Celebrating the Saints


Name: Jessica Inzeo
Age: 20
Stephens City, VA
Major: Associate Degree
Hobbies: Dancing, writing,singing, hanging out with friends, listening to music
Who's your favorite professor or class?
Any and every class with Literature Professor Sharon Hickson. She is so passionate and brilliant—one takes away so much from her class.
What extra-curricular activities do you participate in?
I have been a part of the Swing and Ballroom Dance Clubs and the Choir. Several times I have also helped backstage with the Christendom Players and I was thrilled to participate.
What is your favorite thing about Christendom? The great number of talented artists here—actresses, musicians, writers, dancers, jugglers, etc. Like anyone, I was very pleased to find so many people with the same interests as myself.
Why did you choose Christendom? Christendom is place where I can be certain that the Truth is taught and of all the Catholic colleges I looked into, Christendom had the most well-rounded curriculum.
What surprises you the most about Christendom? The people.
What are your plans after graduation? I am planning to earn a B.F.A. in Dance at Shenandoah Conservatory.
Any parting words of advice for a prospective student? Visit Christendom College during the school year, and see what it is really like.


The Abbé Sicard

Historian Dr. Emmet Kennedy delivered a lecture entitled “The Survival of a Non-Juror: the Abbé Sicard and the Founding of the National Institute of Deaf-Mutes during the Reign of Terror” to the students and faculty of Christendom College on March 12. The lecture was part of the college’s Faith & Reason Lecture Series.

Kennedy’s lecture examined the life of Roch-Ambroise Sicard, a priest who educated the deaf and mute during the Reign of Terror. Sicard avoided execution twice during the tumultuous times of the French Revolution. Kennedy examined whether Sicard was a “girouette,” that is, a turncoat who changed with every regime and tailored himself to meet the new requirements.

Read more about this lecture here or listend to it at Christendom on iTunes.


Taking a Look at Autism

A special library event educating students and faculty on autism took place on Tuesday evening, March 13. Christendom alumna, Krystle Curley, an in-home autism specialist for the Matthews Center, gave a presentation on autism and how it affects both those diagnosed with it and those around them.

“I have heard a lot about autism in the news recently, but I have never known much about it,” says Sophomore Maeve Gallagher. “I went to the library event to find out more information, because it is so prevalent in today’s world, and I learned so much and have a newfound respect for those with autism. I encourage everyone to educate themselves on the subject.”

The 2010 film “Temple Grandin,” starring Claire Danes, was shown, which told the incredible true story of a girl with autism who used her condition to her advantage to completely transform the U.S. humane livestock handling industry and give autism a voice. Following the film, Curley held a question-and-answer session, in which she cleared up any confusion or concerns.

St. Patrick's Day

On Saturday night, the St. Lawrence Commons was transformed into a sea of green as students, faculty, and their families all showed up for the annual St. Patrick’s Day festivities.

The evening began with a tradition Irish dinner, including scones, corned beef and potatoes and carrots, cooked by Chef Dennis and his amazing staff. Following dinner, the festivities began. The “Clansmen” led by College President Dr. Timothy O’Donnell, led the community in several Irish songs to kick off the evening. Afterwards, the rest of the show began, which included Irish dancing, singing, and other Irish music. The “Senior Dance Team” performed a show-stopping piece, choreographed by Senior Katie Francis.

A great time was had by all, and the evening was a great way to relax and prepare for the exciting weekend.

College Chaplain Fr. Donald Planty is joined by St. Patrick, St. Brigid, and St. Columcille as he opens the evening's festivities with St. Patrick's Lorica.

The Clansmen are joined by the Hibernian Guard for the singing of "The Pibroch."

Senior Joe Long on the bouzouki.

Dr. John Cuddeback sang "The Broom of the Cowdenknowes."

Freshman Rosemary Hedge, Sophomore Aislinn Gibson, Freshman Rebecca Willen, and Sophomore Monica Davis perform "The Blood of Cuchulainn."

Theology Professor Raymund O'Herron sang "Four Green Fields."

Local Irish dancing troupe "The O'Kielty Dancers" put on a great show.

The senior dancers brought the house down with their electrifying performance.

Visit from the Papal Nuncio

Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, Papal Nuncio to the United States, visited Christendom College on March 18. His first visit to the campus of a Catholic college, the archbishop celebrated Mass for the students and faculty and then joined them for brunch.
Pope Benedict XVI named Archbishop Viganò to be the nuncio to the United States in October of last year. His previous position was the secretary-general of the commission governing Vatican City.

"This morning, it is my particular joy, as a personal representative of his holiness Pope Benedict XVI, to celebrate holy Mass with you, my brothers and sisters of Christendom College," Archbishop Viganò said during his homily.

"As you make your spiritual journey towards Easter, take time to thank almighty God for the gift of the present moment—the gift of these days that you spend at Christendom College, where you have been given a unique chance to choose to live by the truth, by embracing the fullness of the light of the Faith," he said.

Read more about this event here. The Nuncio's homily can be heard at Christendom on iTunes.


The Archbishop chats with College President Timothy O'Donnell, his wife Cathy, College Chaplain Fr. Donald Planty , and students.


Dorm Wars Begin!

On Sunday night, Christendom College’s new Dorm Wars, a campus-wide Olympic-style series of competitions among dorms, started off with excitement in the St. Lawrence Commons.

There are 13 teams competing, each consisting of a section of girls’ dorms paired with a section of guys’ dorms. These teams will spend the next few weeks competing in events ranging from bake-offs, to athletic events, to singing and swing-dancing events.

On Sunday night, all teams processed into the Commons behind their team’s flag and team captain. The team captains presented their flags and explained their significance before a panel of judges. "The Incorruptibles" came out victorious due to their artistic and creative flag. A rousing speech competition followed, whereby one person from each team gave a speech to incite their team to victory, and Sophomore Brendan Vieira of "The Beached Whales" wowed the crowd with his speech and took first place.

“It was encouraging to see that everyone was taking these Dorm Wars seriously,” says Sophomore Ben Scrivener. “Every team’s flag had a purpose and meaning, and every speech had passion and substance. It’s a great thing to see the Christendom community come together for Dorm Wars and put both individual and team talent to the test. I think that Dorm Wars will be a great addition to campus life this semester, as well as for years to come.”

Brendan Vieira delivers his winning speech.

"The Incorruptibles" gather around their banner.

La Festa di San Giuseppe

On Monday, the feast day of St. Joseph was joyously celebrated by Christendom students, faculty, and their families. The evening began with Solemn Vespers, followed by a procession of the statue of St. Joseph into the St. Lawrence Commons and a blessing of the bread by Assistant Chaplain, Fr. Joseph Fox.

“It was really exciting to have the opportunity to come together on the feast of St. Joseph in a truly Italian way—over lots of food—and celebrate the saint we love so much,” says Junior Sara Federico, who organized the festivities. “Especially in a time where the family is being so attacked, I think it is really important to honor this great example of purity and fatherhood. Everyone had a great time and I feel blessed to have been a part of it.”

The Christendom community enjoyed a large and delicious Italian meal, complete with pasta, cannoli, Italian ice, and an assortment of breads.

Processing to the Commons.

Senior Ben Scrivener grabs some of the delicious bread.


Golden Opportunities

It's been a very busy few weeks! We have started our classes, and we had a week of many guests of honor. President Dr. O’Donnell and Mrs. O’Donnell as well as Christendom’s chaplain, Fr. Planty, and Director of Student Activities & Rome Program Preparation Caitlin Bowers, visited bringing opportunities and Roman street knowledge.

Dr. O’Donnell, who studied for many years in Rome, gave us a phenomenal tour of St. Peter’s Square and Basilica, bringing the rich architectural and artistic history of the basilica alive with thorough explanations of every chapel and statue. As James Munson, one of the other students here in Rome put it, “Surrounded by the tombs of popes, we traveled back in time and walked in the footsteps of our Church, our faith.” On that day, the principle relics of St. Peter’s basilica were on display and we received a special blessing with the relic of the lance with which St. Longinus stabbed Christ in the heart.

Our chaplain, Fr. Planty also lived in Rome as a student, and arranged many special privileges for us, and showed us his favorite cafés and restaurants. He brought us to Chiesa Nuova that was built by St. Philip Neri and took us on a tour of the rooms in which the saint lived. Father also gave us a tour of the Gesu, the headquarters for the Jesuits, and celebrated Mass for us in the room where St. Ignatius of Loyola died.

Father Planty also arranged for us to meet the Secretary of State of the Holy See and we had an exclusive tour of the Papal Palace. We walked down the hallway just around the corner from the Pope’s apartment and met in the Pope’s library. Afterwards, we enjoyed a private nighttime view of St. Peter’s square and basilica, and the city of Rome.

We had the honor of having lunch with Cardinal Arinze, and we had the opportunity to ask him questions on contemporary theological matters. Before heading back to the States, we had the pleasure of an evening at Scholar’s Lounge soaking in the traditional Irish culture with Dr. and Mrs. O’Donnell.

We were so blessed to obtain front row seats to one of Pope Benedict’s Wednesday audiences. When Christendom College was announced to the Pope, we all cheered, “Amamus te! (“We love you” in Latin) and “Viva il Papa!” (“Long Live the Pope” in Italian) proudly waving our Christendom banners. Pope Benedict XVI looked right at us, waved, and smiled.

The owner of our hotel, who has an affinity for Christendom College, threw us a big party where we were able to socialize and mingle with Swiss Guards. We talked to them and were able to get a glimpse of what it is like to serve the Pope in such proximity, and what their day-to-day life is like.

We continue to see mind-blowing physical pieces of history such as the excommunication document of Martin Luther or the letter that King Henry VIII sent to the Pope asking for his annulment. We walk in the ancient streets of the Roman Forum, and see the sand in the Coliseum that the blood of martyrs has sanctified, continuing our pilgrimage to walk in their footsteps and follow their example.

Hanging out in the Pope's gardens.

A special evening view of St. Peters.

Lunch with Cardinal Arinze.

At the Coliseum.

God shines his light on our students in St. Peter's.

Mission Trip to the Dominican Republic


Spring Sports Off to Hot Start!

The Christendom College baseball team took the field in their season home opener this past Tuesday against the Defenders of Baptist Bible on one of the many beautiful days that Virginia has been having.

“The weather has been a huge blessing and the team has really dedicated themselves to getting out on the field and hitting and the cage," says Head Coach John Mercandetti, Sr. "Hopefully, it will pay off.”

The last few years the Crusaders have struggled to muster up runs with their offense, but in the first game on Tuesday that all changed. The Crusaders had three extra base hits in the first three innings and jumped out to a 2-0 lead against the Defenders. Charlie Rollino and David McWhirter both doubled in the second inning to score runs. Senior Patrick Stein took the hill for the Crusaders and would go the distance for the team. Despite taking the early 3-1 lead the Crusaders gave up a couple of big scoring innings to the Defenders and lost the first game of the doubleheader by a score of 4-7.

In the second game, with Junior Nicholas Blank on the mound, again the Crusaders would jump out into an early lead and never look back as they defeated the Defenders 13-7.

This past Saturday the baseball team traveled to Williamson Free School in Media, PA. The Mechanics have historically owned the Crusaders having beaten us each time in the last five years. However, with the bats ablaze, the Crusaders jumped on the Mechanics early and surprised them by taking a commanding lead in the first game. A lead the Crusaders would not give up!

Behind another solid pitching performance from Pat Stein and consistent hitting all around, the Crusaders earned their first victory over the Mechanincs by a final score of 11-7. In the second game, the Mechanics would get revenge as they would muster six runs against the Crusaders and hold Christendom to just four.

Currently the baseball team sits at 2-2 and the team’s best start in recent memory. The Crusaders are back in action on Saturday as they host Philadelphia Biblical for a doubleheader at Bing Crosby Stadium beginning at 12 noon.

The Rugby team has also started off on a solid note anxious to defend their winning season last year.

The Crusader Ruggers defeated Division III Catholic University this past Saturday in a hard fought match. With a large contingent of fan support, the team put everything they had into a grueling match. The Crusaders made multiple goal-line stands, which in the end was the difference in the game. The win notches the teams second win of the season, the other being against American University.

The wins against both of these huge universities in comparison (CUA having over 7,000 total students, 3,633 undergraduates and American University with over 10,000 total students and 6,600 undergraduate) speaks volumes to how far the Rugby program has come in the last five years. Their dedication and hard work has definitely paid off in these last two monumental wins. The team looks to continue their winning ways as they head to Hampden Sydney this Saturday for a round robin tournament, which will include three matches.

Congratulations to both teams!

Senior Pat Stein pitched excellent games.

Junior Matt Naham sends the ball flying.

Freshman Bobby Crnkovich flies down the field for one of the biggest scores of the game.

Freshman Larry Urgo is unstoppable.

Q. I have found your office to be very accommodating, efficient, and in short, quite a joy to deal with. I have been in contact with numerous other colleges and universities and have received the proverbial “run-around” so many times. I just wanted to commend your office for seemingly always being on top of things. Can you tell me a little bit about who works for you and what they do? Keep up the good work!

A. Thanks for the compliment! We do our best to be as efficient as possible, although we certainly can improve, as we try to each year.

As you know, I am the Director of Admissions and Marketing. I have been in this position since 2004 and am responsible for all aspects of recruitment, advertising, public relations, marketing, and admissions, and as of last year, I am also responsible for alumni relations. I attended Christendom back in the early days of the College from 1986-1990, earning my BA in Theology, and then I earned my MA in Theological Studies from our Graduate School in 1998.

The Assistant Director of Public Relations and Marketing is Niall O’Donnell. He is responsible for maintaining our website, editing this weekly Chronicler online magazine, taking photos of all of our events and activities (although we have a number of students who take pictures for this publication – Thanks Maddy and Liz), writing stories for publication in news media outlets and in-house publications, and creating all of our various movies, videos, DVDs, commercials, brochures and other such things. Niall, the eldest son of Christendom College President Dr. Timothy O’Donnell, earned his BA in English Language and Literature from Christendom in 2003 and holds his Licentiate in Communications from the Santa Croce in Rome. He has been working in my office since 2006.

The Associate Director of Admissions is Eve Owen, who has worked in my office for a number of years, first as a student caller, then as an Admissions Counselor, and, now, as Associate Director. Eve is responsible for traveling around the country, visiting high schools, homeschool groups, parishes, and other groups of people who might be interested in hearing about Christendom. She represents us at various conferences, college fairs, and other events. She organizes all of our Family Visit Days/Open House Events, and works with high school guidance counselors and youth ministers to help students determine if Christendom is a for them. Eve, originally from Oregon, graduated with a BA in History from Christendom in 2010, after having served as the Student Body President. Sadly, she will be leaving my office this spring to pursue bigger and better things (i.e. marriageitunes). We wish her, and her husband-to-be, Paul, all the best.

Katie Gutschke, from New Jersey, is an Admissions Counselor who has been working in my office since last summer. Although working full-time, she is also completing her degree in History and should graduate in spring 2013. She is responsible for processing all of the many applications to our undergraduate program and she will be running our summer programs for high school students this year. As a former summer program participant, Katie will do a tremendous job of making sure that the Experience Christendom Summer Programs go off without a hitch and give the participants the best experience they can have.

Liz Twaddle is an Admissions Counselor who graduated with a BA in History in 2011. She is responsible for answering the phones, responding to emails, sending out informational packets, giving campus tours, and arranging campus visits for prospective high school students. Originally from California, Liz is excited to begin her second year in the office and looks forward to speaking with you in the future!

And beyond those who work day in and day out for my office, we have a number of other people who do a lot to make our efforts successful.

Emi Funai (junior) and Rebecca Deucher (sophomore) are responsible for making follow-up calls to students who have requested information. They work a couple of nights a week throughout the academic year as part of their on-campus employment. Additionally, all of our many Student Ambassadors and Tour Leaders who have volunteered their time to help show visiting students what life at Christendom is like are indispensable and I am very grateful for their help.

Well, that’s the whole gang. Again, I thank you for your kind words about our efficiency and I look forward to being of service to you in the future. Compliments and complaints are always welcome.
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.