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.