Student Profile

Brigid King

Age: 19
Year: Junior
From: Brussels, Belgium
Major: History
Hobbies? I have always been interested in photography and reading; I also love planning and putting on events.
Who's your favorite professor? I absolutely love both Ethics and Metaphysics with Prof. Michael Brown.
What extra-curricular activities do you participate in? I am on the Student Activities Council (SAC) and I work in the Advancement Office as a research analyst as well as in the St. Gabriel Calling Center. I also play in a couple of intramural sports.
What is your favorite thing about Christendom? First off, the classes are awesome. It is reassuring to note that everything being taught is in line with the Magisterium. I also love how many opportunities there are. If you want to be involved, there are a wide variety of options. Lastly, having the Chapel right in the middle of campus is a great reminder to always have Christ as the center of everything you do.
Why did you choose Christendom? My sister in law encouraged me to consider Christendom so I applied and ever since I have been happy that I did.
What has surprised you the most about Christendom? All the awesome opportunities that are given. Also, the people here constantly surprise me.
Plans after graduation? Putting my Christendom education to good use in the political field.
Any parting words of advice for a prospective student? Come and visit! There is so much that Christendom has to offer that cannot be expressed without living it.

Student Life

Capture the Flag

On Sunday afternoon, 25 students gathered outside the St. Lawrence Commons for an exciting game of Capture the Flag. The participants were divided into upperclassmen vs. underclassmen. Junior Julie McMahon and sophomore Austin Leavitt announced the rules once everyone arrived. All were thrilled to have something fun to do outdoors, since it ended up being a beautiful fall day. Flags had been hidden in all nooks and cranies, which ended up being a great challenge for everyone to find. The game lasted for a few hours, and the upperclassmen ended up being the victors at the end of the day.

"It was epic," Leavitt said.

Julie McMahon guides the upperclassmen to where their flags have been hidden.

Some of the underclassmen line up as they wait to start the game.

Junior Brian Rankin runs in with the first flag of the day.


Music and the Common Good

On Sunday evening, Dr. Kurt Poterack gave a lecture as part of the Beato Fra Angelico Fine Arts Series. Entitled "Artistic Patronage and the Common Good: The Case of Johann Sebastian Bach," he spoke on the value of music, and how music itself has changed.

"Symphonies or art music is longer and is not over within two or three minutes. By listening to symphonies, we are also engaging our memory," he said.

Dr. Poterack also emphasized the impact and importance of Johann Sebastian Bach. He spoke of how Bach had been the end of an amazing era of music that has sadly not been returned to by society today.

You can download this lecture at Christendom on iTunes U.

itunes u

Dealing with the Passions

On Tuesday, Fr. Donald Planty, Christendom's head chaplain, continued his series of talks this semester entitled “Dealing with the Passions” with a talk on anger. While there is always a very good turnout for Fr. Planty’s talk series, this week had an especially large turnout with over 75 students. In discussing the passions, Fr. Planty focuses on purifying thoughts, governing emotions, overcoming vices, and healing wounds.

“Fr. Planty's talks are full of insight and useful knowledge because he shows how all the passions tie together and flow from one another,” senior Olivia Seidl said. “I have personally benefited from his talk series on the passions, and I am looking forward to the rest of them.”

The Chapel Crypt was packed for Fr. Planty's talk on anger.

Jousting Tournament!

On Friday night students gathered to test their strength in David Massa’s Jousting Tournament. Because the Student Activities Council had nothing scheduled for last Friday, a contest was held to see which student could come up the with most original event idea that stayed within a specific budget and would have a wide appeal. Freshman David Massa’s vision of students fighting each other in a large, blow-up ring in the middle of St. Lawrence Commons won the competition, and provided a unique form of entertainment for students on campus. Men and women alike came out to cheer on and beat down friends all in a friendly, competitive spirit.

"All who attended had a great time," freshman Athan Clark shared. “The fact that the college offers these kinds of unique events is awesome. It was a fun-filled night that I really enjoyed.”

Cousins Athan and Alex Clark face-off in the ring.

Senior Chris Ferrara knocks down Freshman Matt Hambric.

Sophomores Duncan and Patrick Hilleary have fun competing.

Freshmen Matt Kane and David Massa, the organizer of the event, pick upbeat tunes to accompany the fights.

The evening was fun for all who participated.


Women's Open House

On Sunday afternoon, the ladies opened their doors to the gentlemen for the second Women’s Open House of the semester. Some rooms provided snacks while others played music, entertaining the guys as they came through.

The whole afternoon had a casually fun, family atmosphere as everyone relaxed and hung out together. Because the event lasts all afternoon the students can linger and visit with friends in different Residence Halls without rushing, and thus enjoy the rare treat of being able to spend some quality time together.

Christendom's normal policy prohibiting men and women to enter each others' residence halls is lifted a couple of times a semester, on Sunday afternoons.


Chillaxin' on a Sunday afternoon.

Even College Chaplain Fr. Donald Planty visited with students.

Some ladies served up snacks on these awesome animal plates.


Rome Report

with Maria Bonvisutto



On Thursday morning, our whole class boarded the bus for the four-hour journey to Florence. Everyone had been eagerly anticipating this trip for some time, and we couldn't wait to roam the streets of one of Italy's most beloved cities. And Firenze went above and beyond our expectations!

We stayed in Hotel Maxim on Via dei Calzaiuoli, a bright and bustling main street of Florence that leads straight from the gorgeous Duomo to Piazza della Signoria in the center of town. We couldn't have asked for a better or more central location.

After checking in around noon on Thursday, we split into two groups and went on a guided tour of the city. Our group's guide, Sasha, not only gave us a great idea of the historical and artistic significance of many of Florence's most famous spots, but she also showed us other smaller points of interest such as the best places to get gelato, coffee, and hot chocolate in the city.

A sizeable portion of our time here was spent experiencing the fun of bartering in the markets for the leather goods that Florence is so renowned for. The open-air San Lorenzo market was an especially exciting place to shop. Wandering down the gauntlet of countless tents with hundreds and hundreds of belts, ties, jackets, purses and scarves and being accosted by eager merchants was daunting, to say the least!

It certainly was entertaining hearing some peoples' stories about their bartering battles. However, it was all in good fun, and at the markets in Firenze bargaining is perfectly acceptable, and even expected most of the time. While everyone had their chance to perfect their haggling skills, a couple of my classmates astounded us with the way they could get merchants to drop their prices down to incredibly low rates. All in all, most of us left Firenze with jackets, bags and boots that we'd haggled down to the perfect price.

Our time in Florence wasn't all shopping though. Everyone managed to see a good amount of the city in between trips to the market. Florence is a relatively small city (at least compared to Rome!) but there are so many cultural and artistic riches tucked away everywhere. Quite a few people took the time to brave the hundreds of steps to climb to the top of the dome and bell tower of Il Duomo, the magnificent church that's the pride and joy of Florence.

Of course, no trip to Florence would be complete without a visit to the world-famous Uffizi Gallery. From Giotto to Lippi to Botticelli to Michelangelo to Van Dyke, you name a Medieval or Rennaissance artist and his works are there. It was quite surreal, walking through the revered halls of the museum and gazing at these works of art that we'd only seen in pictures and heard about from afar. The room dedicated to Botticelli was a special favorite of many of my classmates. It was truly amazing to be able to gaze at masterpieces such as The Birth of Venus and Primavera in person.

One evening, some students took an optional walk up to San Miniato, a monastery on a hill outside the city walls with absolutely incredible panoramic views of Florence. We spent time exploring the church and attending Mass with a couple of the monks. It was a very peaceful and beautiful side trip.

Florence held quite a few culinary highlights for us as well. Some of us were brave and tried lampredotto, a Florentine specialty which is essentially the stomach of a cow. As terrible as that sounds, it actually wasn't bad! We also enjoyed out-of-this world hot chocolate from La Rivoire, a coffee shop on the Piazza della Signoria. On our last afternoon, we went as a class to have brunch at the Ganzo Culinary Institute. As part of their final test before graduating, the students at this cooking school have to make meals that some lucky customers try. As a result, everything on the buffet table was absolutely delicious and cooked to perfection. From squid and peas to crepes, we enjoyed every last piece of food on our plates.

Our few days in Florence slipped by much too quickly, and before we knew it we were climbing back onto the bus and waving a sad goodbye to this truly beautiful place. I have a feeling that at least some of us will be coming back someday!

The view from the top of il Duomo was worth the 450+ steps.

Enjoying the view from il Duomo.

A view of the city from the monastery across the river.

Atop the medieval Palazzo Vecchio.

Happy times (and shoppers) in Florence.

Florentine delights!



Crusader Sports Center

Basketball is Back on Campus!

Both the men's and women's basketball teams started their seasons on the road playing some tough games against powerhouse Davis College, who defeated both Christendom teams in hard fought games. On Tuesday, both teams hosted the very talented Penn State University Mont Alto for their home openers in Crusader Gymnasium.

The Lady Crusaders played very well as a whole and took an early lead in the first half but PSUMA closed the gap and eventually broke ahead. But the Lady Crusaders dug in and tied up the game at halftime at 27-27. The second half was just as intense with some key contributions from the Slaten sisters, junior Liz and sophomore Sarah, as well as freshman Elizabeth Ford, but PSUMA came out on top scoring 55 to Christendom's 47.  Despite the loss, the Lady Crusaders fought very well, with support from a large crowd of Christendom Crazies.

After this tough loss, the men's team took to the court. Despite being at a significant height disadvantage, the Crusaders took the lead early in the game, thanks to key plays from sophomore Jeremy Minick and seniors Jonathan Fioramonti and Tim Vander Woude.  Yet, despite these efforts, the Crusaders could not keep up with bigger and faster Nittany Lions, and ended the first half trailing them by 16. In the second half, the Crusaders kept up the fight, but the size and speed of the Penn State was too much for the Crusaders. Despite a strong defensive effort, and the support from the crowd of Christendom Crazies, the Crusaders fell 36-80.

Both the men's and women's teams are ready for their next games against NCAA Division III opponents: the men play at home against Randolph College on November 15 at 5p.m. and the women's next game is away at Trinity University on Nov. 20 at 7:30 p.m.


Special Report

New History Professor on Campus:
Christopher J. Lane

This week, Chronicler reporter Madeleine Murphy caught up with history professor Christopher J. Lane to get to know one of the newest members of the History Department faculty.

Christopher J. LaneMadeleine: What is your background? Where did you receive your undergraduate degree, and graduate degree(s)?

Prof. Lane: After receiving my BA from Christendom College, I received an MA in history at Saint Louis University. From there, I went to the University of Notre Dame, where I received a second MA and will soon be completing my history PhD.

M: What brought you to join Christendom College's faculty this year?

L: Having loved the intellectual formation I received at Christendom, my hope had always been to teach at a small liberal arts college. I had never imagined, however, that Christendom would be seeking to hire a new history faculty member at the time I would be finishing my PhD. When I heard about the position, I was thrilled at the possibility of joining our excellent faculty.

M: How does teaching at Christendom compare to your expectations?

L: Teaching within an integrated liberal arts core curriculum greatly expands what I can do in the classroom. When I teach the Ancient Greeks in History 101, for example, it's wonderful that I can refer to Homer, Plato, and Aristotle, knowing that my students will understand the references.

M: What is your favorite aspect of Christendom College thus far?

L: I feel particularly blessed to be able to teach and write in a place where faith and reason are both valued, as "two wings on which the human spirit rises to the contemplation of truth."

M: What classes are you currently teaching, and are there any classes in particular you would like to teach in the future?

L: I have enjoyed teaching all four parts of our history core curriculum, and I envision next year teaching an upper division course on the Catholic Reformation. After that, I would like to teach courses on the history of France in the modern era, the history of Catholic overseas missions, and the history of the family.

M: Why, in your opinion, do you believe that History is important in a liberal arts curriculum, and at Christendom College in particular?

L: History, studied in light of faith and reason, enables us better to see our place in the human community across time. In a culture marked by the related dangers of apathy about history and simplistic historical narratives, detailed study of history leads us toward a clear and nuanced vision. Our history core curriculum in particular helps students to see beyond present-day prejudices by exploring Hebrew, Greek, and Roman antiquity; the development of historic Christendom and Western civilization; and the origins of the modern world.

M: Do you have any hobbies or favorite activities outside of the classroom?

L: I enjoy hiking and nature activities generally, and my two-year-old daughter especially loves family trips to nearby Shenandoah National Park. Music, particularly singing, is also an important part of life in the Lane household. Finally, although I am very much out of practice, I hold a black belt in a martial arts style that combines Tae Kwon Do and Jujitsu, and our own Dr. Reinhard was one of my instructors in it.


Tom McFaddenAsk the Director

Q. People keep telling me I need to go to one of your summer programs. I don't particularly want to go to "school" during the summer, so tell me what's so great about your summer programs.

A. It is certainly understandable why you might be a bit reluctant to spend a week during the summer attending school. That's a pretty natural reaction. But, if you understood what going to our school was all about, you would never think that way. And that is why you MUST come this summer - to realize why everyone who attends thinks it is one of the BEST weeks of their lives - yes, lives.

First off, our Experience Christendom Summer Program is the most well-attended and highly-ranked program of its kind in the nation. Last year, in 5 sessions, we had 212 participants. And do you know what their average ranking was when asked to rank the statement (between 1 - the worst- and 5 - the best), "I enjoyed my summer program experience?" 4.68/5.0. That's pretty amazing, I think.

So, now that we have established how highly ranked and loved the program is (and if you need more proof, go ahead and read testimonies of students who attended last summer. They will be able to explain their experiences better than I could), let me summarize the program for you.

This summer, we will have 4 one-week sessions. They each cost $500, but if someone wishes to ask for financial assistance, they can do so. We will have around 45-50 high school juniors (or rising seniors, as we like to call them) who come from all across the country, and sometimes from places such as England, Holland, Spain, Ireland, Mexico, and Canada. Eight current Christendom students serve as the Counselors for the summer. This year, Brad Torline will be the Head Counselor, and Peter Foeckler, Catherine Schneider, Leif Pilegaard, and Cecilia Heisler will be returning for another year as counselors. I am still looking at applicants for the other three positions, but all I can tell you is that these counselors are amazing people who serve as mentors, friends, and guides to the students to ensure that everyone has a great time and feels welcome on our campus.

Students arrive on a Sunday and leave on a Saturday, and in between, they take classes in history, philosophy, and English literature each morning, attend Mass and lunch, then take a Theology class . In the afternoon and evenings, lots of fun activities are scheduled to give students the opportunity to experience the beautiful area that we are in (the Shenandoah Valley), and to get to know the other participants better. After a week of experiencing the three main aspects of a Christendom education - academic life, spiritual life, and recreational life - in the company of other really great high school students, the participants leave with a renewed understanding of their Faith, what Christendom is all about, and oftentimes, themselves.

Online registration will open on Monday, December 2, and will continue until filled. We've had waiting lists for the past two years, so, although there is no need for everyone to go online and register on December 2, I'd say do it sooner than later to be safe.

Hopefully I'll see you this summer!