Coffee House


Name: Nate Harrington
Bedford, New Hampshire
Undeclared, but possibly a Political Science and History double major.
Any and every sport. Hiking. Reading. Creative Writing.
What is your favorite class or professor?
It’s pretty much impossible to pick just one. Literature 101 with Professor Stanford was amazingly engaging and Philosophy 101 with Professor O’Herron was also a favorite class of mine because it is very challenging and thought provoking and it encourages one to really set aside time after class to delve into the subject material.
What extra-curricular activities do you participate in?
I play varsity baseball, every intramural sport the school offers and hopefully next year, basketball. I also participate in the Debate Society which is a fantastic way to exercise and develop one’s logical thought process and to advance one’s verbal presentation skills.
What is your favorite thing about Christendom?
My favorite thing about Christendom is the authentically Catholic life that you experience everywhere on campus. The communal, spiritual, and academic atmosphere is simply contagious, challenging each and every person to be better.
Why did you choose Christendom?
My sister attended Christendom College back in the day and my family came to visit her one weekend. During those few days, I experienced just a bit of the Christendom experience; attending a dance and going to a bonfire. Everywhere I looked there were people on fire with life and their faith. I was hooked.
What surprises you the most about Christendom?
The campus is fairly small but it’s really surprising how easy it is to get to know everyone on campus on a first name basis. The upperclassmen are friendly and accessible in a way I have never experienced before. Getting to know each student personally is a fantastic opportunity.
What are your plans after graduation?
Travel to anywhere God and the road might take me and eventually graduate or law school.
Any parting words of advice for a prospective student?
Come and visit the college, whether on a visit weekend or through the summer program. Just being with people inflamed with life and the Faith is a powerfully contagious thing. Had I not visited, I never would have even considered Christendom as a viable option. I am very glad I did.


Movie Night with Walter

Students gathered in the basement of the Student Center Friday night for another Movie Night with College Registrar Walter Janaro. This evening’s feature film was “Avalon,” the moving tale of a Polish immigrant family struggling to retain its unity and identity during the upheaval of the modern age in America.

A delicious spread of snacks was provided for the students, and everyone sat back on the comfortable couches in the basement and listened as Walter started out the evening with a brief introduction on the background of the movie. Attendants became engrossed in the poignant story, and approval of Walter’s choice was unanimous. Students came away from the event not only entertained, but also more aware of the challenges that faced immigrants to this country in the early twentieth century.

"Avalon" was nominated for Best Cinematography, Best Costume Design, Best Music, and Best Writing.

Lots of Musical Talent and Humor at Coffee House

Christendom’s diverse pool of talent was once again displayed this past Saturday night, at Coffee House 2013. Each spring, the Student Activities Council hosts this variety show as an opportunity for students to showcase their talents. Hosted by Seniors Kirk Slocum, Dean Dewey, and Thomas Ferrara, this year’s Coffee House was once again a huge success. Students performed a wide variety of acts, ranging from musical performances, Saturday Night Live skits, and stand-up comedy acts, to guitar solos and dance routines. One of the highlights of the evening was the traditional Spring Rome Semester video [check it out in the Rome Report], which included live footage from the election of Pope Francis. There was also a video from the mission trip to Jamaica added to the mix of the night’s entertainment. All in all, it was once again a hugely popular event, as students and faculty alike were kept interested and entertained throughout the night by the range of talent that the students have to offer.

Some students and the Admissions staff perform a combined skit and song.

Guitar hero: senior James Munson.

Peter Spiering gives the audience some big laughs with his stand-up routine.

Seniors Emi Funai, Peter Hill, and Theresa Lamirande perform the SNL skit “The One Upper.”

Sophomore Liz Slaten and Junior Lauren Enk in an opening act for the Girls RA skit.

Juniors Connor Knox and Michael Arnold sang a couple songs for the audience.

Senior Charlie Van Hecke gives the audience a little stand-up comedy show about life at Christendom.

Junior Katie Shannon, and Seniors Mary Bratt, Theresa Lamirande, and Sadie Bratt show their talent.

Senior Dan Mitchell and Freshman Cecilia Flagg perform a brief comedy act.

A group of students performed a medley of Disney songs.

Senior MC's, (L – R) Kirk Slocum, Dean Dewey, and Thomas Ferrara analyzed each performance with humorous reality-show-American-Idolish-commentary.

Freshman Jeremy Minick demonstrates his silly walk to Freshman John Hill in a skit.

Senior Jacob Akers pretends to be a singer on a reality talent show.

Palm Sunday

This week the College celebrated Palm Sunday by gathering in Piazza San Lorenzo for the blessing of the palms and then processed to Christ the King Chapel for Mass.

From Ex Corde Ecclesiae:

Members of this community will be offered opportunities to assimilate Catholic teaching and practice into their lives and will be encouraged to participate in the celebration of the sacraments, especially the Eucharist as the most perfect act of community worship.

Music Professor and Choir Director Dr. Kurt Poterack leads the schola in chants.

College Chaplain Fr. Donald Planty blesses the palms.

Processing into the Christ the King Chapel.

The Ladies' Halls

The second women’s open house of the semester took place last Sunday afternoon. All the girls’ dorms opened their doors to male visitors from one to five o’clock, and a great time was had by all.

“The dorms are always more lively when we have an open house event,” Alexis Witiak said.

The Christendom girls and their guests spent a relaxing few hours, taking a break from homework and other duties to share the afternoon. Laughter and chatter echoed through the halls of Campion, St. Catherine’s and Blessed Margaret’s as students hung out and chatted. From rounds of card games to jam sessions to Nerf gun battles, both the guys and the girls found fun and creative ways to enjoy each other’s company.

As a general rule, men and women are not allowed intervisitation between the single sex dormitories, except for a couple of set days per semester, and these are called Open Houses.

Playing games.

"Fuzzy blue pillow... We don't have these on our side of campus."

March [Weather] Madness

Will spring ever come?

That's what we're all wondering here at Christendom. If the weather predictions are correct, it looks like Easter will bring some warm weather to us. In the meantime, on Monday, the college got dumped with 6-8 inches of snow! Last year at this time, our blossom trees were in full bloom. The unpredictable weather of the Shenandoah Valley keeps things exciting. smile

See the pics below:

Regina Coeli Hall

St. Benedict Hall

John Paul the Great Student Center

Fr. Mark Byrne

The Chronicler’s Emma Seidl sat down with Christendom’s newest chaplain, Fr. Mark Byrne, SOLT, to ask questions about his experience on campus and his insights on life.

Emma: What surprised you most about Christendom?
Fr. Mark: What surprised me most about Christendom is that people are the same everywhere. Even here where the Catholic atmosphere is strong, people still have struggles. We are all humans and no matter where you find yourself there is a darkness and a light, a bad and a good.

E: Do you have any hobbies?
FM: I run every day and I also like to hike and fish. Lately, I have been using my Kindle to listen to stories while I paint.

E: What is your favorite thing about Christendom?
FM: My favorite thing about Christendom is the spiritual life, especially the liturgy, Mass and sacraments that are offered.

E: What is special about the spiritual life at Christendom?
FM: The integration of all the aspects of people’s lives on the campus. The spiritual life isn’t a separate area of life for the people on Christendom’s campus, but instead every part of life flows together.


Orvieto and Palm Sunday with Pope Francis


Time is flying by here in Rome! We are now in the middle of the semester (which also means that we are in the midst of midterms smile), and are realizing that there is still so much to do and see here in Rome and Italy.

Last Tuesday, after attending the installation Mass of Pope Francis, we toured the catacombs of St. Priscilla, which was originally St. Priscilla’s house. There we saw the earliest known image of the Madonna and Child and learned about the history and images which are part of the catacombs. A fun fact about the Catacombs of St. Priscilla is that it has three levels and over 400,000 bodies!!

On Wednesday evening we toured the Roman Rota and were given a very informative tour by our guide, Msgr. Sable, who is an American priest working there as a canon lawyer. We learned that the Roman Rota approximately receives 1,000 requests a year, but can only handle about 400 of them. Apparently, 90% of the cases they receive are for annulments. Afterwards, we went to the Gesu, and were given a tour by seminarian David DuFresne, who is studying at the Pontifical North American College here in Rome. We were able to see the rooms of St. Ignatius, as well as a vestment which he wore and a desk. There was a life-size statue of St. Ignatius, and we soon discovered that he was pretty short! At the Church of the Gesu, we saw the incorrupt arm of Saint Francis Xavier, and prayed before the body of St. Ignatius.

Thursday after classes, a group of us went wine tasting where we learned how to tell what region the wine came from, how to properly smell, taste and swirl the wine. We sampled six different wines-three whites and three reds. It was really fun!

On Friday, most of us opted to travel to Orvieto, a small town in the hills, which is about an hour and a half outside of Rome. Once arriving there, we discovered that the trams which would take us up to the hill would not be running for another hour or so as Italy was on strike for half the day, (which, really does not constitute as a strike if it is a planned, monthly occurrence), so we walked up the steep incline of which, I am happy to relate, we all survived! smile Once there, we visited the Duomo of Orvieto which was built to house the Eucharist Miracle of Bolsena-Orvieto. In 1263, a priest who was experiencing doubts concerning the Real Presence celebrated Mass at the church of St. Christina in Bolsena. As he was speaking the words of consecration, blood started to trickle down from the Host, onto his hands and the altar. The priest immediately went to the Pope, who was at Orvieto at the time, confessed his unbelief and related the account. After investigating the miracle, the pope had the linen cloth (in which one can still see spots of blood) and the Host moved to Orvieto, which, to this day, can still be venerated in the Duomo. At another side chapel one can see a depiction of the Last Judgment by Luca Signorelli, which was said to be the most impressive depiction of the Last Judgment before Michaelangelo painted his Last Judgment in the Sistine Chapel. After a nice lunch, we found some really fun wooden horses (one of them was bigger than life-size!) and set out to explore the city. We saw the first papal palace, discovered a playground where we played freeze tag, and admired the breathtaking scenery! One of the coolest experiences was discovering the church of San Dominico where we saw the crucifix which spoke to St. Thomas Aquinas. On the way back to the train station, we sampled some dried kiwi and apricots, which was absolutely delicious!

Over the weekend, many of us went to the Church of Santa Maria in Cosmedin, a Melkite Church, and one of the minor basilicas here in Rome. We were surprised to find that the skull of Saint Valentine is enshrined there! Outside the Church, we found the Mouth of Truth, which is basically a manhole cover on which a river god is depicted. As there is a medieval legend which states that if a liar places his hand in the mouth, it would be bitten off, we stuck out hands in the mouth of the manhole cover and are happy to relate that none of us lost our hands.

On Saturday, I went to Monte Cassino, where St. Benedict and St. Scholastica are buried, with my roommate, Kelsey, and it was absolutely beautiful! What a special place! The abbey is located on a hill, approximately 1,706 feet high. Since Benedictines take a fourth vow-that of stability-in addition to that of the evangelical counsels, there have always been monks living on that hill ever since St. Benedict founded it in 529. The original monastery was destroyed during World War II, but was soon rebuilt. I honestly think that Monte Cassino is one of my favorite places outside of Rome. The basilica there is absolutely gorgeous-when we were walking through the church, I was in continual awe of it! The marble designs which are basically everywhere throughout the basilica—on the pillars, the floor, the altars—are absolutely spectacular! The ceiling behind the main altar is quite impressive as well, and the crypt will just blow your mind with the mosaics! The mountain has such a peaceful atmosphere to it-it is definitely worth the trip!

On Sunday, the majority of us attended Palm Sunday Mass with the Pope in St. Peter’s Square. What a beautiful Mass it was! We received olive branches and palm branches (the latter were huge!) at the beginning of Mass, At the end of the Mass, we prayed the Angelus with the Pope, and when he drove past us we were two feet away from him! It’s been a great week so far-we have so much to be thankful for! smile

Have a beautiful Triduum and a blessed Easter!

Heading up to Monte Cassino.

The high altar of Monte Cassino.

Exploring the gardens of Monte Cassino.

Fun in Orvieto.

The outskirts of the medieval fortress town of Orvieto.

A view from Orvieto's fortress.

The gorgeous facade of Orvieto's Duomo.

Chillin' with Pinocchio.

The Duomo of Orvieto holds a Eucharistic miracle.

Bruschetta! Dining in Orvieto.

Palm Sunday in St. Peter's Square.

Keeping a look out for the pope.

Ciao, Papa Francesco!

Watch the Rome Students submission for this year's Coffee House:


Crusaders Defeat the Patriots of George Mason University

Going into Saturday's game, the Christendom Crusaders knew it would be no walk over. This was not Hampden-Sydney College, it was the prestigious George Mason University with a student population of 25,000 strong. Coach Smith had to make sure the Crusaders were mentally and physically prepared for what was sure to be a hard fought contest.

"Coach definitely thought we would win as long as we kept our heads in the game and left it all out on the field," Sophomore Hal Kokes said.

And that is exactly what the Crusaders would do. For the third game in a row the Crusaders would score early, never trail and complete the day with another dominating 29-17 victory.

Senior Rob Hambleton turned in another outstanding performance and helped the Crusaders get out to a fast start, scoring the first try early in the first period. Freshman Sean Salmon and Junior Conor O'Donnell would each add tries of their own.

When asked what the key to the victory was, Kokes said, "When we had the ball we were able to pound them effectively with our forwards to allow the backs to run around the sides."

Freshman Pat Audino further praised the effective play of the backs.

"The multiphase play was the key to the win," Audino said. "We were able to wear their defense down and spread them out."

After wearing the George Mason defense down with strong play in the middle from the forwards the Crusaders took advantage of the speed and agility of their backs to gain several pivotal tries. Yet it was not simply an offensive clinic that led to the victory. The Crusader defense, anchored by Senior RobHambleton and Junior Ben Scrivener, smothered the George Mason attack.

"We finally started to avoided the penalties that allowed George Mason to stay close," Sophomore Bobby Crnkovich said. "The key was our ability to stay low on the tackles and the solid rucking."

Close is all George Mason would ever get. The Crusaders held the lead and advanced their undefeated season one game further.

Bobby Crnkovich flies forward.

Crusader ruggers dominate the pitch.

Unstoppable Robbie Hambleton.

James Hannon breaks through the Patriot defense.


Q. I missed the March 1 application deadline, yet, I am still thinking I might want to attend this fall. HELP!

A. There's nothing to worry about. Well, I guess I shouldn't say "nothing," but there's still a good chance we can get you in this fall....if you hurry!

We are looking to bring in about 125 students this fall. Right now, we have about 100 people signed up, and we are awaiting about another 50 peoples' response. If all 50 of those accepted students end up saying, "Christendom is for me" and sending in their deposits, well, we are full and the waiting list will begin. But, most likely, about 50% of these 50 students (25) will say "YES" to Christendom and so, we will be at our 125 mark by May 1. Of course, some of those who have sent in their deposits already and claimed a spot in the Class of 2017 will have a change of heart and, sadly, will choose another college over Christendom and give up their spot to someone else.

The bottom line is this. There is a lot of people coming and going between now and May 1, so my suggestion to you is to apply and get your application in by mid-April so that you can be ready for acceptance when we find out we have a couple of openings. The online application is free, and it's not all that involved either—just a couple of essays, some letters of recommendation, transcripts, and your standardized test scores, and you will be all set.

For some current seniors, they may be all set on their college choice for the fall, and that's great for them. Others are still wondering what God wants for them, and to those I say, apply to Christendom so that you can have another option for college, and who knows, maybe it will be God's option for you. But, until you apply, you will never know for sure!

If I can be of any assistance to you as you go through the application process, please do not hesitate to contact me. Also, Sadie Bratt will be your Admissions Counselor and will walk you through every step of the process.

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.