A New Year & Music


Name: Bridget McMahon
Front Royal, VA
Philosophy (hopefully)
Basketball, volleyball
Who's your favorite professor or class? Prof. Mark Wunsch's Philosophy of Human Nature. I love trying, at least, to understand more of human nature, and Philosophy forces me to think in a different way from what I'm used to.
What extra-curricular activities do you participate in? I play varsity basketball and volleyball, as well as try to participate in intramural sports. It's such a great way to become friends with people who may not be part of my group or in my class.
What is your favorite thing about Christendom? The classes and teachers. Being able to learn about the Catholic faith, its history and foundation, from people who love it and love the truth is truly amazing, and it is a great basis for whatever I do after school.
Why did you choose Christendom?
In the beginning, because my family wanted me too. But now that I'm here, I'm glad they did!
What surprises you the most about Christendom? I never knew how fun a small a school could be! It's a lot easier to know everyone - even easier than I thought.
What are your plans after graduation? I have so many! I just have to decide which one is the one God wants for me.
Any parting words of advice for a prospective student? Pray about it. You don't have to know what you want to do with the rest of your life to come here, but it's a good step in whatever direction you end up going in.



New Year's Party

Last Monday, students gathered in St. Kilian’s Café to both celebrate the New Year, and enjoy one last party before the school semester kicked off. The building was packed with friends who had not seen each other for a month, and many reunions were made with Juniors returning from Rome. People shared the stories of their Christmas breaks, and caught up with each other. With good conversation and companionship in abundance, many enjoyed a friendly card game or a turn at the billiards table.

“I loved being back, and seeing all my friends,” said freshman Brad Torline. “It was great seeing the community back together again. And of course a game of cards with Padre Planty is always a blast!”
Drinks and snacks were served up by the Student Activities Council which hosted this celebration of a new calendar year, and the start of the spring semester. Music played in the background, giving the café a fun and welcoming atmosphere to all new and returning students.

Senior Nick Blank, freshman Will Stamper, senior John McWhirter, and College Chaplain Fr. Planty enjoy a game of cards.

Senior Steven Wood and Sophomore Tim Nodar catch-up.

Friends reunited ring in the new year.

Turning to God: A Formation Series Talk

The spring semester Student Life Formation Series kicked off last Tuesday evening, with a visit from Mr. Kevin Murphy, a personal friend of College Chaplain Fr. Donald Planty. Focusing primarily on the dangers and solutions of alcoholism, Mr. Murphy delivered an emotional and gripping talk to the entire student body.

“It was a really unique talk in many ways,” said Sophomore Adrienne Willard. “Since he had never really given a talk like that before, it really seemed to bring him down to the level of the students. Because of that, it was easier to relate to him.”

Born into a Catholic family, Murphy fell away from his faith for many years as he struggled with his alcoholism. After bouncing back to his faith and a full life—thanks in part to Alcoholics Anonymous—Murphy now works in sales, and is himself a mentor for Alcoholics Anonymous. After relating several stories and experiences from his life, Mr. Murphy concluded by emphasizing that the only true solution to the problem was God.

“I know it may sound cheesy, but I turn to God,” Mr. Murphy stated. “That's just what I do. And it's the only thing that worked.”

Murphy addresses the students.

Blessing Our New FM Radio Station

On January 18, Arlington Bishop Paul S. Loverde celebrated Mass at Christendom College and blessed the radio tower and transmitter of the college's new Catholic radio station WXDM 90.3 FM. The station, which launched late last year, is the first Catholic radio station to broadcast from Virginia.

During his homily, the bishop commended the college on the launch of the station.

"How proud I am as your diocesan Bishop and Shepherd. How proud you all must be to witness today the inauguration of a grace-filled opportunity at Christendom by beginning your own local FM radio station with the call letters WXDM at 90.3," Bishop Loverde said. "Through this modality, the good news will be transmitted to many people whom you and I would otherwise never reach or contact. And so, with you, I beseech our Blessed Lord to bless in every way and to prosper this good work, which has been undertaken."

Click here to find out more about Radio Christendom.

Bishop Loverde blesses the congregation during the recessional.

Following the blessing, College President Dr. Timothy O'Donnell, Bishop Loverde, and Catholic Radio Association President Steve Gajdosik stand in front of the WXDM tower located behind Crusader Gymnasium.

A Sweet Night of Nutella

The Italian phrase “il dolce far niente” is translated as “the sweetness of doing nothing.” The first Friday night of the new semester could be described quite literally by this poetic phrase.

Nutella Night, hosted by the returning juniors from Rome, was a night spent in conversation and laughs, with delicious desserts close by. The event, held in Regina Coeli, was meant to introduce current freshman with the juniors who spent last semester in Rome. And what better way to break the ice than by sharing a jar of Nutella while talking about the beautiful city of Rome?

“I loved being able to finally put faces to names and hear about everyone’s Rome experience," said freshman Madi Jennings. "Every conversation made me even more excited to attend the Rome Program.”

Freshmen Pete Ruhl and Chris Scotto show up to meet some juniors.

A night spent welcoming the returning Juniors from Rome, with delicious desserts and many laughs.

Cup o' Coeli

The first Saturday of new semester featured the annual musical event Cup O’ Coeli. Set in the cozy and intimate atmosphere of the Chester-Belloc Room of Regina Coeli Hall, this winter showcase of students’ musical talent has always been a favorite of students. A standing-room only crowd packed the room to enjoy a wide variety of fantastic musical performances.

"I am always amazed at the diverse and exciting assortment of musical talent at our school," said sophomore Maria Bonvissuto.

Students sat entranced by beautiful guitar and a capella pieces, laughed at hilarious songs, including those by Katie Shannon and also members of the Writing Center, and clapped along to rousing Irish songs played by the trio “Roamin’ Catholics” (Juniors Connor Knox and Michael Arnold, along with Sophomore Peter Romanchuk). The line-up also contained quite a few dynamic sibling duos that brought down the house with their performances. In between acts, the audience was able to enjoy an incredible spread of food and entertainment from emcees Nate Collins and Peter Foeckler.

Sophomore Gabrielle Cintorino plays an original piece.

Sibling duo: sophomore Katy and junior Michael Arnold.

The “Roamin’ Catholics” play a rousing Irish song.

Senior Sarah Halbur and sophomore Leif Pilegaard teamed up to treat the audience to some impressive fiddle playing.

Freshman Suzy Curran performs “Brick by Brick.”

Seniors Theresa Lamirande and Eric Maschue show off their impressive harmonies.

MC's Senior Nate Collins and Sophomore Peter Foeckler keep the crowd entertained in between acts.

Sophomore Megan Kesckes gives an amazing performance on the guitar.

Brothers John and Peter Hill show off their musical talent.

Swing 'n' Sundaes

On Sunday, the first Swing 'n' Sundaes event of the year brought the St. Lawrence Commons to life. Picking up right where last semester left off, students kept the dance floor moving late into the evening, enjoying traditional Christendom swing music, and if necessary, help from an instructor. Associate Director of Admissions, Zac Inman, who serves as the Staff Moderator for Swing 'n' Sundaes, was very happy with the turnout.

“The numbers were great,” he said. “It was close to the biggest crowd we've had. It was almost like an actual school dance. Hopefully we can build on this, and continue with this much success in the future.”

With a great mix of people from all classes, Sunday night was a night of great fun, music, companionship, and dancing, topped off by a delicious serving of ice cream.

Sophomore Grace O'Reilly and Junior Conor O'Donnell get into the groove of the music.

Senior Phil Briggs and Freshman Cecilia Flagg share a laugh on the dance floor.

Swing 'n Sundaes organizer Catherine McFadden and Head RA Dan Mitchell enjoy the 'sundae' part of the event.

Senior Bailey Lowe gets a swingin' dip from senior Peter Spiering.

Juniors Brendan Vieira and Margaret Santschi swing away.

Juniors Conor Knox and Marissa DePalma dance to a tune.

Meet Dr. Andrew Beer

Chronicler Reporter Maria Bonvissuto caught up with Classics and Early Christian Studies Professor Dr. Andrew Beer last week to ask him a few questions about his teaching experience at Christendom.

Maria: Where were you educated and how did you end up at Christendom?
Dr. Beer: I was educated at Hillsdale College, Bryn Mawr College, and the University of Virginia. Last spring I applied for the Visiting Lectureship in the Department of Classical & Early Christian Studies. I was very happy to get this position and to accept a full-time position in the fall.

M: What classes do you teach?
DB: Latin 101-102 and Latin 201-202.

M: What do you like most about Christendom?
DB: The Catholic community.

M: What surprised you most about Christendom?

DB: The moderation with which technology is used at Christendom. This was a pleasant surprise.

M: What are your areas of expertise and/or research?

DB: Greek and Latin literature, especially epic poetry and Plato.

M: Do you have any hobbies?

DB: Spending time with my family. Following the Chicago Cubs.

M: What kind of professional activities and/or associations are you involved in?

DB: I'm a member of the American Philological Association and the Classical Association of the Midwest and South. At the University of Virginia I participated in the St. Anselm Institute for Catholic Thought.

M: What would you say to those who claim that studying Latin and Classics is impractical in today's world?

DB: Studying Latin and Greek is an excellent way to learn about the structure of language itself. The Greeks and Romans first named and studied the basic functions of language, and we still use the names they invented whenever we study a language grammatically. Study of Latin and Greek makes us able to think about language with greater understanding and sophistication and to speak with greater clarity and elegance--skills that are useful in virtually every human pursuit. Apart from this practical utility, Latin and Greek are also languages of gigantic beauty, and Greek and Latin literature an inexhaustible source of delight.


Crusader Basketball Back in Action

After a long and well-deserved Christmas vacation things are back in full swing on campus. For the basketball teams, the season got into action very quickly with classes starting last Tuesday and the first games being just last weekend. So with a few practices under their belts, the teams took to the hard-court for another month of basketball before the end of the season.

The Lady Crusaders hosted Appalachian Bible College this past Friday evening for the opening game of the semester. The team welcomed sophomores Julie McMahon and Clare Duda to the team as they said goodbye to Hannah Ethridge and Klarissa Blank who will be headed to Rome in just a short time. Under first-year head coach Katy Vander Woude, the team took control of the game early with 5-points from freshman Bridget McMahon. Appalachian fought back to take a two-point lead going into halftime. The Lady Crusaders came out in the second half determined to revenge the previous loss to Appalachian in November. Behind 13-points from junior Bridget Vander Woude, and a career high 10 points for Bridget McMahon, the Lady Crusaders held on and sealed the win by a final score of 46-38.

The very next day the Lady Crusader were back at it when they hosted Shenandoah Chesapeake Conference opponent Mid-Atlantic University from Elizabeth City, NC. The Lady Crusaders took an early lead, but Mid-Atlantic went on an offensive barrage reigning down three pointers. The Mustangs of MACU finished the game shooting a tremendous percentage from the field. Benita Boyd led all scorers with 17 points. The hot shooting from the Mustangs and back-to-back games was too much for the Lady Crusaders as MACU would take the victory.

The team is off until Wednesday when they travel to Trinity University and then host Lord Fairfax next Saturday.

The men’s basketball team also got back to action this past weekend when they hosted Appalachian Bible on Saturday. The teams met back in late November with Appalachian claiming a narrow victory. Despite just a few practices prior to the game the Crusaders came out with hustle and determination. Senior Mark Hepler—often the personification of hustle—took two charges during the game which was a highlight to the team and fans. Jonathan Fioramonti and Brian McCrum despite leaving for Rome in the upcoming weeks were able to play in the game and contributed on both ends. Fioramonti along with Hepler played tremendous individual defense on Noah Smith, the 3 point sharp-shooter of Appalachian. The duo held him to just 8 points including no made three pointers compared to the 20 points he accumulated in the first match. Freshman John Hill who started his first game for the Crusaders also gave the team a much needed lift on the boards and on the defensive end. Jeremy Minick continued his strong play as he finished barely missing a double-double—scoring 28 points and dishing out a game-high 9 assists. The Crusaders built a 7-point lead late in the second half, but the Appalachian team fought back to cut it to 3 points. Nevertheless, repeated defensive stops by the Crusaders ensured the victory as the team went to 1-0 for the semester.

The team hosts Mid-Atlantic Christian on Saturday and Patrick Henry College on Monday.

Jeremy Minick looks to add two more to the Crusaders' score.

Senior Tim McPhee takes it to the hole.

Q. I am really good at my math and science-related subjects in high school, yet, I also like the idea of Christendom’s liberal arts curriculum, which doesn’t seem to offer much in the math and science department. Is there some way that I can do both if I attend Christendom?

A. This is a very common question that is asked of me, and I am glad that I can once again try my hand at giving you a suitable answer.

From my understanding, normally, the reason people like math/science related subjects is because their brains are wired that way and they like the idea of things being black and white, right and wrong, objectively true rather than subjectively true. Additionally, they are interested in the reasons why things are the way they are, thus the desire to understand how things work and operate through the sciences.

When I came to Christendom as a freshman many years ago, I was the math kid. It was my favorite subject. I scored 200+ points higher on the math section of my SAT than on the reading section. My Dad has an Electrical Engineering degree, two of my brothers have computer science degrees, one of my brothers has a doctorate in Electrical Engineering, and my sister is a math teacher. Math seemingly runs through my blood.

But I am here to tell you that Christendom has many offerings for those who tend toward “right side of the brain” activities. We offer many math classes (in which one can get a minor in math, if desired)
  • Introduction to Mathematical Thought
  • Euclidean Geometry
  • College Algebra and Trigonometry
  • Computer Programming
  • Calculus I, II, III
  • Linear Algebra
  • Probability and Statistics
  • Symbolic Logic
  • Modal Logic
  • Mathematical Logic
  • Differential Equations
And we also offer a number of science courses as well:
  • Introduction to Scientific Thought
  • Descriptive Astronomy
  • General Physics I and II
  • Laboratory for General Physics I & II
And besides the actual math and science offerings, there are many subjects that work well with the “right side of the brain” people. If people like objective truth, it doesn’t get much more objective than Theology. If people like to figure things out and learn to understand what makes things tick, then Philosophy is the subject to study. History is also very good for people who like to keep things objective. Studying these subjects definitely fulfills the needs of a “right brain” person, so it is not always necessary to actually study math/science in college, even if it is your favorite subject. Take it from me, a Theology major.

Finally, I wanted to let you know something that my brother, Michael, told me a while back. He came to Christendom for two years and took all the core curriculum courses that were offered (history, Theology, philosophy, political science, English), as well as a whole bunch of math classes. After two years, he decided that he wanted to do electrical engineering, so he transferred to George Mason University.

Because he had taken so many math courses at Christendom he didn’t need to take any more math courses to fulfill his degree in engineering, and he finished up with his EE degree in just three additional years. He eventually went on to get his doctorate in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Delaware. He currently works in Texas and recently told me that he tends to use more of what he learned in his two years at Christendom than he does all the scientific stuff he studied for 8 years. I asked him why and he said that it is because scientists spend much of their time doing various projects, and when the project is over, there needs to be some sort of synopsis or paper written up about it. As a result of his Christendom liberal arts education, he says that he is quite often selected to be the project manager and therefore, the one responsible for writing up the findings. So, there’s something to be said for a well-rounded, well-read scientist.

For more information on our math/science department
please click here.
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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.