama or music related activities?
I was in a lot of musicals in high school, and am interested in doing drama here at Christendom. I am looking forward to getting involved with the Mystery Dinner Theater this year.
What is your favorite thing about Christendom? My favorite part about Christendom is the common Catholic values of everybody here. It makes the professors and administration approachable and you can relate to every student.
Why did you choose Christendom? Based on the recommendation of my older siblings and friends who came to Christendom. I saw the wonderful types of people that they grew to be through the formation they received here.
Plans after graduation? I don't have any plans for after graduation yet. It will definitely be somewhere where I can have a big impact on the culture.


Spirit Week

Last week, in preparation for Homecoming, Christendom students celebrated Spirit Week. Throughout the week the most spirited students were brought on stage during lunch to perform different challenges and contests sponsored by the Student Activities Council.

“I had a great time during Spirit Week!” Freshman Kelsey Ingold said. “Twin day was my favorite day. The whole week was a really great opportunity to show off the school’s spirit and bring everyone together in a fun and entertaining way.”

On Monday, each grade wore a different color representing their class. Freshmen wore pink.

Tuesday was Twin Day which had brother and sister Anthony and Sarah Barren, dressed as tree cutters, winning the best twin contest.

The annual favorite, Dress a Freshman Day, on Wednesday had senior students choosing freshmen to dress up in funny and clever ways.

Peter Pan and his Shadow was a runner up.

The Human Train.

The Basketball team poses with their female doppelgangers.

Thursday was Christendom Spirit Day and everyone wore their school apparel.

On Friday the great rivalry between the East and West Coast surfaced as students from either side of the country wore blue and white for East or red and yellow for West.

The New Roman Missal

Last Tuesday, Associate Chaplain Fr. William Fitzgerald began a three part lecture series on the new English translation of the Mass. In his first talk, he discussed the development of the Roman Mass. He explained how the traditions of the Church progressed from the first Christians through to modern day. Everything from the early Church buildings to the idea of genuflection was covered.

Perhaps the most interesting topic was the progression of the Roman missal. Early prayers were written down on papyrus by those who happened to overhear them and eventually they were collected and those in the religious life would painstakingly copy them in scriptoriums. The invention of the printing press made it easier to combine these “sacramentaries” and a series of reforms throughout the history of the Church has lead to the missal used today.

“Fr. William's talk was interesting because it gave so much history on the Mass and specifically the missal,” said Freshman Allie Crafton. “I’ll be coming back next week to learn more about the history and see how the new translation will affect me.”

You can download the talk at Christendom on iTunes U.
iTunes U

Golf Tournament Raises Funds for Athlete-Scholarship

The Thomas S. Vander Woude Memorial Golf Tournament was held on Friday at the Blue Ridge Shadows Golf Club in Front Royal, Va. Ranked as the 3rd best golf course in Virginia, Blue Ridge Shadows provided close to 100 players with a wonderful opportunity to enjoy the beauty of the Shenandoah Valley, a great game of golf, and the opportunity to raise money for a worthy cause.

Organized by Athletic Director Chris Vander Woude, the golf tournament was a tremendous success. Sponsored by National Vendor Management Services, Inc.(Manassas, VA), along with K&B Underwriters, Inc,. Paladin Financial Group, Renaissance Montessori School, and many others, the tournament raised money to benefit a scholarship which will be given to an athlete-scholar each year. Freshman Mary Barbale was this year's first recipient of the award.

The scholarship is named for the late Thomas Vander Woude, former Athletic Director at Christendom, who died in 2008 saving the life of his son, Joseph. Thomas' widow, Mary Ellen, and 6 of their seven sons (including Joseph), were at the tournament. More pictures can be seen here.

They didn't win the tournament, but they sure did look good: alumni Chris "Beef" Smith, Denny Pregent, Sebastien Jansen, and Mike Freeman.

Chris Vander Woude announces freshman Mary Barbale as the first recipient of the Thomas S. Vander Woude Athlete-Scholar Award.

Chris Vander Woude congratulates the winning foursome of the tournament.

Mrs. Vander Woude, and the son whom Tom Vander Woude died saving - Joseph, enjoyed spending time at the awards banquet.

Alumni vs. Students

On Friday students and alumni packed into Crusader Gymnasium for the annual Alumni vs. Students Basketball games. In both the women's and the men's games the students were victorious. The alumni put up a great fight though; in both games the alumni dominated the first half.

Following the game students and alumni enjoyed a reception at St. Kilian's Café.

Alumna Nancy Lee ('96) still had the height advantage.
The Alumnae Crusaders.

Sophomore Brian Fox sneaks past alumni Scott Haliski ('00) and Ben McMahon ('04).

Sophomore David Townsend looks for a way around alumnus Victor Alcantara ('04).
The Alumni Crusaders.

Student band Nick Freeman and the Texas Heat played at the reception and accepted donations for the Senior Class Gift.

Alumni Picnic

Both past and present Christendom students came to the Alumni Picnic on Saturday. Children of the alumni were especially entertained as they ate treats like cotton candy and had Christendom students paint their faces. Faculty members came out as well and caught up with their former students during the picnic.

“What a great event,” said Senior Nick Lowry. “Good food, a moon bounce, face painting, and volleyball all made for a fun afternoon. We go all out for the alumni picnic!”

Sophomore Emi Funai painted many rainbows and fun animals on the cheeks of the children.

All the kids loved the moon bounce.

Students also made string bracelets and anklets for the children.

Homecoming Dance

The St. Lawrence Commons was beautifully decorated and filled with excited students and alumni on Saturday night for the annual Homecoming Dance. “Yesterday’s Swing Band” performed everyone’s favorite upbeat swing tunes for hours of dance, and at midnight a DJ took over the music for the last hour of the dance. The alumni also enjoyed a reception in the lower level of the library. Chef Dennis Paranzino had some delightful fare prepared for everyone as they enjoyed reminiscing and catching with old friends and professors.

“I loved how the majority of the dance has live music, for it makes it one of the most exciting and enjoyable dances of the year,” Junior Stephen Tomlinson said. “Having all the alumni back was great also.”

The Homecoming Dance is always one of the highlights of the year, for students are fully back in the swing of things and ready to relieve the stress of school through dancing and just enjoying a fun night with friends. This year was no exception, as both current students and many alumni thoroughly enjoyed the dancing, music, semi-formal atmosphere, and amazing company. Feeling fully re-energized, everyone is now ready to tackle a week full of mid-terms before Fall Break.

Freshman Jason Sparks gives Freshman Marilyn Charba a twirl.

Junior Katie Francis dances with Junior Rob Fetsko.

From Frank to Dean and Dorsey to Miller — they played it all.

The Orchestra loves playing at Christendom — they never encounter such energy and great dancing.

More pictures from Homecoming 2010 can be viewed here on the Picasa Web Album.

The New Roman Missal

On Columbus Day Monday, Christendom's Admissions Office welcomed over 30 high school seniors and their families to campus for the annual Senior Visit Day, held each year on Columbus Day.

Students were greeted by Associate Director of Admissions Mike Schmitt; heard about the academic program from Dr. Patrick Keats; toured the campus; sat in on a class; attended Mass; ate lunch with the faculty; heard about the spiritual life at from Chaplain Fr. Planty; learned more about the athletic program from Athletic Director Chris Vander Woude; given an overview of Christendom by College President Dr. Timothy O'Donnell; heard from a panel of students about life on campus; watched a slide show about the semester in Rome Program; and informed about the Christendom difference by Admissions Director Tom McFadden.

"It was a great day, in fact, it was our largest and most successful Visit Day ever," said Mike Schmitt. "I am glad that so many people took advantage of this opportunity to visit Christendom and see what we are all about for themselves."

The Admissions Office will hold a special Junior Visit Day in the spring, on President's Day. Additionally, juniors are encouraged to think about coming to one of the College's summer programs.

Admissions Director Tom McFadden led one of the campus tours.

Students had the opportunity to sit in on classes. A number chose to attend Professor McGuire's history class.

Visitors had the chance to eat lunch with faculty and current students.

Fr. Planty outlined the details of the spiritual life at Christendom.

Athletic Director Chris Vander Woude summarized the sports program for the students.

Associate Director of Admissions Mike Schmitt was in charge of the day, acting as Emcee and host.

College President O'Donnell spoke to the students about the importance of a Christendom College liberal arts education.

The visitors heard from a student panel and could ask them questions about student life.


What a Week!

There are quiet weeks in Rome, which are calm and fairly uneventful, yet enjoyable and lovely in their sheer simplicity.

This was not one of those weeks!

Where to begin?! I don't even know how to begin to express the opportunities, emotions, and experiences I had in this
one week of my Rome pilgrimage. It's incredible.

Last Wednesday, Christendom went to the Papal Audience as a group, and not only was I able to sit on the same stage as "Il Papa," but I was able to sit in the front row! It was one of the most amazing experiences of my young life! There was such excitement when the Pope came out smiling and was blessing everyone. The charity flowing forth from this man's face is enough to break your own heart with love too.

Being there, as Christendom students, cheering, and yelling when the College was announced, and the Pope smiling at us and blessing us, was incredible. The Pope drove in his Pope-mobile right in front of us! We were just feet away from him! It was incredible.

When you see people reach up to him as he passes by, you think, "Well, that is sort of silly...They can't quite reach him, why do they bother?" But, honestly, it is almost an instinct. A really awesome incredible instinct, because as soon as he was in front of me, I did the same thing. I think it is because in life, we naturally reach toward all that is good, true, and beautiful—all that is loving... And goodness, the love that pours out of that man...I can't even describe the charity there! It is utterly amazing! Just being so close to him, you smile and grin and just can't help but feel happy because of all the love there! It's so incredible.

And that was only Wednesday!

On Saturday we had the wonderful opportunity to go on a tour of the Scavi: the third level underneath St. Peter's Basilica, which contains the tomb of St. Peter with his bones. The tour guide was great, and did an amazing job of telling not only the history of the discovery of St. Peter's bones, but also just expressing the Divine Providence of their finding. While we were on our tour below, above us three bishops were being ordained by Pope Benedict. It was so unbelievably breathtaking, to be in the place of St. Peter, the first Pope, to whom Christ said, "You are Peter, and upon this Rock I will build my Church." You can't help but cry; or least, I couldn't.

Everything culminated perfectly: upstairs, in the top level of St. Peter's, there were three bishops being ordained, the most gorgeous music was playing, choirs just singing the praises of Christ, while we, being part of the centuries of pilgrims who have journeyed to St. Peter's tomb knelt and prayed, while above us the beautiful and sacred apostolic succession was being continued! How can your soul not be overwhelmed with the beauty of it all? It is so unbelievably incredible one cannot help but be moved to tears. God's timing and providence is just awesome, and never ceases to amaze me.

And then Sunday!

It was rather, again, providential, because, as I put it, I had been "craving" a Latin Mass. Not that I dislike Italian Masses, but when you are in Italy, you begin to truly realize the beauty of Latin as the universal language of the Church. So Melanie Bright, Eryn Landry, and I decided to go to the 10:30 Mass at St. Peter's. As we were waiting to get through security, on the really huge TV screen they were showing a Mass. We all assumed it was from the Episcopal Ordination yesterday, which we thought was neat that they were showing it again. I mused about how much I missed Christendom's Masses, and the choir, and the litany they were currently saying was just reminding me more of that. So, we go in, and I randomly mentioned how once, when my sister, Alumna Katherine Scott, was in Rome, it was neat, because she sort of just stumbled upon a Papal Mass when she was going to Mass at St. Peter's. Little did I know...

We entered the Basilica, and it was packed! I thought, "Wow, that is weird...Hmm. Wait, those are Swiss Guards. There would only be this many if..."

I leaned over the divider to see who was saying Mass. I saw several Cardinals and bishops, then, on the altar, a little man, with a white zucchetto.

"Is that the Pope?" I wondered to myself, not wanting to say anything out loud yet, and excite the girls, thinking I'd wait until he spoke to know for sure. Then he spoke.

"Oh my gosh! That is the Pope saying Mass," I said. Soon Melanie, Eryn and I had all gotten seats and were participating in the glorious Papal Mass.

It was super awesome though, because not only was it a Papal Mass, it was the opening Papal Mass of a Synod! It was the Middle East Bishop's Synod.

The choir was great, and because of the nature of the Synod, they also had middle eastern choirs singing, with organum—a personal favorite. Also, they said the prayers of the faithful in several different middle eastern languages. It was so neat. I mean, how can one not just be in awe of God's providence and the beauty of everything! Needless to say, I forgot about how much I was missing Christendom campus at that particular moment—though I still love it!

After Mass, I was so focused praying and trying to avoid getting distracted by the chaos of a crowded Mass, that I initially didn't even realize what the chaos was for. The Pope was processing out! So I joined the throng of people up against the barricade, and a really nice young Italian priest told me that I could stand on the chair when the Pope passed by. When people started clapping, I knew the he was coming. Then he passed by.

The Pope is so wonderful. So happy and peaceful and full of joy and love. Again, just when you think you've experienced it all, the Papal audience on Wednesday, and then the Scavi tour yesterday, something new happens. It blows my mind. I mean, aside from just how happy I was that the Mass was the Latin Novus Ordo, and they used the same Chant Mass as Christendom—which was awesome—the Pope was saying the Mass. How cool is that?! Oh gosh. It's just awesome. I am so blessed.

It has been such an amazing, providential week, that I will never forget. We are so blessed to be here, and to be able to have the opportunities to have these experiences!

Who knows what is just around the corner?

Waiting for the Pope.

Bishops stand as the Pope approaches.

Liz snapped this photo of Benedict XVI as he passed by.


Students for Life

This week the Chronicler got to catch up with the campus pro-life group, Students for Life, which focuses on the activity of the pro-life movement. The club is made up of about 15 members who attend meetings around every two weeks or before a big project. This group of dedicated students works to support the local pregnancy center and to get those pro-life leaders elected who are able to make a difference in legislation regarding abortion. Simply stated, they make themselves available to any pro-life effort which needs their help.

Students for Life President Kelsey McCrum.
“Students for Life is a wonderful opportunity for students to be involved in an effort to save lives,” says Students for Life President, Junior Kelsey McCrum. “I’m grateful God has entrusted to us a task so noble.”

This year, Students for Life has three major projects planned, although they are ready to help with any additional projects that pop up. Their first big project was the voter-registration and absentee ballot request forms, and they had about 60 people register and request absentee ballots during lunches one week.

A number of Students for Life members participated in the local Walk for Life in town this past weekend. In addition, Christendom recently hosted Chris Slattery, who came to interview students for the opportunity to work as an intern at a crisis pregnancy center in New York.

Students for Life will do the lit-drops prior to Election Day, and these help to encourage a pro-life audience vote for the candidate that is truly pro-life. They take charge as well by putting literature on cars that compares and contrasts the pro-life versus pro-abortion candidate. Finally, they hope to have a diaper drive this year as a final project, in which they will collect supplies that the pregnancy center desperately needs.

Students for Life, Fall 2010.


The Game of the Year: East vs. West

With the usual one-sided high scoring freshmen orientation that the upper/under football game has become, many become accustomed to the same style come the East vs West game. Unfortunately this is rarely the case and this year’s annual homecoming East/West flag football game was exactly the case. The reason is parity. This year’s teams featured two of the most evenly matched teams in East/West history. Neither of the teams had a true “game changer,” someone that at any moment could break open the game. It would seem that both teams had potential “game changers” with the East’s Robbie Hambleton and the West’s Paddy Norton. Both players definitely impacted their teams but not necessarily in the way some people had thought or hoped.

The game was dominated by a run first, throw last style which, despite many arguments, is the best way to ensure a win at the most widely attended football game in Christendom’s school year! The West struck first, mid-way through the 1st half, with an outside 25 yard run from Junior speedster Paddy Norton. The first 10 minutes of the game, in fact, seemed that the West would literally run right over the East with runs from Norton, Troy Spring and quarterback Peter McNeely. But the defense of the East would rise to the occasion and, strengthened by Robbie Hambleton, Tim Vander Woude, and Richie Lancaster, the 10 yards runs by the West were changed to 3 and 4 yard runs. On the offensive side of the ball, the East couldn’t sustain any drives, having good plays here and there, but never getting that explosive play that would break the game open…that play would have to wait until the 2nd half: the score at halftime: West 6, East 0.

The difference in the game ended up being the offensive and defensive lines of the West which consistently opened up holes for the West running backs and spent most of their time in the East’s backfield pulling at quarterback Pat Stein’s flags. The game resembled a heavyweight or middleweight boxing fight where both boxers continually assail the opponent’s body with no attempt to go for the knockout punch. Midway through the second half, Peter McNeely dropped back for the West and through a pass which sophomore Nick Blank read the whole time, stepping in front for the interception and returning it 40 yards for the East’s first touchdown.
The East was unable to complete the 2 point conversion and so the score stood at 8-6 favoring the West. The score stood the same throughout the second half with the punters being so busy I actually saw them need water! The West would end up with the ball with almost 2 minutes at the 50 yard line and, with no timeouts, the East proceeded to let them score a touchdown which would ensure they would get the ball back and have a chance to tie: if they stopped the 2 point conversion try by the West – which they did. So the game stood at an 8 point difference with just over a minute left and the East started with the ball at their own 40 yard line. The call to let the West score was one of the smarter decisions made in recent memory, at least giving the East a fighting chance. On the first play by the East, the West line broke through and applied pressure to Pat Stein who had to rush his throw which was intercepted. Just like that, the fighting chance which the East had smartly gotten was snuffed out as the West held onto win 14-6. This the 2nd year in a row that the winner has won by just one score and hopefully signifies more close games to come based on the parity of the 2 sides.

The final score: 14-6. West wins again...for the seventh time in a row. More pictures can be seen on Christendom's Facebook Page or the Picasa Web Album.

East Quarterback Junior Pat Stein on the move.

Sophomore Tim Beer flies down the field.

Sophomore Robbie Hambleton dives for an attempted completion.

Stein tries to find his open man despite the efforts of Sophomore Mark Hepler.

Senior Francis Aul gets his hand on the ball making it wobble out of the hands of Sophomore Brendan Krebs.

Junior Paddy Norton finds the holes in the East defense.

They fought hard this year and are ready to taste victory next year.

The West wins for the seventh year in a row.

I wanted to take this opportunity to let you read part of an application essay that was sent in by a prospective student. Personally, I believe it to be one of the best written application essays I have read in my 6 years as Director of Admissions:

Once friends and family hear of my desire to attend Christendom College, I encounter typical reactions. Such as, "Where is that? I've never heard of it." “Well, it’s a quaint school.” “What will you do with that degree?” “How will you get a job from a school like that?” These condescending quips are echoed by my guidance counselors and teachers.

The resistance and concern grows as I explain how Jesus is at the conscious center of everything Christendom does. I have learned to confidently look people in the eye and smile, when I am put on the spot to explain Christendom College and what my reasons are for attending it. The conclusion I have arrived at is these individuals mean well, but are firmly rooted in the secular world. They see with the eyes of this world, nothing eternal is in their vision at all. They live in the here and now. The orientation of their life choices are based on the risks and rewards this world has to offer. Their perspectives on life indicate their total belief in the power of man, which leaves little or no room at all for God to work His miracles.

I currently attend an Archdiocesan high school, and the secular notions and agenda has even crept into my curriculum. Most of my teachers are younger and recently graduated from colleges and universities and it is clear they have not been taught the Faith. For example, I have been told/taught to disregard the Creation story in Genesis as nothing more than a folktale, because evolution is science. Another “truth” I have been taught is that man made global warming is fact. I most strenuously do not agree with either of these notions.

Secular progressivism despises people, especially young people that can think for themselves and not be so easily led like docile sheep to the slaughter. It rejects such old fashioned and provincial ideas of thinking critically and reasoning logically. But were not these the skill set and the basis for every great achievement mankind has made? The answer is yes. Of course, being the civilized and highly educated people we are now, those very skills have been replaced by our advanced technology. This is the mindset that secularism purports. The majority of people today believe that a true liberal arts education will get me nowhere in my future business pursuits. However, I strongly disagree. Christendom teaches students how to analyze situations and to think critically, all the while with Jesus at the center of everything. These are the assets that I wish to attain, regardless of what field of work I plan to enter upon graduation. I truly believe these skills are invaluable today, contrary to popular belief. As long as I have a solid education, everything else I can learn on the fly. What modern thinking suggests is that unless I attend school for a particular major to be specifically trained for a job I will not be successful. That statement could not be more false. People today try to reduce everything to a planned out recipe or method. Universities and colleges today train you based on what another person concluded and to follow their method. They do not foster individual thinking. Modern thought for the purpose of education today is to only know specific things that will help us to control the world in an improved manner. However, that is not what I believe a university’s purpose is. It seems to me all they, the majority of colleges/universities, do is to teach one to read and to follow a recipe. Well, a well trained student in all matters of the mind should be able to replace or to adjust the recipe accordingly to a particular circumstance or to a certain situation. They should prepare students in more than just how to read a recipe. The schools I have visited seem to have forgotten their purpose, to teach the Truth in every aspect of their curriculum. Fortunately, Christendom College is not like those other secular or quasi Catholic institutions that train one to be a mere puppet.

For me, to be able to attend Christendom, a place where young men and women are living the life Jesus calls every human being to, would be amazing. I am so tired of going to “Catholic in-name-only” schools; I am yearning for the Truth that Christendom College teaches and instills in their students. Christendom College is nothing short of a miracle in today’s world. I cannot overstate this miracle. My own experience in an Archdiocesan school system has been jarring to my beliefs and to my Faith. (Thanks be to God, that He has provided me with a strong family to counter this culture.) It is a place that offers a solid liberal arts education based in truth, and proudly acknowledges that nothing can be done without God. Christendom embraces the Catholic faith and lives it out fully, despite our popular culture. Jesus is at the center of everything at Christendom! I have witnessed that first hand.

I would consider it a complete honor to be given the opportunity to attend Christendom College. It is a school that defies society’s standards - mediocrity. For my part, I would certainly be fully engaged in all of the activities offered at Christendom. I know that I look forward to the opportunity to share my experiences and insights, to lend my opinion, and to provide my leadership skills to my fellow classmates and with my professors as well. I relish the idea of becoming a well trained defender of my beliefs and my Faith. I sometimes find myself stumbling as I defend my reasons for wanting to attend Christendom College. Basically, I bring the best I have to offer academically, spiritually, and emotionally to Christendom. Jesus did not come to earth and die on the cross, just so that we would shy away and blend into the crowd. All of us have been given special gifts and talents, but without a true relationship with God, we cannot utilize them properly as God intends us to in alignment with His plan. Saint Catherine of Sienna said, “If you are what you should be you will set the world on fire.” How true that quote is. God is calling me, a Catholic young woman, to something greater than this world has to offer. He has a destiny for me greater than I could have ever imagined. Christendom College, in my humble estimation, is one of only a few institutions in the country that understands this. By my attending Christendom, it would supply me with the necessary tools to combat the culture of death and to witness to and for the culture of life. I would use these skills I seek to acquire and to hone at Christendom in my daily life, in any capacity that serves God’s end, such as a wife and a mother, as an employee, as a parishioner, as a Catholic.

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.

Bull Rides & Coasters


Name: Allie Crafton
Annandale, VA
I love to dance, perform in theatrical productions, run, and spend my free time with my girls on the top floor of Campion Hall.
What's your favorite class/professor?
My favorite class this semester would have to be Dr. Thomas Standford's English 101 class. No matter how many times I have studied Homer's Iliad and Odyssey, class discussions with Professor Stanford always results in new insight into the text and a deeper understanding of the purpose of literature.
Do you play any sports? I do not play any sports at Christendom. However, I would love to join a cross country or lacrosse team if one is started in the future.
Do you participate in any drama or music related activities? Though I am not involved in either drama or music this fall, I am definitely going to try out for the spring musical next semester!
What is your favorite thing about Christendom? Even though Christendom's classes are challenging, the academics offered here are truly centered on the goal of making every student a well rounded individual. This is my favorite part about Christendom College, for it is the education I receive now that will determine how I can restore all things in Christ later in life.
Why did you choose Christendom?
I chose Christendom because not only did I want to be well educated in truths of the Faith, but I also wanted to be surrounded by a community of people whose true friendship would strengthen and support this endeavor.
Plans after graduation?
Still unsure about what is to follow after Christendom. I am considering applying to dental school and may specialize in orthodontics.


Life on Tap

On Thursday night, Juniors and Seniors arrived at St. Kilian’s Café to participate in a seminar led by Keith Robinson, a ten-year veteran of Silicon Valley.

Enjoying the first in this year's "Life on Tap" Series, students learned the fundamentals of resume building, career searching, and the ability to decide on a job relevant to a student’s skills.

“He gave us insights into the process of determining which employment might fit your skills and interests well, which is largely hidden to those in the collegiate life,” Senior Matt Rensch said. “The practical advice concerning how to construct the best resume, namely the one that focuses the potential employer’s attention to the most pertinent information on the resume, was extremely helpful.”

Students can attend the next seminar on Friday, November 5, where Mr. Robinson will continue discussing the best way to obtain a job after college.

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

Texas Western Night Brings
out the Country in Christendom

The Student Activities Council hosted the much-anticipated annual Texas Western Night behind the Student Center on Saturday night, where students had a great time hanging out with their friends and enjoying the music and activities.

Perhaps the most exciting attraction of the evening was getting a turn riding the mechanical bull, as students fought to stay on longer than their buddies and break new records. Freshman James Ciskanik was able to stay on the bull the longest, with a record 80 seconds!

Entertainment for the night was provided by student country band Nick Freeman and the Texas Heat, with Senior Troy Spring as lead singer and guitarist, Seniors Rory O’Donnell on guitar, James Hannon on bass, and Nick Freeman on violin, and Freshman Jake Morgan on drums. Christendom students danced the night away under the stars, swing dancing to favorite country songs.

Delicious chicken legs were grilled, and many other refreshments were served.

“Texas Western Night was a great twist in that there was more than just dancing,” Junior Katie Francis said. “The bull riding, the corn hole game, live band, and good home grilling added to the country feel of the night.”

Grill Masters Sophomore John McGovern and Junior Paddy Norton served up the tasty chicken legs.

Sophomore Sarah Baron tries to tame the bull.

Freshmen Matthew Marcolini poses for a photo with Mechanical Bull Champion James Ciskanik.

Freshmen Anna Harris and Sophomore David Townsend enjoy a game of cornhole.

Sophomore Dominic Ginski shows of his rodeo skills.

Excitement Soars at King’s Dominion

This past Sunday, a group of about 40 Christendom students took advantage of the opportunity for an extremely fun and stress-free day at King’s Dominion theme park. The students loaded the vans bright and early after Mass, driving the short distance of less than two hours to the park, listening to music and anxiously awaiting their arrival.

As it turned out, nobody was disappointed in the slightest, for the roller-coasters were insanely thrilling and all the rides were a blast to ride.

“My favorite ride by far was the Intimidator,” says freshman Christian Kopeck. “It was such a rush to ride one of the top 10 fastest roller-coasters in the country!”

It was also the most ideal day to go to the park, for the lines—if any—were short, and the weather was beautiful. By the end of the day, everybody left feeling fully satisfied, and people are already looking forward to taking advantage of this fun Christendom trip again next year!

Freshmen Sarah Peterson and Theresa Francis get ready to go shooting out of The Volcano.

Hangin' out in Snoopyland.

High School visitor Claire Schmidt and Freshman Dominique Peters flex to show us that they can handle The Intimidator.

Freshmen Sean LaRochelle and John Fioramonti go flying on The Volcano.

Kings Dominion 2010.

The Devil's Advocate

On Sunday night, the Chester Belloc Debate Society hosted its annual and highly anticipated “Devil’s Advocate Debate” in which students and faculty either upheld or argued against the proposition: “Contraception is wrong.”

The event, open to everyone, was attended by many students wishing to hear arguments on both sides of the issue. All attendees were reminded that at the end of the debate, they should vote based on who argued the best, not according to which side they felt was morally right.

“I appreciate the fact that the format of the debate made it easy to participate in,” said Freshman Savanna Buckner, who gave a speech in defense of the proposition. “I have been to all the debates so far and they are one of my favorite things at Christendom College because they are intellectually stimulating and often very amusing.”

Despite the honorable attempt to sustain the proposition by the “Pro” side, the “Con” debaters won the overall argument.

Junior Mary Becher made some great points.

Even Theology Professor Eric Jenislawski got involved in the debate.

Crusader Visit Weekend Great Success

Christendom College’s Admissions Office held its first-ever Crusader Visit Weekend for high school juniors and seniors. The weekend drew close to 20 students from around the country – all of whom had a very enjoyable time.

On Friday night, the students and their student ambassadors went to College President O’Donnell’s home for a barn dance and Irish sing-a-long. Dr. O’Donnell led the group in an Irish sing-a-long which was then followed by a night of dancing. Students learned how to swing dance, do the Virginia Reel, and even waltz. Afterwards, they returned to campus where they had a bonfire, cooked s’mores, and said the Rosary.

On Saturday, after attending some admissions-related talks by Admissions Director Tom McFadden, they played a game of dodgeball in the gym. Later that night, visitor joined in the fun of Texas Western Night (see above).

“The next
Crusader Visit Weekend is October 29-31 and is just about full,” says Visit Coordinator and Admissions Counselor Eve Owen. “If any high school juniors or seniors are interested in visiting at that time, they need to sign up by Monday, October 18 at the very latest. We’d love to have you visit and experience Christendom’s unique way of life.”

College President Dr. Timothy O'Donnell and his son, Kieran, along with Senior Ben Ranieri led everyone in an Irish song.

Students and visitors danced the night away.

Blessed Cardinal Newman and Liberalism

On Wednesday, students crowded into St. Thomas Aquinas Hall to hear a lecture by Dr. Joshua Hochschild entitled
The Problem of "Liberalism": Lessons from John Henry Newman. The talk was hosted by Christendom College's Cincinnatus League, an organization that seeks to foster discussion of conservative political philosophy on Christendom's campus.

Dr. Hochschild, Associate Professor of Philosophy and Dean of the College of Liberal Arts at Mount St. Mary's University, discussed the rich tradition of Newman's thinking. Hochschild explained that some have accused Newman of being progressive or liberal, but that is not the case.

"Today Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newman is very close to being declared a doctor of the Church," Hochschild said, "and he described himself as a life-long critic of liberalism."

"The lecture was timely, in light of Cardinal Newman's recent beatification," Senior Tyler Lowe said. "I really liked the way he emphasized Newman's thought—that even though we can't use discursive reasoning to argue the faith, we can still say there is a relationship between faith and reason and that they are complimentary. I think there's a message there for all the relativists in modern universities."

You can download the talk at Christendom on iTunes U.
iTunes U

The lecture was funded by the Intercollegiate Studies Institute, which held a book raffle at the end of the lecture. Above Theology Professor Eric Jenislawski prepares to give the books away to two lucky students.

Hochschild lingered after the talk to answer any questions that students had.


Tours, Travel, and the Trevi Fountain

It seems like the Christendom students are getting into the swing of things here in Rome. It's a little crazy how familiar some things are becoming. Just everyday little things like walking down the street to the grocery store, or walking to class through the Vatican, or using the bus or metro. They are now things that are not only daily occurrences, but are beginning to become normal. I think that is why it's so great that we have tours so often; they bring us back to the reason we are here. The tours remind us that while we are doing normal, daily tasks, we are still doing them in a place that is seeped in history.
Every time we go somewhere, like Constantine's Arch or the Trevi Fountain or the Spanish Steps or even walking through St. Peters—those places you only dream of going—I'm reminded how surreal it is that I am actually here. I mean, tomorrow we are going to a Papal Audience! So much of what is really relevant to me as a person and what makes up what I believe is weaved into Rome.

This past week, we've seen things, as I've said, like Constantine's Arch, and (one of my personal favorites) the Trevi Fountain. We've done a lot of walking on the "Path of the Pilgrims" and seen many influential pieces of art in the Capitoline Museum. It's so easy to take what we are doing for granted; to snap away with your camera at these amazing, unbelievable things, then just move on.

I think perhaps that is one of the reasons it is so nice to do something that tunes you back in to the beauty of simplicity, for example: just staring out at the sea.

This past weekend was a "free weekend" (essentially, we don't have class on Friday) and so a few of us went to the beach—the Tyrrhenian Sea to be exact. I have always loved going to the beach. I think it is one of those simple pleasures in life. There is nothing that puts you in your proper place more than being one, small, person staring out at what seems like an endless, motion-filled body of water.

There is something rather philosophical about it, I think (aha! I knew I had a little philosopher in me somewhere!). It reminds us of how small we are in the grand scheme of things, and how the little things that bother us are even smaller than that. And at the same time, like a grain of sand, we are one of a million, while to God, we are one in a million; invaluable; priceless.

Pretty cool what a trip to the beach can tell you, huh?

Ciao for now.

Taking notes in Piazza del Popolo.

Jessica Ward, Robin Curran, Theresa King, Katie Scheetz, Katie Coyne and Leah Merrill stop and smile in front of Trevi Fountain.

The Tyrannian Sea.

The Roman skyline from the rooftop of the Capitoline Museum.

Sairey Miller and Melanie Bright smile on the roof of the Capitoline Museum.

Passing by St. Peter's on a fall evening.


The Holy Rood Club

One of the most unique and spiritually rewarding clubs at Christendom College, the Holy Rood Club, is a group of girls who dedicate their time to keeping the chapel nice and clean. A group of 18 girls volunteer every week to keep the chapel looking perfect, with two or three girls cleaning every afternoon, besides Sunday.

“The Holy Rood Club is a great way to help out behind the scenes and get involved in the spiritual life on campus,” says Junior Frances Allington.

The girls pick up the pews, sweep, vacuum, and clean the windows Monday through Friday, and a larger group of girls do a more thorough, deep cleaning on Saturdays, cleaning the altar and sacristy and dusting, in addition to the regular duties.

“In cleaning the chapel, we are not just cleaning for the school’s sake, but we are doing it for our Lord in that we are cleaning His house,” says junior Kathleen Deighan, who heads the club. “You get a real sense of accomplishment out of helping in this way, and it is also very enjoyable and stress-relieving, and just an overall rewarding activity.”

Six members of the Holy Rood Club pose for a photo after lunch on Tuesday: (l-r) Freshman Elizabeth Francis, Sophomores Amy Fuchsluger, Taylor Anderson, Colleen Harmon, Elise Nodar, and Freshman Klarissa Blank.


Crusaders Soccer: Best Record in College History

With just a week and a half left in the fall sports season, the Christendom teams look to finish up the seasons on a winning note. With the women’s volleyball team standing with a record of 9-5, the men’s soccer team at 11-4 and the women’s soccer at 4-5 with only a couple games left, the season will no doubt be a resounding success.

The women’s volleyball team defeated Trinity University last night in 3 games and completed a road trip sweep over the weekend when they defeated Penn State Abington, Trinity University, and Valley Forge Christian College all in 3 games each, not losing a game during the 2 day trip. The victory last night sealed a winning season for the Lady Crusaders which is the first winning season in recent memory, if not in the team’s short history.

The team has played exceptionally well as a team and—despite adding many new faces at the beginning of the season—has grown together as a team under the leadership of first year coach and philosophy professor Mike Brown. The team will finish off the season with an 11am game against Washington Bible College this Saturday for the Shenandoah Chesapeake Conference Championship and will play next week as well.

The Lady Crusaders soccer team has battled back to stand at a respectable 4-5 record, despite losing numerous key players from last year’s team. The team, which has added plenty of new faces to the starting lineup—including an almost brand new defense—has continued to grow and mature as a team. Coach Matt Nelson continues to demand excellence and the women continue to give their best day in and day out. The team, which has been led in scoring by Jane Snyder, Morgan Kavanagh, and Ceciilia O’Reilly, looks to finish the season strong with a home game today against Patrick Henry College followed by games against Mary Baldwin and Lord Fairfax Community College next week.

The fall season has been the most exciting in the area of men’s soccer, with a team that went 9-6 last year and returned all but 1 starter, much has been expected and the team has responded.

Currently, the team stands at a historic 11-4 record with just 2 games left in the season. The high point of the season was this past Monday’s victory over USCAA rival Southern Virginia University. An NAIA Division II team which has a strong soccer tradition and one which Christendom has never won against, let alone scored a goal. Just 10 years ago, the Crusaders lost an embarrassing 0-7 game to the Southern Virginia Knights, but after Monday’s game, victory never tasted sweeter!

The teams had met 2 weeks earlier which, after a well-matched physical game and saw numerous injuries, the Knights came out on top 1-0. The Crusaders wouldn’t let that happen again. With a revamped midfield and defense, which included the additions of Jonathan Fiormanti in the midfield and Rob Hambleton on defense, the Crusaders held Southern Virginia without a shot for multiple long periods of time throughout the game. Tim Beer guided the steady defense until the offense would prove the “golden goal.” The teams proved to be so equal that overtime was necessary and 8 minutes into the game Tommy Salmon found Johnny Ciskanik who crushed a shot right above the keeper for a “first goal wins” victory and celebration for the Crusaders.

The win should bump Christendom higher in the national USCAA standings which determine who qualifies for the national tournament in Burlington, VT. Not only was the victory a sweet win versus a tough Southern Virginia opponent but it was the first time a Christendom soccer team had reached 10 wins in a season. The team now stands at 11-4 on the brink of finishing an historic and memorable season. The Crusaders have a few days off before they look to finish the season strong against Gallaudet University on Monday and Potomac State of West Virginia on Wednesday.

The upcoming games will be the last ones for our seniors: Jane Snyder, Mary Kate Vander Woude, Amanda Dean, Sarah Massett, Bernadette Horiuchi, Margaret Antunes, Mary Hill, Bridget Lademan, and Sam McMahon. Come out and cheer them in their last games.

Coach Mike Brown rallies the Lady Crusaders to another victory.

Morgan Kavanagh takes the ball down field.

Tommy Salmon looks for Johnny Ciskanik for the winning goal.

Peter McNeely's intensity fires up the field in every game.

Blaise Buckner breaks through the Southern Virginia defense.

Q. Can you tell me about the types of Masses offered at Christendom? Do you have different types of Masses for people to go to, like traditional Masses or Masses with “praise and worship” or with guitars?

A. We do offer different types of Masses at Christendom, but I believe most people would generally categorize them as being celebrated in a traditional manner. We have 15 Masses offered in our chapel each week (when school is in session) – two or three a day, except for Sunday when there is only one. The majority of the Masses are the Novus Ordo (regular English) Mass, although we do have the Novus Ordo in Latin, as well as the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite (the old Tridentine Mass) throughout the week as well. The complete schedule can be found here.

No matter which Mass you attend in our Chapel of Christ the King, you will definitely experience a very traditional setting: lots of beautiful stained glass windows, marble altar, lots of dark wood, tabernacle in the middle of the high altar, statues, etc. The types of music that you might hear would be considered traditional as well. Songs like, “Jesus My Lord, My God, My All,” “Soul of My Savior,” “Faith of Our Fathers,” “Salve Regina,” etc. are frequently sung, and a couple of times a week, the schola chants various parts of the Mass. Normally, the only instrument that is played is the pipe organ, although we have had a number of Masses recently where violins and cellos have been involved.

On Sunday, we have a very beautiful 10am Mass which is accompanied by our accomplished choir and the Schola Gregoriana. There is a lot of incense and solemnity during this Mass and it is the highpoint of our week here.

Also, during all the Masses, we hear the bells rung during the Epiclesis and Consecration and the altar boys wear surpluses and cassocks and use patens during Communion.

I hope this gives you a better understanding of our liturgical life on campus and if you have not yet watched our little “Breathe Catholic” video about the spiritual life, I recommend you do so.

Thanks for asking and God bless!
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.