Christendom College’s Catholic, liberal arts education has helped inspire nearly two hundred religious vocations since its founding, thanks to the college’s firm commitment to the Magisterium and its vibrant spiritual atmosphere. Of the nearly two hundred alumni that have discerned vocations to the religious life, seventy-five men have become priests thus far. That number will increase to almost eighty this summer, with four alumni being ordained as priests over the next few months.
“Christendom gave me the opportunity to explore the Catholic Faith as an adult and to delve into the mysteries of theology in an academic setting,” says Deacon Philip O’Neill, who is currently studying at Mount St. Mary’s Seminary. A 2012 graduate of Christendom College, Deacon O’Neill will be ordained a diocesan priest for the Diocese of Hartford, Conn., on May 21.
“The college provided the backdrop for me to learn what it means to be spiritual and to live a life of spirituality. With help from the wonderful priests there and the lessons I had in class, especially Dr. O’Donnell’s Ascetical-Mystical theology course, I was able to encounter the Lord in a more meaningful way than ever before. These experiences certainly shaped me and gave me the confidence to explore priesthood as a vocation,” says Deacon O’Neill.
Deacon Alex McCullough will join Deacon O’Neill in ordination on May 21, becoming a diocesan priest for the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, Ohio. Deacon McCullough entered Mount St. Mary’s Seminary of the West in 2011, after graduating from Christendom in 2009.
On May 1, Deacon Sabatino Carnazzo (’04) will be ordained a priest in the Melkite Greek Catholic Eparchy of Newton. Deacon Carnazzo has already made a great impact on souls since leaving Christendom, founding the Institute of Catholic Culture in 2006. Deacon Carnazzo sees Christendom as a turning point in his life, and a key step in his eventual discernment to the priesthood.
“When I first came to Christendom, I expected to learn facts, doctrines, and formulas. I did learn these, but more importantly, I learned a way of life. Through the liberal arts education offered at Christendom, I learned to see the whole of reality centered upon Jesus Christ. I discovered the transformative character of authentic education and I pledged to God to share this gift with others. I have found my life’s calling, sharing with others the life-changing education that I received at Christendom,” says Deacon Carnazzo.
Christendom’s current professor of philosophy for its Rome Program, Deacon Matthew Rensch, will join these three as priests on June 18, when he is ordained for the Diocese of Burlington, Vt.
Deacon Rensch earned his B.A. from Christendom in 2011, where he also served as a summer program counselor for the Experience Christendom Summer Program and as the Head Resident Assistant at the college. After graduating from the college, Deacon Rensch studied at the Pontifical North American College in Rome, and began teaching for Christendom this past fall.
Together, the four alumni will mark the 76th, 77th, 78th, and 79th priests to come from Christendom College. Deacon O’Neill will be ordained at the Cathedral of St. Joseph, Hartford, Conn., at 11:00 a.m., on May 21, along with Deacon McCullough, who will be ordained at the Cathedral of St. Peter in Chain, Cincinnati, Ohio, at 11:00 a.m. Deacon Sabatino Carnazzo will be ordained at Holy Transfiguration Church in McLean, Va., at 9:30 a.m. on May 1, and Deacon Matthew Rensch will be ordained at St. Joseph Co-Cathedral, Burlington, Vt., at 10:00 a.m. on June 18.
For a full listing of all the many religious vocations that have been fostered at Christendom College, please click here.