"Nicholas Nickleby"


Name: Veronica Stanton
Jenkintown, PA
Undeclared—possibly History
Playing the violin and singing.
Who's your favorite professor or class? Dr. Mark Clark's Latin class and history with Dr. Brendan McGuire are definitely my favorites. Their enthusiasm for their subjects makes it easier for the students to enjoy what they're learning.
What extra-curricular activities do you participate in?
Intramurals and I have performed at Pub Nights with my sister.
What is your favorite thing about Christendom? All the wholesome friendships I have developed this past year, because they have brought me closer to God.
Why did you choose Christendom? Because of the quality of education offered here and the unique atmosphere that you can't find anywhere else.
What surprises you the most about Christendom? The incredible amount of students who are talented in many different ways, especially the in the fine arts.
What are your plans after graduation? Sainthood.
Any parting words of advice for a prospective student?
Take advantage of the many opportunities that Christendom offers, especially the mission trips during spring break.


Appreciation Week

This past week, Christendom College celebrated Appreciation Week in order to recognize and show gratitude toward all those individuals both in front of and behind the scenes who give so much to the school.

“I think it is wonderful that Christendom dedicates a special week to recognize and thank all the hard-working people who make our college run so smoothly,” Freshman Maggie Schuberg said. “I am especially grateful to our Chaplains, who are always there for the students in the sacraments or to just talk.”

On Monday, recognition was given to the Chaplains, Fr. Planty and Fr. Fox, for all they do for Christendom, and students signed spiritual bouquets as a gift for their beloved priests. On Tuesday, appreciation was given to kitchen staff for their hard work this year, and Chef Dennis and his co-workers were given new aprons. All faculty and staff were recognized on Wednesday and Thursday with great applause. The Cavalier crew was shown abundant gratitude on Friday, and each person was given a gift card as a token of this appreciation.

Saying thanks to Cavalier Cleaning Services.

Recognizing the fine work of Chef Dennis and his crew.

Nicholas Nickleby

The Christendom College Players performed Nicholas Nickleby on April 20-22. An adaption of the beloved novel by Charles Dickens, the play featured a talented cast that entertained audiences with a complex plot filled with colorful characters.

Dr. Patrick Keats, a professor of literature and experienced producer of plays at Christendom College, directed the production, his thirty-second at Christendom. Keats was ably assisted by a production team that included alumna Mary Harrington, Christendom seniors Brianna Miller and Erin Clark, junior Kelly Lawyer, and sophomore Sean LaRochelle.

Senior Matthew Camp, who played the sadistic Wackford Squeers, said that performing in Nickleby was a wonderful experience.

“Not only did I get to work alongside some fabulous, motivated, upbeat actors but everyone, from cast to directors to stage crew to the hair and makeup, really worked together to provide a positive, and all around delightful performance,” Camp said. “I was truly glad to be a part of it."

Andrew Clark, a sophomore who played Newman Noggs had an amazing time as well.

“It was a tremendous experience,” Clark said. “It’s always great working with people who are very dedicated, patient, and willing to go the extra mile to make the play amazing.”

Every year the Christendom Players produce two plays: one in the fall and one in the spring. 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.

Freshman Peter Foeckler as Nicholas Nickleby captured the good spirit and compassion of the story’s hero well. Foeckler was supported by a very talented cast that recreated Dickens’ trademark hilarious comic scenes.

Matthew Harris and Kathleen Deighan brought the stage to life with their performances of Mr. and Mrs. Crummles, the leaders of the larger than life theatre troupe that Nicholas joins for a short time.

Sophomore Sean Ryan and freshman Joseph Bond kept audiences laughing with their hilarious performance of Charles and Ned Cheeryble, the kind and jovial brothers who help Nicholas in overcoming the evil designs of his uncle Ralph.

Nicholas saves Madeline from an unwanted marriage.

The Squeers capture Smike.


Kissing Lepers

On Monday evening, Sr. Clare Hunter, F.S.E., delivered a talk entitled “Kissing Lepers.” Part of this year's Student Life Formation Series the talk examined how we are to love the wounded in our lives.

In her talk, she explained when trying to lead others to the truth, especially on life issues, we need more than just arguments. There needs to be a delicacy and an understanding that many of the people that we encounter carry deep wounds.

Sr. Hunter, a Franciscan Sisters of the Eucharist, is Director of the Arlington Diocese's Respect Life Office.

Academics at Christendom

The Admissions Office hosted a Family Visit Day and Open House last week. Students and parents were able to sit-in on classes, tour the campus, and hear presentations from College President Timothy O'Donnell and other faculty and staff.

One of the presentations at the event was given by Dr. Brendan McGuire, who addressed Christendom's rich academic tradition. You can watch his energetic and informative talk below:


The Last Things

This past week in Rome was called "Culture Week." It is during this week that all the state-owned museums and historical sites are open free of charge.

We were given extra days free of tours and obligations so that we could take full advantage of the many art collections and galleries that Rome has in store. This opportunity came at the perfect time too, now that we have developed an educated taste for art, famous artists, and artistic time periods through our Art & Architecture course and our tours.

As we feel the end of our time in Rome drawing nearer, all of us have been making lists of the things around the city that we want to make sure we see or do before we leave. We have been using our free days to walk around Rome and to do things that we could only do here.

We could be found trying to fulfill our lists all over the city dong things like having gelato from our favorite gelateria, enjoying delicious chocolate-filled pastries, climbing to the top of the Dome of St. Peter’s Basilica, throwing coins in the Trevi Fountain, or sitting on the Spanish Steps. These excursions have always turned out to be adventures. This city is full of fascinating churches, monuments, and quaint areas that we stumbled upon only by accident while pursuing items on our lists.

Additionally, we used our last free weekend to visit destinations that we must see before we leave. A group of us chose to spend the weekend in the vibrant city of Barcelona where we tried the freshly squeezed tropical juices, and other local cuisine.

The highlight of the trip to Barcelona was definitely the Basilica there that is still being built that is called “La Sagrada Familia” or “The Holy Family.” This amazing piece of architecture is and will be when completed, a masterpiece. Gaudi, the architect, was a devout Catholic and a mathematical genius and he poured his life into designing the plans for this Basilica using revolutionary architectural methods, and spiritual devotion. There was not an aspect in the building that was not carefully planned out and intended with theological meaning. It was truly a great way to spend the last free weekend taking a once in a lifetime opportunity, and experiencing a whole new culture.

Last gelato.

Climbing the Scala Sancta—the steps that led up to the praetorium of Pontius Pilate in Jerusalem, which Jesus Christ stood on during his Passion. The stairs were brought to Rome by St. Helena.

Theresa Jalsevac admires La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, Spain.

A view from Castel S'Angelo.

David Townsend in Piazza del Popolo.

Junior Semester in Rome, Spring 2012.

Hiking in the Shenandoah Valley

What many students take full advantage of, but others are unaware of, is the fact that there are many incredible hiking trails not only on campus but very nearby.

Shenandoah National Park, just a short driving distance from Christendom, offers over 500 miles of trails, including about 100 miles of the Appalachian Trail. These trails either lead deep into the wilderness, to a beautiful overlook, or to a waterfall.

Skyline Drive is probably the most popular destination for hiking among Christendom students in the Shenandoah National Park due to its close proximity to campus and peaceful trails that are not too arduous and perfect for picnicking.

While Old Rag is the most challenging trail in the park, many Christendom students would also argue that it is the most fun and rewarding, with its beautiful scenery and views in any season, and its astonishing slopes and cliffs.

“My favorite hike around school is one called ‘Buzzard’s Rock’ in George Washington National Park,” says Senior Catherine Marra, who has recently frequented several of the trails in the area. “The hike is not too strenuous, but there are gorgeous views on the top of the mountain ridge.”

Christendom students never sit around campus with nothing to do on a beautiful day. At any time of the year, they can take a short drive to one of the picturesque hiking trails and enjoy the stunning scenery that the Shenandoah Valley has to offer.

Find out more about the trails near Christendom at this webpage.

Junior Nick Blank waves from the top of a massive rock formation.

One of the many beautiful springtime views of the Shenandoah Valley.

Sophomores Madeleine Murphy and Hanna Ethridge enjoy a view from he summit with Junior Nick Blank.

One of Skyline's hidden waterfalls.

Juniors Emi Funai and Mary Bratt enjoy a view from Buzzard's Rock with senior Catherine Marra.


Crusader Baseball Team Wins ESBL Championship

This past Saturday, before the rain pounded the valley, the Christendom baseball team took to the field at Bing Crosby Stadium against Valley Forge Christian College. Standing at 5-4 and 3-1 in the Eastern States Baseball League (ESBL), the Crusaders were hoping to notch their first ever winning season and grab a championship in the process.

Senior Patrick Stein took to the mound for the first of the doubleheader. The Crusaders, playing without starting catcher Nicholas Blank (who was sidelined due to having his appendix removal), took an early 1-0 lead. Pat Stein would take care of the rest, pitching a complete game which included nine strikeouts and allowing just one walk and four hits. Offensively, the Crusaders continued their turn-around at the plate this year as they repeatedly put the ball in play forcing the Patriots of Valley Forge to make tough plays. The result was a 3-0 victory for the Crusaders in the first game.

Freshman Thomas Maurer took to the mound for the Crusaders in the second game, which proved to be a very different game from the first in terms of style, but not result!

The teams traded hits and runs back and forth throughout the game, 4-4, then 5-4, then 6-4; back and forth they went. The defense, as it has all year, proved as reliable as the bats of the Crusaders as they played tough defense, gobbling up ground balls and chasing down fly balls. It seemed as though the teams would go back and forth until the rain would end the game as the dark clouds rolled into the valley.

But in the sixth inning, sophomore Joe Marra would get on base and after two stolen bases ended up on third base. Staying there only for a short time, he raced home to score on a passed ball. As Joe touched home plate, the excitement became tangible as the Crusaders could sense a first ever championship almost within their grasp. Following Joe Marra, Dan Arnold also scored to give the Crusaders a two-run lead going into the final inning.

What followed was almost a perfect ending for the Crusaders, as Pat Stein despite pitching the entire first game came back on the mound to close out the second game and help clinch the championship.

“I had to beg coach to let me go out there, but it is one of those things that I wanted so bad," Stein said. "To be in that situation after four years and to be able to help deliver a championship means so much.”

Coach Mercandetti did let Stein take the ball and three batters later the Crusaders had clinched their first winning season in over five years and their first ever ESBL Championship. The win capped off a memorable season by a group of guys who did the little things and did them well.

Coach Mercandetti commenting on the game noted:

“These 2 wins just like the others before them were a complete team effort. Everyone played a part and fulfilled their role so well and I couldn’t be more proud of their hard work and team first mentality.”

Congratulations to the 2012 Eastern States Baseball League Champions, your Christendom Crusaders!

Mike Arnold sends one flying.

Christopher Tipton slides in safe to home.

Joe Marra steals third base.

Pat Stein strikes out down the final bat.

Sweet victory.

Q. There are a lot of good colleges out there, from what I can tell, and sometimes it is very difficult to tell the differences between them. I mean, I want to go to a college that is in line with the Church and does not have any heretical or anti-Catholic groups on campus, but other than that, I am unsure of what I want. Is there some easy way to figure out which college I should go to?

A. The age-old question. And there is no easy answer.

You are on the right track in that you have at least figured out one “must-have” and one “can’t have” item for your future college. Your future college “must have” fidelity to the Magisterium and “can’t have” any of these crazy groups. Again, good start, but there is still much work to be done.

You need to figure out more of these “must haves” and “can’t haves” in order to create your short list of colleges to look at. You can do this in a number of ways. Think about all the things that you might want in college: certain location, certain price, certain majors, certain extra-curriculars, certain regulations, certain opportunities, etc. Then, figure out which wants are “must-haves” versus “wants.” Then go ahead and make a list of things you don’t want in a college: certain groups, certain policies, certain types of students/teachers, certain location, certain price, certain size, etc. Then, again, figure out which ones are “can’t haves” and which ones are just preferences that won’t make or break a deal.

So, once you have your Musts and your Cants, come up with your “Wouldn’t it be nice if…” list too.

How do you even begin this type of process? Well, ask some friends, family, priests, and others, then look at the websites of these schools. Read the “About” section and mission statements. See what they are all about and determine if these schools have the same goal in mind as you do. Look over all the aspects of the website to see what kind of “feel” you get for the place.

If you like what you see initially, then maybe formulate some questions and see if any have been answered in the Frequently Asked Questions section of the site. If not, then contact an admissions office representative and ask them as many questions as you want. If it seems to still be meeting your needs, then the next step would be to schedule a visit to the college. You can get a real sense of a place by walking around campus and meeting the students and faculty, staying in the residence halls, and even seeing how the students spend their leisure time. All very important to the “college search” process, I think.

If, after visiting, you’ve narrowed your search down to three or four colleges, maybe then ask the admissions representatives why they think that people choose their school over the others. I know that I am personally very knowledgeable about the differences between Christendom and many other faithful Catholic colleges and universities. Although most admissions counselors (and Directors) are generally biased toward the place where they work, most are doing their best to help students understand what their particular college offers and how it might differ from others. That is, they are simply trying to give you as much information as they can so that you can make a fully informed decision. Some, though, unfortunately, act like used car salesmen and do or say just about anything to get you to come to their school. You will not find that kind of attitude in the Admissions Office at Christendom, I promise.

And finally, you must pray about it. Going to this or that college will change your life forever, either for good or for bad. Many Catholics leave the faith during their college years; some “survive college” and keep the faith; others grow and mature in their faith. Much of this depends on where you go to school, who you hang out with, and what you are studying. Is it more important for you to be in a place that offers a particular degree in a not-so-Catholic environment, or are you more concerned with being in a Catholic environment with maybe a limited number of degrees? Do you want to get out of college debt-free with the having paid the least amount out of pocket, even if it means sacrificing a Catholic education, or are you willing to accumulate some debt and pay some money out of pocket to get the education you want?

These are questions only you and your family can answer. And they are very hard questions, for sure.

So, in short:
  • Figure out what you are looking for in a college education;
  • Ask your trusted friends, priests, and relatives their opinions;
  • Look up the colleges/universities on the internet and give a thorough review of their mission, programs, and overall purpose;
  • Ask questions of the Admissions Office;
  • Visit your short list of schools; and
  • Pray to the Holy Spirit for guidance to make the right decision!
Good luck and let me know if I can be of any further help!
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.