Celebrating Blessed Pope John Paul II


Name: Anastacio Hinojosa
Age: 20
San Antonio, TX
Running, basketball, eating, and dancing.
Who's your favorite professor and what's your favorite class?
Metaphysics with Dr. John Cuddeback. I love taking a class that allows for you to contemplate God's majesty!
What extra-curricular activities do you participate in? All the intramural sports and I play varsity basketball, which helps give structure to my day and provides for some exercise.
What is your favorite thing about Christendom?
The Catholic atmosphere. At the end of the day, you are surrounded by young men and women who are attempting to achieve the same thing as you: a knowledge and love of Our Lord Jesus Christ.
Why did you choose Christendom? I chose Christendom because, with its stellar curriculum, faculty, and Catholic culture, it can properly assist any individual in achieving the end goal: knowing, loving, and serving God.
What has surprised you the most about Christendom?
Christendom's counter-cultural lifestyle.
Plans after graduation? Not too sure yet—just praying for God's will.
Any parting words of advice for a prospective student?
Keep an open mind and open heart and lend your ear to Our Loving Father.


Spring Formal

Saturday night, April 30, marked one of the most highly anticipated social events of the school year—Spring Formal!

Taking place at Bowling Green Country Club, the evening proved to be a huge success. The dance had a regal atmosphere due to the very elegant dress and the beautiful location. The splendor of the night was enhanced by the lovely decorations featuring tulle and white lights. Since this was the first dance since Lent, everyone was especially excited, and the dancing went on for over four hours. When a break was needed, there were plenty of tasty snacks and drinks for the students.

“Spring Formal was my favorite Christendom dance I have been to so far,” says Freshman Dominique Peters. “I loved the big dance floor, and it was so much fun to see everyone all dressed up!”

Freshmen John Foeckler and Katie Shannon take a spin on the dance floor.

Freshmen Jarred Peterson and Jennifer Nussio swing across the floor.

Freshmen Maribeth Kelly and Matt Speer enjoy a dance.

Freshman Marylin Charba joins everyone in dancing the night away.

The Beatification

On Sunday morning students came to Crusader Gymnasium to watch the beatification of Pope John Paul II live. Despite the early 4 a.m. time, many students watched EWTN's live coverage.

“Being Polish, the beatification was the highlight of my senior year. I can’t even describe it. He was and continues to be such a wonderful example of the Church in our times. He was able to understand so many different people and reach out to them," senior Scott Lozyniak said. "The crowds at his beatification were a testimony to how much the world loved him. His extreme love of the youth and his pastoral attitude toward so many issues of our day allowed him to reach so many more souls in this world, especially non-Catholics.”

Doughnuts, coffee, fruit, and homemade Polish bread were provided for an early breakfast. Everyone was in high spirits and cheers abounded once Pope John Paul II was proclaimed blessed.

“Our wonderful opportunity to view the beatification live at 4 A.M. was amazing. We now have an official great new Polish intercessor for us,” Scott said.

Sophomore Colleen Harmon and Junior Theresa King brought the essentials: donuts and coffee.

Mass at the Hour of Mercy

A beautiful Divine Mercy Sunday Mass was celebrated by College Chaplain Fr. Donald Planty this past weekend at 3 p.m., the Greatest Hour of Mercy. Fr. Planty's homily focused especially on the theme of being merciful to others and asking God for his continuous mercy.

All gathered prior to the Mass to say the Chaplet of Divine Mercy.

A Concert in Honor of the Beatified

On Sunday night, Dr. Clark’s choir and orchestra performed Bach’s Magnificat. In honor of Blessed John Paul II's Marian apostolic motto "Totus Tuus." Many students and teachers arrived at Christendom’s Christ the King Chapel to hear the classic piece.

“It was so great to learn and perform such a beautiful and awe inspiring piece as Bach’s
Magnificat,” said Junior Meghan Kelly. “There was no better way to honor Mary on the first of May!”

Junior Meghan Kelly sang a solo.

The choir was conducted by Dr. Kurt Poterack and featured members of Christendom's Student String Quartet.

Why Hollywood Matters

“The art made by Christians today is not only not beautiful, but tends to be among the ugliest art that mankind is producing,” screenwriter and professor Barbara Nicolosi-Harrington said during her talk to the students and faculty of Christendom College on May 2. Nicolosi’s talk, entitled Why Hollywood Matters, explored the challenges facing Christians in the art of cinema and the art in churches.

“We have sacrificed the beautiful to other things,” she said. A professor at Pepperdine University, Nicolosi is the founder of Act One, an organization that seeks to nurture the next generation of Christian artists and media pioneers. She was a theological consultant for The Passion of the Christ and she co-edited Behind the Screen: Hollywood Insiders on Faith and Culture. Her latest screenwriting project is Mary, Mother of the Christ, which stars Al Pacino and Peter O’Toole and will be released in 2012 by MGM.

While the Church was once the patron of the arts, the pagans in Hollywood now hold that position, she said. “Why do we love the movies so much? The movies are the combination of the four classical art forms: literature, performance, music, and composition. They are the art form of our time.”

Nicolosi challenged students to get involved in the arts, but especially cinema. “Should you not be one of the people—out of compassion and creativity—talking to the people of your time,” she said. “I know you have the talent. What’s keeping you back? Fear? Laziness?”

Read more about this talk
here. Download the audio or video at Christendom on iTunes U.

Many students and faculty lingered after the talk to discuss the topic further with Nicolosi.

Polar Circumference

On Tuesday Prof. George Garrigan awarded the winners of the Polar Circumference of the Earth Contest. Of the seven teams that entered only one completed the project, but that team did a very fine job of it getting within 2.7% of the true answer. Sophomores John McFadden and Nick Weber won the $100 prize.

Thanks, Ambassadors!

On Tuesday evening, the College's student ambassadors were honored with a feast hosted and prepared by Admissions Director Tom McFadden. These students represent the College to prospective students, College alumni, and donors, primarily by giving campus tours and hosting prospective students in their rooms. The ambassadors enjoyed Mr. McFadden's now-famous pasta Alfredo with salami and grilled chicken.

If you're planning on
visiting Christendom in the fall, a student ambassador will be there to show you the ropes.

Mr. McFadden thanks students for their dedication.

Nine Days that Changed the World

Tuesday night the gym attracted those particularly attached to Blessed John Paul II, as Christendom hosted a showing of the movie, Nine Days that Changed the World. Before the movie, College Chaplain Fr. Donald Planty introduced his friend and colleague, Mr. Vincent Haley, who produced the film and gave a speech about the significance of the film, as well as some background.

The film was a documentary exploring Blessed John Paul II's visit to his home country of Poland, and the effects that his papacy, and that visit, had on liberating Poland and tearing down the Berlin wall.

The movie emphasized John Paul's encouraging spirit of hope, and his message to not only Poland, but the world, “Have no fear” and “Open wide the doors to Christ.”

Blessed John Paul II,
Pray for us!

Film Producer Mr. Vincent Haley gives an introduction.

The First Mass in Honor of Blessed John Paul

On Wednesday, May 4, Rev. Planty celebrated Mass in Honor of Blessed Pope John Paul II for the first time in Christ the King Chapel. The special chalice and paten given to Christendom College by Pope John Paul II at the Chapel dedication in April 1995 was used.


My Last Words From Rome: Be Not Afraid

The time that I’ve been dreading for the last three months has finally come. The experience that I’ve anticipated since I first heard about Christendom College, is drawing to an end. With only two full days of the Rome semester left, it’s time for one last visit to my favorite places, one last chance to feast my eyes on the beauties of the Eternal City, as the domes of its many churches, rising against the sky, lead the eye to the greatest dome of all: St Peter’s.

But as I enjoy my last cappuccinos, I can’t look back on the semester without thinking of the events of the last weekend, which provided a climactic conclusion to the entire three months. For since Sunday, a tapestry has been hanging from the logia of Saint Peter’s that wasn’t there before. It depicts a man who dedicated almost a third of his lifetime to tending the flock of Christ; a man who now enjoys the glories of heaven.

As the Easter crowds began to disperse, though delighted by the beauties of the Papal Tridium, we breathed a collective sigh of relief. Rome was ours again, but not for long. We soon began to notice a considerable amount of people carrying red and white flags, who spoke some strange language that was definitely not Italian. The Polish had come to honor their countryman: Pope John Paul II. As hundreds of thousands congregated to spend the night before the Beatification Mass in the streets around Saint Peter’s, several of us, eager for a place in Saint Peter’s Square, joined them, sleeping on the hard cobblestones of the Via delle Conciliazione until, with the first rays of the sun lighting the sky, we were allowed to enter the Square. In my life, I have definitely enjoyed better nights of sleep.

But the hard ground, the crowds, and the discomfort melted into a distant memory at the moment when Pope Benedict declared his predecessor Blessed. At that moment they unveiled, suspended from the logia, a tapestry bearing the face of a man who had looked out so many times from that very spot. This was the first pope I had ever known, whose name and face, for the first fifteen years of my life, had been the only name and face I ever associated with the term “Pope,” and now, I saw this man declared a Saint of God. As the Polish flags waved, and the Polish crowds cheered, I, along with the minority of other non-Polish people in Saint Peter’s Square, joined in the universal Church’s celebration of the leader who, in many ways, shaped the course of recent history.

At the beginning of this article, I wrote of the coming days as an ending, and, of course, so they are. But they are also a beginning. We have spent a semester living among the treasures of the Church, growing deeper in faith and wisdom, and as we go forth from Romeeach of us changed in ways that we are only just starting to discover—we are entering upon our adult lives. There is one more year of college ahead before we discover the next step in God’s plan for us, by which we can participate in the spread of His kingdom. What better way to leave our beloved Rome than this, with the words of Blessed John Paul II ringing in our ears: “Be not afraid! Open wide the doors to Christ, to His saving power. Open the confines of states, the political and economic systems, the vast fields of culture, civilization and development. Be not afraid!”

Students slept with thousands on the streets of Rome to be able to participate in the beatification in St. Peter's Square.

College President Dr. Timothy O'Donnell leads a special tour on Bl. Pope John Paul II's student days in Rome.

The tour ended at the Angelicum, where Bl. John Paul studied. Students were able to see archives of the university including Bl. John Paul's dissertation and student i.d.

Touring the Angelicum: Rome 2011

Leaders in Community Outreach

Outreach is Christendom’s club that provides many volunteer opportunities for the community by focusing on the corporal works of mercy. Since the many good works it accomplishes often go unnoticed, this week the Chronicler has decided to take a closer look at these Outreach ministries.

Meals on Wheels is a social outreach program that provides weekly meals for people in need in the Front Royal community. The ministry is currently run by Senior Scott Lozyniak, who has been actively involved in this outreach program since his Sophomore year.

“Soup kitchen dinner distribution, a ministry of St. John’s Soup Kitchen, is something I have been involved with for the past few years, and I have enjoyed it immensely,” says Lozyniak. “It gives me and all other students who volunteer any given week the opportunity to see the face of Christ in those people in our community who are most in need of God’s love and the help of the Church.”

Each week, a group of Christendom students picks up dozens of prepared meals at the local soup kitchen and spends several hours driving around Front Royal delivering the meals.

“Our friends who receive the delicious dinners prepared by parishioners are usually homebound, elderly, or less fortunate than we are,” explains Lozyniak. “They enjoy the home-cooked food and our weekly visits. The visits range in length from a quick hello to sometimes twenty minute conversations. It is great to be able to bring the love of Christ and His Church to those in our community. This corporal work of mercy is much appreciated by our friends who receive the dinners and is a great way for any student to get involved in Outreach.”

Over the past few years, Seniors Katie McCloskey and Kerri Sciscilo have also been very involved in Meals on Wheels at Christendom, and they are accompanied by various Christendom students each week who wish to help out. Next year current Freshman Christian Kopeck will be taking charge of the ministry.

Another huge Outreach ministry at Christendom is the group of dedicated young ladies who volunteer their time every week at the Front Royal Crisis Pregnancy Center. Those who volunteer must first go through counselor training, for they are often faced with difficult situations in which they must guide troubled women who are contemplating abortion. Volunteers not only help provide counseling, but they help with jobs such as filing, answering phones, and giving pregnancy tests. Juniors Fran Dewey and Theresa King currently head this program. Last year alone there were over 1000 client visits at the Front Royal clinic; and of the women who were pregnant and considering abortions, over 50% of them kept their babies, showing what tremendous work the clinic is accomplishing.

“It is so amazing to actually be able to help save lives!” says King. “It is such a joy to know that we can make a difference simply by talking to women at the pregnancy center. I definitely encourage everyone interested to get involved!”

In addition to volunteering with Meals on Wheels and the pregnancy center, Christendom students also get the opportunity to volunteer at the local nursing home, St. John’s Soup Kitchen, and with Habitat for Humanity at various times throughout the year. All students involved with Outreach would definitely agree that it is one of the most humbling and rewarding experiences once can have at Christendom College.

Theresa Fuchsluger files paperwork at the Crisis Pregnancy Center.

Freshmen Margaret Horiuchi and Christian Kopec deliver some meals.

Mr. Willis says, "Thanks!" to the Christendom students who volunteer.


Being a Crusader

This week I caught up with one of our student athletes, Nick Blank, for a quick interview.

What varsity and intramural sports do you play?
I play varsity soccer and baseball as well as all the intramural sports.

What is your favorite sport and why?
Soccer is definitely my favorite sport. I've played the sport since I was 4, including Division I club soccer in high school. I thought I was sacrificing soccer to come to Christendom but was pleasantly surprised at the high level of play here. For three straight years now, we've bettered our previous record and just finished the best season in Crusader Athletics history. The team camaraderie and the school rivalries are highlights of the season and make it exciting to come back each year!

How long have you played sports?
I've played sports ever since a little kid. I have two brothers close enough in age to play with and we would play soccer, baseball, basketball, and hockey with each other growing up. Soccer is the only sport I played on an organized team.

Why do you play the sports you play?
I play soccer because I love the sport and enjoy the chance to play it at the college level. Freshman year it had more perks than I anticipated, because it's a great chance to get to know the upper clansmen and it helps make a smooth transition into the school. Being immersed in an athletic atmosphere also gives me a chance to stay physically fit. I've always loved baseball and played almost daily with siblings and friends. When the Crusader team needed a catcher, I jumped at the opportunity and have played for two years.

What is special about Crusader Athletics?
Unlike any other team I've played on, Christendom focuses especially on the character-building aspects of athletics. Just as often as we hear inspiring speeches to rally and win, we are also reminded of the chance to grow in virtue that sports provides. Perseverance, determination, patience, humility: all of these are virtues that a good athlete must develop, and are also virtues of a good Catholic man. Too often, it seems, professional athletes forget virtue in their focus on athletic excellence; unfortunately, they fail to realize that athletic excellence and moral virtue go hand-in-hand. To get the chance to play the sports you love and develop your character is an exciting and unique element of Crusader Athletics.

Nick hits the ball for a base hit.

Nick charges down the field during last falls intense game against Southern Virginia.

Q. Does Christendom offer any type of internships for its students?

A. Christendom offers a number of internship opportunities for students on campus, but we also do what we can to help our students find internships in the Washington, DC, area and elsewhere during the school year or during the summer.

One of the benefits of doing an internship (paid or volunteer) is to gain experience in a field that you may want to work in after graduation, but another reason is to gain contacts in the field that may help you later on in life. Christendom has a number of internships and employment opportunities that can really benefit students post-graduation. These are on-campus positions in fundraising, journalism, photography, office administration, kitchen help, maintenance, library services, event planning, and much more.

Alumnus Matt Hadro ('10)
I have had many graduates tell me that their experience working in one of these positions made their resumes stand out to their future employers because they had had “real life” experience working in the field for which they were applying. Regular readers of The Chronicler may remember Jack Anderson ’11 and Matt Hadro ’10 who used to write the weekly sports section of this publication (prior to Coach Vander Woude taking it over last year). When they came to visit the college as seniors in high school, they both told me that they wanted to be sports writers someday. I told them that they could get some great experience by writing the weekly columns for The Chronicler, and they did. Now, they are both professional writers – Matt works for the Media Research Center as a news analyst and as a blogger for Newsbusters, while Jack writes for a variety of sports blogs (SB Nation, Skins Talk, NFL Blog Blitz).

A lot of our students get internships in the Washington, DC, area during the summer, working at think tanks or on Capitol Hill or for law offices or political/non-profit groups. Some students can even earn academic credit for doing an internship.

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.