Welcome, Cardinal Arinze!


Name: Madison Jennings
Mazama, Washington
Painting, photography, baking, and playing the ukulele and piano
What is your favorite class or professor?
I don't believe that I would be able to actually choose a favorite professor. Although I know that my favorite class currently is Philosophy 102: Philosophy of Human Nature with Dr. Snyder. This course has really explained many of the questions I've had throughout high school that were left unexplained.
What extra-curricular activities do you participate in?
I participate in the Choir, sidewalk counseling for Shield of Roses, and volunteer my time at the Pregnancy center here in Front Royal.
What is your favorite thing about Christendom?
My favorite thing about Christendom College would be the size of the school itself, the class size of 14:1 student, teacher ratio, and the courses offered. It is a quality education that Christendom offers all of her students.
Why did you choose Christendom?
I chose Christendom College for the quality of its education, religious integrity, and supportive community.
What surprises you the most about Christendom?
What surprises me the most would be the diversity of talents, gifts, and backgrounds of each student. We have a rich, deep, and vibrant culture here at Christendom College.
What are your plans after graduation?
I plan on taking a course here called the Teaching Practicum which I'll use post-graduation in a parochial School. Although I have always had dreams of traveling and doing mission work in Africa, so maybe I could apply what I have learned here at Christendom College and evangelize to those who do not know Christ.
Any parting words of advice for a prospective student?
Read St. Augustine's Confessions and Dante's Inferno, Purgatorio, and Paradiso.


"The Island"

Friday night marked the semester’s first "Movie Night with Walter." College Registrar Walter Janaro hosts several of these nights throughout the year to introduce students to fascinating films. This week, he featured the Russian movie “The Island,” which tells the story of a holy yet eccentric monk living on an island and trying to heal from a mysterious past.

The movie intrigued sophomore Maggie Ostrowski.

“It was a deeply moving film with an interesting perspective on the effects of guilt, and, considering the abortion rates in Russian, it made a powerful pro-life statement,” she said.

Walter started off the evening with a brief introduction to the movie (called “Octpob” in Russian). Students then sat back and enjoyed the movie while snacking on delicious food and beverages provided by SAC. Viewing “The Island” turned out to be a thought-provoking experience. Quite a few students even stayed afterwards to discuss the movie with each other and Walter.

College Registrar Walter Janaro introduces the film.

Learning Philanthropy

Last Friday night, the Senior Class of 2013 held a “Philanthropy on Tap” event in the basement of St. John the Evangelist Library. Exclusively for seniors, the event was planned and organized by a group of seniors, and the College's Director of Development Paul Jalsevac, who wanted to inform the seniors of how important donations are to the College. The evening began with some refreshments and beverages before the talks were given.

History professor Dr. Brendan McGuire was the first to speak, emphasizing the role of the senior class in the new step to increase Alumni Donations. He spoke of the need of a place like Christendom in modern society, and how important a role it has in the formation of the future. Next, Jalsevac delivered an informative talk, making use of numerous slides and graphs to give the students a better idea of how important it is that Christendom receive donations. Lastly, senior Dean Dewey gave a short lecture on the ratio of Christendom Alumni giving as compared to that of other schools. Dewey challenged his fellow seniors to "step up" and give even the smallest amount back to the school that has given all of its students an invaluable education. After the talks were completed, the seniors enjoyed further refreshment, and talked with each other and the faculty that were present.

Dr. McGuire explains the importance of a place like Christendom in securing hope for the future.

Paul Jalsevac, Director of Developement, expalains the importance of alumni giving.

Senior Dean Dewey seeks to inspire his classmates.

Seniors chat with Dr. McGuire following the presentations

Senior Alumni Giving Board (L-R): Theresa Jalsevac, Robbie Hambleton, Sadie Bratt, David Townsend, Colleen Harmon, Emi Funai, Dean Dewey, and Jacob Akers.

Poetry by the Fireside

On Saturday in the Chester Belloc room of Regina Coeli Hall, students enjoyed a night dedicated to the reading of their favorite works of prose and poetry. Pieces, such as William Ernest Henley’s well-known “Invictus” were read and students brave enough to stand in front of the crowd, even recited some of their original poems.

“I loved the support that my fellow classmates gave me when I read one of my original poems. I would definitely encourage others to attend the next Poetry Night,” said Freshman Kayla Newcomb.

While poetry was read inside, s’more making was taking place outside. The casual atmosphere allowed for many volunteers. The literature ranged from deeply moving pieces to humorous and witty poetry, keeping the night lively and entertaining.
All attendants supported everyone who bravely recited a poem in front of the crowd.

What would Poetry Night be without some food and good company?

Sophomore Rocina Daez keeps things light hearted with some of her own humorous poetry.

Dorm Wars Begin!

Christendom College’s Second Annual Dorm Wars kicked off to a rousing start this past Sunday afternoon in the St. Lawrence Commons. The ceremony began outside the Commons, with a prayer by Associate Chaplain Fr. Mark Burns, and the singing of the National Anthem by Freshman Maribel Lopez. This was followed by the Running of the Torch by head RA’s, Seniors Dan Mitchell and Lisa Hill. After that, the students filed into the Commons for the presentation of the flags competition and the rousing speech competition.

The "3:1 Whaaat!" team, which consists of Top Floor St. Catherine Hall and Top Floor St. Francis Hall, won the flag competition. Next came the rousing speech competition, with speeches meant to inspire each team to persevere throughout the challenges of the Dorm Wars’ activities that are to take place over the next several weeks. The winner of the competition was Freshman Brad Torline, from the “Maniacs” team, which consists of Main Floor St. Benedict Hall and Main Floor St. Campion Hall. All in all, it was a very exciting and fun-filled event, as students from across campus came forth to show their Dorm Wars spirit, and support their team.

Team "Children of Hannon" proudly stand behind their banner.

Head RAs Dan Mitchell and Lisa Hill run the torch through the snowy weather.

Sophomore Mike Kopp relates the imagery of “The Elllect” flag, held by fellow sophomores Josh Van Hecke and Doug Watson.

Flag competition winners, the "3:1 Whaaat!" team, present their flag.

The “Ins ‘n’ Outs” team flag, held by sophomore Bernadette Sartor and freshmen Julie Rollino.

Freshmen Joe Morinello, Will Stamper, and Madeline Deighan exhibit “The Maniacs” team flag.

Junior Brendan Vieira livens up the commons with his invigorating speech.

Competition winner, Freshman Brad Torline presents a brilliant motivating speech.

Big Screen for the Big Game

Congratulations to the Baltimore Ravens, winners of Super Bowl XLVII! It was a hard fought game that came down to the wire, but their resiliency showed once again. Many students gathered in the Crusader Gymnasium to watch this event occur, as it was projected on the wall of the basketball court. Once the game reached half-time, those who were present were lucky enough to enjoy a wide variety of food and beverages, including sub sandwiches, pizza bites, wings, and much more. Those who were less patient left the event at half time, figuring the game was in the bag, since Baltimore was up 28-6 over the San Francisco 49ers. However, those more dedicated braved even the 34-minute delay caused by a power outage at the Super Dome in New Orleans. Their wait was rewarded, as San Francisco almost pulled up the biggest comeback in Super Bowl history. However, they fell three points short, and lost by a score of 34-31.

Sophomore Steven Hyland looks to take a few wings.

Ravens fan, Senior John McFadden, and others get their Super Bowl fare.

Students enjoy watching Super Bowl XLVII on the big screen.

Cardinal Arinze Comes to Christendom

This past week, Francis Cardinal Arinze, Prefect Emeritus of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, visited Christendom College for several days, celebrating community Masses, dining with students, and delivering a talk to students and faculty as part of the College's Major Speakers program.

Over the weekend the College hosted the Ex Corde Ecclesiae Presidents Roundtable. The Roundtable, a private gathering of College presidents, examined the challenges and opportunities facing Catholic institutions of higher education, and featured Cardinal Arinze as a guest speaker. On Saturday, the participating presidents signed a pledge to uphold the teachings of the Catholic Church concerning Catholic higher education. Cardinal Arinze will personally present this pledge to Pope Benedict XVI.

On Monday, Cardinal Arinze addresses the students and faculty on "The Year of Faith and the Apostolate of the Laity." The talk was based upon his forthcoming book that examines the role of the laity in transforming the culture.

Read more about his talk here or listen to it here at Christendom on iTunes U.

The College's Major Speakers Program is an important aspect of the academic life at the College, offering the students and community an opportunity for cultural, intellectual, and spiritual enrichment beyond the classroom. The program offers students the opportunity to gain greater insights and depth of understanding of important issues, and to interact personally with a wide-range of men and women who are shapers and critics of our society.

Cardinal Arinze delivers his homily on Sunday.

College Chaplain Fr. Donald Planty, Associate Chaplain Fr. Mark Byrne, and college alumnus Fr. Tony Stevens ('99) concelebrated with Cardinal Arinze.

In his talk, Cardinal Arinze explained that there are no spectators in the Church, and that everyone has a role to play.

Junior Becca Deucher greets the Cardinal following his talk.

Admissions Counselor Liz Beller and her sister Margaret Twaddle take a photo with the Cardinal.

Many students recieved a personal blessing from Cardinal Arinze.

Freshman Will Stamper chats with the Cardinal.


Campus Cafés

Any student at Christendom looking for a hot drink, a good study spot, or just a place to chat with friends immediately heads for one of the college’s two coffee shops, Sacred Grounds or St. Kilian’s Café. Both establishments are throughout the week and run by student volunteers.

St. Kilian’s, a classic institution at Christendom, has been around for quite a few years. The college established it as a spot where faculty and students could purchase coffee, tea, and a variety of other drinks and snacks. Attached to the Student Center, it is a cozy miniature pub complete with wood floor and ceilings, a bar area, and even a small stage for musical performances. St. Kilian’s often serves as the hub of social events on the weekends, but it’s also open throughout the week. The intimate atmosphere makes it a great place to study on a school evening or a fun spot to hang out with friends on the weekends.

Sacred Grounds is a new coffee shop located in the basement of the library. Seniors Nick Blank and David Townsend founded Sacred Grounds last year as a place where students could exchange ideas and simply enjoy each other’s company in a relaxed atmosphere. Complete with comfy couches and plenty of newspapers for students to catch up on the latest headlines, this establishment is highly popular with Christendom students. Although Sacred Grounds isn’t open on the weekends, it does a hopping business on school nights. Students gather to study, enjoy delicious coffee, and socialize both inside the coffee shop and on its outdoor patio behind the library.

According to sophomore Mark Turner, who helps run Sacred Grounds, future plans for the library coffee shop include adding furniture for the outside patio and enhancing the space to make it even more inviting. Although Sacred Grounds offers many tasty drinks, there are several specials that students particularly love.

“Our one dollar coffee is the best bargain and taste on campus,” says Mark. “It is a really good way to perk up in the morning and late at night when you need a shot of caffeine.”

Student band performs at a St. Kilian's Café event.

Students realax at a weekend event in St. Kilian's. The portrait of St. Kilian above the fireplace was painted by alumna Mandy Hain ('06).


A Spiritual Retreat and a Final Victory for the Lady Crusaders

This past weekend was an exciting and busy couple of days for the student-athletes at Christendom. After a few years of hoping and planning the first ever men’s student-athlete retreat was held Friday evening. Players from the Rugby, Baseball, and Basketball teams participated in the retreat which was given by 1999 alumnus Fr. Anthony Stephens of the Fathers of Mercy.

It is something that I have wanted to do for some time with the student-athletes. Fr. Tony was very excited to have the opportunity and we look forward to making this a seasonal event for both the men’s and women’s sports teams”

Leaving campus around 4pm Friday afternoon 43 men hopped on the bus and vans and headed to the San Damiano retreat center for the Diocese of Arlington located just 30 minutes away from the college. Fr. Tony was introduced by Chris Vander Woude as a fellow student-athlete while he attended Christendom and rumor has it that he is one of only two men to dive for a loose ball on the old blacktop basketball court, which is now the parking lot near the tennis courts.

Fr. Tony gave two short talks during the evening, the first which focused on excellence and taking what you learn in your respective sports and allowing it to enhance everything else you do. In his second talk, Fr. Tony gave a meditation on the difference from boys and men and the true calling to be a man after Christ. Included in the evening was Mass, dinner, confessions, the rosary, and a silent holy hour.

“I thought it was a great evening, an opportunity for the teams to get together and enjoy a night away from campus with plenty of options for spiritual and personal growth," senior Dan Mitchell said.

The evening finished up with benediction before everyone headed back to campus.

The following day the Lady Crusaders’ basketball team hosted Warren County rival Lord Fairfax Community College in their last basketball game of the semester. The women who had come off a tough game against Trinity University (DC) earlier in the week would ready for their last showdown in Crusader gymnasium.

Freshmen Sarah Slaten and Junior Sarah Peterson got their first starts of the season. Lord Fairfax jumped out to an early lead behind quick points from Briana Hudnall. After the last game jitters and nerves cooled down the Lady Crusaders began to assert themselves on both sides of the ball. Playing a tight and compact defense Lord Fairfax couldn’t connect on any shots from behind the 3 point arc going 0-11 for the game. With strong play from Julie McMahon and Clare Duda especially on the boards the Lady Crusaders controlled the tempo of the game.

Morgan Kavanagh playing in her last game before heading to Rome with teammates Bridget Vander Woude, Sara Peterson and fall semester players Hannah Ethridge and Klarissa Blank finished with a game high 20 points. The final score read Christendom 34, Lord Fairfax 26. The Lady Crusaders finish with a record of 4-7 which included 2 losses by under 4 points. We wish the juniors an exciting time in Rome and look forward to next season!

Morgan Kavanagh takes advantage of the fast-break.

Bridget Vander Woude sinks a three.

Cecilia Heisler adds two to the Crusaders score.

Q. I've seen your core curriculum and think it looks pretty good, but there are definitely some classes required which I am not very interested in taking. Is there some way to take most of the classes, but not all of them?

A. Well, the short answer is, no. All of our students take all of our core curriculum classes. And there is a good reason for this. But first, for those who are unfamiliar with our core, here it is. All students who attend Christendom study much of the same subject matter for the first two and a half years. Currently, all students take 86 credit hours of carefully selected classes:

  • 6 classes (18 credits) of Theology
  • 6 classes (18 credits) of Philosophy
  • 4 classes (12 credits) of English Language & Literature
  • 4 classes (12 credits) of History
  • 4 classes (12 credits) of Foreign Language (Latin, Greek, or French)
  • 2 classes (6 credits) of Political Science
  • 1 class (3 or 4 credits) of Math
  • 1 class (3 credits) of Science
  • 2 credits (a variety of classes and workshops) of the Career Development Program
At the end of your sophomore year, you are able to select one of our six majors (History, Theology, Philosophy, Classics, English Language & Literature, or Political Science). Additionally, you can minor or double major in any of these same subjects, and can minor also in Math, Economics, and Liturgical Music.

Although you may not particularly like all of the classes that you take, at first, everything we teach here will benefit you in some way down the road. And that's what is so awesome about our core curriculum!

Let me give you a real life example. I came to Christendom and majored in Theology. I enjoyed Theology and learned lots. I also had to take all the other classes in the core curriculum, and to be honest, some of them I was not really all that thrilled about taking (history and Literature classes, in particular).

After graduating, I became a restaurant manager. I did this for four years, and then started work as a Director of Religious Education at a parish. Over the next 5 years, among other things, I was responsible for teaching those interested in becoming Catholic and helping them learn more about the faith. I figured it was going to be a pretty easy task, teaching a bunch of people about the faith, particularly since I had a degree in Theology. At the end of the first year of doing this, I realized that I was missing something. I realized that many of my students were not very knowledgeable about history, and in particular, the history of Christianity. The next year, I started off the class with a history timeline, from Adam and Eve to John Paul II, and filled in the blanks over the course of an hour and a half. This really helped the non-Catholics get a good overview of Salvation history and see that the Catholic Church is, of course, the Church Christ founded. And if I hadn't taken 4 semesters of history, I would not have been able to teach my students (of whom 60+, over the course of 5 years, converted to the Faith).

In 1999, I became a Headmaster of a school in New Hampshire (
http://www.mountroyalacademy.com/), and ended up having to teach 7th and 8th grade for half the year, which included English grammar and literature. Boy, was I glad I had those four semester of English at Christendom! Also, in 2000, when I came to work at Christendom, one of my jobs was to be the editor of the College's magazine, Instaurare. Since then, I have been very involved in much of the writing and editing of the majority of all informational pieces that we publish about the College. In short, I am one of the main editors of everything that we put out. And all of this comes from a guy who had 5 semesters of English Language and Literature with a grade of C— or below!

What I am trying to say is that, even if you are not particularly thrilled to take this or that class in our core curriculum, and would rather spend all of your time taking classes that you like, you never really know how the exposure to these different academic areas is going to affect you. Although I majored in Theology (and later got my MA in it), I am so happy to be a well-rounded person, having studied and been exposed to many varied subjects over the course of my Christendom education.

For more information about it, I recommend you go here on our website:
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.