35th Celebrations Begin


Name: Emma Seidl
Age: 18
Cochecton, New York
Political Science
Playing soccer and softball, singing, writing, and taking pictures. (Photography is my de-stressor.)
What is your favorite class? If I had to choose a favorite class so far, it would have to be English 101 with Dr. Thomas Stanford. He’s very enthusiastic about literature and has helped me look at pieces, such as Homer’s famous epic. The Iliad, on a deeper level.
What extra-curricular activities do you participate in?
I really enjoy the intramurals offered, as well as being able to perform at pub-night. I also work for The Chronicler as a photographer and am looking forward to attending a mission trip this spring.
What is your favorite thing about Christendom?
I would have to say the supportive and friendly environment. Just knowing that both the professors and students here are all willing to help each other both academically and spiritually is very comforting.
Why did you choose Christendom?
Ultimately, the reason had more to do with the faithful Catholic atmosphere than anything else. The education offered here is fantastic, but, more importantly. We all support one another in our spiritual lives, not to mention that opportunities, such as attending mission trips, are offered to everyone.
What surprises you the most about Christendom? All of the different types of people that are here.
What are your plans after graduation? I would love to become involved with non-profit organizations.
Any parting words of advice for a prospective student? Keep an open mind from day one and seize every opportunity that may come your way. Become involved with any part of campus you may be interested in!


Never Forget

“We will never forget.”

These words resounded throughout the nation on September 11, 2012, as our country took time to remember the anniversary of the deadly terrorist attacks, and Christendom College was no exception.

A crowd gathered behind the Regina Coeli building to attend a prayerful commemoration of this fateful day led by Chaplain Fr. Donald Planty. Members of the Christendom College choir started off the ceremony by giving a powerful rendition of “America the Beautiful.” Students and faculty alike then watched as Father blessed the flag, which was then raised to half-mast by sophomores and Eagle Scouts Stephen Treacy and Philip Gilbert.

Father led the crowd in a prayer for our country which was written by Bishop John Carroll, the first Roman Catholic bishop and archbishop in the United States. The memorial ended with the whole crowd proudly singing the national anthem.

Fr. Planty blesses the flag.

President O’Donnell and participants say the Pledge of Allegiance.

The flag is raised to half-mast in honor of the victims.

The Pope's Theologian Comes to Christendom

Rev. Wojciech Giertych, the Theologian of the Papal Household, addressed the students and faculty last Friday. Part of the college's 35th Anniversary Academic Convocation Weekend, Rev. Giertych, who spoke on the Polish historian Feliks Koneczy, received an honorary doctorate—his first ever—during a special ceremony in front of the entire college community.

As the Theologian of the Papal Household, Rev. Giertych serves as a private theological consultant to the Pope. He has the task of providing the Holy Father with advice on theological issues, and checking all papal texts to ensure that ideas are conveyed with clarity, as well as serving as a sounding board for the Pope's theological ideas. Since the Middle Ages, the post has been held by Dominicans.

“Since [Koneczy] disagreed with the Marxist claim that the class struggle is the motor of history and instead saw the role of morality in history, he was condemned to oblivion in the communist period,” Giertych said.

Read this fascinating lecture here or listen to it at Christendom on iTunes U.

Fr. Giertych celebrated Mass for the College on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

On Friday, the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, the College's relic of the True Cross was on display for veneration.

Rev. Giertych receives the honorary doctorate from College President Timothy O'Donnell.

Rev. Giertych chats with students following his talk.

Following the address, students and faculty enjoyed a festive reception in Piazza San Lorenzo.

Fireworks lit up the sky during the festive reception.


Shield of Roses

Last week, 20 students attended Shield of Roses, Christendom's pro-life prayer club that travels into D.C. every week to prayerfully protest Planned Parenthood. So far this semester, Shield has been a success with an average of almost thirty students in attendance each week.

"It's really encouraging to see so much enthusiasm among the students, especially the freshmen," remarked senior Chris Roberts, president of Shield. "If this keeps up, we are really hopeful that this year will be a success."

Last week, by the grace of God, one young woman decided to keep her baby.

Students kneel as they pray the sorrowful mysteries of the Rosary in front of the Planned Parenthood abortuary.

35th Anniversary Dance
Part of the College's celebrations for the 35th Anniversary was a semi-formal dance held on Saturday. The outside of Saint Lawrence Commons was decorated to fit the elegant theme. A tent, covering the main fountain, was strung with lights and bouquets of beautiful white flowers. It was obvious by just looking at the decorations, that a lot of time and energy was put into making the celebration as nice as possible. Once guests arrived, dressed in their best attire, the dancing began to pick up.

“The entire celebratory weekend was a fantastic way to celebrate the 35th anniversary of our college!” said Sophomore Mark Turner.

As the night progressed, swing dancing quickly turned into a night of the Virginia Reel and cotton eye joe. It was another night of great dancing, food, and company, to celebrate an important milestone in the history of Christendom College.

Sophomore Steven Treacy swings it up with partner Gabi Muskett.

Freshman Madeleine Deighan enjoys a dance with Junior Andrew Clark.

Blessing the Founder's Headstone

On Sunday, following the 10 a.m. community Mass, Fr. Donald Planty and Fr. Giertych led a procession to the resting place of College founder Dr. Warren Carroll. There Fr. Planty blessed the new beautifully hand-crafted headstone.

Check out the video below:

Wiffleball Finals Heat Up the Gym

The opening game of the wiffleball finals pitted Team Blank vs. Team Rollino to decide who would advance to the intramural semi-final. Despite lacking their power hitter Melody Wood, who was recently placed on injured reserves, the Blanks, along with Junior Sean LaRochelle, would capture a 3-1 victory behind a two run homer by Senior Nicholas Blank and a solo shot by Freshman Peter Blank. A late home run by Junior Jon Fioramonti would not be enough as the Blanks would advance to the Semi-Final to take on Peter Hill, Pat Audino, John McWhirter, and Jeremy Minick. Heading into the second, the Blanks trailed 3-2 and were unable to stage a late comeback. A dominating four strikeout pitching performance by Freshman Jeremy Minick and a two run Homerun by Pat Audino, along with Peter Hill’s RBI single, brought Team Hill into the final. There they would face Team Mitchell, coming off an exciting semi-final victory that was capped off by Senior Dan Mitchell’s walk off homerun.

The Championship game couldn’t have started off much worse for Team Hill, as four consecutive walks gave Team Mitchell an early lead and loaded the bases for Senior Dan Mitchell. He would capitalize on the opportunity with a two-run RBI double giving Team Mitchell an early 3-0 lead. Mitchell would add a Grand Slam to go along with another homerun from sophomore John David Speer allowing Team Mitchell to cruise to a 9-3 victory to take home the championship.

Music Appreciation Night

_MG_0062Classical music filled Kilian’s Café Wednesday evening as students were treated to this year’s first Music Appreciation Night. The new event consisted of a couple hours devoted to allowing students to spend time in quiet relaxation and study while listening to different classical pieces and learning about the composers who wrote them. Theology Professor Raymund O’Herron hosted the evening and began by introducing the featured piece, Russian Easter Overture, and giving some history about the composer, Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov.

“It was a refreshing and effective way to re-group and organize my thoughts,” said Sophomore Peter Duecher.

As the music played over the stereo, some students sat quietly and listened, while others used this as a time to get some studying or reading done. Mr. O’Herron put on two more pieces after Rimsky-Korsavok, and preceded each one by giving some background. Everyone enjoyed Concerto for Piano and Orchestra by Edvard Grieg, and the night ended on an elegant note with Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9.

The college plans to host at least two more Music Appreciation Nights during the fall semester, each hosted by a different professor.


Ciao and Welcome to Rome!

So much has happened in the past few weeks!

To catch you up a little… the Rome semester begins a little later than school normally does, so students took advantage of the extra time by beginning their European experience by country-hopping. Leaving at the end of August, I traveled with two friends to Ireland, England, France, and Belgium enjoying each of the different cultures – from Belgian waffles to Mass at Notre Dame to watching the Taming of the Shrew at the Globe Theater. We also met up under the Eiffel Tower with other students traveling beforehand and were able to swap stories. Besides being able to experience different countries, we realized one of the biggest benefits of traveling before the semester is the ability to beat jet-lag. The minute we arrived in Residence Candia (the hotel we’ll call home for the next three months) the coordinators and alumni Elizabeth Walsh and Gabe Schuberg gave us a quick introduction to the program and then we were off to Assisi and Siena for a week long pilgrimage.

The trip began in Assisi, a small but charming town made famous by two great saints born there. Walking down the same streets as Sts. Francis and Clare it was impossible not to enter into the meditative spirit of the pilgrimage. We enjoyed several tours to the local churches– it’s amazing that such a small town has so many! Among the number we visited were the Cathedral of San Rufino (where Clare and Francis were both baptized), the Basilica of Santa Chiara (housing both St. Clare’s relics and the cross of San Damiano), and the Basilica of San Francesco d’Assisi (where St. Francis died and was buried.) We were blessed to have Father Bergida, a friend of Christendom College, traveling with us to say Mass at many of the churches and shrines, including the tomb of St. Francis, the Church of San Damiano (famously rebuilt by St. Francis), and the Basilica of Santa Maria degli Angeli. I will always remember the basilica because we visited and celebrated Mass there on the anniversary of September 11th. Also during our tour of the basilica, our tour guide pointed out a plaque commemorating the first International Meeting of Prayer for Peace proposed by Pope John Paul II in 1986. The concept of international religious leaders convening to pray together at the basilica was powerful and our visit on the anniversary of a day torn by religious animosity could not have been better planned.

After staying in Assisi for four days, the second leg of our pilgrimage took us to Siena, the city of St. Catherine. We were surprised and excited to find our hotel was situated directly beside the Sanctuary of St. Catherine, originally her family home. Though we had less time in the larger city than we’d had in small Assisi, we discovered Siena holds its own charm. For instance, the city is still divided into contrada, each represented by an animal or mascot and having its own boundary and distinct identity. Reminiscent of medieval times, the tradition leads to much rivalry, especially twice a year during the Palio horse race. The entire city congregates in the main piazza to watch the race, beginning with the dedication of the horses in various churches (yes, the horse is in the church) in the contrada districts. The winning contrada celebrates with a huge feast prepared for weeks and celebrated in October. The people of Siena know how to celebrate. We were able to see the horse-shaped tent being constructed by the contrada of the Dolphin, the recent victors. The feasting at the long tables would continue for days, the winning horse naturally honored with the seat at the head of the table. Though sad we were just missing the feast, we were all anxious to return to Rome and to begin classes.

When we arrived back at Residence Candia, we were given our room assignments and contrada titles for each room. The first afternoon we had in Rome was spent on a scavenger hunt around the city, intended to help us figure out the bus and metro system…and encourage healthy rivalry between the contradas. Despite our loss, I offered to make the team dinner to celebrate. Fast-forward through preparing the pasta and maybe spilling the entire platter on the floor as I went to serve it, the evening ended with crackers, salsa, soda and good company.

There’s something about being in Rome that makes everything okay.

Chillin' at Kilkenny Castle, Ireland.

Traveling to the Rock of Cashel in Ireland.

On tour in Assisi.

Group shot at the Basilica of Santa Maria degli Angeli.

Dining with Fr. Bergida.

The glorious facade of the Duomo in Siena.

On tour in Siena.

On the scavenger hunt in Rome at Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi in Piazza Navona.

An Unparalleled Catholic Identity

“Catholicism is the air we breathe.”

This well-known motto of Christendom College describes how a joyful Catholic spirit permeates every aspect of campus life in a strong yet natural way.

Spiritual life on campus is strong. There is daily Mass, frequent Confession, and plenty of opportunities for personal spiritual growth, from the Oremus Prayer Group to Shield of Roses, to mission trips.
Christendom’s Catholic identity presents itself in academics too. All the courses taught on campus are imbued with a Catholic perspective.

“Learning from a Catholic viewpoint has made me realize how all of the classes, pertaining in some way or another to Christianity, are intrinsically connected to each other,” explains freshman Elisabeth Willson.

The professors are all Catholic, and annually make a Profession of Faith before the Bishop and take the Oath of Fidelity to the Magisterium, promising to be faithful to the Church in everything they teach. Moreover, they serve as role models for students.

“Last year, I was able to participate in the 'Help the Homeless' Program with Prof. Brown and it was a life-changing experience bringing the love of Christ outside of Christendom by serving others," says Junior Maribeth Kelly. "It is a blessing to have so many professors who are so dedicated to these ministries.”

Christendom residence life itself promotes and cultivates virtue. From the modesty dress code to inter-visitation policies in the dorms, the rules governing Christendom’s student body emphasize the Christian dignity of each student. Even dorm life promotes the Faith in its own way—floor activities allow residents to bond and spend quality time together doing a floor Holy Hour or Rosary, or merely having fun doing things such as apple picking.

Sophomore Leif Pilegaard sees the natural incorporation of the Faith into everyday activities as a unique aspect of Christendom that bolsters his own character.

“It’s awesome that Christendom is so Catholic because when I go outside my study time to be with my friends and participate in activities, I know I will have a great time because Christendom has taught me through its Catholic identity to do every act for Jesus and for the love of my neighbor,” he says.

Find out more here.


Epic: Upper vs. Under

Over 3000 years ago there was David vs. Goliath. Thirty-Two years ago there was the Miracle on Ice. Five years ago there was the great super bowl upset of the Giants over the undefeated Patriots. And then there was the Upper vs. Under Game last Sunday. But for this young freshman team there would be no duplication of any of these historic upsets.

From the opening whistle to the last drive the team of sophomores, juniors, and seniors would dominate all aspects of the game. Led by the superb senior quarterback Nicholas Blank, who threw for three touchdowns, and a backfield featuring Junior Johnny Foeckler (one rushing TD), and sophomores Thomas Maurer (two rushing TDs), and Larry Urgo (two rushing TDs) the Upper’s offense would lead the way to a near flawless 54-0 victory.

Yet the defense, led by senior Mark Hepler (three sacks), sophomore defensive tackle Micah Davis (eight solo tackles), and free safety Charlie Rollino (one interception) was equally impressive in the shutout performance. They did not allow a first down until the last drive and forced four turnovers. The Under’s offense, led by Nate Harrington at quarterback, had little room to breathe as the Upper line, anchored by Hepler and sophomore Bobby Crnkovich, dominated the war in the trenches and applied constant pressure to an inexperienced offensive unit.

On the Under’s side freshman quarterback Harrington was complemented at tailback by Ryan Tappe, (who also started in the secondary and contributed the Under team’s only interception) and wide out Jeremy Minick. Will Scrivener was one of the Under team’s most versatile weapons, as he helped secure both lines while also serving as tight end and fullback.

In the end though the speed, strength, athleticism, and execution of the Upper’s squad could not be matched and this game will go into the books as another blowout in a long series of lopsided Upper vs. Under games.

Andrew Clark falls backward for the touchdown pass.

Sophomore Larry Urgo flies down field.

Freshman Nick Murphy takes the ball up field.

Freshman Nate Harrington looks for his open man.

Q. I was wondering about the financial aid statement on your website which says that some student loans can be deferred for lay apostolic work and missionary work. Can the same amount of debt be paid off for missionary workers as for those entering the priesthood/religious life? What kinds of missionary or apostolic work and how many years of it can qualify someone for debt forgiveness, and how much debt can missionaries expect to be paid off?

A. Here's the deal.

If a student gets loans from Christendom, and then they decide to pursue a vocation and enter a house of formation or seminary (for an order that takes a vow of poverty), then they do not need to pay back their loans, and no interest accrues during that time. If they end up saying final vows or getting ordained, the debt is completely forgiven and erased. If they end up coming out and choosing to not join a religious order that takes a vow of poverty, then they have to start paying back the loan.

We are able to do this because we do not take Federal funds and when our students get loans, they get them from us (the money comes from our generous donors rather than Uncle Obama and taxpayers), and that is why we are able to forgive the debt in this manner.

If someone ends up deciding to do some type of apostolic/missionary work after graduation, they can take up to four years of not paying anything back toward their loans, and during this time, no interest accrues either. This applies to people who go to graduate school as well. People can pay money back during these four years, and any money they pay back will have not accrued any interest. So, after four years of paying the loan down, whatever amount is left will be the amount that interest is computed on.

Only those entering religious life or priesthood who take a vow of poverty can be forgiven of their debt. Someone can work for a Catholic apostolate, such as Christendom or a Catholic school or parish or pro-life group, or they can actually do missionary work overseas or in the US. Basically, the group has to be recognized as a Catholic apostolate by the Catholic Church.

And finally, anyone interested in knowing if they are eligible for loans and grants from Christendom is welcome to fill in our
Financial Aid Estimator. You can do so anytime between now and December 1.
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.