Listening to God's Call


Name: Sarah Barren
Woodbridge, VA
I have been studying culinary arts since my freshman year of high school and I love it.
What's your favorite class?
If I had to pick my favorite class it would be Fr. Gee's Theology. I love that class because the material is very interesting and Fr. Gee is very engaging. All the professors are impressive, though. I love how they make themselves so available for their students!
Do you play any sports?
I play basketball because it's always been a sport that I've liked and I hope to play volleyball next fall. I've participated in all the intramurals so far this year.
Do you participate in any drama or music related activities?
I have a role in the upcoming Mystery-Dinner Theater (April 9 and 10) and I in sing in the choir.
What is your favorite thing about Christendom? One of my favorite things about Christendom is its family atmosphere! As a freshman, I feel I can talk to anyone here comfortably. The alumni of Christendom College are still very much involved and I think that's a great thing! I love when families come to Mass or visit the campus!
Why did you choose Christendom? I chose Christendom College because I knew it was the best place for my soul. Even though I've wanted to study culinary arts, I knew that Christendom would prepare me better for Heaven and that was most important to me!
What do you plan to do after graduation?
I plan to teach for a year, then pursue culinary school.


Students Discern God's Call

Saturday afternoon, many different orders of religious filled the St. Lawrence commons for Discernment Weekend at Christendom. Each of the different religious orders present hosted tables enabling students to discover more about the orders. The weekend began with Vespers in the Chapel of Christ the King, with a homily by Christendom Alumnus Fr. Tony Stephens. After dinner, a well attended Stations of the Cross was held. Saturday morning began with confessions and Mass, followed by lunch. After lunch, the breakout sessions began.

Lots of different opportunities to hear talks were provided. One of the many talks was given by Sr. Maris Stella, a Nashville Dominican. The girls in the classroom couldn’t help but smile when greeted by the beautiful smiling Sister with blue eyes and a freckled face.

Sister Maris Stella encouraged the girls to be especially open, and reminded them that “when we seek to grow in God’s love, we grow in His will.” She told the girls about how she was fickle with her discernment period, but was reminded that “every soul will be fickle until it makes a decision and sticks with it.”

She ended by reminding the girls that “God never forces us into our vocation. He’s a gentleman. He’ll hunt you down, and hound you, but never force you into the religious life.”

Another of the great talks was given by Christendom Alumni Tim and Katie Halisky on “Marriage as a Vocation.” They talked about the importance of chastity in relationships because those dating want to know that someone really cares about their souls, and also on how it is important to be open to God’s will. They talked also about married life, and how important Catholicism is in things like daily prayer, rosary, frequent attendance of Mass, etc.

Another talk was given on “Discerning Your Vocation While Single” by Seminarian Matthew Hoelscher. He spoke on the discernment process while single, and again, like the other talks, emphasized being open to God’s will. He recommended ways to help in the discerning process, like daily examinations of conscience, frequent confession, daily rosaries, etc. After explaining his process of discernment, and the ups and downs, he said, “If you’re open to it, God will get you. He’s not going to let you do something you aren’t called to do.”

Upstairs, in between talks, students milled about and spoke with the different religious about their journeys, and finding God’s will in their lives.

“I think it’s really touching to hear all the vocation stories of all the religious," said Freshman Sara Federico, "and it’s really neat to see how they’ve found joy and peace in what they’ve been called to.”

Along with daily Masses, rosaries, prayer, and of course the great Catholic environment, Discernment weekend is just one more way Christendom helps students focus on discovering God’s will for their lives.

An Open Panel Discussion with priests and religious was held on Saturday night. Sophomore Ted Cantu was particularly amazed by it. “There were over 20 religious answering questions, offering advice, and sharing some of their experiences,” he said. “It's tremendous that we are able to get so many religious to come here and help us discern our vocations. It was a really edifying weekend.”

Alumni Tim and Katie Halisky tell students about the joys and challenges in married life.

Students filled the classrooms for the break-out sessions.

Senior Jozef Schutzman plans on discerning a vocation this summer with the Transalpine Redemptorists, an order of monks located on the island of Papa Stronsay, Scotland. “I am really looking forward to it,” he said.

The Arlington Diocese's Director of Vocations, Fr. Brian Bashista, was there. “His presence provides a great opportunity for local students in the Arlington Diocese who are discerning a religious or priestly vocation, like myself, to make first contact with the Vocations Director,” said Sophomore David Frank.

Students, priests, and religious enjoyed the social on Saturday night. All were able to relax and have candid conversations.

Students hang out with Benedictine Fr. Gregory Gesko.

Charity in D.C.

Early on Sunday morning, Christendom student volunteers, under the leadership of Philosophy Professor Mike Brown and Associate Dean of Student Life Miss Tambi Spitz, boarded vans bound for the Missionaries of Charity house in Washington D.C. Upon arrival, the students visited the chapel, and then split into two groups: the guys assisting in the men’s residence and the girls volunteering in the women’s housing.

The girls donned aprons, some assisting in mopping floors and cleaning windows, some feeding and bathing residents, and others washing laundry – by hand – whistling, chatting, and praying together as they happily worked alongside the nuns. Upstairs, the boys completed similar tasks, and then visited and prayed with the residents.

“Working with the sisters was so nice, and in a way paralleled our recent speaker, Susan Conroy, who worked with Mother Teresa and the Missionaries of Charity. She just radiated joy,” said freshman Lisa Hill. “The sisters we worked with had the same cheerfulness and genuine joy, and there was such purity in their love of working for Christ.”

Other missionary trips are being planned for the spring semester, both locally and internationally, to “Restore all things in Christ.” Another trip to the Missionaries of Charity house is scheduled, and over the spring break, Christendom College students and faculty will be traveling to Honduras and the Dominican Republic to assist in poverty stricken areas.

Junior Brittany Buckner and Freshman Lisa Hill sweep the refectory.

After the work was completed, students led a rosary with nuns and residents, and then visited the Chapel in thanksgiving for a successful trip.

Lithuanian Hero

On Monday, Christendom's Founding President Dr. Warren Carroll delivered a lecture entitled "Andrew Eiva and the End of the Communist Empire." Eiva, a personal friend of Carroll and native of Lithuania, was instrumental in defeating the Soviet Union in Afghanistan.

"As long as I knew him—about ten years—Andy always called communism 'the death machine,'" Carroll said. "He dedicated his life to the destruction of the Communist Empire, which ruled his first homeland, and for which he an abiding hatred."

Download this talk at Christendom on iTunes U.


Rome, Sweet Home

Our first week in Rome is now over and done, and what a week it was. After our retreat in Assisi and Siena, we started classes the following Monday.

Our classroom is located in the lower part of a convent connected to the Vatican, so we pass by St. Peter's every day. We also can receive the Pope’s blessing on Wednesdays at noon if we climb to the balcony on top of our classroom building.

The first week of school consisted of major immersion in the Italian language, a class taught by Professor Eric Hewitt. In order for the Christendom students to fully experience the Italian culture, familiarity with the native language is required. Professor Hewitt drilled us, especially in the everyday use of Italian, such as asking for directions, shopping, and ordering meals at the local restaurants. One of our first assignments was to shop at a nearby food market and become familiar with buying food, using our recently learned Italian. The only downside to this school assignment was the fact that it was scheduled on Ash Wednesday. Thus the sight of the fresh vegetables, fruit, and delicious desserts caused the fasting Christendom students to groan in hunger.

Despite the temptation to eat before lunch, we greatly enjoyed the realistic experience of an Italian market. We found the venders to be loud, friendly, and lively. One butcher even struck a dramatic pose with a lamb skull and quoted some lines from Hamlet.

Although our Ash Wednesday was a full one, all our activities were eclipsed by a very unexpected surprise later that afternoon. After Italian class, a group of classmates and I noticed some commotion near one of the Vatican side parking lots.
We then realized that the Italian police and Swiss Guards were preparing for Pope Benedict’s departure to say the first Station Mass at the Church of Saint Sabina. We immediately made a beeline for the barriers and were able to group together very close to where the Pope would drive out. We waited with bated breath, praying to be able to have a close glimpse of the Vicar of Christ. Our hope was fulfilled within minutes - a Mercedes drove into our view and Pope Benedict smiled and waved as he passed us. The Christendom students went crazy with joy, the girls screamed and the boys cheered, while Nick Lowry waved his Christendom book bag above our heads. It was an amazing and grace-filled moment for all of us!

The rest of our week was filled with settling into our apartments, studying, shopping, and cooking our meals. Luckily for me, I have two good cooks as roommates, Bernadette Horiuchi and Mary Kate Vander Woude, so there is no chance I’ll starve. My only worry is that I might be gaining excessive weight before the semester ends.

So, now the Christendom students are gearing up for our first free weekend, which will give us the chance to do some traveling and exploring on our own.

Until then...

There's lots of fun and to be had at the Trevi Fountain at night.

Elise Anderson, Margaret Antunes, and Anna Zganiacz enjoy the glories of gelato.

Thomas Kelly and Michael Strickland enjoy the glories of the Colosseum.


Find Out More About Your Future Major

Christendom Tube has a lot of great videos that will help you discover more about the Christendom College experience. One series of videos is the Department Videos. Interested in a one of our Majors or Minors? Watch the videos below to find out more.


English Language & Literature

Politial Science and Economics



Classics and Early Christian Studies


Math & Science


Crusader Rugby Gets Toughed up in the Snow

Rugby season hasn't started yet, but it is just around the corner. Our lads are toughening up and training hard, making themselves thirsty for victory.

And although there is still quite a bit of snow on the ground, it has not stopped the team from practicing. Rugby in the snow sounds like fun right? Well maybe...but I don't know about the 20 push-ups for a dropped pass.

Check out the photos below:

Sophomore Ben Ranieri reaches to complete the pass.

Sophomore Paddy "Toothless" Norton charges through the snow

Snowy push-ups.

Snow flies as Sophomore Joe Long gets ready to catch the ball.

Senior Zach Miller leads his teammates down the field.

Q. I’ve heard that Christendom recently started some sort of athletic scholarship. Can you tell me more about it?

A. Yes, we have created The Thomas S. Vander Woude Memorial Scholar Athlete Scholarship and will be awarding it to one incoming freshman this year.

As people continue to donate to this fund, we may be able to offer to many more students each year, but we have to see how donations go.

Basically, incoming freshmen may apply for this newly created scholarship by filling in an application. The scholarship, named in memory of former Athletic Director Tom Vander Woude, will hopefully enable more student-athlete leaders to attend Christendom and be formed physically, mentally, and spiritually. Mr. Tom Vander Woude was dedicated to the overall character formation and personal growth of the young people on campus, especially those participating in intercollegiate athletics.

Applicants should have shown excellence in the areas of leadership, academics, and athletics in addition to other factors which are listed on the application. For more information or for an application please contact the athletics department at

Christendom offers many athletic opportunities, including inter-collegiate sports such as rugby, basketball, soccer, golf, and baseball; club sports such as boxing (which is hoping to be inter-collegiate next year); and many intramural sports such as 3-on-3 basketball, indoor soccer, volleyball, whiffleball, flag-football, and dodgeball.
Director of Admissions
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.