Cannibals, Sundaes, and Cursed Monks, Oh My


Name: Mark Turner
Fredericksburg, VA
Major: History
Hobbies: Spending time outdoors, chilling with friends during this awesome time in my life as a young adult, and running.
What is your favorite class or professor?
History is my favorite subject here at Christendom and Dr. Adam Schwartz's HIST 202 course has been amazing. It has helped me see the relation of my English and Political Science classes within the historical context of the early-modern to modern (1750-2000 A.D.) time we are studying.
What extra-curricular activities do you participate in? I am a member of the Student Activities Council (SAC), Students for Life, Manager of Sacred Grounds Coffee Shop, and play intramural sports and varsity soccer.
What's your favorite thing about Christendom? The formation is my favorite thing about Christendom. Learning the ability to relate and communicate with others intelligently, grow in one's faith, and be surrounded by amazing people constantly who help you to strive for wisdom, truth, and beauty. This formation will be invaluable when I leave Christendom and enter the working world. The opportunities that one has here to train oneself to be the light of Christ to the world is an essential aspect of every Christian who wants to actively live in the world and spread the Truth of Christ.
Why did you choose Christendom? I originally was convinced to come to Christendom by my mom. I wanted to start at a strong Catholic College but I did not know if Christendom was the right place. I don't think that I could have made a better decision than to have come here.
What surprises you the most about Christendom? The opportunities we have to let our talents and gifts really be implemented for the betterment of society are surprising. I am still amazed at the number of things that a student can participate in if they prioritize and plan. It is a great problem to have - too many good things offered to keep you out of trouble!
What are your plans after graduation?
I am considering either Physical Therapy or business school and, in either field, the ethical, moral and spiritual training I am receiving here at Christendom will assist me.


Swing 'n Sundaes Dance Competition Great Success

On Sunday evening, students filled the Commons to watch the Swing 'n Sundaes swing dance competition. Four talented couples competed and, all four performed fantastic routines that aroused a lot of cheers and gasps from the appreciative audience. Dr. Cuddeback, Dr. Flippen, and Dr. Poterack acted as judges for the event. Senior-junior duo Theresa Lamirande and James Ciskanik snatched first place with a perfectly coordinated dance. Coming in second were Freshmen Maribel Lopez and Nate Harrington, whose acrobatic routine astounded everyone. Sophomore Andre Moreau teamed up with freshman Sarah Furth to give a delightful, energetic performance, and Freshmen Robert Johnson and Cecily Lowe took an Honorable Mention for their elegant dance.

After the competition, participants and attendants enjoyed the usual treat of ice cream sundaes. Couples then took to the floor for some fun, free-style swing dancing, inspired after all the great performances they’d seen. Swing 'n Sundaes is a student run group, with Freshman Catherine McFadden as President and Associate Director of Admissions Zac Inman as Moderator, which provides the students with the opportunity to learn how to swing dance and to have more opportunities to swing dance on campus. All students are welcome to attend the Swing 'n Sundaes events throughout the year.

Below is a video of the winning couple, James Ciskanik and Theresa Lamirande. Enjoy!

Even the Cannibals Enjoyed Mystery Dinner Theater

Last weekend, the Senior Class of 2013 presented the annual Mystery Dinner Theater, a mystery play put on by the students in order to raise money for the senior class gift. Combined with a delicious dinner, the play always involves interaction of the players with the audience, so the audience can gain clues about who the killer might be, and then turn in their guess for a chance to win a prize of $200. This year’s play was written by Senior Eric Maschue and Junior Katie Shannon, and was highly successful as always, raising over $6,000 for the senior class.

A number of students really thought that this year's production was the best they had seen years. The play, entitled "Murder Island," took place at a small island hotel. The play included such dynamic characters as a senator and his wife, cannibals, a rich entrepreneur, business men, a lucky Irishman, and a redneck detective. Throughout the night, the brilliance of the script had the audience in fits of laughter, as the story unfolded, and revealed to all the guilty party. Viewers went home happy and full, satisfied with the money they had spent on a night of great entertainment and cuisine.

The locals get a little restless.

These two servants have big motives for killing someone.

Lucky Irishman gets out of a life-threatening situation.

A great cast for this year's Mystery Dinner Theater production.


Students Enjoy Hearing Vatican Radio Director's Stories

As part of Christendom College's Major Speakers Program, Sean Patrick Lovett, Vatican Radio’s director of English language programming, delivered a deeply insightful talk on April 15 about some of his many intriguing life experiences working so closely with Pope Francis and his four predecessors over the past 35 years.
Lovett, a native of South Africa, has had his finger on the pulse of the Vatican since arriving in Rome 35 years ago and taking a position with Vatican Radio as a reporter. He has covered many Vatican-related events with Pope Paul VI, Pope John Paul I, Pope John Paul II, Pope Benedict XVI, and Pope Francis, and has traveled with a number of the Holy Fathers on their pilgrimages across the world.

In his talk, Lovett explained that each of the past pontiffs has added something very important to the role of Vicar of Christ, and taught him something unique.

When asked by student Peter Hill what the greatest thing a pope had ever said to him was, Lovett told this little story.

Lovett had been working with Vatican Radio to broadcast the Pope's Easter Mass and message to the world, and once that was finished, everyone began packing up their gear and getting ready to depart. Since Lovett had not had the opportunity to meet Pope Francis yet, he took that opportunity to be introduced to the Holy Father who immediately said to him, in English, "Have you had lunch yet?"

According to many reports, the Holy Father is not all that well versed in English, so Lovett was surprised to hear Pope Francis ask him about such a seemingly small detail as lunch, in English no less. Then the Holy Father told him to go home and have lunch and to have a blessed Easter, again, all in English.

Monk's Curse in the Sacred Grounds

On Thursday evening, the Sacred Grounds Coffee shop in the library was packed with students who had come to listen to history professor Michael Kelly give a talk entitled “The Curse of the Monks.” Professor Kelly, whose specialty is sixteenth and seventeenth century England, focused his lecture on a supposed curse that was believed to have fallen on certain aristocratic English families who lived in old monasteries taken from religious orders during the reign of King Henry VIII. The material that Professor Kelly lectured on was also part of his dissertation, which he is working on to attain his PhD. The audience enjoyed the delicious refreshments that were served, and was captivated by the fascinating commentary that Professor Kelly made on his topic.

On another related note, it was also announced this week that Professor Kelly has been hired full-time as an Assistant Professor of History for the 2013-14 Academic Year. He had been on a one-year appointment to the College this year, and has recently accepted the full-time position offered to him. Welcome to the family, Professor Kelly!

A Personal Education with Professors as Teachers, Mentors, and Friends

Students at Christendom College are blessed not only to have a comprehensive Liberal Arts education, but also a very personal one as well. The professors at Christendom take a unique and personal interest in each and every student that is rarely found in other schools.

Christendom’s smaller setting and student-to-teacher ratio of 14:1 provides the perfect environment for a more intimate class setting and more one-on-one interaction between professors and students. There are no teacher’s assistants giving lectures, ensuring that students always receive the best presentation of the material possible from their actual professors.

Christendom professors go out of their way to make sure that each one of their students really grasps the concepts they learn in class. Each professor holds regular office hours every week. During this time students can receive extra help in an area where they might be struggling, or get questions from a previous class clarified. And it’s not an uncommon sight to see students simply dropping in to a professor’s office to have a fun chat.

“The professors are easy to visit—they’re friendly and always willing to help,” says sophomore Sarah Jamieson.

An education at Christendom means not only learning academic truths, but also forming the entire person, body and soul. Teachers encourage their students to develop their social and spiritual lives as their intellectual life. Professors get involved in school life, acting as mentors, coaches, advisors for students clubs and chaperones for mission trips. They engage in both casual and intellectual conversations with their students outside of the classroom, over the lunch table and in formation talks, as well as at athletic events and dinners at their homes.

Students are truly able to see in their professors how the things that they learn can be applied to every day life.

There is no doubt that Christendom students are immersed every day in a rich academic atmosphere where their professors take a deep interest in their well-being and academic success. In such a personalized setting, it’s no wonder that the students at Christendom thrive intellectually.


The Beautiful Cities of Florence and Venice


So last week I promised to tell you a bit about our trip to Florence, so here it is!

On Thursday we left Rome early to take a four hour bus trip to Florence. Once there we checked into our hotel and headed out to the Ganzo Culinary School for a fabulous meal! All of us agreed that it was one of the best (if not the best) meal we have had here in Italy yet! We then toured Florence, where we saw the house of Dante and the Duomo, which has a truly wonderful rendition of the Last Judgment. That afternoon the majority of us attended Mass at San Minato, a Benedictine Abbey, which has a spectacular view of Florence! The rest of the evening was spent exploring, (some of us passed by the house of Michelangelo which was pretty cool), while others went shopping.

The next morning, we went to San Marco, which was once a Dominican Monastery but has now been converted into a museum, to see the frescoes of Fra Angelico. We saw Fra Angelico’s famous Annunciation, and were able to visit the cells of the monks to see the frescoes which Fra Angelico had painted for each one. It is said that every time Fra Angelico painted the crucifixion, he cried. We then toured the Uffizi gallery where we saw many famous works by Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Giotto, Cimabue and more! That afternoon was free until it was time to leave, so most of the remaining time was spent at the San Lorenzo Market and discovering the hidden talents of some people with bartering.

When it came time to leave, a handful of us decided to extend our trip outside of Rome. Some stayed in Florence for an extra day while another group of us decided to travel to Padua and Venice. On Friday, Angelica, Steven Miller and I went to the Basilica of Saint Anthony in Padua where we were able to pray by his tomb and see his incorrupt tongue. A really neat experience which happened to us there was that we stumbled across a beautiful church close to the basilica which has the tomb of St. Luke there! It was a pretty neat surprise! That afternoon we took a train to Venice and meet up with Veronica and Ashlynn who had already been in Venice for a day.

Venice was beautiful! The side streets are so cute and small, and I loved seeing the small little canals-it was definitely a very picturesque city. Although I did not have the chance to ride in a gondola (maybe next time), we did take a water taxi which was pretty exciting! Besides exploring the streets of Venice, we visited the church of Saint Lucy where we were able to see St. Lucy’s body and the Basilica of Saint Mark, but unfortunately we were unable to walk around it as Mass was being celebrated.

This Tuesday we went on last tour with Professor Lev to the Vatican Museums! We walked through the hall of maps, (which was pretty cool), saw different tapestries and many famous paintings and sculptors. The highlight of the tour though was learning about the Sistine Chapel and being able to gaze in absolute awe at Michelangelo’s work. Before we entered the Sistine Chapel, Professor Lev gave us a wonderful insight into the meaning behind each painting which we would see. One of my favorite aspects of the Chapel that Professor Lev mentioned was that of the image of the creation of Adam. She mentioned that although Adam looks as if he is leaning and stuck to the clay from which he came from, his knee is bent and his shoulder twisted. These are aspects of a runner, and so we see that there is potential in Adam. However, he can do nothing without God. In the image, God has all the momentum and He reaches purposefully and determinately towards man. Yet, Michelangelo does not paint the fingers of God and man touching-they are a millimeter apart. In the background, there is a depiction of a woman who represents Eve and the Immaculate Conception. There is a small child besides her which symbolizes the Christ Child. There is so much symbolism and imagery to be drawn by looking at the work in the Chapel-the longer you look at the frescoes the more you are filled with awe at the genius of Michelangelo and of the rich symbolism which they represent. It was also really cool to enter into the Sistine Chapel and realize that a conclave took place there less than two months ago! It was definitely one of the highlights of the semester!

Well, it has been another great week here in Rome! I hope you all have a wonderful week! smile

Art historian expert Liz Lev teaching class on the go.

Looks almost Disney-esque.

The group in Florence.


Crusaders Complete Perfect Season

The men's rugby team completed a memorable and perfect 2013 season with a tough 28-14 victory over the Lions of Lord Fairfax this past Saturday. Due to the long winter and the spacing of the spring semester breaks, the Crusaders hadn’t seen action since their impressive win over George Mason University in late March. Standing with a 3-0 record for the year, the team put their undefeated season on the line in the last game of the season and last match for the seniors.

Despite numerous odds, including major ankle injuries to James Hannon and Patrick Audino who gave gutsy efforts anyway, and the Lions having a clear size advantage, the Crusaders were not phased. Freshman Rob McKay got the ball rolling as he rumbled through would-be tacklers to score the first try of the game. Not enough can be said for the forwards of the Crusaders who, despite being outsized by close to 50lbs in some positions, stemmed the tide and didn’t allow the Lions to gain any interior momentum. Peter Spiering, Conor O’Donnell, Ben Scrivener, Dean Dewey, Hal Kokes, Bobby Crnkovich and Rob McKay stood strong the entire game, bending sometimes but at no point breaking. Senior Dean Dewey put in a stellar performance during his last game in a Christendom jersey, dragging tacklers for long gains. He powered his way into the try-zone for the 2nd Crusader try. After Sean Salmon made the point after (in total he was 4-4 on the day) the battled Crusaders led 14-0 at halftime.

The 2nd half saw the tide of momentum turn a bit as the Lions began to impose their size and will on the Crusaders and scored their first try when their flanker sprinted and danced down the sideline for a score. After John Hebert broke his arm in the first five minutes, the Crusaders were left with just one sub, a fact that can’t go unnoticed in such a demanding and grueling game. With the Lions on the board, they drove toward their try-zone again and again…only to be pushed back by the determined ruggers of Christendom again and again!

“One of the main reasons for our success on Saturday was the relentless goal line defense. There were 2 or 3 times we were able to keep them out of the try-zone, despite them being within a few yards. Our defense definitely came to play,” noted Junior Ben Scrivener.

The Lions drove the ball to within 10 meters of the goal line and had multiple runs and passes trying to break the defenses of Christendom but no break was to happen. The Crusaders, calling out encouragement and strategy, would come up time and time again with key tackles and solid defensive play to repel the Lions and regain possession and field position.

With nerves running thin and emotions playing a bigger and bigger role in the game the team got a huge boost as Bobby Crnkovich broke through the Lion’s defense for another try to add a little bit of breathing room and grow the lead to 21-7. Lord Fairfax would push back again and got the ball outside to their winger who did the rest, seemingly untouchable, he dodged and cut all the way into the try-zone to cut the lead to 7 with just 8 minutes to play.

The final 8 minutes of the game was the epitome of the entire season for the Crusaders. Despite being tired, injured and out-sized, the team bonded together as they had done all season, and even before the season with workouts, and as a unit put the nail in the coffin. After the Crusaders had taken possession of the ball Tommy Salmon passed to Audino who, despite being limited due to his ankle injury, made two beautiful cuts before tossing a pass to fellow freshman Sean Salmon just before Audino was tackled. Salmon then broke a couple of tackles and the rest was icing on the cake as he sprinted into the try-zone for a score. He then banged through the point after, putting the score at 28-14, and the final whistle sounded, ending the game and a perfect season for the Crusaders.

“It was a very strong win and our closest game yet but the guys toughed it out, despite injuries, to finish an undefeated season,” said first year and undefeated head coach Theo Smith.

With this victory the team completed the first undefeated season in Christendom sports history and hopefully not the last.

Below are some pictures from the season.

The history making undefeated Crusader Rugby Team 2012-2013.

James Hannon had an awesome year and will be missed next year.

Senior Rob Hambleton is a beast.

The team always ends its games with prayer.

Coach Theo looks on as his boys thrash their opponents.

Q. Whenever I talk about my desire and interest in attending Christendom, the same question keeps coming up, over and over and over again. Besides the fact that people cannot seem to be able to pronounce the name of your school properly (they say something like Christiandom usually), this is the biggest question that comes up: WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO WITH A DEGREE FROM CHRISTIANDOM?

A. And here is my easiest and most frequent answer to that question: WHAT DO YOU WANT TO DO WITH A DEGREE FROM CHRISTENDOM? Because the truth is, you can do anything you want. Sure, you say, that sounds good on paper, but what does it mean in reality. How can someone for example, with
  • A theology degree become a restaurant manager?
  • An English major become a partner with Pricewaterhouse Coopers?
  • A philosophy major become a chief software architect for IBM?
  • A political science major end up as the Vice President of Finance for Sirius XM Radio?
  • A history major working as the CEO of his own construction company?
  • A classics major begin working as an information assurance engineer at SRA International?
  • The short answer is, our graduates do this type of thing all of the time. Our graduates get jobs outside of the field of their study very easily because they are seen as very adaptable people, eager to learn, easy to train, and once on the job, they move ahead very quickly. There are many that say they do not believe that this is possible and that, in order to get ahead in life, one has to get a specific degree in a very specific field.
Christendom grads are employed in just about every field possible. We have alumni who have degrees in philosophy who are financial analysts and teachers. We have alumni with history degrees who are marketing professionals and officers in the military. Theology majors are now electrical engineers and computer software programmers. We have alumni who are doctors, lawyers, physical therapists, accountants, managers, nurses, educators, salesmen, graphic artists, editors, entrepreneurs, project managers, tradesmen, builders, carpenters, priests, religious, music teachers, art directors, drama teachers, missionaries, real estate agents, insurance salesmen, architects, dentists, college professors, Montessori teachers, computer scientists, and everything in between. Here is a longer list of what some of our alumni have done and where they have gone to grad school.

Additionally, Christendom has a full-time Director of Career Development, Mr. Mike Mochel, and he is very helpful to our students as they discern their career choices throughout their years at Christendom. His focus is on helping students figure out what types of employment they might enjoy, which grad schools they might wish to attend, and helping them be prepared for their jobs by aiding them with interview skills and resume writing. His office is located in our Student Center and his door is always open.

The liberal arts education that Christendom offers is good and useful in and of itself, but it also makes our graduates very employable. Our graduates are easily able to adapt to an ever-changing work environment and they have all the most sought-after skills, as evidenced by the following information:
  • Liberal arts students advance more quickly to middle and senior management positions than their colleagues who pursued other fields of study . . . these graduates become employees that are ready to learn (AT&T Management Study).
  • The liberal arts are more effective in teaching communication skills, general knowledge and information, an understanding of people, an appreciation of ethical concerns, an ability to organize and prioritize, and vital leadership skills (Fortune 500 study).
  • Business leaders value liberal arts grads for their critical thinking and problem-solving skills, strong writing and speaking skills, self-discipline, exposure to diverse ideas, and global perspective (Hobart & William Smith Colleges study).
  • Strong communications skills are the single most important attribute a candidate can have – and also the one most lacking among job applicants (Poll of hiring managers by the National Association of Colleges and Employers).
  • A broad liberal arts education is preferred for future CEOs – blending knowledge of history, culture, philosophy, and economic policy, with international experience and problem-solving skills (The Wall Street Journal).
  • Employers focus on finding graduates with the right skills rather than the right major, as a new employee with the right skills can easily learn the specifics of an industry. Employers desire transferable skills, skills employees take with them to any job, such as written and verbal communication skills, the ability to solve complex problems, to work well with others, and to adapt in a changing workplace – and these are characteristic of a liberal arts education (Survey by National Association of Colleges and Employers).
As you can hopefully see from some of the facts stated above, there is no real need to get a specific major in a very specific field in order to get a decent job after graduation. What is important is that you become educated while in college, not trained, so that you can be adaptable and more able to work in a wide variety of fields. So, please, make sure the next time someone asks you this question, you answer the following: First off, it is called Christendom, not Christiandom. Secondly, with a degree from Christendom, I can do anything I want, and I can show you proof if you want. smile

God bless and let me know if I can be of any further help!
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.