La Notte Italiana


Name: Peter Ciskanik
Age: 21
Year: Junior
From: New Castle, DE
Major: History
Hobbies? Way too many to count! I do like swing dancing a lot, watching movies, running, attempting to learn Italian, and playing paintball—to name a few.
What's your favorite class? Prof. Ryan Callaghan's World War II class! I love WWII history and he was so engaging and really made you feel like you were there.
Do you play any sports? Intramural soccer.
Do you participate in any drama or music related activities?
Nope. I couldn't act if my life depended on it. I do play the snare drum in a fife and drum corp.
What is your favorite thing about Christendom?
I would have to say the strong Catholic community. No where else would we be able to live and work with so many people who all hold the same values as we do.
Why did you choose Christendom?
I transfered in last year from Thomas Aquinas College, which didn't fit my learning style very well. Christendom seemed much more engaging and still had the strong, well-rounded liberal education I wanted. On top of that, it is very Catholic—an aspect that is so important to me.

Plans after graduation? I'm hoping to go on to grad school and get an MBA or teach history.


Dr. Divietri on Marriage: Just a Roll of the Dice?


An eager audience filled the Chapel Crypt on Thursday night to listen to Theology Professor Dr. Patrick Divietri in the first part of a series of talks on marriage being hosted by the Theology Department. Divietri explained that the key to a good marital relationship is sharing values, which both the male and female find important and living them out. He also emphasized the importance of understanding in relationships. The final point he made to all the males present was that a lot of men at Christendom are afraid to “pull the trigger.” Once they find a woman who shares the same values as they do, he encouraged them to get to know her and to make the first move towards a relationship.

Students really enjoyed Dr. Divietri’s talk, and found him both insightful and amusing. Sophomore Jane Kokes summed up the feeling of the students when she said, “I thoroughly enjoyed Dr. Divietri’s talk and I hope to be among the lucky few who get into one of his classes."

Download this talk is available at Christendom on iTunes U.

Pub Night Hosts Lecture and Music


Pub Night began on Friday evening with a talk entitled "The Godly Use of the Internet" by Theology Prof. Eric Jenislawski. His primary focus was how the internet can be a powerful scholarly tool and great for spreading information, especially with the use of blogging.

Jenislawski was followed by Senior and Women's Head R.A. Emily Jeroma who spoke about using the internet to become politically informed. Jeroma, who worked for a politician over this past summer, went into depth on gaining knowledge of election candidates by finding unbiased news online as well as looking deeply at the candidates own web page.

Prof. Jenislawski wrapped up by taking a few questions and then Marie Miller took the stage. She thrilled the crowd with a mixture of cover songs as well as an original composition.

You can listen to Marie too: launch the music player on her website!

After Marie's solo performance, Marie's sister joined her on the guitar, as well as Junior Margaret McShurley and Sophomore Anna McShurley on violins. The foursome call themselves The Sisters.

La Notte Italiana


On Saturday night the commons was filled with students, eager to enjoy a great Italian meal, organized and cooked by Christendom’s own, Senior Catie Carducci. Helped by both her sisters and student volunteers, she planned and prepared the delicious meal, which had everyone stuffed to the brim with authentic Italian food.

Following dinner, students hurried off to prepare for the ever-amazing dance in Piazza San Lorenzo (the square in front of the St. Lawrence Commons)! This year’s dance was planned and organized by Senior Katie Urban and Junior Lauren Oligny. They were also in charge of the decorations for the inside of the Commons during dinner.

“It looked really beautiful,” Freshman Olivia Aventi said of the evening's décor.

Though students had been glancing warily at the cloudy sky all day, the rain held off and it was the perfect temperature for a night of dancing! Once again, all the students had a wonderful time and are already looking forward to next years Italian Night!
Freshmen Elise Nodar and Sara Federico enjoy the pasta all'amatriciana.

Sophomore Dominic Vieira sings along with Dean Martin as he dances with Senior Denise McWhirter.

Sophomores Brian Pelletier and Jacqueline Kenney bring the piazza to life with their swinging.

Freshman Peter Hill gives Freshman Colleen Harmon a dip as they swing to Frank Sinatra.

Exaltation of the Cross

On Monday, the feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, a procession was held after a special sung vespers. College Chaplains Fr. William and Fr. Gee led the vespers which were held in the chapel, and then led a brief procession with a relic of the Holy Cross. This feast is very important to the college, for it was on this day 32 years ago that Christendom College first opened its doors. The vespers and procession were a beautiful way for both students and faculty alike to remember this beautiful feast and the glory of Christ’s sacrifice on the cross.


God's Grace Brings Us to Confession

On Tuesday, Fr. Daniel Gee gave the second of his four talks on the Sacrament of Confession. The topic this week was preparation before making a confession and the examination of conscience.

Fr. Gee began by reminding attendees that, “All that matters—in terms of this confession—is what has happened since the last confession: we only care about that time period.”

Gee compared sinning with straying from the path of holiness. When we are most righteous and in unity with God we remain perfectly on that path. Sin pulls us off, and only through confession can we move closer back to God.

“With every subsequent confession,” said Fr. Gee, “You should be a little closer [to God].”

In order to make a proper examination of conscience, he gave two things to reflect on: (1) where am I in relation to God and when was my last confession? (2) as we begin to think about confession, we must think about our sins as sharply as possible and we must see them for what they really are. Fr. Gee explained that we must recognize that are sins are inexcusable: we had every opportunity to avoid them and God gave us all the graces necessary to do so.

“God doesn’t have to forgive my sins,” Fr. Gee explained. “But, there is no reason to be afraid because it is His grace that is motivating me to go to confession in the first place.”

Download this talk at Christendom on iTunes U.


Interview with a Theologian

The Chronicler Online caught up with Theology Prof. Eric Jenislawski to get the inside scoop on his teaching experience at Christendom.

Chronicler Online: How long have you been teaching at Christendom, and what was the first class you ever taught?

Prof. Eric Jenislawski: This is my seventh year at Christendom, and my fourth as a full-time employee. I began as an adjunct in 2002. The first class I taught at Christendom was Introduction to the Old Testament. I have taught that class every year since, and it remains one of my favorites.

CO: As we know, you went to school at Yale (and also the Catholic University of America). Why did you decide to go from such a prestigious university to such a small college?

EJ: That is a hard question to answer in just a few sentences, but it boils down to serious scholarship. I found Christendom attractive because of its community of scholars — both faculty and students — who are serious about studying the Catholic tradition. Understanding the living spirit of Catholicism requires an environment like Christendom, where experts who share common convictions about doctrine and the Magisterium work together with bright students in a faith-filled environment – one that is enthusiastically supported by the administration. That's a rare combination of elements: a clear sense of mission, a faculty that is enthusiastically orthodox, and a campus culture where the practice of the faith is a joy rather than a burden. Christendom is blessed to possess that combination of virtues. Prestige is nice, but fidelity is incomparable.

CO: Why do you like teaching at Christendom?

EJ: In addition to the reasons above, I'll share some "selfish" motivations. The students here are wonderful to teach. They have a genuine dedication to their studies, and our small campus size lets me often work one-on-one with them. My wife still marvels at how well Christendom professors know their students: how no one is anonymous. Another benefit of being part of a relatively small faculty is the opportunity to teach a wide variety of courses. Modern theology is very fragmented. The Christendom curriculum, especially the core, encourages a well-rounded, interdisciplinary learning that gives me balance and perspective as a young theologian.

CO: As a teacher, what is your favorite thing to see happen in your classes?

EJ: It depends on the class. In the Scripture classes, without a doubt, it's seeing students' eyes light up when a commentary on Scripture opens depths they've never seen before. To pass down some of the treasures of our Catholic patrimony, making them come alive in the present age, is something I find very rewarding as a teacher.

CO: What initially drew you to teaching theology? Have you always wanted to teach?

EJ: As for the first question, the ultimate answer would be God. But how was I drawn? For as long as I can remember, I've always had a strong desire to know; but the desire to teach came much later, in college. It sprung from a realization that although we live in one of the wealthiest and most technologically advanced civilizations the world has ever known, people are perishing for lack of knowledge of God. Knowledge of the Faith, even amongst Catholics, is in such disrepair in some places today that I felt I should do something about it.

CO: What piece of advice would you give to students here at Christendom?

EJ: Join the Chester-Belloc Debate Society. It's the perfect complement to the Christendom classroom experience.


Freshmen Orientation Ends with Upper-Under

Initiation for the freshmen men of the college took place on Campion Field in the annual Upper-Under Football Game on Sunday.

The event first appeared years ago and has resulted in the upperclassmen (meaning all those who are not new students) destroying the freshmen class—with an exception of one year in the mid to late 80's. It is that hope of being the "next freshman class" that wins the Upper-Under Game that spurs the eager youngsters onto Campion field, only to have their humility increased a hundred-fold.

The game was enjoyed by all who participated in it, and definitely not least of all by the freshmen fan contingent, who came out donned in black to support their young team against the old gladiators of the college. The upperclassmen took hold of the game early on and would never look back, scoring 8 touchdowns to win with a final score of 55-0. The freshmen did have some hints of possible success with plays by the likes of Rob Hambleton, Tim Beer and Peter Hill.

Despite efforts to lessen the thrashing by making the field narrower, the upperclassmen would not be phased; they were led by Seniors Cyrus Artz, Matt Hadro, and their gun-slinging quarterback, Jason Greene, who never saw a pass he didn't like!

The event was a huge success, drawing out most of the study body to either play or cheer on their team, besides which there were no major injuries sustained other than a bit of lost pride! Now both teams set aside this game to concentrate on the main athletic event of Homecoming Weekend: the East-West football game.

Freshman Rob Hambleton dives for the ball.

Senior Ryan Doughty looks to charge up the field.

Freshman Tommy Salmon tries to evade Senior David Long.

See more photos at Christendom's Picasa Web Album!

Coming September 24!


Q. I am one of five children, and as of now, am the only one of my siblings who is still a practicing Catholic. We all came from the same good Catholic family who went to Mass on Sundays and Holy Days, said the Rosary sometimes, and went to Catholic grade schools, high schools, and colleges. But it was during college, Catholic college, that my siblings began their journey away from the Church. I now have four children, with the first one close to college age. I have been doing my best to raise them as good Catholics and I don’t want them to end up like my siblings – as apostates. But the problem is this: When I mention Christendom College to my eldest daughter, she says she doesn’t want to go there because, as she says, the kids “are a bunch of homeschooled nerds and a lot of the girls dress like something out of Little House on the Prairie.” What do you say about this?

A. First of all, I want you to know that your siblings will be in my prayers. You are definitely not alone in having siblings or family members who have left the Church due to a lousy Catholic college experience. Although you can’t always blame it on the Catholic college, the truth is, a Catholic college education is supposed to increase your knowledge and practice of the Faith, not diminish it, as it seemingly does in so many cases. And yet, people continue to send their kids to Catholic colleges to receive lousy a Catholic education, and they can’t figure out why their kids leave the Church.
You can read an interesting survey on this subject by going here.

Secondly, the fact that your daughter thinks that our students “are a bunch of homeschooled nerds and a lot of the girls dress like something out of Little House on the Prairie,” is a sentiment that I hear every now and again from prospective students. I categorically disagree with the statement and want to try and let you know how this “rumor” might get spread.

Front Cover copy
As many are aware, Christendom College is a very orthodox Catholic college. In fact, in the newly released “Choosing a Catholic College” guide put out by the Cardinal Newman Society, it says, “"While some colleges in this Guide may match its [Christendom’s] Catholic commitment, it is unlikely that any exceeds it." By this, we mean that Catholicism affects everything that we do here, not just what goes on in Theology class or in the Chapel, but everything. Catholicism affects our recreational activities, how we dress, our dining habits, our living arrangements, our dance moves and styles, our use of entertainment media and technology, and our ability to have a good time partying like a Catholic. Catholicism is the air that we breathe, so to speak.

As a result, people hear this and think that our students walk around all day with sack cloths on and have their hands folded in prayer, with grim, depressed, repressed looks on their faces. Unfortunately, if this is what one thinks that “lived Catholicism” is, they are very much missing out. As Catholics, we have the absolute certainty that the Roman Catholic Church has the fullness of Truth and thereby is the surest means of salvation. As a result, truly practicing and believing Catholics should be the happiest people alive, because we know the Truth, we know how to get to Heaven…we “simply” need to do it.

The belief that some have that our students are homeschooled nerds, well, I’m not exactly sure what to say about that. Around 55% of our students come from a homeschooling background, and many of them are quite bright, and they are conscientious students who realize that many people are sacrificing a lot of time and money to give them one of the best Catholic liberal arts educations in the nation, so they spend their time wisely, studying when it’s time to study, but they definitely take advantage of the many other opportunities on campus that can help them to become well-balanced individuals.

Maybe the nerd thing comes in because these homeschoolers are a little (or a lot) less immersed into the secular culture than others. And is this a bad thing? These students understand that they are to be “in the world,” but not “of the world.” So they don’t know who just won “America’s Got Talent” last night, and maybe they can’t tell you the name of the last five Will Ferrell movies or know that 50 Cent’s music is worth less than a half a dollar. If that makes them nerds, well, I guess we have a bunch of them here and we are proud of it.

And the “Little House on the Prairie” bit, I think, comes from the fact that we do have dress codes on campus. Our students wear business/professional attire for classes, Mass, and lunch. And throughout all the other times, a modest dress code is enforced. If someone is turned off because we enforce modesty, there is not much I can say except that there is a big difference between what little Half Pint wore back on the Prairie and what Paris Hilton wears out in the Hills, and we try to encourage neither of these, but rather, a modest, conservative, non-fadish, feminine, traditional dress code. If someone is turned off because we ask our students to dress professionally at certain times, all I can say is that we are trying to prepare our students to go out into the professional world upon graduation. They might as well get a head start on everyone else.

In the end, only one question matters when choosing a college: Will this college help me get closer to my goal of attaining eternal salvation? If you look into what Christendom offers and believe that this place can possibly make you holier, and give you a broad rigorous academic education to enable you to achieve your goals and dreams, then maybe this place is for you. If you believe another college can help you get to Heaven easier and faster, then you should most certainly go there.

Sorry for such a long response but I hope this answer can help you in your discussions with your children about choosing a Catholic college.
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.