Experience Christendom Summer Program

Meet the Counselors for the 2013 Experience Christendom Summer Program.

While on campus, the summer program participants will be led by 8 current Christendom College students, called Counselors. Many of the counselors have themselves participated in the summer program while in high school and are eager to show others how much Christendom has to offer. Admissions Counselor Sadie Bratt is responsible for organizing the program while Admissions Director Tom McFadden directs all four of these exciting programs.



Matthew Speermatt speer - Head Counselor

Hello, Hello, Hello! My name is Matthew Speer and I am a junior at Christendom College. I come from a family of about 8 kids and am the second child. Second, that is, in the order of birth.  In the order of favorites I am the clear #1.  I live about 45 minutes north of Pittsburgh in a little town called Sarver.  I love my Steelers, Penguins, and Pirates!!!

I enjoy playing and watching sports especially baseball, football, and hockey.  I play center field for the Crusaders even when the rest of the team ditches me on the side of the road. I also play in all the intramural sports which Christendom offers. Other than this I enjoy Philosophy, working out, good company, and fly-fishing.  

My experience at Christendom College has been instrumental in developing the person I am today.  The experience has worked in collaboration with my pre-college experiences in forming my spiritual, academic, athletic, and social life.  I look forward to sharing my positive experience of the school this summer for all those who participate in the summer camps.  It's going to be quite the ride so hold on tight!!!

Cecilia Heisler

Cecilia HeislerHello all! I am Cecilia Heisler from Gibsonia, Pennsylvania, a cozy suburb town abouttwenty-fiveminutes north of Pittsburgh. I love most aspects of the Steel City, save the weather, in which case Fro Ro takes the cake. I'm the second oldest and youngest in my family, quite an anomaly at Christendom. My father went to Christendom freshman year, where he met my mother, who was a current sophomore. Alas, neither were destined to graduate from the fine institution, a fate I hope to contradict. As I love language, I am planning on being a Classics major, and recently have been thinking about double majoring with Philosophy. If not, I will most likely pick up a math minor.

I attended middle school and high school at Aquinas Academy, which was sized around fifteen students per class. Because of this, making the cut for sports teams was practically a given, so I enjoyed seven years of both basketball and field hockey. At Christendom, I continued my basketball career and also fulfilled my life-long dream of joining a choir. I also picked up a position in Student Life. I look forward to finding more ways of involving myself in the college.

Christendom College is a place that is hard not to love. Both the teachers and the students emulate Christ daily, causing a contagiously cheerful and loving atmosphere. I hope you enjoy the beautiful campus as much as I do! It will blow your mind.


Brad Torline

Brad TorlineJust call me Brad. The surname is Torline and I hail from Kentucky - the home of horses, bluegrass, and bourbon.

I am a current freshman here at Christendom and like to hike, study philosophy, (attempt to) play the guitar, read classics, and watch awesome movies like Braveheart (A.K.A. the greatest movie of all time).

I graduated from a large public high school where I experienced the best and worst our general culture has to offer. I made awesome friends from all kinds of backgrounds but witnessed the sad academic and spiritual aimlessness common in our world today. A reversion to Catholicism my freshmen year helped me rise out of the relativism and really live life to the fullest during high school!

When I found out about Christendom I knew it was exactly what I wanted in a college - a vibrant sacramental life, academics that are focused and meaningful, and people, despite my fears coming from such a  diverse high school to such a small Catholic college (to be honest), who are awesome! The students here are talented, adventurous, funny. and, most importantly -trying to be virtuous.

Christendom’s awesome. Don’t believe me? Come to camp and we’ll prove it. Viva Cristo Rey.

klarissa blankKlarissa Blank
My name is Klarissa Blank.  I was raised in a family of nine kids and was homeschooled my whole life.  I live in Woodbridge, VA and am currently a junior and theology major here at Christendom. 

I am an avid soccer player, love dancing and singing, reading, my Catholic faith, and my family and friends (not necessarily in that order:)   I love Christendom for its Catholicity, classes, lessons you learn (both in and out of class), friendships you form, and numerous other things. 

I hope to be able to share that excitement with you this summer.  I look forward to meeting you all and becoming friends in the week we have together.  See you soon!

Leif Pilegaard
Leif PilegaardHello one and all! My name is Leif Pilegaard and I am the 6th child of 12 children and I am born and raised in the brilliant, bright, sunny, warm--and cold--, one-of-a-kind, awesome-sauce, top-notch, spectacular, state of California. I am a current sophomore at Christendom and I have many enjoyments. I love kicking back and reading poetry and good solid literature or even watching a movie. But when I am in the mood and need to blow off some feelings or just warm up my hands I recourse to my fiddle. But on the days that I just want to hang out with friends it is usually on the soccer field....though I am not good at playing soccer, I greatly enjoy it. I also love dancing. Whether there is a dance at Christendom or somewhere else I am always out there swinging the night away. Though, when it is just one of those days to relax I play games of pool and I love socializing and making good memories. Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn our my inspirations, FYI.

I applied to Christendom back in 2010 and I went into the application determined to never go to Christendom, but, lo and behold, I ended up here and it has been the best decision I have ever made! The friends, faculty, teachers, the place....I could go on; but in a quick "snip, snap, snout," it changed my life for the best and I will never regret it.

I love teaching and helping people and after college it is my desire to teach English. But that is when I get to the far side of the world.



rebecca deucher

Rebecca Deucher

Hi! My name is Rebecca, a current junior majoring in Philosophy with a minor in Political Science. I'm the second oldest of twelve kids, raised and homeschooled in Southern Pines, NC, on what we like to think of as a farm (chickens...horses...but mostly kids.) I enjoy horseback riding, photography, piano, skiing...and talking...

When looking at colleges, my priorities were a solid Catholic school with a good political science program. I was planning on going to a larger school, but changed my mind after visiting my sister here. What ultimately drew me was how completely Catholic the school is - we're taught that our faith affects everything we do, and everyone here is trying to live that out joyfully. While still having fun! I'm excited to be a counselor again at the camps to help you experience Christendom this summer!

peter foecklerPeter Foeckler
Good Morning! My name is Peter Foeckler and I am a sophomore from right here in Virginia. I was born at a young age in Richmond and I moved up to Manassas at a slightly older age, so I guess I am the closest thing to a local among the counselors. Studies show that I am the third, tallest, and awesome-est of six boys, and two of my brothers have also come to Christendom.

I attended high school at Seton School, a private Catholic school in Manassas, which, for all you Seton Home Study students out there, is the school which founded the Home Study (although they are no longer affiliated). I chose to come to Christendom because of the strong Catholic community found here at the school as well as the well-rounded liberal arts program, both of which help to form Christendom’s students into great examples of Catholic men and women. Currently, I am planning to major in Philosophy and minor in Math.

Here at the school I have played on the men’s soccer and baseball teams, acted with the Christendom Players, and worked on the Student Activities Council. Besides that, I have been involved in altar serving, choir, any and all intramurals, the Student Ambassador program, and various jobs around campus. In what spare time I have, I enjoy running, reading, swing dancing, and learning guitar. Whatever your favorite activity is, Christendom is almost guaranteed to have it, so give it a shot and I promise it’ll be better than playing video games all summer! See you at camp!

catherine schneiderCatherine Schneider
Hi! My name is Catherine Schneider and I was born and raised in the deep South in a little old state called Louisiana. I am the fourth of seven children and was homeschooled all my life before coming to Christendom in 2011.

I love swing dancing (and look forward to teaching you some great moves this summer). I enjoy any type of social event and love meeting new people. Though I am not particularly great at sports, I love taking part in all the intramural sports here at Christendom. I am now a rising Junior and loving every minute of it! What I like about Christendom is the fact that everyone becomes a real family by sharing in the same Catholic Faith, which is deepened and enhanced through the education.

I fell in love with Christendom when I went to the summer program in 2010. I am extremely excited about being a summer program counselor and can't wait to help all of you future campers to fall in love with Christendom, just as I did.





Testimonies from past program participants