From: Phoenix, Arizona
Hobbies? Having good quality conversations, watching movies, hanging with friends in general, singing, dancing, sports, dining out, hosting, and gatherings in my room.
What's your favorite class? It is a tie between Philosophy and Theology. Both are good classes and the professors know what they are talking about.
What extra-curricular activities do you participate in? Night prayer and intramural sports.
What is your favorite thing about Christendom? Not to sound too cheesy, but I really do enjoy the ability to attend Mass daily and receive the sacraments so easily. But most of all I love the people here, because they are quality people and know how to have a good time.
Why did you choose Christendom? I knew it was where I was meant to be, so it was the only school I applied to.
What has surprised you the most about Christendom? That it has changed me more quickly and greatly than I ever expected.
Any parting words of advice for a prospective student? Come visit ASAP!
A Final Evening with Fr. Planty
On Tuesday night students gathered in the Chapel Crypt for Fr. Planty’s last talk of the semester. His final talk in his series on the passions, entitled “Pride and Vainglory vs. Humility,” discussed the harmful effects of pride, symptoms that one might be struggling with pride, and provided spiritual insights into how to conquer it. As always, the students enjoyed Fr. Planty’s blend of practical advice, holy admonishments, personal stories, and down-to-earth humor, and left feeling informed and empowered.
Freshman Thomas Hepler really enjoyed the series as a whole.
“They were very informative and enjoyable, and I liked the way each talk applied to different aspects of daily life,” he said.
Padre Planty’s talks are consistently well attended, and are sure to be an automatic hit once they return with the beginning of next semester.
All who attended benefited from Fr. Planty's wisdom and enjoyed his stories.
Everyone looks forward to attending Father's next series of talks in the Spring.
This final week of school before finals begin is always a very active one for the students. Final classes, handing in papers, various parties and activities. But one event is a little more nerve-racking than others: The Senior Thesis Defense.
Every Christendom College graduate has to write a 30+ page thesis prior to graduation. Students spend an entire semester working on their great work, and for some departments, there is an additional requirement that the student present/defend his thesis before his peers and faculty.
On Tuesday night, faculty members of the Theology Department, as well as many students, were on hand to hear the defense of the Theology majors' theses. Senior Hannah Ethridge, who was a bit nervous, said she enjoyed defending her topic.
"A number of people asked me questions about my topic, and thankfully, I was able to come up with prettty decent answers," she said. "It was just a tad bit scarey."
The English Department students spent their Thursday afternoon - their free study day prior to finals - meeting together and defending their theses.
Caroling in the Rotunda
On Wednesday, December 4, the annual Christmas caroling event, Caroling in the Rotunda, took place in the St. John the Evangelist Library. Students, faculty, and staff all got in the Christmas spirit by joining together in singing Christmas classics, such as "The Carol of the Bells," "O Holy Night," "Once in Royal David's City," and "What Child is This." The library staff provided hot apple cider, coffee, donuts, and other treats, and the singing went on for hours, as newcomers continually joined in the caroling.
“It was fun to enjoy Christmas carols with my classmates and to make music together,” said freshman Evelynne Stewart. “I was surprised at how good we all sounded, and it was a wonderful way to start off the Advent season.”
Everyone kicked off the evening by singing "O Come, O Come Emmanuel."
Mrs. Mickey Krebs, the Library Acquisitions Assistant, sings "The Little Drummer Boy" with a group of students.
Theology professor, Dr. Jenislawski, brought his daughters with him to sing Christmas carols.
Christmas in Bedford Falls
Of all the events held by the Student Activities Council (SAC) throughout the entire academic year, one that is repeatedly listed as a favorite is Christmas Formal. The amount of time and effort put into it is very obvious, as the gym is transformed into a whole new world for the students. This year, senior Sean LaRochelle brought to life the movie, "It's A Wonderful Life." Everyone got to experience downtown Bedford Falls, the Bailey living room, Nick's bar, and so much more. They gym ceiling was sparkling with hundred of Christmas lights, dozens of trees lined the walls, music filled the air, and smiles were on everyone's faces.
"This Christmas formal was the best I have experienced in my four years at Christendom. It was a step into the life of George Bailey, reminding us all that life is a wonderful gift," senior Maribeth Kelly said. "Thank you Sean LaRochelle for all your hard work - Merry Christmas, Christendom!"
The senior class sings the traditional "Senior Carol." Sung to the tunes of Christmas songs, the seniors write their own lyrics about their class for the "Carol."
The freshmen get a group shot together in the Bailey living room.
President O'Donnell addresses the student body and faculty after dinner.
The student choir sang "Veni, Veni, Emmanuel."
Students were anxious to hit the dance floor.
Senior Faith Leopold sang for everyone in the middle of the evening.
Freshman Andrew Ford dances with freshman Katie Ward.
Senior James Ciskanik dances with Junior Kat Turner.
Freshmen Mary Solitario and JP Heisler enjoyed a dance together.
Campion Christmas Party
On Sunday evening the women of St. Edmund Campion Hall gathered together to turn their hallways into winter scenes for the Campion Christmas Party and Open House. Each floor worked to bring a different theme to life, using everything from Christmas trees and construction paper, to lampposts and snowflakes.
Along with the festive scenery, each floor had a mix of holiday snacks, sweets, and drinks, all compiled by the women for the enjoyment of their guests. The party was a hit as people wandered throughout Campion all evening, doors open and friends mingling in the cheery atmosphere. The event provided students with a fun and relaxed night to spend time hanging out with classmates and simply enjoying each other’s company in the spirit of Christmas before the busyness of finals week begins.
The Basement presents a Charlie Brown Christmas.
Students were all smiles as they enjoyed snacks and conversation together.
Sophomores partake in warm beverages.
The Grinch sits in his lair on Campion's Top Floor.
Freshmen gather together to relax before finals.
Card games and company made for a fun end to the weekend.
Ben Hur with Dr. O'Donnell
On Wednesday night, College President Dr. Timothy O’Donnell invited pupils from his freshmen history section to his house to watch "Ben-Hur," a classic movie which ties together the history learned and theological points made in the class throughout the semester. A van drove students to the college president’s house, where Dr. O’Donnell and his family received them kindly, taking coats, providing refreshments, and making sure everyone was as comfortable as possible before beginning the film. Many had not seen the award-winning drama before, and all were stunned at the depth of the film and the connections it made to what they had learned.
“Having a college President who invites his students over to his house is so awesome," freshman Madeline Gomez said. "I had a great time, it was neat to see the way the film and the class material connected, and experiencing that with my whole section together in the family-like setting was fantastic”.
Everyone agreed that Dr. O’Donnell’s class was one of the best this semester, and enjoyed being able to spend time with him and his family on such a friendly level.
Dr. O'Donnell chats with freshman Jack Hiserman about the film.
Student grab some refreshments before the film starts.
Watching "Ben Hur" at Dr. O'Donnell's is annual tradition that started back in the 80's.
Crusader Sports Center
As the fall semester comes to a close so does a successful season of the ever-popular intramural volleyball. In past years, intramural volleyball has traditionally been one of the more competitive intramural sports, along with indoor soccer—both have the largest number of student participants. This year has been no exception. With 23 teams and more than 115 players participating—including faculty and staff—the gym has been fully active from 9:30 to midnight on Monday and Thursday evenings with volleyball games.
Just this past Monday, two teams faced off in the 2013 intramural volleyball championship. The first team included head women's volleyball coach, Josh Petersen, Mary Barbale, Bridget Vander Woude, Stephen Tracey, and Kathleen Curran. They faced a strong team, which consisted of Matthew and John David Speer, Peter Marra, Dan Mitchell, and Mary Solitario. With the level of talent and experience found in both teams, the game was an intense one. Starting with a tight match, Josh Petersen and his team won the first set. Then it was the other team's turn. The Speer brothers, Mitchell, Marra, and Solitario, came back to win the second set, which sent the teams into a third and final set. With the momentum in their favor, the Speer team came out on top again to win the 2013 intramural volleyball championship.
"It's great to win the championship. I've played every year with my siblings and it's great to win it as a senior,” senior Matthew Speer said after the win. “Also I'd like to give a shout out to my sister Megan who has already graduated."
Intramurals at Christendom play a big role in the extracurricular activities on campus and are a great way to relieve stress, have fun, compete, play sports, and hang out with friends.
Thomas Aquinas and the Curriculum
In accord with the liberal arts mindset, Christendom College bases its educational approach on several key principles. One of the most fundamental of these principles is the centrality and necessity of St. Thomas Aquinas and his teachings.
Since Christendom seeks to advance its students in knowledge of all that is “good, true, and beautiful” and to teach its students about the highest things, truth is an essential ingredient that must be upheld first and foremost in every class, subject, and lecture. When it comes to enlightening minds for the greater good, Christendom College follows the Church as she acknowledges St. Thomas’ great advancements and contributions to philosophical thought, and thus keeps his ideologies at the center of the curriculum.
“The Church has made clear that St. Thomas is uniquely suited to be our teacher in theological and philosophical pursuits," explains Dr. John Cuddeback, Chairman of the Philosophy Department. "This doesn’t mean St. Thomas has all the answers. Rather, it means St. Thomas has all the right questions and has the right principles to pursue the answers.”
Any attempt to grow in knowledge, whether earthly or divine, would not be complete without the work of the Angelic Doctor, for through his writings he presented and explained truth more clearly than many other philosophers, both during his day and current times. His writings remain relevant and essential to fully growing in wisdom in light of truth, discerning life’s priorities and purposes, and forming one’s spiritual and intellectual core. In acknowledgement of this, Christendom College upholds a Thomistic education policy, stating that “programs of instruction in philosophy and Sacred Theology shall be taught according to the spirit, method, and principles of the Common Doctor”.
Throughout its core curriculum of Theology and Philosophy, Christendom offers its students more opportunities to read St. Thomas' works than any other college, thus truly making the Christendom education a Thomistic one.
To read more about St. Thomas and his role in forming Christendom’s curriculum, click here.