It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like...


Name: Catherine Marra
Clifton Park, NY
Making long distance phone calls to loved ones and cooking omelets for the students on Sundays.
Who's your favorite professor or class?
Dr. Adam Schwartz of the History Department. His classes are always thorough and thought-provoking—I've learned the most in his classroom.
What extra-curricular activities do you participate in?
I've played soccer, joined in the intramurals, performed in the mystery Dinner Theater plays, and participated in the Sunday Morning Dish-room Choir.
What is your favorite thing about Christendom?
The availability of the Sacraments and the people here.
Why did you choose Christendom?
I can always trust the authenticity of what the professors say in class and since Christendom doesn't accept federal aid, it has the freedom to maintain a truly Catholic education.
What surprises you the most about Christendom?
The amount of talent and creativity in the student body. I thought all we were going to do was study. Boy was I wrong!
What are your plans after graduation?
I plan to sally forth with my liberal arts education to reinvigorate our society by "restoring all things in Christ."
Any parting words of advice for a prospective student?
Trust in our Admissions team! You can really believe the great things that Mr. McFadden and the counselors tell you about our college. The "Ask the Director" section in the Chronicler will greatly add to your understanding of what Christendom offers.


Christmas Formal

This past Saturday evening, members of the Christendom community—students and faculty alike—gathered in the Crusader Gymnasium for Christendom's annual Christmas Formal.

The Student Activities Council, led by Senior class president Ted Cantu, did an amazing job decorating for the event, as the gym was unrecognizable, having been transformed into a Christmas wonderland, Charles Dickens style.

The evening started at six o'clock, as everyone gathered for a tasty meal provided by the incredible kitchen staff. Dinner was followed by a brief address and Advent meditation given by College President Dr. Timothy O'Donnell. Following Dr. O'Donnell's talk, the senior class gathered to sing the “Senior Class Carol” which proved to be amusing for all. The Seniors were then invited to a cocktail hour in the top level of the gym to mingle with the rest of their class and their professors.

As soon as the music began, students hit the floor, heartily enjoying the last dance of the year, and the chance to forget about the upcoming finals for one lovely evening.

Students grab a few treats from the dessert table.

O'Donnell's address included St. Bernard of Clairvaux's meditation on the Annunciation.

Seniors David McWhirter and Stephen Tomlinson enjoy cocktails with College Chaplain Fr. Donald Planty and Philosophy Professor Dr. John Cuddeback.

Sophomore Matt Speer gives Senior Brianna Miller a dip on the dance floor.

Freshman Karolyn Pondo enjoys a dance with Freshman Marius Mello.

Juniors Daniel Traina and Theresa Lamirande glide across the dance floor.

Students take advantage of the "Photo Room" posing on a bridge in a winter wonderland.

Campion Christmas Party

The annual Christmas party in St. Campion Hall took place Sunday, December 4. The ladies decorated the floors according to themes, and both the men and women voted for which floor they thought was the best decorated.

“I was really impressed with all the hard work the girls put into decorating Campion for Christmas,” says Sophomore RA, Morgan Kavanagh. “The party put everyone into the Christmas spirit, and it was a great way to de-stress before finals!”

The lower floor’s theme was “Bethlehem,” mid-floor’s theme was “Deck the Halls,” and top floor won the contest with their theme, “Blizzard Forest.” Tasty Christmas treats were on every floor, along with hot chocolate and holiday punch. Because it was an open house, gentlemen streamed in to enjoy the Christmas cheer and to have a relaxed evening with the ladies. Many card and board games ensued in the ladies’ dorm rooms.

Students give an impromptu performance in "Bethlehem."

Friendly faces and tasty treats greeted all who entered Campion Hall.

Students play a game in the top floor hall.

Caroling in the Rotunda

In celebration of the Christmas season, the Christendom Library hosted “Caroling in the Rotunda” this past Wednesday evening in the foyer of the St. John the Evangelist Library. As students walked in and out of the library to study for their final exams, they could take a study break to drink hot apple cider, eat cookies and donuts, and sing Christmas songs along with the choir.

“I enjoyed getting to spend Christmas time with my ‘Christendom family’ here at school,” says Sophomore Lauren Enk. “I had a lot of fun singing my favorite Christmas songs in the Library.”

People flooded in and out all night to participate in the caroling, as the choir led everyone in singing their favorite Christmas songs, including “Oh Come, All Ye Faithful,” “Joy to the World,” “Hark the Harold Angels Sing,” and “The First Noel.”

Relaxing After the Last Day of Classes

Wednesday night, the students gathered in St. Kilian's Cafe to celebrate the last day of classes and the forthcoming Christmas break. Students enjoyed munching on snacks provided by SAC (Student Activities Council) and listening to the talents of classmates performing live music. Senior Matt Marchand performed several songs on the piano, and the band “Fools for No One” played as well, featuring seniors Richie Lancaster, Dan Beller, Ted Cantu, and Rob Fetsko.

The students really enjoyed the opportunity to hang out and listen to some great music before the flurry of finals begins on Friday.

Matt Marchand sings a ballad.

Student band "Fools for No One" plays a tune.

An Organ Recital for Our Lady

Thursday evening, on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, the Beato Fra Angelico Fine Art Series hosted an organ recital in the Chapel, featuring student Sean Connolly.

Sean played a variety of complex organ pieces including selections by J.S. Bach, Michael Praetorius, and Buxtehude. The concert concluded with a Magnificat Sean himself composed for organ, accompanied by a violin and soprano solo. The final treat of the recital was Sean's incredible improvisation on a mystery theme, presented to him seconds before he had to perform it. The theme was a two line melody, written by Dr. Kurt Poterack, entitled, “Angular Melody in E flat.” Sean did an incredible job, and the Christendom community was extremely impressed.

Junior Luke Tillotson said of Sean's improvisation, “He is really incredible; he could improvise on this all day if he wanted to!”

Next semester, Sean will be performing a harpsichord recital for the Beato Fra Angelico Fine Art Series. Above, Sean and Dr. Poterack pose for photo following the performance.


With the Pope in Rome

Christendom College President Dr. Timothy O'Donnell delivered an address during the 20th Plenary Assembly of the Pontifical Council for the Family in Rome, Italy. Held November 29-December 1, the assembly examined Blessed Pope John Paul II's Apostolic Exhortation Familiaris Consortio and the challenges facing the family today. O'Donnell's address was well received by church hierarchy and members of the Council and on the final day he was able meet with Pope Benedict XVI once again.

O'Donnell was thrilled to be with the Holy Father again.

"I took his hands and said, 'Greetings from Christendom College,'" O'Donnell recounted of his meeting with the Pope. "Ah, yes! God bless you," was the Pontiff's reply.

Click here to read more about the O'Donnell's address to the Assembly.

Watch highlights from this event and an interview with O'Donnell:

Leadership Opportunities

This week, Chronicler Reporter Madeleine Murphy caught up with Student Activities Director Caitlin Bowers, who stopped amid the craziness of preparing for Christmas Formal, to answer a few questions.

Madeleine: How did you come to be at Christendom College?
Caitlin: I transferred to Christendom in 2006 from a secular state university. I was overwhelmed by the prevalence of the faith and genuine love of one's neighbor. I had never witnessed such beauty and appreciation for the Catholic faith. After I had graduated in 2009, I worked in fundraising and development for two years. I knew that God was tugging me toward formation and leadership development. When I saw this position of Director of Student Activities open, I knew that this was exactly what God had planned for me. I wanted to take the blessings that God had given me throughout my years at Christendom and share them with others.

M: What duties do you have as Director of Student Activities?
C: I oversee the operations of the Student Activities Council (SAC). The SAC is the social arm of Christendom. SAC, which is composed of class officers and appointed student representatives, coordinates and facilitates every social function that occurs on campus including dances, pub nights, movie nights, and so forth. I am also responsible for overseeing the operations of the various clubs on campus such as Shield of Roses, Holy Rood, Legion of Mary, Swing Club, Students for Life, and so forth.

M: What role do you play in the formation and professional development of the students at Christendom?
C: As the Director of Student Activities, I help the SAC learn how to be leaders and how to delegate. Each SAC member is assigned a specific event which they must coordinate. Much planning is involved in each event, and oftentimes the students can feel a bit overwhelmed with the project at hand. However, they quickly learn that there are several other students who are willing to help. This is the beauty of Christendom. Many students desire to give of themselves and give of their time in order to better serve others out of love of thy neighbor and, ultimately, out of love of God. Despite the stress and struggles that may come about when coordinating events, the SAC members fully recognize the beauty of service, and they are ready and willing to sacrifice their time without seeking any reward. They understand the importance of serving.

When it comes to professional development, the SAC members quickly learn how to manage time, how to delegate, how to budget time and money, how to recruit help when needed, and how to plan ahead. When given the task of leadership, the skills and strengths of each SAC member is quickly made manifest.

M: What is your favorite aspect of the SAC, and of Christendom College in general?
C: The greatest aspect of the SAC is the fact that these students work tirelessly every single weekend, guaranteeing fun and creative social events for the rest of the student body while not seeking any reward. They give so much of their time. It is truly a great sacrifice and a blessing. Additionally, I have personally witnessed several of the SAC members grow in leadership. While they take on these great tasks, I watch them learn. I see that they recognize their strengths and use them to the best of their abilities. They have become extraordinary examples to the rest of the Christendom student body. I can't express how proud I am of them all.

My favorite aspect of Christendom College is how much we resemble a family and not a mere institution. Everyone on campus knows each other by name. Just about every professor knows each individual student and what their interests are. There is a genuine feeling of love that is quite prevalent on campus. No one is anonymous. You are not a mere number which is typically the case at so many other colleges and universities. You are friend and family at Christendom.


Crusaders Basketball Get Wins as Fall Semester Winds Down.

Over the last 8 days the men’s and women’s basketball teams have both gone 2-1, with just one game a-piece left in the semester.

In contrast to a high school basketball schedule which is just now getting under way and which is the case for larger colleges due to their relatively short Christmas break, the Christendom basketball schedule is split in half between the fall and spring semesters due to the nice long Christmas break. With finals beginning today for the fall the semester, both the men and women’s basketball teams come to the end of the season, in a manner for speaking, as they prepare for a 5 week break before resuming the season in late January. That being the case both teams have had a successful last few outings with both teams going 2-1 in their last 3 games.

The men’s team got their first win of the season last Wednesday evening when they defeated Washington Bible College for the first time in two years. An important conference game, the Cougars of Washington Bible posed a significant match against the Crusaders. With many tough earlier matches to learn from the Crusaders came out ready to capture their first win.

Despite dominating the 1st half, the score at halftime remained close as the Cougars would keep it close from the free throw line, led by Derwood Till. The second half saw the Crusaders slowly and methodically pull away from the Cougars pushing the lead to double figures behind the offense leadership of Brendan Krebs and Brian Fox. David Townsend and Mark Hepler would all but shut down the Cougars leading scorer Derwood Till and the Crusaders would pull out their first win of the season in front of their home fans.

The Crusaders then traveled to Beckley, WV, to play Appalachian Bible College. With the momentum from the Washington Bible victory the Crusaders would take a few minutes to warm up and then would never look back. After just a 10-point lead at halftime the Crusaders would push the lead to 23 just 7 minutes into the 2nd half. Lead by a tenacious defensive attack from David Townsend, Mark Hepler and Pat Stein and balanced by the offensive attack of “The Brian’s” (Brian Fox and Brian McCrum) and point guard Brendan Krebs the Crusaders would hold on to gain their 2nd win of the season.

The women’s team got back into the win column last Friday night as they too played at Appalachian Bible College. Mary Barbale who has been averaging a near triple double with 26 points, 8 assists and 9 rebounds would lead the attack as she would find multiple Lady Crusaders for easy baskets. The Lady Crusaders were led defensively by Morgan Kavanagh and Hannagh Ethridge got into the mix as well. Despite falling behind in the early minutes of the game the team would focus, rally and never look back. Mary Barbale and Morgan Kavanagh would lead all scorers and the Lady Crusaders earned their 2nd win of the season.

The Lady Crusaders would host Division III Gallaudet University this past Monday at Crusader Gymnasium. Last year the Bison of Gallaudet blew the Lady Crusaders out of the water winning by over 30 points, this year would be very different. Led by a strong compacted defense, despite giving up speed and size the Lady Crusaders would hang in against the Bison keeping the score within 10 points for most of the game but unable to make that one run that would take the lead. Despite a terrific offensive effort from Morgan Kavanagh and both Bridget Vander Woude and Mary Barbale getting double figures in scoring and rebounds the Bison were just too big and too strong and would wear down the Lady Crusaders. Despite the loss to the Bison the Lady Crusaders played exceptionally hard and would never back down, a trait that helped them quickly get back into the wins column.

Hosting Lord Fairfax Community College this past Wednesday the Lady Crusaders hoped to make it 2 wins in their last 3 games. After just 5 minutes of play, the Lady Crusaders held a 22-0 lead over the Cannons and would coast for large portions of the game on track to their 3rd win of the season. Despite being outsized the Lady Crusaders would score time and time again in their fast break which usually included Mary Barbale dishing out long range assists to Morgan Kavanagh, Bridget Vander Woude or another one of the sprinting Lady Crusaders. The final was a 15 point victory for the Lady Crusaders who were led by Bridget Vander Woude who had 19 points.

Both teams finish up the semester this Saturday as they play host to Davis College from Johnson City, NY. In addition to being the last game of the semester both games are important conference games for the Crusaders. The Lady Crusaders begin at 12pm and the men will follow at 2pm.

Q. I wanted to let you know why I will not be attending Christendom for college.

  • It seems that there is less intellectual rigor at Christendom than at some other schools that I am looking at.
  • The emphasis, at Christendom, appears to be on the Catholic moral/spiritual environment and less on the "faith seeking understanding" education that could be offered by a Catholic school such as Christendom.
This second point is the most important thing that has caused me not to consider Christendom. It appears that, at Christendom, the moral life trumps the intellectual life (which I do not find desirable at an institution dedicated to learning). I'm not saying I object to a Catholic atmosphere, but I get the impression that, at Christendom, ideas, both opposed to and in favor of the Catholic faith, would not be subject to the rigorous examination that ideas ought to be. I feel that the difficulties brought up by works contrary to Catholic theology would be glossed over, and that the ideas of orthodox theologians and philosophers would be accepted without as much inquiry as may be desired.

A. Although this is not actually a question, I believe it is a very important topic to address. I have heard this line of reasoning before and I think that what we are doing here is somewhat misunderstood. So let’s see if I can answer these objections. This might be a little long, but hopefully worth the time it takes to read.

As to the first objection. You say that we offer less academic rigor than other colleges on your list. The answer to this objection is a bit subjective, I think. It is almost impossible to prove that we are more or less academic than this or that school. Every college, from the lowliest of community colleges to the loftiest of the Ivies tout that they are “academically rigorous.”

Two years ago, when
US News & World Report came out with the top Liberal Arts colleges in America ranking, my office called the admissions office at the top college on the list: Williams College. We asked a number of questions, with this one being the most important: Each year you are ranked as one of the top colleges in the nation, and are considered by many to be very academically challenging and rigorous. Why do you think this is the case?

The admissions representatives we spoke with did not really seem to know why they are ranked so highly for their academic offerings. I asked how many classes the freshmen take each semester. The young lady said four. Hmmm. Our students take six (and sometimes seven). I asked if their students write a lot of papers in their classes. She said, “Not particularly.” Again, our students write research papers in just about every Sophomore through Senior class (as well as in some Freshmen classes), and they have to write a Senior Thesis prior to graduation. I asked if there is a core curriculum required of all students? “No,” she said. Christendom offers two and a half years of a solid well-rounded core curriculum of all of our students. Do your students do a lot of reading outside of classes? “Yes,” she said. So do we. Lots! Do the students have the ability to meet with teachers outside of class? She said they do. And our students have that same opportunity. OK, so the average SAT scores of their students is a bit higher than ours, and their admissions selectivity rate is much better than ours, but I am not sure how one can say, objectively, that their program is any more academically rigorous than ours. Maybe their students are smarter, at least on paper, but that does not mean that what they are offering is any more academically rigorous than what we offer. I guess the whole thing comes down to your understanding about what makes a place academically challenging. I think Christendom is academically rigorous for these reasons:
  • Our students are required to do a lot of “outside of class” reading to prepare for their classes and to keep up with what’s going on in class. They are expected to attend class and to pay attention, participate, and take plenty of notes.
  • Our faculty are top-notch and well-educated (with doctorates from such places as Yale, The University of Notre Dame, Catholic University of America, University of Virginia, Duke, The Angelicum, and Northwestern University), with the vast majority holding a terminal degree in their field of study. All of our classes are taught by our faculty, rather than by teacher assistants.
  • Our students write a lot of papers, specifically 8-10 page research papers, for the majority of their classes, and prior to graduation, our students must submit a (normally) 40+ page Senior Thesis (and may have to defend it as well in front of their peers and professors).
  • Our students are given a lot of quizzes and tests throughout the semester to gauge their level of knowledge in the class, and normally, the mid-terms and finals involve a lot of essay-type answers, rather than simply fill-in-the-blanks.
  • The students are exposed to a wide array of subject matter in the core curriculum, having to read many original works – and many of the so-called Great Books – as well as secondary sources, in order to get a deep understanding of the material. There are no “Philosophy of Star Trek” type classes, but rather, classes such as “Metaphysics,” and “Euclidean Geometry.”
  • With a 15:1 faculty-student ratio, our students can meet and talk with their professors outside of class, in their offices or at lunch, to get a better understanding of their coursework. At many “academically rigorous” colleges, the faculty members spend a lot of time doing research and getting published, which may take away from the time that they can spend actually teaching their students. At Christendom, although many of our faculty do go on the “lecture circuit” and are published frequently, they are expected to be teachers first, and spend as much time as possible helping their students both in and out of the classroom. To hear the caliber of our teachers, you can listen to a number of their public lectures here. Look for lectures by Mark Wunsch, Brendan McGuire, John Cuddeback, William Marshner, Mark Clark, Eric Jenislawski, Douglas Flippen, and Timothy O’Donnell (
  • Our students normally take an 18 credit-hour load per semester for each of the first two years of college, then they take normally 15 credit hours per semester junior year, and 12 credit hours per semester for senior year.
  • Many of our graduates do very well on their various “getting into grad school” tests, such as the MCAT, LSAT, GRE, or GMAT, gaining acceptance to colleges such as University of Virginia, William & Mary, Fordham, Notre Dame, Oxford, The Angelicum, Northeastern, Catholic University, and so many others. And many of these students get very good scholarships to attend these graduate schools due to their academic records and achievements here at Christendom.
Now, on to the second objection. It is true that we tend to talk a lot about the very Catholic atmosphere that we provide our students. In fact, we are so bold as to say that at Christendom, “Catholicism is the air that we breathe.” All but two of our students are Catholic, all of our professors are Catholic, and all of them (not just the Theology teachers) take an Oath of Fidelity to the Magisterium of the Church each year. For some, maybe this sounds “too Catholic” and they may want to breathe some other type of air.

But we, at Christendom, do not see any type of opposition between offering our students a very Catholic environment and rigorously examining all ideas (good, bad, moral, immoral, Catholic, atheistic, or even just plain old stupid), while at the same time, teaching all of our subject matter with a Catholic worldview. In fact, we examine all of the great (and not-so-great) ideas under the guiding light of the Faith, as the Catholic Church says we should do, but that does not keep us from discovering why we believe what we believe, or why this or that idea is contrary to the natural law, or why this type of philosophical thought goes against reason.

On the contrary. We discuss and examine many things that go against what the Church teaches, and then, after examining them, and lining them up with what the Church actually teaches (i.e. The Truth), we are then better able to come to an understanding of what we believe, and why. For example, we spend class after class learning about all the main modern philosophers, and what they had to say about things and how they thought. From my recollection, this course was one of the hardest because we had to learn how to think like the various philosophers: Hume, Kant, Hegel, Descartes, and the like. Then, after we learned how to think as they did, we then examined each of these philosophers’ thought in light of St. Thomas Aquinas’ philosophy. So, we examined ideas, learned both sides of the issue, so to speak, and then brought the teaching of the Church to bear on the subject matter so that we can know the Truth of the matter.

We do this all the time. In the class, History and Theology of the Papacy, we learn that there were lots of bad guys at the helm of the Church over the years, in fact, many of the former popes are not canonized saints, yet, the Catholic Church has continued to be the Bride of Christ! In Catholic Apologetics, we learn to defend the teachings of the Church against heresies and misunderstandings by learning how the enemy thinks, and why they hold differing views on the Truth. In Moral Theology, we take on many of today’s greatest moral issues and examine them in light of the Truth so that we can thoroughly understand why we are to act in accordance with God’s law and how we can talk with others who are living lives that do not conform to the moral law.

The idea that somehow it would be more academically rigorous or academically beneficial to wrestle with these ideas in a less Catholic setting is unfounded. If all we were doing was indoctrinating our students, telling them this or that and expecting them to simply read, memorize, and write the answer on the test, then I think we’d have a real problem. But this is not the case. We examine many ideas here at Christendom, even if they are contrary to Catholic thought and belief, and we come out knowing why we believe what we believe and are ready and able to help others come to the Truth.

As the Admissions Director, and not being a Professor, I may not have answered this objection to everyone’s satisfaction, but I hope that it at least gives you something more to ponder in this regard. If you have more specific questions about how exactly we teach this or that subject, or how we handle this or that way of thinking or intellectual argument, please let me know and I will try and connect you with one of our esteemed faculty members who can, I am sure, answer your questions to your satisfaction. Thanks for sticking with me on this long answer.
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.

A Shield of Roses


Name: Joseph McGlynn
Age: 21
From: Frederick, MD
Piano/organ, reading, hiking.
Who's your favorite professor or class?
It's hard to pick a favorite. Two of the best were History 202 with Dr. Adam Schwartz and English 202 with Prof. Sharon Hickson. Both teachers brought a dynamic approach to their subjects and encouraged debate and discussion.
What extra-curricular activities do you participate in?
I am the treasurer of the Student Activities Council and a member of the Christendom College Republicans group. I also help out with various college events.
What is your favorite thing about Christendom? I would have to say the community life and the people. People here come together as a community to pray and help each other out in ways that aren't found at other schools.
Why did you choose Christendom? My three older siblings attended Christendom and I grew up hearing their stories of life at Christendom. I enjoyed what I heard and after visiting I was impressed by the community life here.
What surprises you the most about Christendom? The willingness of the professors to really aid their students and to do everything they can to help you succeed.
What are your plans after graduation?
I hope to work in defense of the unborn for a few years and then attend medical school to pursue a career as a family physician.
Any parting words of advice for a prospective student?
Don't be afraid to take classes with a teacher who is known to be hard. I have found these teachers are some of the best and help you improve your academic work.


Blessing of St. Dominic's

Before Thanksgiving break, students and faculty from the Christendom community gathered for the blessing of the new house dorm, St. Dominic Hall. Assistant Chaplain Fr. Joseph Fox presided over the blessing of the house and went from room to room blessing it, as the residents followed behind him.

St. Dominic Hall: the school is excited to have another house dorm on Christendom's campus, and looks forward to next semester when St. Ann's will be the next addition to the house dorms.

Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

Friday before break, students gathered in the basement of the John Paul the Great Student Center to hang out, relax, and watch the classic film, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. The event was put on by SAC, who also provided tasty treats for the film, cleverly including an assortment of “Wonka” candy.

Junior Laura McGrath, a member of SAC, really enjoyed the event.

“We weren't sure initially how many people were going to come, because it is sort of a random movie, but it ended up going really well," McGrath said. "A lot of people showed up, and they had a great time. It was a lot of fun!”

The event was a great chance for the students to relax after a week of academics, and to hang out before Thanksgiving break began.

Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory was nominated for the Best Music Oscar in 1972.

Mega Shield Protests Planned Parenthood

Christendom College’s pro-life student group, Shield of Roses, held its largest pro-life prayer protest of the semester in front of the Planned Parenthood clinic located on 16th Street in Washington, D.C., this past Saturday, November 19.

“Saturdays are big days for the abortion industry,” says Admissions Director Tom McFadden who traveled with the group for “Mega-Shield.” “I am always so proud of our students who travel the hour and a half every Saturday to prayerfully protest this crime against humanity, and especially pleased to see so many, over 25% of our on-campus student body, take part in the Shield of Roses ‘Mega-Shield’ each semester.”

The group traveled to D.C. following the 7:30 a.m. Mass, and proceeded to pray four rosaries and sing a number of Marian and religious hymns while the clinic’s “pro-choice” escorts looked on.


Video: Mega Shield - Fall 2011

Dancing at Casino Royale

On Saturday night, November 19, the SAC held its first-ever Fall Dance. The theme was Casino Royale Night, and there were several poker games going on all through the night in keeping with this theme. Many students also dressed up in casino-appropriate attire for the occasion.

Halfway through the night, a group of four gentlemen, made up of Seniors Joe Long and Denton Coyne, Sophomore Connor Coyne, and Freshman Peter Romanchuk, performed an extremely entertaining and comical juggling act, which was a huge hit.

“I really enjoyed myself at the Fall Dance, and I think everyone would agree that it was a big success,” Freshman Micah Davis said. “The juggling act was amazing, and I didn’t stop dancing all night!”

The dance floor was hoppin' all night.

Until the jugglers hopped on stage.

They put on a great performance.

Sophomores Maribeth Kelly and Michael Heffernan enjoy a dance.

Seniors Catherine Marra (yay..she made The Chronicler) and John McGovern swing around the dance floor.

The Feast of Christ the King

Christendom celebrated its patronal Feast Day of Christ the King with a beautiful Mass, Eucharistic Procession, and community brunch on Sunday, November 20.

The Mass was celebrated by College Chaplain Fr. Donald Planty, and he led the entire Christendom community in dedicating themselves to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary in front of the Blessed Sacrament after Mass. Fr. Planty then led a Eucharistic Procession around the main campus. The whole Christendom community was invited to a special brunch prepared for them immediately following in the St. Lawrence Commons.

Ladies dropped rose petals along the path of the procession.

Fr. Planty leads the Eucharistic Procession.

The choir sang hymns during the procession.

Mascot Contest

In an effort to increase school spirit, Sophomore Patrick McKenna has taken the initiative this semester to teach the student body new cheers for sporting events, and has now undertaken finding a student to become Christendom College’s first official school mascot. This mascot will be present at all sporting and other Christendom events in a full Crusader suit of armor costume to stir up the crowd and increase school spirit and pride.

“The contesters put forth Herculean efforts,” McKenna said. “I am excited about the new and improved cheering section, and I hope that the new mascot will be able to rouse the crowd and get them pumped about sporting events here at Christendom.”

McKenna, along with College Chaplain Fr. Donald Planty, served as judges at the mascot tryouts, which took place on Wednesday, November 16. Three brave young men gave it their all, and it will soon be determined whether Sophomore Sean Ryan, Sophomore Connor Coyne, or Freshman John Federline will become Christendom’s official Crusader mascot.

Sophomore Connor Coyne tries to rally the troops.

Aristotle vs.Economists

Author and Economist Dr. Andrew M. Yuengert delivered a lecture entitled Prudence and Economic Models of Choice at Christendom College on November 30. Yuengert explained that there are things in the Aristotelian account of human behavior that cannot be captured in the formulaic approach of economists.

"[For economists], the assumption is that the more complex the model, the closer to reality I will get," Yuengert said. "It may be that complexity is converging to something, but it doesn't have to be reality. This may be obvious to anyone who is not an economist, but it is not to economists."

Quoting Aristotle, Yuengert said, "It is the mark of an educated man to look for precision in each class of things just so far as the nature of the subject admits."

Human behavior and decisions cannot be fully measured by mathematical formula. A choice is too complex to be modeled qualitatively, he said.

"If this is true then, economics cannot even hope to be comprehensive."

This lecture was hosted by Christendom College's Cincinnatus League, a student organization that seeks to foster discussion of conservative political philosophy on Christendom's campus. You can download this fascinating lecture at Christendom on iTunes U.



Arrivederci, Roma

So here is the moment I have been dreading all semester . . . the semester is over and I am writing my last Rome Report

We spent the last few weeks running around with last minute sightseeing and souvenir shopping. We had a lovely visit from Christendom alumna Catherine Briggs (whose brother Philip is here with us). We took our finals and I loved the refresher on everything we have learned this semester. It’s pretty amazing how everything can come together with such unity at the end of a class. Also, we took care of all of our “one last time” moments. One last gelato, one last trip to our favorite church, one last gift to buy, one last walk on to St. Peter’s at night . . . the list could go on and on. I think back to the beginning of the semester and I can hardly believe how long ago that was.

Our last day in Rome was a true blessing. We enjoyed a final meal together as a group (fittingly on Thanksgiving Day) and then went to the Noronhas for karaoke and goodbyes. Later in the evening, I went with a group for our final gelato and stroll around St. Peter’s, where we sang songs, waltzed, took lots of pictures, and shared what we were thankful for from this semester. It was the perfect last evening!

The lessons learned this semester have been absolutely incredible. I have come to such a deeper understanding and appreciation of the Faith. Living in the heart of the Church makes you recognize how universal the Church is. I have loved how tangible the early Church has become to me through the various churches and other ancient sites. I have visited so many churches in Rome, but I have hardly made a dent in the over 900 churches in this city!

This semester has been a time of pilgrimage and growth in several different ways. Living in a different country with an unfamiliar language is a constant journey. It’s incredible how God can strip you of everything you know and make you realize how He is the only stable thing in your life. That lesson in itself is such a gift. After all, when you rely on God for everything, you can always be confident that He will be faithful!

Living in a different culture has made me appreciate America so much more. All cultures have their own strengths and weaknesses—and there are definitely several things about the Italian culture that I will miss greatly—but there are aspects of American culture that I am excited to return to (such as the English language, fast food, free restrooms, and my car).

I have absolutely and positively loved the opportunity to get to know my friends and classmates so much better this semester. We have had the time of our lives traveling all over Europe together. The connection we have built with each other over these few short months is a bond that will undoubtedly last the rest of our lives.

In addition, the people I have met this semester have been such a blessing. Mr. and Mrs. Noronha have been an incredible witness to our faith and to living a virtuous life. Their wisdom and joy is obvious to all who meet them! Ms. Katie Ott and Elizabeth Walsh have been great role models for us, as well. They always have a listening heart and a kind word for us. Our professors this semester are fantastic and I can honestly say that I thoroughly enjoyed every class! We have had the opportunity to meet several seminarians and priests this semester, as well, who have participated in our events and helped us grow spiritually! When I leave a place, I always miss the people the most. The love they have exemplified in everything they have done has been such a blessing and comfort. This fantastic group of wise and holy people will be missed most acutely!

As we wrapped up our final hours in Rome, and the realization that the semester is really over dawned on me, I took comfort in the fact that I have had a semester in Rome beyond any of my wildest hopes or dreams. This semester has been a blessing in so many ways and I am so excited to return and share everything I have learned to my friends and family.

I cannot even begin to express my complete gratitude to everyone who has been part of this life-changing experience. Anyone who ever has an opportunity to have this experience should take full advantage of it.

Our Faith is such a gift, one that is meant to be spread to the world, and this is such a fantastic way to learn how to share our message of Truth! I feel that words are so inadequate to describe what I am thinking right now. I can only pray that after receiving the witness of so many saints and martyrs in such a physical and tangible way, I can strive to imitate them and continue on my path to holiness.

Ciao to all and may you always let Christ work through you so you may come to love Him more!


Last cappuccino.

Last Gelato.

Students found time to volunteer with the Missionaries of Charity.

Swing dancing on the Spanish Steps.

Chilling in an ancient Roman amphitheater in Ostia Antica.

Students get dramatic in Ostia.

Striking poses: ancient Roman-style.

Christendom in Rome Fall 2011.

Christendom Students Studying in Rome Caught Singing on Streets
As Sara mentioned last week, members of the group were asked to sing at the 5pm Mass in St. Peter's Basilica, after which the group, took to the streets of Rome and began singing a variety of liturgical and Christmas-themed songs on the Bridge of Angels. While singing, Michael Voris of happened by and was blown away by what he saw and heard. Check out the video below:

Leadership Opportunities

Christendom College provides countless opportunities for leadership development by giving students the chance to become responsible Catholic adults through strengthening of character. Through its many organizations, clubs, teams, and committees, Christendom students are able to embrace leadership roles in many facets of their school community and thus go out from Christendom as leaders in today’s society and in tomorrow’s world.

One of the best ways to be a leader and influence peers in a positive light is by becoming a Student Life Office Resident Assistant. The RAs are always working to assist their fellow students and they act as role models to whom the students can look to for help and guidance.

RA's celebrate their dodgeball victory earlier this semester.
“Being an RA at Christendom gives the unique opportunity of being both a peer and a mentor,” says female head RA, Senior Emily Baldwin. “It makes you go out and meet people with whom you wouldn’t necessarily otherwise cross paths, and it forces you to learn to trust your judgment and handle difficult situations. You learn to work as part of a team as well, so communication is key. It’s not an easy job, but it’s a great position when you see that by rising to the challenge and calling yourself to a higher standard, you have influenced your friends and peers to do the same.”

“Being an RA is, for me, one of the greatest roles of leadership on this campus,” says Sophomore Hannah Ethridge, who is both an RA and an employee in the Student Life Office. “It has taught me important life skills and how to be a role model for others, and it makes me continue to strive to become a better person. Also, working in the Student Life Office has enabled me to get to know students better and to help them with whatever I can.”

The Students Activities Council and Government also plays a significant role in forming leaders out of Christendom students. SAC fosters leadership in the Christendom community by providing students the opportunity to plan various activities and events for the school.

SAC President Gabe Schuberg
"SAC is an incredible leadership opportunity, for it puts on almost all the events at Christendom throughout the year,” says SAC President, Senior Gabe Schuberg. “The students learn how to work together as a team and become good examples of giving back to the community without seeking any reward.”

“SAC is great because it provides healthy social venues for the Christendom community to grow as a whole,” says Sophomore class President, Ben Scrivener. “The students grow in responsibility from this opportunity, and have a lot of fun at the same time!”

Another way Christendom students foster leadership skills is through the Admissions Office Student Ambassador Program. Ambassadors host high school visitors in their dorm rooms and provide tours for them and their families, thereby helping them get a genuine feel for the college and representing it as it truly is.

“Through Christendom’s Ambassador/tour leader program, I have gained a lot of confidence and experience working with people,” says Sophomore Rebecca Deucher. “The responsibility of hosting visitors (normally complete strangers) is really challenging but fun. It gives me an opportunity to give back to the college by sharing with others what I love about my school.”

Other leadership opportunities at Christendom include serving on the Presidential Advisory Committee, where a group of students regularly meet with President O’Donnell to discuss student issues and concerns, thus representing the student body as a whole and helping better the Christendom community. On-campus employment gives students leadership roles and work experience in a variety of different environments, including the Development, Student Life, and Admissions Offices, the kitchen, library, gym, and maintenance. Sports teams at Christendom foster leadership by providing opportunities for student athletes to become team leaders and captains and positively influence their team and bring about team unity and sportsmanship. The many extra-curricular clubs provided by the college also serve as venues for being leaders inside and outside the immediate Christendom community, with such clubs, activities, and societies as: Students for Life, Shield of Roses, Legion of Mary, Chester-Belloc Debate Society, the Christendom Players, the Swing Dance and Contra Clubs, Film Club, Holy Rood, and Outreach programs.


USCAA Awards Our Students

This week I am happy to announce that the United States Collegiate Athletic Association (USCAA) awarded seven of our students the Fall 2011 USCAA All-Academic Award for excellence on and off the court/field. These students maintained above a 3.5 GPA and showed skill and leadership in their sports.

The students who received the award were senior soccer players Chris Foeckler, Michael Bugin, Frances Allington, Lindsey Mershon, along with junior soccer player Tim Beer, sophomore soccer player Klarissa Blank, and junior volleyball player Anna Harris.

These individuals stand as a great example of what is possible here at Christendom. Students can achieve excellence in the classroom in addition to playing an important role on their individual sports team. I would like to personally thank and congratulate these student athletes for their hard work, dedication and example—especially in the last few months.

Here at Christendom, we boasts one of the most unique sports programs in the nation featuring a high level of competition centered on the Faith. The sports are not seen as an end in themselves, but rather as a kind of formation. The athletics program offers varsity-level soccer (for men and women), basketball (for men and women), baseball (for men), rugby (for men), and volleyball (for women). The College is a member of the Shenandoah-Chesapeake Conference and of the USCAA.

The USCAA is a national organization that exists to provide quality athletic competition on a regional and national level. The USCAA focuses specifically on smaller institutions of higher learning and their student-athletes. The association believes that all athletes and programs deserve the same national opportunities as larger institutions and works to provide those opportunities. Find out more at

All-Academic Award Winner Tim Beer finds the open man.

All-Academic Award Winner Frances Allington prepares to take a shot.

All-Academic Award Winner Anna Harris sets the ball.

Q. People I know have been telling me that I HAVE to attend one of your school’s "Experience Christendom" summer programs this year. They go on and on about how much fun they had, and how different the camp actually was compared with what they thought it was going to be like. Although I am still unsure about attending, I am interested in the application process and whether there is any financial aid given for people who have lots of kids in their families, like mine itunes -- Catherine M., NY

A. Make sure you send me your friends’ names and addresses so I can send them a check for helping with my advertising program itunes.

Our summer programs are definitely better than most people think they are going to be, and, in fact, most people think that the week they spend here on our campus during one of the “Experience Christendom” Summer Programs (ECSP) is the best week they’ve ever had. It is hard for me to believe how this can be true, but when so many participants keep saying it over and over again, well, who am I to be a doubting Thomas?

We are opening up the registration page today, in fact, December 1, and will begin registering any current high school juniors and sophomores for the 4 one-week programs. Additionally, we have LOWERED the price, yes, lowered the price, from $500 to only $400. Hard economic times call for new initiatives, and thanks to a number of Christendom’s very loyal donors who are helping to fund the program, we are able to offer it at this drastically reduced price. And if someone still is having problems coming up with the $400, they can ask for financial assistance and we will do what we can to help them come to one of the programs so that they can have one of the best weeks of their lives. So, just register, pay, and you are all set. No letters of recommendation or test scores or the like.

I could go into the program here, but I will simply direct you to our webpage about it. The dates, activities, classes, and all that other information is all there for your viewing pleasure. I will say, though, that some of the past program participants’ testimonies and little videos are definitely worth taking a look at. These are real people, saying real things about this program, not a bunch of my “marketing propaganda.” itunes

I hope, Catherine, that we can see you here with us next summer and I certainly appreciate the fact that you took the time to send in a question!

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.