Discernment Weekend


Name: Brian Fox
Altoona, WI
Philosophy with Minor in Theology
Sports, especially basketball, pool, cards
Who's your favorite professor or class?
Philosophy Professor Mike Brown. He is so fun and engaging in class.
What extra-curricular activities do you participate in? I love sports and really any form of competition. I have played on the Crusader basketball team for four consecutive seasons. I also participated in the pool tournament. (see below)
What is your favorite thing about Christendom?
The people and the great formation that I have received with and from my friends—students and faculty alike.
Why did you choose Christendom?
I am the fifth one in my family to come to Christendom. I have always had an interest in philosophy and wanted to play basketball as a Crusader.
What surprises you the most about Christendom?
The great friendships.
What are your plans after graduation?
I am getting married on September 22, 2012 to Kaitlyn Morgan and pursuing a career in IT and business.
Any parting words of advice for a prospective student?
Be a strong and faithful friend.


Vespers with Our Bishop

“The call to the priesthood and consecrated life is not about you, it’s about God and others,” Arlington Bishop Paul S. Loverde told the students of Christendom College during the college’s annual Discernment Weekend. “Stop and consider to what you are being called. How can one not say ‘yes’ humbly, gratefully, confidently, and generously?” he asked.

Bishop Loverde delivered the homily during vespers on Friday, which launched the weekend. He urged students to pray for generosity, courage, and “a bit of daring” as they discerned their vocations.

“The call reveals how much God loves you–to choose you to be His instrument of grace and salvation to the people He so loves,” Bishop Loverde said. “ The response that gives honor and glory to God can be made only with a generous heart.”

The bishop joined the students and the 38 visiting priests and religious for dinner following vespers. Bishop Loverde and College Chaplain Fr. Donald Planty stop to take a photo with Senior Christopher Tipton, who just submitted his application for priestly formation in the Arlington Diocese, and Sarah Golden, who will be joining the Poor Clares in Richmond, Va. Since its founding in 1977, Christendom College has helped 69 men and 43 women discern their vocations to the priesthood and religious life, and has had 318 alumnus-to-alumna marriages.

Stations of the Cross

To help the Christendom community grow in the spirit of Lent, a special Stations of the Cross was led by visiting priest, Fr. Brian Bashista, the Vocations Director at the Diocese of Arlington, in Christ the King Chapel on Friday evening. The great majority of Christendom’s students, faculty and staff participated in this beautiful profession of faith, as well as many visiting religious on campus for Discernment Weekend at the college.

Stations of the Cross are said in the Chapel every Friday night in Lent that school is in session.

Discernment and Fun

After Stations of the Cross, students enjoyed some down time with the priests and religious at the “Discernment Nights” for men and women. The men enjoyed pizza and playing dodgeball with the visiting priests and brothers, while the women sang karaoke and played trivia with the sisters.

“I really loved seeing all the different religious orders visiting,” Senior Christine Nussio said. “It’s great seeing how the different orders’ charisms make present the richness of the Faith and witnessing the joy that comes from dedicating one’s life to God.”

Facing off with a Franciscan Friar of the Renewal.

The ladies and sisters enjoyed the trivia game.

Even some of the sisters got up to sing with the students.

Sr. Maria from the Order of the Sacred and Immaculate Hearts of Jesus and Mary enjoys hanging out with Freshmen Teresa Cory and Veronica Placzek.

Breakout Sessions

On Saturday, after opportunities for Mass and Confession, students took advantage of a number of “breakout sessions” on various topics by religious, priests, and married couples. Among the topics were “Dating and Discerning Marriage,” “Life in a Monastery,” “The Day in the Life of a Diocesan Priest,” and “The Life as a Woman Religious.”

College Board Member Bob Crnkovich and his wife, Liz, spoke on "Marriage and Family Life."

Sr. Mary Michael of the Carmelite Sisters of the Divine Heart of Jesus spoke on "Discerning Women's Religious Vocations."

Fr. John-Luke of the Community of St. John spoke on "Life in a Monastery."

Director of Vocations for the Diocese of Arlington Fr. Brian Bashista spoke on "A Day in the Life of A Diocesan Priest."

Athletic Director Chris Vander Woude and his wife, Katy, spoke on "Dating and Discernment."

A collection of the talks given during the weekend can be downloaded at
Christendom on iTunes.


Performing for Padres and Singing for Sisters

In honor of the visiting religious present on Christendom’s campus for Discernment Weekend, a special Pub Night, called “Performing for Padres and Singing for Sisters,” was held in St. Kilian’s Café on Saturday night. Students had the opportunity to talk and visit more with all the visiting priests, nuns, and brothers, while enjoying live entertainment and music from the Jugglers, Kelsey Ingold, Gabrielle Cintorino, and Michael and Katy Arnold.

For many students, the night gave them the opportunity to say goodbye to the departing religious whom they had been with all weekend, and to ask them for parting advice. Other students had the chance to meet those religious whom they had not yet had a chance to talk to.

“I had a great time performing for all the priests and nuns,” says Freshman Katy Arnold. “It was the perfect culmination to a wonderful Discernment Weekend.”

Discernment weekend came to a close with Mass on Sunday..

The jugglers entertained the crowed...

...and went to new heights for the visiting religious.

Sophomore Kelsey Ingold once again impresses everyone with her vocal talent.

Freshman Gabby Cintorino sings for the sisters.

Sophomore Mike Arnold and his sister, Freshmen Katy, perform for the padres.

8-Ball Tournament

During the month of February, Christendom hosted its first (in a long time) annual 8-ball tournament. Starting with a field of 31 entrants, the tournament wound through two preliminary rounds, followed by the quarterfinals, semifinals, and the championship round. In the quarterfinals, Charlie Rollino defeated Peter Hill, David McWhirter eliminated Paul Nangurai, Brian Fox bested Johnny Foeckler, and Brian Killackey outlasted Nick Blank. In the semifinals, Charlie Rollino won over David McWhirter, and Brian Fox defeated Brian Killackey, thereby setting up Monday’s championship match between Charlie and Brian.

The best two-out-of-three championship match was hard fought between two very closely matched opponents. In the end, Brian won two games to none to claim the title. Our congratulations go out to Brian, a very worthy champion, and to all those who participated and made the event a resounding success.

Championship contenders Senior Brian Fox and Junior Charlie Rollino.

Henry Adams and American Higher Education

Author and Professor Dr. Susan Hanssen delivered a lecture entitled “Henry Adams on the Sanity or Suicide of America” to the students and faculty of Christendom College on Monday. The lecture examined the history of education in America and Henry Adam’s perception of it.

In her talk, Hanssen explained that there were three phases in the history of higher education in America: the religious liberal arts college, the multiversity, and then the restoration.

This lecture was part of Christendom's
Faith and Reason Lecture Series and you can more about this fascinating lecture here or listen to at Christendom on iTunes U.


Debating the Issues

Monday night, St. Kilian’s Café was overflowing with enthused students as they gathered to hear Dr. McGuire and Prof. Bersnak debate about the Republican Primary candidates. The event was hosted by Resident Assistants Peter Hill and David McWhirter. The professors had timed debates, and discussed the merits and demerits of each of the candidates, and took questions afterwards. The event was a great way for the students to increase their education on the candidates and get ready to participate in this year’s republican primaries.


Siena and Back to Home Sweet Rome

While I found peace and tranquility in the rustic medieval streets of Assisi, in Siena I found a medieval style, but bustled full of life. Our hotel was located perfectly to look out from the balconies in our rooms to see the rooftops of the city and the Cathedral of Siena.

We started our day on Thursday with Holy Mass in the Chapel in the house of St. Catherine of Siena’s family. Above the high altar in this chapel was the crucifix from which Jesus Christ appeared and gave St. Catherine the stigmata. As Father gave a homily about keeping one’s eyes on Heaven at all times, the architecture and painting on the ceiling that depicted a striking scene of Heaven, lifted everyone up to the same idea. This was the perfect focus as we were in the first days of the Lenten season. After Mass we were able to walk around St. Catherine’s house and see paintings depicting particularly sacred moments in her life and even see her room!

Later in the day, after a hearty meal sampling the cuisine local to that region, we had a tour of Siena that took us to the church, San Domenico, where we were able to see St. Catherine’s head, and also to the Cathedral of Siena called Il Duomo. Il Duomo means literally “The Dome” because it stands solidly above the entire city, and is dedicated to Mary of the Assumption. I could have spent a week in the Duomo discovering all of the artwork and adornment that covered the inside of the Church from top to bottom.

Friday, we were blessed to have Holy Mass at the chapel in the Church of St. Francis where there is a Eucharistic Miracle. In 1730, over 350 consecrated Eucharistic hosts were stolen from the Church and after two days of the whole town praying, the hosts were returned. To this day the sacred hosts have been miraculously untouched by the deterioration of almost 300 years!

It was bittersweet on Saturday, when we were excited to return to Rome, but sad to leave Siena. After our return to Rome, we were able to settle in to our rooms in Residence Candia and start testing out our cooking skills.

On Monday, we were able to have a private Mass at the tomb of St. Peter! The physical part of the Rock upon which Christ build the Catholic Church, the same body that attended the first Mass was twenty feet away from the spot where we were celebrating Mass. Additionally we were surrounded by tombs of two millennia of Popes who followed in his footsteps.

In the afternoon, we had a fun competition that forced us to work together as teams while getting acquainted with the Roman metro-bus systems during a citywide scavenger hunt. It took us past some of the monuments for which Rome is famous. The victors won a dinner cooked by Miss Katy Ott, the Associate Director of the Rome Program, and Miss Elizabeth Walsh, the Residence Coordinator.

This week, we are excited to jump into the one-week marathon of intensive Italian classes to immerse us in the language.

View from a hotel room in Siena.

On tour in Siena.

Group shot in front of the Duomo of Siena.

Why Study at Christendom College?

By History Professor Dr. Brendan McGuire

Christendom College offers the finest curriculum in liberal studies that is available to an undergraduate today. Young men and women who complete Christendom's rigorous academic programs go on to become leaders in a host of professional fields, and there is a reason for that: the kind of education that is offered here has become truly rare, and it sets our alumni apart from their peers.

Christendom College forms students through an intense program of undergraduate studies; whatever their major field may be, all students experience a rigorous core curriculum in which the humanistic subjects, such as history, languages, and literature, are complemented by studies in mathematics, science, philosophy, and Catholic theology. Speculative studies (natural philosophy, metaphysics) are complemented by practical ones (political science, Catholic social teaching, moral theology). The crown jewel of our core curriculum, Christendom's Rome program, allows members of the Junior class to experience first-hand cultural immersion while studying in the bustling heart of the Eternal City. Finally, our students have the opportunity to select from a wide range of majors and minors in liberal studies and the humanities.

In addition to the quality of its academic programs—which are second to none--Christendom College is proud of the fact that our students form deep and abiding friendships while they are here. Friendships forged through the common pursuit of wisdom and holiness are strengthened on the athletic field, on mission trips to the third world, in European travels, through pro-life work in our nation's nearby capital, in the drama and debate societies, and in a host of other ways. Indeed, Christendom offers young men and women a multitude of once-in-a-lifetime experiences and opportunities. The friendships that they forge in the midst of those experiences last far beyond their time among the hallowed halls of the College.


Christendom Rugby Team Crushes American University

In its first-ever home game, the Christendom College rugby team defeated the American University Eagles by a score of 40-7 on February 25.

Playing on the former Warren County Middle School football field, in frigid windy weather, the Christendom Crusaders played one of their best games ever, bringing home a win against a very seasoned and tough team.

Tries were scored by Seniors Gabe Schuberg, Paddy Norton, Matthew Worley, and Junior John Schofield.

The Crusaders next game will be against Catholic University of America on March 17 in DC at noon.

Gabe Schuberg flies down the field.

Ben Scrivner catches the line-out throw.

Coach Briggs addresses the men at halftime.

Conor Knox charges forward. Watch the Ruggers give thanks to God after their game.


Q. I am interested in entering the medical field after college and wanted to know if this was possible if I went to Christendom?

A. Thanks for the question! Well, let me begin by saying that it is quite possible to go to medical school after earning your liberal arts degree from Christendom. In fact, according to a Harvard University report, if you want to be a doctor, it may be more beneficial to earn a liberal arts degree than a pre-med degree.

The report indicates that potential physicians need not insulate themselves from the liberal arts, and in some cases may hurt their chances by doing so. The report showed that although grades and academic honors are important for admission to medical school, a student’s choice of major has no bearing. Dean Whitla, director of Harvard’s office of tests, says:

It would be regrettable if some of our students who plan to become doctors felt that they must turn away from their interest in the liberal arts for fear of being rejected at medical school without a premedical major. At Harvard Medical School, pre-med prepared students do better the first year, but by the third year they fall slightly behind students who majored in the liberal arts.

Although it may take a little extra work to get prepared for the MCATs and medical school, those who have chosen to do so from Christendom have no regrets.

John-Paul Jansen majored in history and graduated from Christendom College in 2000. He is now a physician at Exempla Lutheran Hospital in Colorodo and believes the education he received at Christendom did more than just prepare him for medicine: but it helped him to become someone who understands more of life than simply what is in front of him. It helps him to achieve his goals every day, whether professional, social, or spiritual.

And finally, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC):

As you select a college remember that just as in high school, a good liberal arts education is a key ingredient to becoming a physician. You'll need a strong foundation in mathematics and the sciences that relate most to medicine: biology, general chemistry, organic chemistry, and physics. But it's important for your college experience to be broad. Taking courses in the humanities or liberal arts will help you prepare for the ‘people’ side of medicine. (http://www.aamc.org/students/considering/decision.htm)

So, hopefully you can see that attending Christendom and earning a degree in liberal arts will not limit you in your career choice, but rather, opens it up to many different possibilities, with medicine being only one of them.
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.