Homecoming Weekend


Name: Tim Ginski
Age: 21
Year: Senior
Memphis, TN
Playing chess with people I think I can beat, arguing with refs over bad calls, interfering with SAC events, wondering if fish have personalities, still looking for RAs as I walk out past curfew, and ballet. Happy
Who's your favorite professor or class? Looking back on my classes I would have to say that my favorite thus far has been Society and the Common Good with Philosophy Professor Dr. John Cuddeback. It was amazing seeing how man, by participating in society to his fullest extent, can attain the highest natural good.
What extra-curricular activities do you participate in? I participate in all of the intramural sports (except soccer because I'm not talented like that), food pantry (because I feel guilty not doing any charitable work), being a Resident Assistant (because I have an inordinate desire for power). Happy
What is your favorite thing about Christendom?
My favorite thing at Christendom is definitely having the chapel within walking distance at all times. Don't get me wrong, I love the classes and the friendships I've developed here, but put simply: Jesus > classes + friends.
Why did you choose Christendom?
A big factor was that all of my siblings had come here before me. I've enjoyed going to college with a couple of my siblings enrolled at the same time.
What surprises you the most about Christendom? The people here. It's a mixture of people from many different backgrounds and most of them are willing to step out of their comfort zones to do the right things when they need to be done. I have never been around people of such great character before.
What are your plans after graduation? After graduation, I'm going to go to law school.
Any parting words of advice for a prospective student? While many people will say that the friendships that your have formed here are the greatest part of being at this college—and in some sense they are right—the classes are like none you will ever experience. Rarely is philosophy taught in line with an authentic Catholic tradition, rarely is theology taught with such fidelity, and rarely do you see professors practice what they preach. Here at Christendom, you have all of these things. I know my experiences here have deepened my faith and will provide a good foundation for what is to come after I leave here.


Colors and Fun at Spirit Week

Every year, students anticipate Homecoming by celebrating Spirit Week. Students dress up according to each day's theme, and every day at lunch the most spirited students are called on to stage to compete in different fun contests prepared by the Student Activities Council.

“Anna Harris, Becca Ellefson and I had a blast organizing spirit week,” says Sophomore Maeve Gallagher. “Christendom is such an amazing place and I love the fact that we get to celebrate the spirit that’s cultivated here for a week. The students were really receptive to all the activities and games we did. We can’t wait to plan for next year!”

The week is an entertaining and hilarious way to show off Christendom spirit.

Monday was class color day, where each class had to dress in their specified color. The most colorful awards went to Freshman Joe Herman, Sophomore Sean Ryan, Junior Natalie Lucas, and Senior David Frank.

Tuesday was school spirit day.

The most spirited awards went to Freshman Karolyn Pondo, Sophomore Morgan Kavanagh, and Junior John McFadden, who had to participate in a contest of drawing the Christendom Crusader mascot blindfolded.

Students wore the craziest outfits and hairdos they could for Wacky Wednesday, and the wackiest students were called on stage to perform Crusader cheers.

Conor Coyne and Mary Barbale won the "Cheer Contest."

Thursday was “dress-up-a-freshman” day, where the Seniors made the Freshmen dress up in crazy costumes.

The winning group of Freshmen was the “Johnny Foeckler Fan Club.”

Friday was East-West day, where students prepared for the upcoming football game by wearing their team colors.

Freshmen Gabrielle Cintorino and Philip Gilbert won the most spirited awards and had to participate in a trivia game.

Golf Tournament Raises Funds for Scholarship

On Friday the Second Annual Thomas S. Vander Woude Memorial Golf Tournament kicked off another great Homecoming Weekend here at Christendom. The golf tournament, which is named after the previous Athletic director Thomas S. Vander Woude, is the main fundraiser for the Thomas S. Vander Woude Scholar Athlete Scholarship Award, which was initiated last year. The award is given out to an incoming new student who has dedicated themselves to excellence in athletics, academics, leadership and the Faith. The first award last year was given to Mary Barbale. This year’s award was given to Joseph Walsh from Baltimore, MD. Joe is a terrific young man who participated in ROTC programs throughout high school in addition to excelling on the basketball court and in the classroom.

This year’s tournament consisted of 107 golfers who enjoyed the absolutely beautiful weather and challenging golf and contests throughout the day. The tournament was a huge success with many positives resulting from the beautiful day including close to $10,000 raised for the scholarship fund.

Student team: Morgan Kavanagh, Mary Barbale, Bridget Vander Woude, and Rebecca Ellefson.

The winning foursome—Joe Volk, Mike Volk, Scott Hardy and Scott Rohlan—were part of the major tournament sponsor NVMS and beat the returning champions, alumni Sean Kay, John Clark, and their team.

Alumnus Dennis Pregeant drives the ball downt the green.


\A Living Rosary

Friday afternoon, Christendom students and faculty gathered around the statue of Mary in front of the St. John the Evangelist Library to participate in Christendom's first ever “Living Rosary.”

The event, organized by Legion of Mary and led by Fr. Planty, was a huge success. There was a great turnout, and the organization behind the event paid off. Students volunteered to each be a bead of the Rosary, and say the prayer for that bead. Throughout the Rosary, students passed a candle to one another as the prayers were said. The rest of the students and faculty participating in the prayers stood in the center of the large circle, and followed the leaders with the appropriate prayers.

Dedicating the month to Mary was a great way to start out October, the month of the Holy Rosary.

Homecoming: Friends & Dancing

Alumni returned to their Alma Mater this weekend and had a great time at all the events. They played well in Friday's basketball games (see Sports section below) and enjoyed two receptions, a dance, and the annual East vs. West game.

After the Friday's Student vs. Alumni Basketball Games, the alumni joined the current seniors for a relaxing social evening. While unwinding from all of the excitement of the day, they were able to network with each other.

On Saturday evening, the alumni and faculty dressed-up for the newly named Warren H. Carroll Alumni Reception in the Chapel Crypt where they enjoyed delicious heavy hors d'oeuvres and fine beverages. Old friends were reunited and couples enjoyed hopping over to the St. Lawrence Commons to dance to the live swing band,
Yesterday Swing Orchestra.

The Commons was packed with old friends and familiar faces as everyone enjoyed dancing to the big-band era music. The dance and reception were wonderful opportunities for old friends to reunite and catch up in an enjoyable, relaxing atmosphere—particularly for those celebrating their twenty year reunion—the class of '91. Welcome home, Alumni!

Alumnae catch-up with English Professor Dr. Robert Rice at Friday's reception.

Alumnus Ryan Doughty ('10) chats with Director of Alumni Relations Tom McFadden.

Old friends reunite on Saturday and recount the days when Theology Professor Raymund O'Herron was the Dean of Student Life.

Class of 1991 - 20th Anniversary Reunion.

Alumni Marya Doylend and TJ Nacey ('10) enjoy a dance.

Senior David Frank glides Freshman Margaret Killackey across the dance floor.

Sophomores Matthew Van Natta and Abagail Mathews enjoy the live music.

Debate: Does God Exist?

Sunday night, the Chester-Belloc room of Regina Coeli was packed as members of the debate society, students, alumni, and guests all gathered to participate in this week's debate, a Devil's advocate game, entitled, “There is no God.”

The debate, one of the most important debates the Society has ever held, was a success, with incredible participation, from freshmen, to alumni, members of the Society and otherwise. Some pre-selected (and some spontaneous) “Devil's Advocate” debaters took the pro-side (stating that there is no God) and used varied arguments to demonstrate this, while others took the con-side, arguing passionately for the reason for our faith.

The Debate Society Chairman, Senior Chris Foeckler said, “This topic is one of the most, if not the most, crucial topics we have ever debated. Christendom students, perhaps more than anyone else, should be able to stand up and give a rational, convincing defense for their faith.”

The next debate will take place sometime after fall break, and all are encouraged to attend and participate. The Society will be debating the resolution, “The Natural Law requires God.”

Family Visit Day

Over 75 people came out for Family Visit Day on Monday (Columbus Day). Students and their families enjoyed classes, campus tours, lunch with faculty and staff members, Mass in Christ the King Chapel, a student panel, a virtual tour of our Rome campus and much more.

Check out our visits page and start planning your visit to Christendom.

Admissions Director Tom McFadden explains the Christendom experience.

Associate Director of Admissions Eve Owen leads one of the campus tours.


Another Lovely Week in Bella Roma... and Beyond!

We started the week taking our Moral Theology, Roman Perspectives, and Italian classes. Our classes have been so enjoyable that I often forget that they’re actual classes! Our teachers are amazing and I wish they could be on our Virginia campus so we could enjoy more classes with them!

Tuesday was an incredible day of ancient Roman history. We explored the Capitoline Museum and the Roman Forum with Prof. Liz Lev and then the Colosseum on our own. Exploring ancient Rome was incredible! We were on the sites where so much history has occurred and so many decisions have been made. We walked in the Senate building, where thousands of years ago, men made decisions that still deeply influence our world of today. Then, to top off the day, several of us watched Gladiator that night. The perfect ancient Rome day!

We had a make-up day of classes on Wednesday so that we could go to the North American College deaconate ordinations on Thursday morning at St. Peter’s. Deacon Joseph Bergida, an Arlington diocese seminarian, was ordained and was able to get tickets for our entire group to the deaconate and the reception! College Alumnus Deacon Fred Gruber along with Deacon Samuel Spiering, brother to Christendom student Loretto Spiering and cousin to current Rome student Peter Spiering, was also ordained to the deaconate. As an interesting point of fact, the bishop who ordained them, Bishop Sirba of MN, is also an alumnus of Christendom's graduate school, thus making this the first time in Christendom's history where an alumnus ordained an alumnus! Our group was bubbling about this once-in-a-lifetime experience for the rest of the day!

We had our first “free weekend” where we had the entire weekend to go wherever we wanted! Lisa Hill, Elise Nodar, Bridget Lademan and I woke up on Friday morning and went to the airport to go to Ireland! Our trip was one fun moment after another! We landed in Dublin (which was a lot colder than Rome!) and went to the Guinness Storehouse, which was closed (but that’s ok, because we just wanted pictures of us there anyway!). After stopping in a pub to have genuine Irish Guinness, we walked to the Rory O’More Bridge, a bridge named after one of my ancestors. After exploring a bit of Dublin, we hopped on a bus to Galway.

The next morning, we went on a bus tour of the area. We explored the Aillwee Caves, prayed in an Irish Church called St. John the Baptist, saw an Irish poulnabrone (praying rock), walked along the Cliffs of Moher, strolled around a castle, and saw several other beautiful sites along the way! It was rainy and foggy, so we didn’t see much on the Cliffs, but we still had so much fun and took lots of pictures! After returning to Galway, we went to an Irish pub and ate Irish Beef Stew and drank Guinness for dinner. Delicious, to say the least!

Sunday morning, we gathered all of our stuff together and went to the cathedral in Galway, where this adorable little Irish priest celebrated the Mass. The church was beautiful and it was quite refreshing to have a public Mass in English! We left the church and were greeted by wind and rain. However, we were completely undaunted, and took several pictures of us with our umbrellas before putting them away due to the wind. We arrived at the bus station, wet but giggly, and traveled straight to the Dublin airport to go back home (i.e. Rome).

We arrived at Candia Sunday night and promptly exchanged stories with a few of the other students. A group of students traveled to the Amalfi coast (a strong contrast to our cold Irish weather!). A few of the guys went to London to visit Christendom alumnus Anthony Readings. Three of the girls traveled to Prague and Salzburg for the weekend. Several other students took the opportunity to explore Rome and the surrounding areas! Our students had a wonderful weekend and we have been sharing stories and pictures ever since!

Never a dull moment in Europe! Yet another amazing week finished and I cannot believe our Rome experience is almost half over! Sometimes, it feels like we have been here for forever, but there is still so much to see and do!

I love Rome.

Enjoying the Amalfi Coast - Mt. Vesuvius in the background.

Exploring Prague.

On the Cliffs of Moher

View from an Irish bus.

A stylized photo from the trip to England.

Rome students snap a photo with Fr. Jerome Fasano, the pastor St. John the Baptist in Front Royal, Va, who was visiting the Eternal City.

Exploring the Colosseum.

Learning ancient Rome.

Exploring the Roman Forum.

Discovering one of the great basilicas in Rome, St. Mary Major.

Alumni Network and Recruitment Network

Christendom College offers a wide variety of opportunities for alumni to connect to the College and to other alumni, and to be of crucial assistance in fundraising and recruitment efforts, through the Alumni Network and the Volunteer Recruitment Network.

Tom McFaddden, along with being the Director of Admissions and Marketing, is also the Alumni Affairs Director. He maintains a very active email group which informs alumni of the happenings at the College, as well as news, information, and needs of other alumni. Through this email group, the alumni are constantly kept up-to-date on Christendom-related news, and they, in turn, feel more connected to the College and its mission. The Alumni Network provides the alumni with the opportunity to submit prayer requests, job opportunities, housing availabilities, and other such information. As a result, many alumni are able to connect with each other and help look out for one another.

In addition, the College has a Volunteer Recruitment Network in place in order to aid the College's Admissions Office in recruiting future Christendom students. This Recruitment Network is of great importance to the Admissions Office efforts because the alumni, and other friends of the College, can volunteer to represent Christendom at a wider variety of homeschool groups, parishes, schools, and conferences. And who better to represent the College than the actual product of the education: The alumni!

Christendom offers its students an incredibly rigorous, Catholic, liberal arts education, and it also does all it can to help form tomorrow's leaders on its campus today through working with its students to determine how they might best live out Christendom's motto of "restoring all things in Christ" after graduation.


Homecoming Weekend Full of Fun and Excitement!

Homecoming Weekend featured many events for alumni, faculty, staff, and students to enjoy each other’s company and even enjoy some competition.

After the Golf Tournament, many of the alumni proceeded to Crusader Gymnasium for the Alumni vs. Students Basketball Games. A tradition in the homecoming schedule the games pit the Christendom College varsity teams against the returning alumni. The fans are the real winners of these two games with alumni spanning many generations on a mission to prove they still have it on the court!

This year the alumni teams definitely proved that and more. In the first game the Lady Crusaders took an impressive 17-point lead into the second half led behind a balanced attack among Mary Barbale, Morgan Kavanagh, and Bridget Vander Woude. Seventeen points apparently was the number, from that point on the women alumni launched a fierce comeback led by Abby Hill, Nancy Bauer, Jill Vander Woude and Mary Kate Vander Woude. With about one minute to go in regulation the alumni completed their comeback tying the game up—to the enjoyment of the many current and past Crazies that jammed the stands.

With just seconds left, both teams had a chance to win the game, but were unsuccessful and the game went into overtime (which quite possibly could be a first in homecoming history). The first overtime saw the alumni continue to battle, scrap and frustrate the Lady Crusaders, but they couldn’t find the edge and time expired sending the game into a second overtime. Finally, in the second overtime, the Lady Crusaders with their youth and speed stole the two-point victory!

The second game featured the men’s basketball team against the alumni men. The game very quickly turned into a show for the fans. On the court for the alumni were two men who both scored over 1300 points in their four-year careers at Christendom, Pat Vander Woude and Kevin Fox. For Patrick Vander Woude the first 30 minutes were his present to the fans. Displaying shooting range, which bordered on insane, and ankle-breaking moves, which resulted in reverse layups or passes to open men under the basket, the ‘05 alumnus took over the show.

For the Crusaders David Townsend put on his own little shooting clinic in the first half, as he went six of seven from the 3-point line and finished the game with a team-high of 23 points. But the game belonged to Pat and the alumni as five players who scored in double figures and Pat finished with 23 points in just 26 minutes of play, after which he was forced out due to an injury.

So at the end of the night the score would be Alumni 1 – Students 1!

Finally on Sunday the ever-exciting and passion-filled East vs. West game took over the campus. Would this be the year that the East could break the winning streak of the West, or would the West pull out another one?

The game might have been one of the best pure football games in recent memory with only two turnovers in the game and each team trying to impose their will on each other with a solid running game.

For the East, it was healthy doses of quarterback Pat Stein and running back Tim Beer behind a strong offensive line and, for the West, it was the familiar quarterbacking of Peter McNeely with Patrick Norton and Joshua Cristi behind him in the backfield. Perhaps the standout for the East was freshman Lawrence Urgo who despite being somewhat under the weather dominated the defensive side of the ball from his middle linebacker position, regularly ripping the flags off west runners no matter where on the field.

In the fourth quarter the West had a 12-6 lead with 4 minutes to play in the game when the East got the ball back after a defensive stand. Pat Stein and the offensive marched down the field and Tim Beer took a toss to the outside and cut back through defenders and into the end-zone for the tying touchdown. The important extra point featured Pat Stein darting across the goal line just before he lost possession of the ball resulting in a game winning extra point. The West couldn’t muster a comeback in the closing minutes and the East had gotten their first win since 2004.

The homecoming athletic activities were great fun for all involved—fan and player alike. We look forward to next year’s events already after a great three days of fellowship and Christian competition!

Mary Barbale takes it to the hole for two.


2011 Alumnae Team.


David Townsend sneaks past Alumnus Pat Vander Woude.

2011 Alumni Team.

An epic face-off. (Photo by Joe Stein.)

Tim Beer flies into the end-zone for the tying touchdown. (Photo by Joe Stein.)

Pat Stein looks for fellow Senior Ted Cantu in the end-zone.

Where do you think you're going?

Senior Joe Stephens tries to pull the catch in.

Senior Peter McNeely looks for the open man.

Senior Paddy Norton flies down the field.
East fans show their support.

West 2011: the end of a dynasty.

East 2011: sweet victory.


Q. I am really good at my math and science-related subjects in high school, particularly math, yet, I also like the idea of Christendom’s liberal arts curriculum, which doesn’t seem to offer much in the math and science department. Is there some way that I can do both if I attend Christendom?

A. This is a very common question that is asked of me, and I am glad that I can once again try my hand at giving you a suitable answer.

From my understanding, normally, the reason people like math/science related subjects is because their brains are wired that way and they like the idea of things being black and white, right and wrong, objectively true rather than subjectively true. Additionally, they are interested in the reasons why things are the way they are, thus the desire to understand how things work and operate through the sciences.

When I came to Christendom as a freshman many years ago, I was the math kid. It was my favorite subject. I scored 200+ points higher on the math section of my SAT than on the reading section. My Dad has an Electrical Engineering degree, two of my brothers have computer science degrees, one of my brothers has a doctorate in Electrical Engineering, and my sister is a math teacher. Math seemingly runs through my blood.

But I am here to tell you that Christendom has many offerings for those who tend toward “right side of the brain” activities. We offer many math classes (in which one can get a minor in math, if desired)
  • Introduction to Mathematical Thought
  • Euclidean Geometry
  • College Algebra and Trigonometry
  • Computer Programming
  • Calculus I, II, III
  • Linear Algebra
  • Probability and Statistics
  • Symbolic Logic
  • Modal Logic
  • Mathematical Logic
  • Differential Equations

And we also offer a number of science courses as well:
  • Introduction to Scientific Thought
  • Descriptive Astronomy
  • General Physics I and II
  • Laboratory for General Physics I & II

And besides the actual math and science offerings, there are many subjects that work well with the “right side of the brain” people. If people like objective truth, it doesn’t get much more objective than Theology. If people like to figure things out and learn to understand what makes things tick, then Philosophy is the subject to study. History is also very good for people who like to keep things objective. Studying these subjects definitely fulfills the needs of a “right brain” person, so it is not always necessary to actually study math/science in college, even if it is your favorite subject. Take it from me, a Theology major.

Finally, I wanted to let you know something that my brother, Michael, told me a while back. He came to Christendom for two years and took all the core curriculum courses that were offered (history, Theology, philosophy, political science, English), as well as a whole bunch of math classes. After two years, he decided that he wanted to do electrical engineering, so he transferred to George Mason University.

Because he had taken so many math courses at Christendom he didn’t need to take any more math courses to fulfill his degree in engineering, and he finished up with his EE degree in just three additional years. He eventually went on to get his doctorate in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Delaware. He currently works in Texas and recently told me that he tends to use more of what he learned in his two years at Christendom than he does all the scientific stuff he studied for 8 years. I asked him why and he said that it is because scientists spend much of their time doing various projects, and when the project is over, there needs to be some sort of synopsis or paper written up about it. As a result of his Christendom liberal arts education, he says that he is quite often selected to be the project manager and therefore, the one responsible for writing up the findings. So, there’s something to be said for a well-rounded, well-read scientist.

For more information on our math/science department please
click here.
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.

Apples & Oktoberfest


Name: Morgan Howerton
Age: 17
From: Portsmouth, VA
Undecided, but I'm keeping Political Science in mind.
Going to the beach, bonfires.
Who's your favorite professor and what's your favorite class?
English Professor Dr. Thomas Stanford. We have enthralling discussions in class about what we are reading.
What extra-curricular activities do you participate in? I am on the varsity soccer team and I play intramural volleyball.
What is your favorite thing about Christendom? I love being able to thrive in the Faith more and more each day. I am so grateful to have such awesome peers. Fellowship with other good Catholics is so imperative in growing closer to God.
Why did you choose Christendom? My family and I were attracted to the value of a liberal arts education. Christendom has great academics and a "breath Catholic" atmosphere.
What has surprised you the most about Christendom?
I knew before coming here that I would have my faith and morals in common with mostly everyone. However, I was surprised at the diversity of interests and talent here at Christendom.
Plans after graduation? Not sure yet, but I trust God has an amazing plan for me. Happy
Any parting words of advice for a prospective student?
Take advantage of your weekends and have fun!


The King's Speech

Friday night, after a long week of classes, many of Christendom's students kicked back in the basement of the John Paul the Great Student Center and enjoyed watching The King's Speech. The film tells the story of the man who became King George VI, the father of Queen Elizabeth II. After his brother abdicates, George reluctantly assumes the throne. Plagued by a dreaded stammer and considered unfit to be king, George engages the help of an unorthodox speech therapist and is able to find his voice and boldly lead the country through war.

The students had a great time munching on snacks, provided by SAC, and spending some time with their friends while enjoying an interesting, accurate, and well made movie. The movie sparked some great historical discussions afterward, which added an educational element to the fun.

Students enjoy discussing the film afterward.

The King's Speech won many awards including the oscars for Best Achievement in Directing, Best Motion Picture of the Year, Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role, and Best Writing: Original Screenplay.

Cupcakes for Life

After brunch on Saturday afternoon, girls made their way down to the basement of the St. Lawrence Commons, to get creative and help the Students for Life decorate hundreds of cupcakes for their bake sale this past weekend. The cup cakes turned out to be incredibly impressive, as girls used their skills to make fun and tasty looking desserts. Some of the girls went all out and even themed their cup cakes with pro-life messages!

The bake sale, which raised funds for the local Pregnancy Center, took place at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, where parishioners were very generous, and helped Students for Life raise about $500.

The girls work hard to make the tastiest looking cupcakes.

Wow! Nice job... perhaps there should be a pastry shop on campus.

Members of Students for Life and their countless cupcakes.

Apple Picking in Virginia

On Sunday, a group of Sophomore and Freshman girls went on a field trip to nearby Stribling Orchard for a fun day of apple picking.

Sophomore RAs Mary Barbale and Morgan Kavanagh planned the trip in an effort to have all the Campion Hall girls get to know each other better and have a great day picking apples and turning them into yummy treats. After the girls returned to Christendom campus, they went to St. Kilian’s Café to peel, slice, and dice apples into yummy pies and apple crisps.

“We had such a fun day,” Sophomore Kelsey Ingold said. “A great group of girls came, and the apples we picked were so delicious! I’d recommend Stribling Orchard to anyone for a wonderful afternoon!”

Plenty of apples were left over for snacking on, and apple cider and vanilla ice cream topped off a perfect October day!

Stribling Orchard is less than 30 minutes from Christendom.

Hanging out in the orchard.

Morgan Kavanagh and Sarah Neterer help prepare the topping for the apple crisp.

Mary Barbale serves up some of the crisp.

Enjoying the fruits of their labor.

Apple-picking 2011.


One of the Christendom community’s favorite events of the year, Oktoberfest, took place this past Saturday evening. English Professor Dr. Robert Rice led students in singing the Bavarian National Anthem to start off the night. Everyone enjoyed a delicious German feast for dinner, including hot pretzels and a variety of desserts. Fine German beers were available for those 21 and over. Many students, faculty, and staff members showed off their German heritage by wearing traditional German dirndls and lederhosen.

A dance was held after dinner, which included the annual polka contest. This year, the children of Admissoins Director Tom McFadden, Dominic and Cecilia, showed off their superb polka skills and won the contest. The Virginia Reel, the Ländler, the Minotaur, and the Trenchmore were some of the favorite dances of the night.

"It was really great to see the professors and students alike get into the spirit of Oktoberfest by dressing up and dancing traditional German dances,” Sophomore Gloria Connolly said. “I especially enjoyed dancing the Ländler.”

Associate Chaplain Fr. Joseph Fox and students enjoy some of the tasty German fare served up by Chef Dennis.

Philosophy Professor Eric Jenislawski joins English Professor Dr. Robert Rice in singing the Bavarian national anthem.

Dancing the Ländler.

The McFadden children show of their skills on the dance floor.


Best Week. EVER!

Monday. We received a special treat—a communications lecture by Prof. Ashley Noronha, the very talented wife of our Rome Director Mr. John Noronha. Her captivating lecture entitled “Communicating the Faith” is one that I could easily spend several hours learning and discussing.

Tuesday. We were introduced to Prof. Liz Lev, our guest lecturer for our Art and Architecture class. Her wit and charm while story-telling leads to a captivated audience. She makes history come alive with her amusing commentaries and jokes laced through her lecture. She will be giving several lectures and leading several tours for us this semester, and I cannot wait to hear them all! In the afternoon, Mrs. Noronha led a tour around Rome that ended with the Pontifical University of Santa Croce.

Wednesday. The most incredible day ever. Period. The end.

In the morning, we grouped together in our courtyard bright and early to walk to St. Peter’s Square so we could be amongst the first to race to our seats for the papal audience. The Square filled quickly of eager pilgrims, who were anxious to see the Holy Father! Although there were seats available, few were actually sitting because everyone was so antsy and excited about the Pope coming! As Pope Benedict XVI drove in on his Pope Mobile, we were unable to contain our excitement, as several shouts of “Papa,” cheers, and songs rang out from the crowd. I pressed against the railing and stood within five feet of the Pope as he drove by. Definitely one of the most incredible moments of my life! During the audience, when the speaker announced Christendom College as present, our extremely enthusiastic group declared our loyalty and love for our Holy Father in true Christendom fashion—loudly and passionately.

If that wasn’t enough to make for an amazing day, we also had a Scavi tour, during which we explored the excavations under St. Peter’s Basilica. We ended the tour with a peek at St. Peter’s bones. His bones are surrounded by stone directly beneath the main altar on the main level in St. Peter’s. Seeing Peter’s bones reverently kept under St. Peter’s Basilica surrounded by stone brings a whole new meaning to Christ’s words: “You are Peter, and on this rock I will build My Church” (Mt. 16:18). Christ has allowed us to witness physically what He teaches us spiritually, that the Pope is the head and foundation of the Church.

Thursday. Several of us watched The Scarlet and the Black on the terrace. It was really exciting to be able to point out all the places we recognized! Needless to say, we felt very learned and important!

Friday. I went with a group to Nettuno to attend Mass in front of the body of St. Maria Goretti. This beautiful saint who died at age 11 for the sake of purity is a touching and inspiring example for our young women today, who have to struggle with a lack of respect for purity on a regular basis.

Saturday. Sarah Halbur, Emi Funai, Johanna Troendle, Bridget Lademan and I packed up and rented a car for a three hour drive to Loretto. The scenery during the drive was amazing! Words cannot describe the incredible beauty of the mountains and the sea! After spending a few hours on the beach in Loretto, we went to Mass at the Basilica that enshrines the Holy House—the house in which Our Lady and Christ Jesus lived! Tradition holds that angels miraculously moved the house from Jerusalem during a time of danger. Entering the house and touching the walls that Our Lord touched as a baby was unbelievable. I was standing in the home of the greatest family that ever walked the earth. Truly inspiring!

Sunday. Steven Wood and Lisa Hill organized fun-filled day to St. Paul’s Outside the Wall for Mass and then a picnic lunch in a park. Then Sunday night, in addition to our normal potluck dinner, we celebrated the 19th birthday of Bridget Lademan with cake and a mini-dance in Christendom style.

After such an inspiring and incredible week, words seem too trivial to describe the awe that results. Every day here in Rome brings more blessings, more learning, and more unforgettable experiences. I can hardly believe that I am actually living in Rome and receiving the blessing of living my faith in such a tangible and personal way! I really, really love being Catholic! We have so much history and so many neat traditions!

Best week. EVER! Until next week, probably! Winking God is so great!

Mrs. Noronha leads a tour through Piazza Navona.

Enjoying a view of St. Peters from the terrace of the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross.

Waiting for il Papa.

The pope approaches.

On the way to Loretto.

Gelato never gets old.

Snapping photos at St. Paul Outside the Walls.

A sunny fun day outside Rome's city walls.

The Director of Career Development

Chronicler Reporter Madeleine Murphy stopped by the office of our Director of Career Development, Mr. Mike Mochel, to find out more about him and how he is helping students become tomorrow's leaders.

Murphy: What jobs/positions have you held prior to coming to Christendom College, and how have your experiences helped prepare you for your job as Director of Career Development?
Mochel: For my first career, I served 27 years in the United States Air Force, retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel in September, 2004. The first four-and-a-half years of my Air Force career were spent as an Intercontinental Ballistic Missile Combat Crew Member at Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri. The remainder of my career was spent as a Project Officer or Program Manager on a variety of weapon systems at various of bases, all in the Continental U.S. Following my Air Force career, I spent roughly six-and-a-half years as a contractor supporting a variety of government program offices, primarily within the Department of Defense, until I came to Christendom in July of this year.

Over the course of my first two careers, I led several different teams that varied in size from 4 or 5 to over 100. One of the highlights of those leadership positions was working with those junior to mewhether junior officers, government civil servants, or contractor personnel—to help them plan the next steps in their careers. I have long felt that a primary responsibility of those in leadership positions at any level of an organization is to help prepare those in the next generation to step up into those positions. We all have to remember that we won't be around forever (that applies to jobs every bit as much as life), and if we don't help prepare those who will succeed us we doom our organizations to failure. When I saw Christendom's Director of Career Development position advertised, I realized that it would be an opportunity to do what I had always enjoyed doing, but at an even earlier point in the individual's career, the point where I could help young people step confidently out into the world following graduation.

Murphy: As Director of Career Development, what duties do you have and what are your goals for helping students?
Mochel: My mission can be stated quite simply: it's to ensure that when a student graduates from Christendom she or he is confident in their ability to take their degree and transition into whatever constitutes the next step in their life, whether that be a career, graduate school, or whatever. While that mission is simple to state, it's not so simple in execution given that I have roughly 400 unique personalities to deal with, each with its own set of interests, strengths, areas for improvement, etc. The complexities of dealing with all those different personalities drive my current goals, the first of which is to get to know the student body as individuals (and yes, that will take awhile). I also want to put in place appropriate tools to help our students in their career discernment process; things like providing computers in the Student Center that students can use to search job databases, or establishing a career development reserve section in the library with resources students can use to help them prepare effective resumes or get ready for job interviews. Those computers and books have been ordered, and I hope soon to be able to announce their availability.

My duties are primarily twofold. They revolve around career counseling, which can take many different forms. A key activity for me right now is doing one-on-one counseling with students. Roughly half of the current senior class has come through my office for an initial counseling session, and I invite members of the other three classes to come in, as well. Other counseling duties include things like the recent event I co-hosted with the Political Science & Economics Department, where we brought a visiting law professor in to talk to our students about the legal profession and what his particular law school had to offer. I'll also be involved in setting up other seminars and events that are yet to be determined. My career counseling duties can also be as diverse as helping students with the processes for getting into technically-oriented graduate schools, developing their professional networks, or tracking down internships.

My other significant duty at this point in time is related to the college's Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP). Since the focus of the QEP is on enhancing career discernment among our students, I'm involved in working with the faculty members on the QEP Leadership Team in all facets of developing and implementing the plan. One of the key aspects of the plan is the implementation of career development curriculum, consisting of both classroom sessions and workshops, at both the freshman/sophomore and junior/senior level. You'll be hearing more about the QEP, entitled "Education for a Lifetime: Christendom's Academic and Professional Program," over the coming months.

Murphy: In your opinion, how does Christendom prepare students to assume leadership and management positions after leaving the college?
Mochel: As someone who has been actively involved in the hiring process for several years, I believe that the liberal arts program at Christendom provides our students with two significant advantages that will help them succeed in any career field they enter. The first is the ability to solve problems using critical thinking skills. Those skills allow our students to dig below the surface of a problem or issue to find the root cause and then apply logical techniques to identify and implement effective solutions. The ability to do that is highly in demand in the professional workplace, and those who demonstrate that ability will quickly find themselves on a path to positions of increased responsibility.

The other advantage I believe our students develop over their Christendom career is the ability to write well. Much of what happens in the professional world relies heavily on the written word, and it was almost depressing to read some of the resumes that crossed my desk from individuals seeking employment at anything from the entry to the managerial level. You would think that people applying for a job would want to put their absolute best foot forward—in this case by providing a well written resume that would serve to gain them an interview—but you would be amazed at how poorly written so many of those resumes were. I saw it all; everything from grammatical and spelling errors to punctuation problems to mixed tenses to run-on phrases that didn't present a coherent thought and more. That's why I encourage our students to take advantage of the writing opportunities they have during their courses here. Employers do pay attention.

Murphy: What is your favorite aspect of Christendom College thus far?
Mochel: That's an easy one, especially when we remember that Christendom College is not the land, brick and mortar, books, or any of the other physical artifacts that we find on the campus grounds. The faculty, staff, and students form the beating heart of Christendom, and in my short time here I have observed to my great delight that in all three categories the people at Christendom are a cut above. And it's not just that we share a common view of the importance of our relationship with God that makes me feel that way—although that is certainly a key component. The people here are just genuinely nice folks who are all focused on the same mission. They realize the best way to accomplish that mission is for each person to succeed at whatever his or her role in that mission happens to be, so they actively root for and help each other. How refreshing!


Lady Crusaders Soccer Fights Weather and Injuries

The women’s soccer team entered the season after coming off a tough 2010-11 season, which saw the team battle back time and time again to win come from behind games and finish the season at .500.

Going into this season there was much hope with the return of a Senior Theresa Nelson who had sat out last year due to an ACL injury and the addition of many new faces to the team including seniors Laura Osterhage and Lindsey Mershon.

This past Saturday the team traveled to Valley Forge Christian College to take on the Patriots. A season that has been marred by cancelled games due to weather and injuries at every position the battered Lady Crusaders took on the Patriots on a wet and soft field with slips at every turn.

Just over a week ago the team had lost their starting sweeper Karen Hambleton for the season. Karen suffered a severe break of the lower tibia and fibia leg bones in a home game against Potomac State.

Despite the loss to their anchor in the defense the team would battle throughout the game playing good defense against the attacking Patriots but could never break through the lines of defense of their opponent. Molly Morey the senior goalkeeper played another superb game stopping close to 20 shots on goal throughout the game. The defense for the Crusaders led by Katie Coyne also played a strong game but the patriots of Valley Forge would overwhelm the Lady Crusaders in the end and gain the victory by a 4-1 margin.

Just yesterday, the Lady Crusaders were back in action against the Cannons of Lord Fairfax, Christendom’s local rival as the campus of Lord Fairfax is only 25 minutes away.

Christendom had defeated the Cannons earlier in the season and it was obvious that the Cannons were out for revenge. Sophomore forward Morgan Kavanagh would find the net for the Lady Crusaders on a pass from senior Frances Allington. Molly Morey would continue her solid play but—along with her defense—would be worn down by the Cannons attack, allowing 2 goals throughout the match.

In the end the Lady Crusaders would fall by a score of 1-2. The team has lost 5 players for various reasons throughout the season and still the Lady Crusaders fight on. With new faces gaining valuable experience and striving to play controlled and patient soccer, much can be said for their determination and heart as they compete game in and game out.

The team is off for a few days due to Homecoming Weekend and poor field conditions, but looks to finish their season strong next week.

Goalie Molly Morey sends the ball down field.

Ashlynne Woodhead looks to center the ball for an assist.

Morgan Kavanagh takes the ball down field.

Sadie Bratt races to beat the goalie to the ball.

Frances Allington charges through the defense.

Q. I was thinking about visiting Christendom this fall. When is a good time to do this, and what’s the procedure? Hope to see you soon!

A. I think that visiting Christendom is a great idea this Fall. Many people refer to our location in the Northern Shenandoah Valley of Virginia as the New England of the South, and travel out to Front Royal to see the leaves change to bright red, yellow, and orange. So, Fall in Front Royal is absolutely gorgeous and I’d highly encourage you to come and see for yourself.

Prospective students can plan their visits just about any time throughout the Fall (or Spring) semester, although we do have a number of “blackout dates” as well as a number of recommended visit weekend dates.

In general, students arrive either on Thursday night or Friday morning. They meet their Student Ambassador who will serve as their host for their visit. Visitors sit in on classes on Friday, attend Mass, eat lunch, meet with me, and get a tour of campus. Then, over the weekend, students do a bunch of various fun social events, depending on the weekend, and depart either Sunday or Monday.

This Fall’s suggested visit weekends are the following:
  • October 28-30 (will include Halloween Dance on 10/29)
  • November 4-6 (will include St. Cecilia's Musical Night, Girls Powederpuff football game, Pub Night, and Schubertiade)
  • November 11-13 (will include the Fall play: Room Service as well as men and women's home basketball games)
  • November 18-20 (will include men's home basketball game and the Fall Dance)
One of the advantages of visiting during three of the four above-mentioned weekends (not the November 4-6 one) is that those who have SAT or ACT scores above 2100 and 32 respectively, can take part in the full-tuition scholarship competition and meet with our faculty panel during their visits. We have already been receiving a lot of applications for this approximate $20,000/year scholarship, and we expect many more to apply soon. Click here to find out more information.

If none of the suggested weekends work for you, you are able to schedule a visit during the weekday pretty much anytime. We need about a week’s notice, but you could come on a Monday and leave on a Thursday, if that works better for you. While here, your meals are free and, if flying, we provide your sheets, towels, and pillow, and we pick you up from Dulles Airport for free. If driving, you are asked to bring your own bedding and towels. All visitors sleep either in the Ambassador’s bed or on a comfortable inflatable air mattress.

Admissions Counselor Liz Twaddle is the visit program coordinator and is more than happy to help you plan your visit to our campus. Please look to
our visit page on our website for more information.

I hope to see you this Fall!
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.