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
[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.