Mardi Gras & More


Your Assistant Admissions Counselors


Names: Emiko Funai / Rebecca Deucher
Ages: 20 / 20
Years: Junior / Sophomore
From: Seattle, WA / Southern Pines, NC
Major: Philosophy / Undecided
Hobbies: Becca: Working in the Admissions Office (they pay us to say that) and we share a natural love of horses and hosting social events. No, really. Oh, and Emi likes dancing and traveling and I like politics, skiing, and playing the piano.
Who's your favorite professor or class? Emi: I'm so indecisive—it always changes. Currently Philosophy Professor Dr. John Cuddeback's Medieval Philosophy class. It's done more in a seminar format, which is a nice change from lectures. / Becca: Of the many great classes, I'd have to say Ethics with Dr. Cuddeback and History 201 with Dr. Adam Schwartz.
What extra-curricular activities do you participate in? Emi: Student Activities Council, work in the Admissions Office, School Ambassador, intramural volleyball, and the Reaccreditation Leadership Team. / Becca: Student Activities Council, work in the Admissions Office, School Ambassador, Students for Life
What is your favorite thing about Christendom? Emi: Despite being a more socially inclined student, the classes are my favorite thing about Christendom. My family converted when I was in high school, so coming here has been a crash course in Catholicism from every angle of academics. / Becca: I find it hard to choose one thing about the school I like most because everything together makes the school what it is: the social life and the academics. Both help form you mentally and spiritually—helping you become a good Catholic.
Why did you choose Christendom? Emi: I didn't want an education only to get a job and Christendom blends the liberal arts with Catholicism so the education we receive is well rounded and grounded in the Truth. / Becca: Because it's a solid Catholic education. As I'm considering majoring in Political Science and Philosophy, I need the assurance that what I am being taught is the Truth.
What surprises you the most about Christendom? Emi: I thought I would be spoon-fed Catholicism, but what I've come to know is that even though I am given so many opportunities to grow in my faith, it's up to me to take advantage of them. / Becca: How much it has shown and impressed upon me that being Catholic is a way of life.
What are your plans after graduation? Emi: Have a party, then get a job in the field of law or event planning. / Becca: Something fun and far away from midterms and finals.
Any parting words of advice for a prospective student? Emi & Becca: We don't want to give spoilers for our phone conversations!


Talking Politics

Last Wednesday in St. Kilian's Café, the Political Science Department hosted a round table discussion featuring conservative writer and activist Deal Hudson and faculty members Dr. William Luckey and Prof. Bracy Bersnak. Hudson spoke on prudence in politics, and in taking action and voting. Prof. Bersnak then discussed the use of the terms "liberty" and "freedom" in the document put forth by the bishops on the new HHS mandate. Dr. Luckey also commented on the document, urging the audience to read it for themselves. The event was a great opportunity for Christendom students to hear from great minds on these timely topics.

Hudson addresses students during the event.

Mardi Gras Dance

This past Saturday, the St. Lawrence Commons was decked out in gold, purple, and green as Christendom students gathered for the annual Mardi Gras Dance. This year, “Fools for No One”—comprised of seniors Richie Lancaster, Rob Fetsko, Ted Cantu, and Andrew Ciscanik—played live music which students had fun dancing to.

"It was great to see all the different varieties of costumes people came up with," Freshman Bernadette Sartor said. “I wouldn’t have thought Mardi Gras would be such a fun and colorful event!”

The Dance was a great chance for students to have fun at one more dance before Lent began.

Students loved the music played by "Fools for No One."

It was a merry masquerade.

Senior Liz Crnkovich and Sophomore Matt Speer glide across the floor.

JJunior Mike Bobrowski demonstrated that you can never have too much color on Mardi Gras.

A Weekend of Silence

This past weekend, 20 Christendom students participated in a silent Ignatian-style retreat at the San Damiano Retreat Center in preparation for the season of Lent. The retreat was led by Fr. Gonzago, who gave many talks throughout the weekend on different spiritual subjects.

"The silence of the retreat really brought home the fact that we were devoting a weekend to God," said Junior Steven Wood. "For three days, our total focus was on Jesus, leaving aside even our relationships with our close friends. It was especially odd for some of us who were close to each other; for me, it was probably the first time in my life that I was around my sister without either of us saying a word for two days straight."

Each talk was followed by a special 15 minute period of meditation, for he focused largely on teaching the group how to meditate so that the students would be able to leave the retreat with more confidence in their prayer life. In addition, the students went to Mass and went on Rosary walks outdoors every day.

Praying the rosary.

Spring 2012 Silent Retreat participants with Fr. Gonzaga.

Seniors and Faculty Dine

On Monday night, seniors enjoyed a special evening with the faculty of Christendom at the annual Senior-Faculty Dinner. Chef Dennis Paranzino prepared an amazing feast that had everyone applauding at the end of the meal. Professors and students alike enjoyed dining with each other. Over their four years at Christendom, seniors discover mentors and even friends in the faculty.

After dinner, History Professor Chris Shannon delivered a lecture on Brent Bozell, Jr., the conservative activist and Catholic writer.


Benvenuti a Roma!

This Friday, all of the Rome Program Juniors converged on the Eternal City excited to start this new adventure. Some of us came directly from home in the United States and others from various parts of Europe. There are great opportunities to explore other European destinations before and after the Rome semester.

Fifteen of us spent about a week in the middle of rural county Galway, Ireland. Ireland turned out to be even more stunning than in pictures. It has to be the most naturally beautiful land on Earth! We stayed with Junior Tommy Salmon’s family and in a quaint thatched-roof cottage next door to them. The week was filled with small excursions around that area, with each new turn of the road holding a new breath-taking sight to behold. The beach was just a walk down the road and the local small Irish towns were full of generous welcoming community life. We visited Kylemore Abbey with its lakeside walkways and mossy-green mountains. We climbed the Diamond Mountain in Connemara National Park and encountered a bird’s eye view of the entire peninsula that we were staying on. Needless to say, the Ireland trip was an experience that we will all remember for the rest of our lives.

One of the first things we did as a group upon arrival in Rome was go to St. Peter’s Square and Basilica. There is nothing like the moment that you walk into St. Peter’s Square and get struck by the size and magnificence of it. Then, once you have somewhat recovered from that , the interior of St. Peter’s Basilica smacks you even harder with its splendor. The ceilings seem to be halfway to heaven and from the front it is difficult to see the back. Though I have been to Rome once before, it seems that each time I have gone to St. Peter’s the effect is powerful. Additionally, it is such a gift to watch my friends’ faces as they are awestruck by the grandeur for the first time.

We are starting out the semester with a weeklong pilgrimage to Assisi and Siena to set the tone and get in the proper spiritual frame of mind for the upcoming months. On Sunday morning, we set off with an early start to the medieval town of Assisi to the north of Rome. This city has been the home to many holy men and women including St. Francis and St. Clare. On the first day in Assisi, we had guided tours of St. Francis’ parents’ home, Santa Chiara (St. Clare’s Church), and San Rufino (the church in which both St. Clare and St. Francis were baptized), and had mass in San Damiano (one of the first churches that St. Francis rebuilt). It was amazing to see all these important places in the lives of Clare and Francis and to physically trace their stories.

The next day we had early morning mass in the Basilica of St. Francis at St. Francis’ tomb! I had the honor of lectoring for this Mass. This was particularly special for me considering that I chose St. Francis as my confirmation patron saint. After Mass, we enjoyed a tour of the three churches that make up the basilica, which took us through the many different styles of art in the basilica and the theology behind the designs. We had opportunities to climb the mountain on which Assisi rests and enjoy an amazing view of Umbria from the medieval fortress at the top.

Today we had a tour of the 8th largest church in the world, Santa Maria degli Angeli, that contains the chapel in which Francis and his followers prayed in daily and the spot where Francis died. Later in the day, some of us hiked up to St. Francis’ hermitage on top of a nearby mountain and found one of the most peaceful places to be experienced.

Tomorrow we leave for Siena where St. Catherine lived, and continue our pilgrimage in the footsteps of saints as we begin the Lenten season.

Brendan Krebs enjoys a view of Ireland.

On tour in Assisi.

Enjoying the view from the fortress atop Assisi.

A Message from Fr. Benedict Groeschel


Crusader Basketball Finishes On a High Note

On February 18, the Lady Crusaders capped off a tough season with two big wins in the Shenandoah Chesapeake Conference Tournament to claim the Tournament Championship at Christendom College. The men’s team placed third in their tournament hosted at Mid-Atlantic Christian University in Elizabeth City, N.C.

The women’s basketball team defeated Appalachian Bible College during the first round of the tournament and then won the final game, defeating the Davis Falcons, who the Lady Crusaders had lost to twice during the regular season.

“We had lost to Davis by three points each time,” Lady Crusader Coach Mike Brown said. “This third time was the charm. I am so proud of the team. We saved our best game, and especially our best defensive effort, for the last game of the season and it paid off.”

The Lady Crusaders won the tournament championship by a score of 60-43. Sophomore Mary Barbale was named tournament MVP. The win gave the team consecutive winning seasons for the first time in college history, going 11-10.

The men’s team also faced Davis College in the first round of the tournament. The Crusaders played an amazing first half leading the Falcons by four at halftime. In the second half, the Falcon’s hot shooting and pressure defense proved to be too much and the Crusaders fell.

In the third place game, the Crusaders played the host Mid-Atlantic Christian Mustangs and played the game of their lives. The Crusaders stayed in control the entire game despite having lost to the Mustangs by 19 one week ago.

Senior Dominic O’Donnell had the game of his life as he finished with 17 points and 10 rebounds. Brian Fox, despite having just two points at halftime, finished with 16, and sophomore reserve Christian Kopeck added an important 10 points. Pat Stein, Tim Vander Woude, and Jon Fioramonti added stellar play for the Crusaders as they knocked-off the home team by a score of 56-46 to claim the third place trophy.

This definitely was the sweetest win of the season. I am so happy for the three seniors who get to finish their career with a win.

Congratulations to both teams for their hard work and dedication throughout the season.

Q. I am trying my best to get my application in by your deadline of March 1, but the people I have asked to write my letters of recommendation may not be able to get them to you on time. If I miss the deadline, what happens? What can I do to avoid being put on the waiting list?

A. If you miss the March 1 application deadline, it is not the end of the world, but it could cause you some problems. Here’s why.

We have already accepted a whole bunch of people for the fall. These were people who applied for the Early Action Deadline of December 1, or people who have been sending in complete applications over the past two months. Many of these accepted students have sent in their deposits for the fall, and although some of them will ask for a refund and decide to choose another school, the majority will stay with us and become members of our Class of 2016. We are only hoping to bring in around 110-115 students this fall, and so far, we have close to 100 signed up.

What does all of this mean to you? It means that if you get everything in by March 1, you will definitely receive our admissions committee’s decision on or before April 1. If you wish to accept our acceptance, then you will need to send in your non-refundable deposit by May 1. But, if you miss the March 1 deadline and your application is not sent to the admissions committee with the rest of the many applications, then you may not get an answer from us until sometime in late April or early May. And depending on how many applicants have chosen to send in their deposits, we may end up with a waiting list for the fall, and sadly, yes, you may end up on it.

But let’s not think that way. Let’s be positive and have happy thoughts. If you think that your letters of recommendation are going to be the thing that hinders your application from being complete, maybe you can email/call/text/harass/skype/fax/visit the person and ask them to kindly hurry up because your life, I mean, your application is on the line.

T-minus 6 days……..
Director of Admissions
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.

Music & Valentines


Name: Peter Foeckler
Manassas, VA
Soccer, acting, intramurals, outdoor activities, reading, cross-country snow boarding, yodeling, singing in the Christendom College Dishroom Choir.itunes
Who's your favorite professor or class?
Theology 102 with Fr. Donald Planty. I love it because everything we talk about is relevant to our lives as Catholics and we can bring up whatever questions we have about our Faith even when they are not on the topic. He is a very enthusiastic teacher.
What extra-curricular activities do you participate in? I have played soccer since I was very young, so I was glad to get the chance to play for Christendom's varsity soccer team. I also participated in the fall play, Room Service, and I have a part in the spring play, Nicholas Nickleby. I also enjoy the intramural sports program.
What is your favorite thing about Christendom? The accessibility of the sacraments and the strong Catholic atmosphere. It makes it so much easier to stay on track with your spiritual life. The community among the students here is pretty amazing, too.
Why did you choose Christendom?
I chose Christendom because of the recommendations of my brothers and the because of the incredible Catholic community here. The tuition here is also a much better deal than most colleges.
What surprises you the most about Christendom? The large amount of extra-curricular activities and events that we have.
What are your plans after graduation? Do something awesome.
Any parting words of advice for a prospective student?
Definitely come and visit if you can!


Musical Talent on Stage at Cup o' Coeli

Friday night, the Chester-Belloc Lounge of Regina Coeli Hall was packed as Christendom students gathered both to watch and to participate in Christendom’s annual musical showcase, Cup O’Coeli. The SAC (Student Activities Council) put on the event, and throughout the evening, had coffee and other tasty treats available.

“I think I brewed at least eight pots of coffee—I hope people want some,” said SAC member Theresa Francis before the event started.

Not to worry, Christendom students thoroughly enjoyed both the phenomenal performances and the caffeine perk. The night was filled with great musical acts from both individual students and from groups of students, who played guitar, piano, sang, and much more.

The Kitchen Choir performs an amusing song under the direction of Catherine Marra.

The Rome Choir sings Billy Joel's "For the Longest Time."

Sophomore Faith Leopold plays "The Man Who Can't Be Moved."

Katie Shannon once again wows the audience with her vocal talent (See her YouTube video).

Seniors Liz Sartor and Chris Foeckler sing "Anything You Can Do" from Annie Get Your Gun.

Sophomore Kelsey Ingold shows off her skill with the guitar.

QEP Quiz Night

On Saturday night, a special Pub Night took place in Kilian’s Café, during which there was a presentation and quiz competition on the Education for a Lifetime Program (Christendom's Quality Enhancement Plan or QEP that will soon be launched as part of the college’s re-accreditation process.) Find out more about this great program in this week's Special Report.

In addition to the usual snacks, drinks, and fun company always present at Pub Night, there was a presentation given by Mathematics Professor Dr. Greg Townsend on the purpose of the QEP, followed by a talk on the compatibility of this program with a Liberal Arts degree by Alumnus Becket Adams ('08). Senior Gabe Schuberg and Junior Emi Funai then presided over several rounds of group trivia quiz questions, which featured questions about the QEP and general facts about the history of the college and Front Royal.

“The QEP Quiz Night was a huge success in educating students and faculty about the new Quality Enhancement Plan at the college,” says Gabe Schuberg. “It was both informative and fun.”

Dr. Townsend explains the QEP.

Alumnus Becket Adams talks about how his Christendom Liberal Arts education has helped him succeed as a Business Editor at The Blaze.

Valentines for Our Troops and the Elderly

Sunday afternoon, a group of girls from top floor St. Catherine’s gathered in the common room to make Valentine’s for both the nursing home in town, and for soldiers who are currently deployed in Afghanistan.

Meghan Kelly and Liz Sartor (the Resident Assistants for top floor St. Catherine’s) organized the event. The girls were provided Valentine making supplies, Bible verses and Saint’s quotes on love and charity, and tasty treats to munch on. Director of Residence Life Miss Amanda Graf even joined the girls to help make the Valentine's Day Cards. The event was a huge success and lots of Valentines were made.

The girls hope that the cards brightened their recipients' day, spread charity, and comforted the lonely.

Debating Snow-Flake Adoption

A large group gathered in the Chester-Belloc Lounge of Regina Coeli Hall on Sunday night to debate the resolution: “There is no morally licit solution to the problem of frozen embryos.” The debate was extremely interesting, with convincing arguments for both sides, which was shown in the end vote which had seventeen votes “pro,” sixteen votes “con,” and eleven votes “abstaining.”

The next Chester-Belloc Debate will be on February 26, and all are invited to attend and participate in the College’s vibrant intellectual life.

Fun at St. Valentine's Day Dinner

In honor of St. Valentine’s Day, the St. Lawrence Commons was decorated at dinner in pink and red for the occasion, festive desserts were served, and there was special Valentine's entertainment. SAC members Theresa Francis and Joe McGlynn called a random young lady and young man from each class onto the stage and asked them a series of funny (and sometimes embarrassing) questions dealing with issues of love and relationships.

“St. Valentine’s Day is one of my favorite holidays, and so I was super excited to celebrate the day with my friends,” says Sophomore Hannah Ethridge. “I was called up on stage to answer the questions and it was a lot of fun.”

Joe McGlynn gets funny answers to his funny questions.

Sophomore Hannah Ethridge imparts her wisdom on love and relationships and hands the mic to Freshman Alexis Witiak.

Christendom's Education for A Lifetime Program

As Christendom College prepares to launch its Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP)—the Education for a Lifetime Program (ELP)—students have begun to test this new and exciting program as part of the college’s re-accreditation process. They are excited for this opportunity to learn and grow as confident and enthusiastic Catholic leaders by incorporating their Liberal Arts education into their lives and taking those important principles they learn with them into the work field after graduation.

“It is fantastic that Christendom students will now have the resources, advice, and training to make the transition between ‘restoring all things in Christ’ on Christendom’s campus and ‘restoring all things in Christ’ in the world,” says Junior Lisa Hill.

Students appreciate the practical sense in which the proposed QEP initiatives aim to better prepare students to not only choose a career field, but also to thrive in a workplace where they feel competent and qualified.

“This is a breakthrough for the Christendom community—a chance for students to learn to be leaders in the world, but not of the world,” says Hill. “With a liberal arts education, we know we should feel empowered to make a difference in the world, but what good is having the education, if you do not know how to use it after graduation?”

Now, with Mr. Mochel in the career development office, the newly-added courses, and the integration of career discernment into the curriculum, students will have a newfound understanding of the purpose of a liberal arts education and the confidence to go out into the world and be tomorrow’s leaders.


Crusaders Finish Regular Season with Victories

Last night the Christendom basketball teams hosted the Sentinels of Patrick Henry for the last regular season games and Senior Night. The game was a Shenandoah Conference match, which for the men included playoff implications of who would move onto the tournament this Friday. Two senior Lady Crusaders and three from the men's team were honored as part of Senior Night.

The Lady Crusaders started off the night racing out to an early lead against the Sentinels, led by a tough defense, which turned into easy baskets on the other end. Mary Barbale again would flirt with a triple-double when the game was all said and done, grabbing rebounds and quickly finding open teammates for easy baskets on the other end.

At halftime of the game with the Lady Crusaders holding a 20+ lead Coach Mr. Brown paid tribute to seniors, Jane Kokes and Emily Baldwin.

“I am so glad you decided to play this year and coaching and getting to know you has been a true joy,” Coach Brown said of Kokes, whose family was present for the game.

“Emily has played all four years and has been a starter for most of the games during her career," Brown said of Baldwin. "Having coached her for the last two years, I will say she is the most selfless player on the team. She knows her role and does it to the best of her ability without a thought of herself but only what is best for the team.”

The Lady Crusaders cruised in the second half with the entire team playing equal minutes in front of an excited home crowd.

The Lady Crusaders host the Shenandoah Chesapeake Conference Tournament this Friday and Saturday. They will play at 6pm on Friday and 2pm on Saturday.

The men’s team took the court following the victory by the Lady Crusaders for their last home game of the season. The season has been one characterized by change.

I would estimate we have had over seven different starting lineups throughout this season. From injuries to Juniors going to Rome, to new players. It has been quite a season.

The game not only was the last home game but it was also the play-in game for the conference tournament hosted by Mid-Atlantic Christian in Elizabeth City, NC, this Friday. The first meeting between the Sentinels and Crusaders saw the Crusaders walk away with a 14 point victory despite an energetic and passionate performance by Patrick Henry in their gymnasium. For this game, the Crusaders set the tone early and dominated all aspects from start to finish.

Seniors Brian Fox, Pat Stein, and Dominic O’Donnell played important roles throughout the game. With the strong play of Joe Walsh and Brian Fox on offense and Jon Fioramonti and Pat Stein on the defensive side the Crusaders carried a 15-point lead into halftime.

At halftime, I addressed the Crazies (the Christendom fans) with regards to the seniors.

Dominic like Pat and Brian have played all four years while here. Both Dominic and Pat have greatly improved as basketball players and as young men during their time. Their hard work and laid back attitude will be missed not only on the court but more especially in practice and on campus.

Senior Brian Fox will finish the season reaching a unique milestone of having scored over 1,100 points and grabbing over 400 rebounds in his four-year career. By scoring over 1,000 points he joins an elite group of about 10 past Crusaders to reach the 1,000 point mark.

Brian is a great example of a Catholic Scholar Athlete, he excels not only in basketball, but also in his academic work and spiritual life. His integrity and hard work will be greatly missed on campus and on the court.

The second half of the game saw the Crusaders continue to cruise with all 10 players playing over 10 minutes each for the game. Brian Fox and Joe Walsh both finished with 22 points leading all scorers. Brian also pulled down 15 rebounds and had 7 blocks while only missing one shot the entire game. The Crusaders next will travel to North Carolina on Friday to play #1 seeded Davis College in the first round of the Shenandoah Chesapeake Conference.

Freshman Liz Slaten adds two points on a fast break.

Sophomore Morgan Kavanagh drives to the basket.

Seniors Jane Kokes and Emily Baldwin with Coach Brown.

Sophomore Christian Kopeck flies to the hoop.

Sophomore John Fioramonti heads to the hole.

Seniors Pat Stein, Dominic O'Donnell, and Brian Fox with Coach Vander Woude.


I wanted to take this opportunity to let you know that you are now able to access all of my past “Ask the Director” questions and answers in one spot.

Take a minute to check out the new Frequently Asked Questions section of our website. You can read them according to subject matter: Admissions, Academics, Student Life, Alumni Careers, Financial Aid, and Miscellaneous.

Take a look and see if you can come up with a new question for me to answer. I dare you!
Director of Admissions
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.

Dancing Celebrities


Name: Gabrielle Muskett
Age: 19
Leesburg, VA
Hobbies: Photography, volleyball, sketching.
Who's your favorite professor or class?
Definitely history with Dr. Brendan McGuire. He's so energetic and makes it clear that he loves what he teaches. I always look forward to his class!
What extra-curricular activities do you participate in? I played on the volleyball team this past fall, which was an amazing experience! I also participated in the intramural volleyball tournament and am currently playing on an intramural soccer team.
What is your favorite thing about Christendom? This is a tough question to answer since I just love the entire atmosphere here, but if had to narrow it down to one thing, it would have to be the friends I've made here. itunes They are so awesome.
Why did you choose Christendom? Because I wanted to live in a place where I could grow in my Faith as well as receive such a strong education.
What surprises you the most about Christendom? The fact that I love visiting the chapel on my own free time. Christendom has definitely taught me that Christ is who I should turn to for anything in life.
What are your plans after graduation? Nothing yet!
Any parting words of advice for a prospective student? Come visit for a day, or even a weekend! Your life will be turned upside down in that short period of time.


Indian Cinema: Black

The 2005 Indian film Black was the feature film on Friday night at the famed Walter’s Movie Night in Kilian’s Café. This heart-rending film tells the story of a deaf, mute, and blind girl, and her teacher who brings some light into her scary world of utter black.

“I had never seen an Indian movie before, and I thought Black was very well-made and touching,” says Senior Lizzie Crnkovich. “Of course, it was great to watch it with Walter and my friends in such a great atmosphere as well.”

Black is loosely based on The Miracle Worker, the Oscar-winning 1962 Hollywood movie about the life of Helen Keller and her teacher, Anne Sullivan.

Famous Couples on the Dance Floor

Saturday night, the St. Lawrence Commons was packed with lots and lots of famous couples, as the Christendom Community got together at the Sadie Hawkins dance. The students were really creative, and really got excited about the theme of “Celebrity Couples.” Lucy and Ricky, Mulan and Shang, and Barbie and Ken were just a few of the famous couples that students dressed up as.

“I am really impressed," Senior Christine Nussio said. "People got really creative with the theme this year!”

The dance was a great chance for students to take a break from the spring semester’s academics and just relax and have fun dancing the night away.

Former Rome Report Photographer Matt Camp swings and dips his dance partner.

Fighters for the poor and oppressed: Robin Hood and Zorro with their damsels.

Flashback: Abba makes a comeback from the 70's.

Ken and Barbie hit the dance floor.

A little PB and J anyone?

Who knew Indiana Jones could dance?

A Party for the Big Game

On Sunday night, NFL Super Bowl XLVI was displayed for the student body on a massive projected screen in the Crusader Gymnasium. It was a very exciting way for everyone to enjoy the most-anticipated sports game of the year. Tons of snacks and drinks were available during the whole game, and wings were served at half time.

“It was awesome to watch the game with some of my best friends in the gym on the big screen,” said Sophomore Matt Speer. “It was a thrilling game, and even though I’m not a huge Giants fan, it was good to see Tom Brady lose.”

Students dive into the wings and other snacks at halftime.

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Eagle Scouts at Christendom

Christendom is home to students of many talents and backgrounds, and the students are involved in many different organizations and activities. One of the many things that this year's freshman class brought to Christendom, was a record number of Eagle Scouts.

There are currently nineteen Eagle Scouts in the student body.

Freshman Philip Gilbert, decided to take advantage of the number of Eagle Scouts now at Christendom, and organized a "Scout Sunday." This past weekend, the Scouts all attended Sunday Mass together, wearing their uniforms. Father Planty commended their achievements, and spoke briefly about the value of being a Boy Scout, and the virtue in becoming an Eagle Scout.

Chronicler Reporter Liz Sartor recently had the opportunity to talk to Philip about why Eagle Scouts and Christendom go so well together.

Liz: Why are Eagle Scouts attracted to Christendom?
Philip: Christendom has a very high percentage of Eagle Scouts, (about 12% of the men here, compared to 2% of all Boy Scouts nation-wide). I think this is because, in general, the type of people who pursue the Eagle Scout rank, and the person they turn into while pursuing it, are people who realize the importance of a good education, and the importance of being in a place like Christendom where the spiritual life is so integrated. Christendom seems to attract many talented people, so it's fitting that their be a high percentage of Eagle Scouts, which in itself is an achievement.

Liz: How did Boy Scouts prepare you for Christendom?
Philip: Scouting prepared me for college by teaching how to interact with people, organize, plan, and manage my life. Scouting helps young boys grow up into mature, self-sufficient men, and that alone is a major step in preparing for college. The trail to Eagle is intended to make you an all-around better person.

Liz: Why is Christendom a good fit for an Eagle Scout?
Philip: Overall, Christendom is a good match for Eagle Scouts because it's a small campus with a beautiful backyard for those who love to tromp around in the great outdoors, while still having a rigorous school life to further prepare one for life, and a small campus that allows for better community building.

Eagles Scouts pose for a photo after Mass on a snowy Sunday.


Crusader Basketball Makes It a Historic Night!

On Monday night both the men’s and women’s basketball teams earned significant victories, but the way one of them notched the victory might just have made Christendom history!

The Lady Crusaders who were finishing up a grueling stretch of games (which included trips to Johnson City, NY, and Knoxville, TN), headed to Baltimore evening to take on Division III Notre Dame University of Maryland. The game would be the seventh game in 11 days for the Lady Crusaders. With many of the ladies playing over 35 minutes in each game, the endurance and determination of the Lady Crusaders would surely be tested. The answer was in the game!

The Gators of Notre Dame took an early 11-6 lead in the game before the Lady Crusaders would battle back to tie the game at 23 at halftime. The second half saw the Gators exert their physicality on both ends and it looked like this game would be too much for the Christendom team as they were behind 53-40 with just eight minutes to go.

However, if there has been a trait of the Lady Crusaders basketball team over the past few years, it has been a resiliency against all odds and so they began to battle back. Led by Mary Barbale and Morgan Kavanagh the team would tie the game up at 56 with just three minutes to play (holding the Gators scoreless for 5 minutes). With the game tied freshman Elizabeth Slaten would score 4 of her 7 points in the last two minutes and the Lady Crusaders would hold onto a tremendous come-from-behind win by a score of 60-58 over the Division III Gators.

Mary Barbale finished the game with another double-double scoring 29 points (including 16 of 18 from the free throw line) and grabbed a team high 11 rebounds. Morgan Kavanagh chipped in 15 points.

Before the Lady Crusaders had begun their game the men’s basketball team had just finished what might stand as a historic win in college history!

The men hosted Appalachian Bible College from Beckley, WV. Having defeated Appalachian earlier in the season, the Crusaders looked to duplicate the performance, but Appalachian would have none of it in the first half. The Christendom team raced out to an early 23-11 lead behind Brian Fox who Appalachian never found an answer to on the defensive end.

Both teams went back and forth in the first half. Appalachian stayed close due to shooting 14-16 from the free throw line and 5 of 8 from behind the arc. Both offenses were running at high gear to the neglect of solid defense and the halftime score showed it with the Crusaders clinging to a 4 point lead 48-44.

What followed in the second half gave all present a glimpse of what is possible with the men’s team. After a short halftime break which included a fiery locker room for the Crusaders, the team would come out and dismantle the Appalachian team. Firing on all cylinders is a slight understatement as the Crusaders imposed their will on the Appalachian team holding them to just 22 total points in the second half. On the offensive end it seemed at times as if there were six or seven of the Christendom team playing as fast breaks and beautiful passing sequences resulted in score upon score.

Junior Brendan Krebs playing in his last game before heading to the Eternal City for his semester abroad led the charge on both ends firing up his teammates to excel. Missing just two shots himself, Krebs finished with 25 points and eight assists going four of five from behind the arc. Freshman Joe Walsh led all scorers with a career high of 30 points in just his sixth game wearing a Crusader uniform. Brian Fox added 21 points and nine rebounds and at times proved unstoppable for the Appalachian Bible team.

Not only was there an offensive barrage from the Christendom team but also the communication and overall team play was tangible in the second half. The final score read Christendom 104 – Appalachian 66. It is quite possible the 104 points scored last night was the highest single game total of any Christendom basketball team in college history and one which may lead the record books for sometime!

Q. Does Christendom ever have any Open House type events, where students and their families can visit campus, get a tour of the campus, sit in on classes, and all that? I’d love to visit the campus, but I can’t afford to take any more than a day off school. Thanks for your help!

A. We have what we call a “Family Visit Day” each semester, which is what many refer to as an Open House. Our Spring Open House/Family Visit Day will be on Monday, April 16 and I’d love to welcome you (and your family) to campus and show you around!

If you can’t come out on that particular Monday, you are more than welcome to arrange to make a day visit just about any time. You can arrive at 9am or so, have a short meeting with me, sit in on a 9:30am and 10:30am class, attend the 11:30am Mass, dine with us for lunch, and then get a tour of campus at around 1pm. This schedule is not set in stone, but simply serves as an example of what you can do. We arrange your visit to fit your particular needs.

If all you can do is visit on a Saturday or Sunday, we can arrange those visits too, but I highly discourage these visits because students would miss out on the academic aspects of the college, which should be very important to a prospective student. But, if all you can do is a Saturday or Sunday, we can make your visit happen. Just let us know.

As far as the Open House goes, the general schedule will be the following, I think. We are still nailing down some details, but the day should look something like this:
  • 9:00 am: Welcome address by College President Dr. Timothy O’Donnell
  • 9:30am: Tour of campus
  • 10:30am: Sit in on a class of your choice (Parents will meet with Admissions Director Tom McFadden to learn more about financial aid and alumni careers at this time)
  • 11:30am: Mass
  • 12 noon: Lunch with current students
  • 12:30pm: Short presentations from our Chaplain, Athletic Director, and Student Life Office
  • 1:00pm: Presentation about Importance of Liberal Arts by History Professor Dr. Brendan McGuire
  • 1:30pm: Presentation about our Semester in Rome Program
  • 2:00pm: Q&A with Admissions Director Tom McFadden
  • 2:30pm: Depart (or sit in on another classes, if you wish)
We should have a registration page up for this Open House in the near future, but for now, please just mark your calendar and contact Eve Owen in our Admissions Office to let her know you are interested. Then, once we upload the registration page, she can make sure you are contacted. Her email is
Director of Admissions
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.

Celebrating St. Thomas Aquinas


Name: Philip Briggs
Age: 20
Front Royal, VA
Political Science & Economics (with a Minor in Philosophy)
Hobbies: Driving, listening to country music, running, rugby games, making espresso, cooking.
Who's your favorite professor or class? Philosophy 202: Metaphysics with Dr. Steven Snyder. There is so much to Metaphysics since it studies "being" itself, and Dr. Snyder was able to explain it all in a concise and logical manner.
What extra-curricular activities do you participate in?
I'm on the Rugby team, Student Activities Council, and I have been in one Christendom production (Appointment with Death). The rugby program has grown at Christendom these past few years and I love being on a sports team with many other guys from all different classes and groups.
What is your favorite thing about Christendom? The Rome Program. Christendom is the only Catholic undergraduate school with a program in the center of the Eternal City. Being able to study for 3 months next to the Vatican is such a blessing and we're so fortunate to have this program.
Why did you choose Christendom? Both of my parents graduated from Christendom and they encouraged me to get the same awesome education.
What surprises you the most about Christendom?
The sacrifices that people like Dr. Warren Carroll and Dr. Timothy O'Donnell have made to keep this College in line with the Catholic Church and its teachings. Since Christendom doesn't take Federal funding, I know that it has to take lots of work and effort to keep this school going.
What are your plans after graduation? I'm open to whatever God calls me to do, but at this point I would like to get a job in an operations management position at a corporation/business.
Any parting words of advice for a prospective student? Get to know your classmates and professors. You will learn so much from the relationships you have with your peers and the faculty. Also, go to Rome. It's worth every penny.


Dr. Russell Hittinger

Renowned scholar and author Russell Hittinger delivered the annual St. Thomas Aquinas lecture to the students and faculty of Christendom College on January 27. The talk, which examined the nature of societies and marriage, was entitled, Are Societies Made Unto the Image and Likeness of God? A Thomistic Response to a Disputed Issue.

In his lecture, Hittinger delved into the works of St. Thomas Aquinas, Pope Leo XIII, and other popes to illustrate how the image of God is reflected in a society. He said that in order for a society to bear the image of God there needs to be unity.

“For where there is no unity, there is nothing to bear the image not even dimly and from afar,” he said.

Christendom College's Annual St. Thomas Aquinas Lecture hosts a distinguished guest speaker on or near the feast of St. Thomas Aquinas.

Click here to read more about this lecture or download it at Christendom on iTunes U.


Of Gods and Men

On Friday night, a group of students gathered together in St. Kilian’s Café to watch Of Gods and Men, the first of this semester’s “Movie Nights with Walter.” The film tells the story of Trappist monks caught up in the Algerian civil war of the 1990's. The students really enjoyed the chance to watch a great, and also educational film, and of course the chance to hang out with everyone’s favorite Registrar, Walter Janaro.

Of God's and Men won the Grand Prix at the Cannes Film Festival.

"Summa" (Mental) Wrestling

In honor of the feast of St. Thomas Aquinas - one of Christendom College's patronal feast days (January 28) - a special Pub Quiz Night was held on Saturday night in Kilian’s Café. Ten teams, consisting of both students and faculty and staff members, battled it out in five grueling rounds of trivia questions.

Assistant Chaplain and Dominican Fr. Joseph Fox presided over the event. He asked the teams questions dealing with a range of subject matters, varying from Theological questions from St. Thomas's Summa Theologica to Geography to History.

“It was really fun to have a mixed group of students participating in the same game,” says Freshman Jess Schmitz. “It was an exciting atmosphere, and awesome to have the professors joining in and playing along.”

In the end, the team consisting of Juniors Nick Blank, Steven Wood, John McWhirter, and Charlie Rollino, and Senior David McWhirter, came out victorious. They took home the prize of a new cappuccino/coffee maker and coffee cups.

Fr. Fox reads one of the Summa questions.

The victors and their spoils.

Debating Ron Paul

Sunday night, the Chester-Belloc Lounge of Regina Coeli Hall was packed to the brim with people, as Christendom debated the resolution, “America Needs Ron Paul!” The debate attracted a record crowd with over one hundred and fifteen people in attendance. The issue was hotly contested, but full of important pieces of information, and proved to be extremely educational.

At the end of the evening, the resolution was voted on, and the result was 37 votes pro, 29 con, and 14 abstentions. The Chester-Belloc Debate Society warmly welcomes all to their next debate, which will be held February 12, where they will debate the topic of “Snowflake babies.”

Freshman Andre Moreau makes a convincing argument.

The Problem of Embryonic Stem Cell Research

"I am convinced that the true measure of the greatness of a society is not in terms of its gross national product or its military might, but will always be in terms of how it treats its weakest members," bioethicist Fr. Tad Pacholczyk told the students and faculty of Christendom College during a talk delivered on Monday this week. Part of the college's Major Speakers Program, the talk clarified much of the confusion surrounding embryonic stem (ES) cell research and how the research violates natural law.

Fr. Pacholczyk, who earned his Ph.D. in Neuroscience at Yale University, explained that all ES cell research destroys human embryos. Due to the apparent flexibility of ES cells, the mainstream media and celebrities have been outspoken in their support of the research, but it has yielded no practical medical applications.

"As a former embryo myself, I have strong objections to how embryos are being treated," he quipped.

He noted that very little is heard about adult stem cells that are extracted ethically from sources such as the umbilical chord, placenta, amniotic fluid, bone marrow, liposuction fat cells, olfactory tissue, and cadavers. Research using these stem cells has been very successful in the treatment of ailments like leukemia, spinal injuries, and immune system deficiencies, he said.

Click here to read more about this fascinating lecture.

Fr. Tad's talk was enriched with an excellent PowerPoint presentation. Fr. Tad presentation is available on DVD here.

Students and faculty gathered around Fr. Tad following his lecture to discuss the topic further.

Remembering Rome: Untold Stories

As the second wave of Junior Christendom students prepare to embark on their semester abroad in Rome, those students who were there in the Fall recall their fond memories and favorite experiences. This week, the Chronicler caught up with three students fresh from Rome, and uncovered a few untold stories.

“One of my favorite things about being in Rome was being able to cook with my roommates, Gloria Klosterman and Lisa Hill,” says Theresa Lamirande. “We would sit together at the beginning of the week and plan a menu of all the meals we wanted to make. Then we'd go grocery shopping together at 'Todis' and the other little markets on our street."

Lamirande says that that she and her roommates would take turns creating dishes for themselves and for their friends. She found it to be a great opportunity to expand her cooking skills, to pick up new recipes, and to spend time together.

"Although I hogged most of the cooking that took place in our tiny kitchen, my roommates were both fantastic cooks, and I loved sharing our meals together," she said. "Thank you, Rome, for so many memories with good friends and great food!”

Eric Maschue's memory takes us to a more spiritual topic. He recalls going into the basement of St. Francis Basilica for Mass.

“It was like a dungeon—dark, made of large stone bricks, with iron bars crossing in various corners.”

Although he did not notice it at first, there was a large stone box around seven feet high above the altar.

“Being far from the charismatic scene, I had trained myself to think, ‘It’s not about what you feel, its about what you know.’ But on this day, immediately as I walked into that room, I felt something so seemingly odd and peculiar,” he says.

This feeling only intensified throughout the Mass for Eric, and it was not soon after Mass started that he finally noticed the stone box above the altar. As he was wondering who or what could be contained inside it, he suddenly realized that it could possibly be St. Francis himself.

“I guess I was slow to catch on,” Maschue laughs. “However, feeling this sensation which was so great yet still odd, I became pretty much convinced that St. Francis’ body was with us, and this was confirmed to me by the priest during the homily. I then realized how full, in a certain sense, that room was with grace, for I was able to feel so different from any other day or any other Mass before I had even known who was buried there. On this day, it was about what I felt, because I knew nothing, and I could not deny the feeling. This Mass is where I felt God's presence the most in my entire life. It was awesome.”

Peter Hill's memory takes us out of Italy to a weekend trip to Barcelona, Spain, with Nick Blank, Lisa Hill, Theresa Lamirande, and Charlie Rollino for their last free weekend.

"The modern style of the city was a welcome contrast to the Romanesque and gothic art and architecture of Italy that we had been surrounded by," Hill says. "We visited Gaudi's la Sagrada Familia and Parc Guell, walked down las ramblas to the gorgeous beaches and then on our last night, we went to the spectacular music, light, and fountain show that the city is known for throughout Europe. It was one of the best weekends of our semester."

These memories are just scratching the surface. Unique and life-changing moments are experienced every semester by the students who participate in the Rome Program. The Chronicler's Rome Report starts on February 23. So stay tuned for Junior Jacob Akers, who will be keeping us posted on all the adventures of the Spring 2012 Romers.


Christendom Basketball Back In Action

With both basketball teams getting their first wins of the semester in the second week of competition and just two more weeks to go, the excitement is mounting for a great finish to the season.

The Lady Crusaders got into the win column with their first game of the semester against Penn State Mont Alto just a week ago today. Christendom came out ready to rock 'n' roll and took an early 16-2 lead over the Nittany Lions of Penn State. With a stifling defense that refused to allow shots, let alone points the Lady Cru ran away with the game in the early minutes. It seemed as though no one could miss as all starters scored in the early minutes. The second half saw the Nittany Lions cut into the enormous lead, but to no avail as the Lady Crusaders cruised to a 20-point victory.

This past Saturday both teams traveled to Johnson City, NY, for a Shenandoah Chesapeake Conference match against the Davis College Falcons. The fall semester saw the Crusaders host the Falcons and both teams lost by single digits. The men played their best game of the semester but came up just short losing 75-74 in overtime. The Lady Crusaders also played one of their better games of the semester but lost 68-72. So revenge was on the mind of the Christendom teams as they made the 5 ½ hour drive north to New York.

The Lady Crusaders began opening up a small lead behind the strong play of Emily Baldwin and Elizabeth Slaten who along with their solid individual defensive efforts added important offensive rebounds back for points to keep the lead for the Lady Cru. In the second half, the Falcons came out with energy and enthusiasm and took an 8-point lead.

One of the team’s leading scorers, Morgan Kavanagh, fouled out with 12 minutes to play in the game. Despite losing Morgan, the Lady Crusaders would fight back with scrappy defense and a resilient offense led by Mary Barbale and Bridget Vander Woude. With 1:23 left the Lady Crusaders held a 2-point lead when Katie O’Connor from Davis College hit a 24 foot 3-pointer to take the lead. The Lady Crusaders had a chance to win the game but Mary Barbale’s shot rattled in and out and a desperation 3-pointer from Emily Baldwin fell short.

The women also battled Division III Trinity University of DC this past Monday. The Lady Cru battled hard in a physical game and kept the game close before losing 56-71. Mary Barbale finished with 23 points after hitting 7 3-pointers and Morgan Kavanagh added 19. The team was back in action last night as they demolished the Sentinels of Patrick Henry by a score of 65-13. The game featured all of the Lady Crusaders playing lots of minutes including baskets from Hannagh Ethridge, Jane Kokes, and Sarah Netterer. The women are back in action tomorrow as they head south to Knoxville, TN and Asheville, NC as they play Johnson University and Warren Wilson College.

The men’s basketball team also traveled to play Davis College this past Saturday for an important conference match. After losing by 1 in overtime in the fall the Crusaders were out for redemption. The first half saw the two teams battle back and forth led by 17 first-half-points from Joe Walsh. The halftime score saw the Crusaders down 1 point. The game saw a combination of solid play ranging from individual defensive efforts by Tim Beer to a balanced offensive attack in the second half. Unfortunately, foul trouble mounted and both Brian Fox and Joe Walsh fouled out in the closing minutes of the game and the Falcons walked away with a 70-57 victory.

Two days later the Crusaders were back in action as they traveled to Patrick Henry College for another Shenandoah Chesapeake Conference match with the Sentinels. The first half the Crusaders struggled to find themselves much of which was due to the high energy defense of the Sentinels. Leading by 8 at halftime, the Crusaders came out and imposed their will on Patrick Henry racing out to an early 18-point lead. Christendom held onto the lead for the rest of the second half, while enabling all 14 players to see minutes; 9 of which got into the scoring column. Brian McCrum dominated the boards as he finished with 13 rebounds.

The Crusaders played Gallaudet University last evening and despite having an early first half lead and keeping the game close in the second half ended up losing by a score of 58-83. Brian McCrum finished with a double-double, totaling 13 rebounds and 11 points. The team has a two-day break before they travel to pay Williamson Free School on Saturday.

Tim McPhee takes it to the hole (Photo by Joe Stein).

Brendan Krebs soars above the Sentinels (Photo by Joe Stein).

Q. Does Christendom have a preference for students to take the SAT or ACT?

A. Christendom accepts both the SAT and ACT, and it doesn’t matter at all to us which you take. We are generally looking for a 1650 or higher on the SAT or a 24 or higher on the ACT in order to accept someone (although we certainly make exceptions to this policy).

One of the benefits of taking the SAT, though, over the ACT is that we superscore the three sections of all of your SAT tests that you have taken, whereas, for the ACT, we simply take the best one time composite score, regardless of whether you improved in one section or another. The superscoring can help with you getting academic scholarship too.

So, say you take the SAT the first time and get a 650 in Reading, a 490 in Math, and a 700 in Writing. This is a total of 1840. Congrats! You have a high enough score to be admitted to Christendom. But now you want some free academic scholarship money. In order to get that, you need to have a 1920 or higher on the SAT (or a 29 or higher on the ACT). So, you just need another 80 points in order to get your scholarship. You take the SAT again, and this time you get a 600 in Reading, a 540 in Math, and a 760 in Writing. This is a total of 1900, which is better than the 1840, but it is even better because when we superscore it, we take the best Reading (650) and add it to the best Math (540) and add it to the best Writing (760), which equals 1950. Yay! You now automatically get an academic scholarship!!! If you get a 2061 on the SAT or a 32 on the ACT, you get even more money. And if you get a 2300 or higher (SAT) or a 35 or higher (ACT), your scholarship would be even a greater amount.

I hope this helps! Study away!!
Director of Admissions
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.