Meet Christendom College


Name: Jessie Williams
Memphis, TN
Theology - I hope!
Going to concerts and shopping.
Who's your favorite professor and what's your favorite class?
Theology with Prof. Raymund O'Herron.
What extra-curricular activities do you participate in? Intramural volleyball.
What is your favorite thing about Christendom?
The family atmosphere.
Why did you choose Christendom?
It's Catholic academics and it's not too far from home.
What has surprised you the most about Christendom? The faculty and staff really do care about your well being and want to see you succeed.
Plans after graduation? Start my own business.
Any parting words of advice for a prospective student?
Don't knock Christendom off your college list because of its size. Give it a chance.


Meet Christendom College

This past weekend Christendom College hosted its top donors at the 2nd Annual President's Council Visit Weekend, one of the Advancement Office's "Meet Christendom College" events. The weekend gave donors the opportunity to sit in on classes, meet students, take a cruise down the Shenandoah River, enjoy musical performances by students, and much more.

Christendom College is the only fully accredited Catholic college in the U.S. that does not accept federal funding in any form, including federal tuition loans and grants. That's one reason we can remain totally Catholic, without compromise. Our donors make this possible. We were so glad to have this opportunity to meet and thank them for all the sacrifices that they have made in their support of the College.

During musical performances on Friday night, students performed the first movement of Vivaldi's "Winter."

Senior Stephen Tomlinson plays the piano for donors during Friday's performances.

History Professor Dr. Chris Shannon offered an exclusive lecture.

Donors enjoyed hearing from a student panel.

Eric and Barbara Mansfield enjoy a cruise on the Shenandoah.

The Fifth Annual Awards Dinner was held at Rappahannock Cellars.

Long-time donors Eugene and Cathy Wurster were among some of the donors who were honored.

Grand Opening: Sacred Grounds Coffee Shop

Everyone on campus is buzzing with excitement about the new Sacred Grounds Coffee Shop in the basement of the library. After lots of planning and preparation, the shop opened up on Thursday evening.

At the Grand Opening, College Chaplian Fr. Donald Planty blessed both the coffee shop and the very large crowd that came to witness the ribbon-cutting ceremony. Professor Jenislawski assisted with the cutting of the ribbon and also helped make sure everything ran smoothly for the busy first night.

The coffee shop is the product of the combined efforts of Juniors David Townsend and Nick Blank, along with much help from student volunteers. Townsend and Blank wanted to create a space for students where they could study and relax in a warm setting, and enjoy delicious coffee products at a very reasonable price. Aiding their efforts, Sophomore Savannah Buckner donated a couch and decorations to the shop, and a team of student volunteers has come together to run the shop at all times.

“We are very excited about the opening of Sacred Grounds Coffee Shop,” says Townsend. "Nick Blank and I had the intention of making a fun, chill environment for everyone to hang out, and we have had great success so far.”

Sacred Grounds Coffee Shop will be open to all every Monday-Thursday, 8-11am and 8-11:30pm, Friday, 8-11am, and Sunday, 8-11pm.

David Townsend and Tim McPhee celebrate the grand opening with a little bubbly—sparkling cider.

The coffee shop is an instant new favorite.

Karaoke Café

Saturday night, St. Kilian's Café was filled with amusement and laughter as students enjoyed a relaxing Karaoke Night. The evening, coordinated by the Student Activities Council, was complete with juggling, tasty snacks, and great company.

The highlight of the event was trying one's voice out with the mic on stage! Students laughed as they all sang along to some favorite tunes sung by classmates. Fr. Planty and Fr. Fox even sang an
a cappella duet! The night was a great chance to relax and enjoy some entertaining down time with classmates and friends.

Frs. Planty and Fox sing a duet.

Seniors had fun at Karaoke Night.

Senior Joe Long leads the fellas in a song.

The New Roman Missal

Theologian Msgr. Andrew R. Wadsworth delivered a talk, entitled The Making of the Missal, to the students and faculty on Monday. Msgr. Wadsworth, the Executive Director of the International Commission on English in the Liturgy (ICEL), examined the role of the Commission in producing the new translation of the missal of the Roman Rite.

At ICEL, Msgr. Wadsworth has worked to prepare the English translations of Latin liturgical books and texts in accord with the directives of the Holy See.

"A frequent observation made in relation to the new translation is that it is more formal," Msgr. Wadsworth said. He clarified that the formal language was used to reflect the quality and the characteristics of the original Latin text. It also avoided the regional differences, which are found in the English language when it is used colloquially.

"The difference that we have in our language, when we use it in an everyday way, does not exist to the same level when we move everything up a notch," he said. "When we move everything to a more formal register of the use of English, then we have a language that is common across regional and national boundaries."

Wadsworth read an example of the original Latin text from the missal and then two versions of a translation—one from the current missal and one from the new missal.

"I would suggest that if we were to characterize those two different approaches, the current translation is a bit flat," he said. "The ideas are there, but they've sort of been squashed. In the new translation, they are re-inflated. They have something of the natural balance that is evident in the Latin. The phrases balance each other perfectly, the ideas are well presented, and you get a greater sense of what the prayer is about."

Read more about this timely and informative lecture
here or download it at Christendom on iTunes U.

This lecture was part of Christendom College's Major Speakers Program. An important aspect of the academic life at the College, the program seeks to offer the students and community an opportunity for cultural, intellectual, and spiritual enrichment beyond the classroom. Through the program, students are given the opportunity to gain greater insights and depth of understanding of important issues, and to interact personally with a wide range of men and women who are shapers and critics of our society.



A Week of Pilgrimage

A week-long pilgrimage in Assisi and Siena certainly set the tone of "pilgrimage" for this semester!

We woke up early on Sunday to leave for Assisi. Upon arriving a few hours later, I was awe-inspired by the natural beauty there. One student remarked that it was no wonder such holy people came from Assisi, because who can deny God while surrounded by such beauty. I completely agree!

Over the next few days, we went to Mass at San Damiano (the church St. Francis rebuilt), Santa Maria degli Angeli (where St. Francis died…and we received a plenary indulgence for attending Mass there), the Tomb of St. Francis, and the Basilica of Santa Chiara (which includes her tomb and some of her relics). We toured all the churches, in addition to other parts of Assisi, like the houses where St. Francis and St. Claire grew up, the stable in which St. Francis was born, and the hermitage of St. Francis. The view on the hike up to and from the hermitage was quite fantastic!

We arrived in Siena on Wednesday. Siena is a charming city and I loved it! We stayed at a hotel next door to the house St. Catherine lived. She is my confirmation saint, so experiencing her town was quite a blessing!

We celebrated Mass at the chapel by St. Catherine’s house on Thursday and then went on a tour of Siena. The tour included a visit to San Domenico, which holds the head and a finger of St. Catherine. We learned a lot about the Sienese culture and ended our tour at the Duomo, which had the most amazing art and architecture! After the tour, we were able to climb to the top of the Duomo for an incredible view of Siena!

While in Siena, we learned about the 17 contradas (districts) that Siena is divided into. Each contrada has its own church, museum, banner, motto, allies, enemies, etc. They are all extremely competitive and this competition comes to a climax during two horse races (the Palio) in the summer. Our group is very vibrant, so our directors decided to split our various rooms into contradas. My room (Rachel Milani, Johanna Troendle, and myself) are the Pantera (Panthers) and our motto is “My energy pulls down every obstacle.” We are the coolest contrada ever and are definitely taking on the friendly rivalry tradition practiced by the Sienese!

On Friday, we celebrated Mass at the Basilica of San Francesco, where, by the way, there was a Eucharistic miracle. The miracle dates back to 1730 when 223 hosts were stolen after being consecrated. They were found a few days later in the offering box of another church. The hosts were not consumed and surprisingly never disintegrated. They remain to this day in the Basilica. We celebrated Mass in the side chapel in the Basilica in front of the hosts. Then, after Mass, we received a beautiful blessing of walking up to the hosts—I could have touched them—individually and then praying the Divine Mercy Chaplet as a group. Oh, and if that wasn’t enough, we were also told to check out the chapel down the street which had the incorrupt body of St. Salvina. So, needless to say, Friday was a decent way to end the pilgrimage before leaving on Saturday morning!

May I just say that I love being Catholic? I just spent the past week roaming the streets and buildings of great and holy people. There is nothing more inspiring than the realization that you are standing before the physical remains of a holy saint, like St. Francis, St. Claire, or St. Catherine. The really crazy thing is that the physical and the material are nothing compared to the example they have given us by their lives. However, the physical manifestations of their lives make them so real to me and I firmly believe this is something every Catholic should have the opportunity to experience! God is so great!

A view of Umbria from the hike to St. Francis' hermitage.

On tour in Assisi: Rome Program Director John Noronha, who will appear on EWTN, speaks to students outside the basilica of St. Clare.

Bridget Lademan admires a fountain in Assisi.

The Duomo of Siena.

On tour inside the Duomo.

Rachel Milani and Lisa Hill enjoy the view from the Duomo.

Touring the streets of Siena.

A rainbow arcs across the Siena skyline.

Getting to Know the Financial Aid Office

Of the many aspects of Christendom, one that is often overlooked, yet supremely important, is the Financial Aid Office. For many prospective students and their families, applying for financial aid and dealing with money matters at all the various colleges and universities can seem very confusing and frustrating at times. And normally, it is very hard to reach anyone in the financial aid office and build a relationship with that individual. Not so at Christendom. Christendom's Financial Aid Office prides itself on personalized attention and promptness in replying to queries or questions. Ms. Alisa Polk and Ms. Bonnie Williams are the masterminds behind the work done in the Financial Aid and Billing Office, and this week Ms. Polk gave The Chronicler some insights into what goes on.

Ms. Polk has been working in the Financial Aid Office since 1991, and has really enjoyed seeing the students reap the benefits of the work that she and Ms. Williams do. She summed up their jobs neatly by saying: “Essentially, we help as many families as we can within the financial aid guidelines.”

Ms. Polk pointed out that over seventy percent of the students at Christendom receive some sort of aid every year. On an average day, they see around ten students for various reasons, while in the beginning and end of the semesters, they see over fifty percent of the student body. Since Christendom does not take federal funding, they offer different types of financial aid, including: Need-based Assistance, which take the form of loans and grants based on the students calculated need; Merit Assistance, which is based on the student's academic performance both at Christendom and their SAT/ACT scores; and finally Family Plan Discounts, which offer benefits for students with other siblings at the school.

Outside of those opportunities, students can apply for a student employment "work-study” job on a competitive basis, which can earn more money for school and gain valuable experience in various fields. There are also opportunities for other scholarships, including the Presidential Scholarships, athletic scholarships, and ones based on academic departments. Another unique aspect of the Financial Aid Office that provides assistance for students is the “Debt Forgiveness Plan” for students who become Priests or enter the religious life and who take a vow of poverty.

Ms. Polk commented that a great part of her job is having opportunities to work with the families of students, and having connections with them, even though she may have never met them. She finds that the most rewarding part of her job however, is “seeing students be able to come to Christendom, and watch how they are able to change, grow, and mature over four years."

"It is rewarding because I know that in some small way I have helped them be here," she says. "It is very exciting to see then what they go out and do after their time at Christendom.”

Click here to find out more about Christendom's Financial Aid.


Last Second Heroics vs. Gallaudet

On Wednesday, the men’s soccer team battled Division III Gallaudet University at Skyline field in Front Royal.

Just a year ago the Crusaders had dismantled the Bison to a score of 5-0 on the Bison’s home field. What a difference a year can make! The first half saw the Crusaders come out slow but consistently win possession and link up with many passing sequences, halfbacks Joseph Stephens and Tommy Salmon regularly found the Foeckler boys (Peter and Johnny) along with Johnny Ciskanik roaming free around the field. Despite multiple scoring opportunities the team couldn’t put the ball in the back of the net. That all changed when Tommy Salmon found Johnny Ciskanik inside the corner of the goalie box and Johnny blasted a shot past the goalie for a 1-0 Christendom lead. Once again the brick wall of the Crusaders defense stood strong in the first half. As the whistle blew at halftime the score stood at 1-0, with 45 minutes of soccer left, or so everyone thought!

The second half made up for the first's lack of goals. Throughout the game Gallaudet forward Jean-Pierre Kanashiro wreaked havoc against the Crusaders with his never-ending runs and fancy footwork. Early in the second half, he danced past the Crusaders halfbacks and let loose on a high placed shot that found its way just over Christendom goalie Dan Mitchell’s fingers in the back of the net. With that goal, the momentum switched and the Bison went on the offensive culminating in a free kick shot, which Juan-Pierre would bend around the wall and sneak inside the near post for a game leading goal.

Coupled with frustration and energy the Crusaders would battle back but were unable to score the equalizer. Sean LaRochelle found an opening inside the goalie box but pushed it wide as did Johnny Foeckler. The final 10 minutes of the game saw an all out attack by the Crusaders desperate to score the tying goal yet again. Time and time again it looked to be about to happen, but would never come true. Finally, with 36 seconds left in regulation Johnny Ciskanik unleashed a rocket of a shot from 25 yards out that froze the goalie and found the upper ninety. To this point as I write this column this shot by Johnny Ciskanik might be one of the most powerful shots I have ever seen from distance. Thirty-six seconds later the whistle blew, but it would not be the final one!

The game went into overtime featuring two ten-minute golden goal session where the first goal to score wins. This being just the fifth game in the Crusaders season it already is the third game to go into overtime. In sports, few sensations are better than coming from behind to win a game, especially one as long and as grueling as a soccer match.

The Gallaudet Bison played well throughout the first overtime as the game moved to the second overtime—with missed opportunities for both teams—fatigue set in.

With a quicker step and a determined spirit the Crusaders continued to push and attack until the Bison cracked and Johnnies would connect as Ciskanik would head a ball to Foeckler who fired the shot past the Gallaudet goalkeeper to the jubilation of the Crusader team and the Crazies who had stayed until the end.

Hall of Fame Coach
Vince Lombardi says it best: “I firmly believe that any man’s finest hour, the greatest fulfillment of all that he holds dear, is that moment when he has worked his heart out in a good cause and lies exhausted on the field of battle – victorious.”

The Crusaders move to 5-0-1 with their next match at Patrick Henry College in Purcellville, VA, on Saturday at 3pm.

Chris Foeckler charges through the defense toward the goal.

Peter Foeckler takes a shot.

Johnny Ciskanik heads the ball toward the goal.

Tommy Salmon takes the ball down field.

Goalie Dan Mitchell sends the ball into Bison territory..

Johnny Ciskanik fires the game-tying shot before the end of the second half.

To see more pics from this game, click here.

Q. I am very interested in getting involved in a lot of activities when I go away to college. I see from your weekly Chronicler that the students have a lot of fun things to do to keep them active, but do they have any opportunities to do any charitable works of mercy or the like? I am very involved in my parish and want to continue to do all I can to help out those less fortunate than me, even while I am at college.

A. I am so glad that you asked this question! The short answer is, yes, our students have a number of opportunities to perform both the corporal and spiritual works of mercy. Students can take part in a variety of activities, such as:

  • Participating in Spring Break and Summer Mission Programs
  • Delivering Food to the Needy with Meals on Wheels
  • Helping the Less Fortunate with Housing Needs by Working with Habitat for Humanity
  • Assisting Women in Need at a Local Crisis Pregnancy Center
  • Serving the Poor at the Local Parish' Soup Kitchen
  • Visiting the Elderly at the Local Nursing Home
  • Feeding and Clothing the Poor and Homeless in Washington, DC
  • Organizing Red Cross Blood Drives on Campus
  • Participating in Prayerful Pro-Life Gatherings
  • Praying for Living and Deceased Benefactors
  • Working with the Legion of Mary to Help Evangelize Local Residents
  • Taking Part in Eucharistic Adoration and Daily Rosary
  • Teaching CCD to Children at the Parish

All of these opportunities, and more, are meant to help enflesh what the students are learning in their classes so that they might be better Catholics who are able to enter today’s world as leaders in the effort to restore all things in Christ. Here is a page on our website which may give you more information about this whole subject.

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.