Student Profile

Peter Deucher

Age: 20
Year: Senior
From: Vass, NC
Major: Philosophy and Classical & Early Christian Studies
Hobbies: Running marathons, playing piano, and reading.
What is your favorite class? Right now, it's a tie between the History of Modern Britain with Dr. Adam Schwartz and the Philosophy of Aesthetics with Dr. Douglas Flippen.
What extra curricular activities do you participate in? I serve as head sacristan, coordinator for the food pantry, and editor for our student journal, The Rambler. I am an honored member of both the Chester-Belloc Debate Society and the Student's Activities Council, and am really looking forward to participating this Spring break in Christendom's mission trip to Guatemala.
What's your favorite thing about Christendom? The vibrant spiritual life and rigorous academics. Both chaplains and all the teachers make themselves readily available to the students, which is great when you need direction and advice.
What surprised you the most about Christendom? The amount of growth and maturation that each student goes through during their time at the College. For me, as it is with many others I know, the past few years here at Christendom have been formational.
Any parting advice for prospective students? Come ready to work. If you do, you will get the most out of the Christendom experience. Be generous, to anyone and everyone, and get involved in the Works of Mercy program.

Student Life

Guys' Night

On the Sunday before last, the second annual "Guys' Night" was hosted by Student Life in the basement of the John Paul the Great Student Center. Over 100 guys were supplied with generous amounts of pizza, wings, soft drinks, and snacks. Once again, the Dean of Student Life, Dr. Jesse Dorman, challenged the men to "Beat the Dean" in ping-pong, after losing only two games out of 40 last spring. This year he was bested by four students. There were a series of wrestling matches with many exciting match ups. Others challenged each other in foosball or a game of pool, while still others watched a classic western, or were just content to eat, watch the activities, and enjoy one another's company.

"This was a great opportunity for the men on campus to come together and spend time together as men," Dorman said. "Guys' Night continues to be a great launching point for the men of our community each spring semester."

After several fun-filled hours of games, food, and companionship, the event wrapped up as students prepared for the start of the week and a new semester.

Guys get serious over a game of table soccer.


How the Angels Got it Wrong

"How does an angel get it wrong," Rev. John D. Corbett asked during his lecture to students and faculty on last Monday in St. Kilian's Café. Rev. Corbett's talk, entitled "The Angelic Doctor and the Lord of the Angels," was the annual St. Thomas Aquinas Lecture, which discussed the nature of angels and how such high beings could have fallen from God's grace.

A moral theologian currently teaching at the Pontifical Faculty of the Immaculate Conception, Rev. Corbett explained that the fall of the angels is "a bit of a theological conundrum.

"[Angels] can't get drunk, can't get tired, can't get irritated. There's no such thing as a traffic jam in heaven—they're not like New York cab drivers," he quipped. "So there is no passion that can lead them astray. Nor habit. They don't have a bad disposition, because God made them good. They also can't really make mistakes through errors because their knowledge is perfect."

Rev. Corbett said that the classic answer is that the bad angels "got it wrong" by pride, by putting themselves before God and making themselves their last end. He agreed that this was true, but that it only gave what he called a "formal account" of what happened regarding the fall of the good angels and not a "material account."

Read more about this exciting lecture here or download it and listen to it for yourself at Christendom on iTunes U.

more pics on picasa



Cup o' Coeli

The Christendom community was treated to an evening of amazing music on Friday at Cup o’Coeli Night in Regina Coeli Hall. This beloved annual event is a showcase of students’ musical talent and always draws a large crowd. This year was no exception. Students packed Coeli to hear their peers perform some truly wonderful pieces. As usual, the night was filled with a variety of musical acts.

A strong lineup of student performers entertained the audience with everything from a capella performances to original songs to instrumental pieces. Whether it was senior Kelsey Ingold’s stellar singing of “Taylor the Latte Boy,” junior Leif Pilegaard’s rousing reels on the fiddle, or a strong rendition of “Misty Mountains” by junior Tim Johnston and some classmates, all the musicians at Cup O’Coeli put on an excellent show. The night was topped off by some excellent refreshments as well as an open mic segment at the end of the show.

Senior Joe Duca and his brother perform an original song.

Senior Faith Leopold brings down the house with her ukulele skills.

Sophomore Andrew Garcia accompanies senior Aislinn Gibson on "Taste of Poison."

Juniors Jane Riccardi and Bernadette Sartor wow the crowd with their lovely voices.

The audience loved chaplain Fr. Planty's impromptu performance.


Let the Dorm Wars Begin!

On Sunday afternoon, the third annual Dorm Wars began with the customary Opening Ceremony events. Dorm Wars is a campus-wide series of friendly competitions ranging from bake-offs to dance-offs, with teams consisting of a dorm of girls paired with a guy’s dorm. At this year’s opening events, following the ceremonial lighting of the torch, all eight teams processed their flags into the St. Lawrence Commons, bearing their team’s name and emblem. Team members presented their flags in front of a panel of judges, where they described the significance of their flag, team name and motto. The presentations were followed by the “rousing speech competition” whereby one team member gave an original and creative speech to rouse his team members and get them excited about the upcoming Dorm Wars events!

“The Dorm Wars ceremony was awesome this year, and I thought everyone was very funny and original in their presentations and speeches,” says sophomore Kinsey Benz. “I was especially proud of my own team, the ‘Conquering Cacti,’ for placing second in the rousing speech competition, thanks to the amazing Joseph Bond.”

Seniors Matt Speer and Jake Morgan commence the ceremonial lighting of the torch.

Excited teams rush inside the Commons with their banners!

The winning team of the flag contest, made up of residents from Blessed Margaret's dormitory and basement Ben's dormitory.

The "Unstopables" presenting their impressive flag to the judges, featuring a painting of Christendom founder, Dr. Warren Carroll.

Senior Joe Duca, member of the team "The Ostricized," and winner of the rousing speech competition.


Super Bowl Sunday!

Everyone gathered in the Student Center on Sunday evening to watch the NFL Super Bowl together. Hosted by the Student Activities Council (SAC), couches and chairs were set up on both levels of the Student Center for all football fans. SAC members grilled hamburgers and hotdogs for everyone during the big game, and alcoholic beverages were available for those over 21. Broncos and Seahawks fans cheered over what was largely considered to be a “blow-out game,” but nevertheless everyone had lots of fun at the Super Bowl party.

“Although the game itself was disappointingly devoid of any excitement, SAC put on a great Super Bowl party this year,” says senior Joe Marra. “The burgers made up for what the Broncos did not provide.”

The Student Center was packed with excited football fans.

The basement of the Student Center had just as many students crowded around the big screen as the main floor!


Swing 'n Sundaes Returns!

On Sunday night students gathered in St. Lawrence Commons for the return of Swing n’ Sundaes, during which students meet twice a month to practice old swing dance moves, learn new ones, and indulge in some ice cream while enjoying a couple hours of wholesome fun together. Though many of the attendants were still re-acclimating themselves to the dance floor after being on break for a month, the student instructors wasted no time in introducing fresh skills for all to try.

Freshman Brendan Williamson, a regular participant, said that he and his classmates really enjoy these events.

“It gives everyone an opportunity to meet different people and get to know them on the dance floor," he said. "And, of course, new moves are always a plus!”

After a night of fun and laughter, students left feeling refreshed and ready to take on another week of classes.

Freshman Monica Burke smiles as her partner spins her.

Senior James Ciskanik and Sophomore Amy Marter dance a number.

Freshman Nick Wenzel swings with his classmate.


Crusader Sports Center

Crusaders Lay it on the Line against the Lions

The Crusader Gymnasium was the center of attention last Saturday as the men and women's basketball teams played host to Bryn Athyn College in two very exciting games.

After a nine-hour round trip victory at Mid-Atlantic Christian, just 19 hours before, the Lady Crusaders showed up to the game ready and hungry for another victory. Despite the fact that the Bryn Athyn Lions had a significant height and size advantage, the Lady Crusaders took the early lead and held it for most of the game. At the half, Christendom held the lead at 34-31, behind a strong first half of shooting led by Mary Barbale and Liz Ford.

Going into the second half the Lady Crusaders maintained the lead at first, but then started to slip. Overwhelmed by the speed and size of the Lions, the interior defense of the Lady Crusaders was under constant attack. Each rebound was a battle, which over time wore on the home team. With about six minutes into the second half, Liz Ford fouled out after leading the team in rebounds to that point. With her out the Lions pounded the Lady Crusaders inside. Gradually the Lions came back and took the lead and held it to the end. The Lady Crusaders showed phenomenal determination and fight, never giving up and pushing hard until the final buzzer. Their determination was rewarded by a tremendous applause from the Crazies faithful following the game. The final score was 75-65, Bryn Athyn.  Morgan Kavanagh finished with a game high points, while Mary Barbale finished with 19 points and 11 rebounds.

"We played really well as a team," Head Coach Professor Mike Brown commented after the game. "They were a good team and used their height to their advantage, but our women fought tough and I am proud of the way they played."

Following the girl's strong performance, the men took the court to face a very strong Bryn Athyn Lions team. Right from the opening play the Lions initiated a full court press and opened the scoring. However, the Crusaders answered immediately and took the lead when senior, Christian Kopeck drained a three-point shot from the baseline in front of the crowd of Christendom Crazies who raised the roof. The Lions took back the lead and the entire game was a hard-fought match throughout going back and forth. Despite having the advantage with speed and athleticism, Bryn Athyn could not pull away from the Crusaders, holding to a seven-point lead at halftime.

The Lions would continue to add to their lead extending it to 12 points with just over four minutes to go. The Crusaders turned to a pressure defense, which, coupled with a few Bryn Athyn missed from the foul-line, seemed to frustrate the visitors. Fueled by a barrage of creative buckets from Jeremy Minick and Joe Walsh, the Crusaders rallied to cut the deficit to four with just over one minute remaining. Jeremy Minick missed on a desperate three-point attempt and the Lions would knock down free throws to seal the victory.

“Those were an amazing four minutes of basketball,” said Coach Vander Woude. “Our fans were unbelievable, I haven’t heard that much noise in the gym in quite some time. Jeremy came up huge down the stretch for us, just too bad we ran out of time.”

Having also played the night before in Elizabeth City, NC, the Crusaders put forth a valiant effort and almost stole a win from the NCAA Lions of Bryn Athyn.

Both teams are back in action on Friday as they host Mid-Atlantic Christian.



Special Report

Looking Back on a Semester in Rome

The Chronicler caught up with former Rome Reporter Maria Bonvissuto and fellow "Romer" Melody Wood to get their take on their semester in Rome, now that they are back in Virginia.

What are your favorite memories and/or highlights from Rome?
Maria: It's so hard to pick only a few, but a few highlights were having classes onsite at places like the Roman Forum and the Pantheon, being the first along with a couple of my friends in the Sistine Chapel one Sunday morning, and being with my friend Peter when he traded caps with Pope Francis. Basically, anytime we got to see the Pope in person was a highlight. The seven-church pilgrimage on foot around Rome with a bunch of my classmates is also a great memory.

How did the Rome semester impact both your faith and your worldview in general?
Melody: Through the Rome semester, I gained more of a sense of the universality of the Church. Papal audiences give you a chance to hear the same message proclaimed in so many different languages, while you are crowded amidst people speaking Italian, Polish, Mandarin, and more. Also, being able to walk down any street in Rome and stop in on several Catholic churches is pretty special.

What was your favorite place that you visited outside of Rome and why?
Maria: I think it's a tie between London and Krakow. London was amazing for me because I love history and literature, and there's so much of that tied into English culture. Everywhere you go in London, you're encountering places and things that you've heard about all your life. It was surreal to see places like the Tower of London or the Globe Theater in person. I loved visiting Krakow because my mom's side of the family is Polish, so it was awesome being able to connect with my family heritage. And the pierogis are amazing!

If you had to use three words to describe the Rome semester, what would they be and why?
Faith, friends, food. Faith because the Rome semester is such a wonderful time for treading in the footsteps of so many saints, and because you are living just a few minutes away from the center of the Catholic Church. Friends because there is nothing better than spending three months living with your best friends in a place where adventures abound! And food because, after all, Italy is famous for its food for a good reason.

Now, the most important question: your favorite gelateria?
Melody: Punto Gelato on Via Dei Pettinari near Ponte Sisto. It had an absolutely AMAZING salted caramel gelato flavor, and was definitely worth the 40 minute walk from Candia. Salted caramel and dark chocolate is the best gelato combination ever!
Maria: The Frigidarium near Piazza Navona. They dip your gelato in white or dark chocolate!

Words of advice for prospective Rome students?
Maria: Go church-hopping a lot. Climb the cupola of St. Peter's and the Duomo in Florence. Walk everywhere, avoid the buses in Rome. Don't worry too much about money, because you'll have the rest of your life to work but you might never get the chance to experience Europe and the Eternal City like this again. And say hi to the Pope!
Melody: Go to St. Peter's as much as possible. I know this sounds obvious, but there are days that you just get so used to walking by it that you forget to go inside! And it really is one of the best places in the world. Also, don't be afraid to go out by yourself. Some of my favorite times were those times when I went exploring the Borghese Gardens, or sat in St. Peter's Square at night with a book. Finally, don't expect it to be perfect. There are many aspects about living in a foreign country that can be frustrating, but try to use these challenges as a way to grow.

Rome: Fall 2013


Tom McFaddenAsk the Director

Q. My daughter is discerning colleges right now and we are trying to help her with regards to her interest in teaching music (piano). I noticed on your website that you mentioned you had graduates that were teaching music, so I was wondering if you could tell me how they made that particular vocation happen. In other words, how did they move forward with their Christendom degree and become qualified to teach music.

A. As you probably are aware, people who earn degrees from Christendom pretty much NEVER end up working in the field in which they majored. Now, as a whole, only 27% of Americans work in the field in which they study, which is still pretty small of a number. The point is that people from Christendom teach music without having gained music degrees because there is no ABSOLUTE need to have a music degree in order to teach it. Let me see if I can give you some examples.

If there is a job opening for a music teacher, normally, the job would give requirements like the following:

Ability to sing, ability to play instrument(s), ability to work in classroom setting, ability to manage schedule, ability to work with children, ability to do whatever it takes in order to get the job done. (or something like this.)

Here's an actual job description and here are the qualifications needed for a Director of Music (a little more involved that Music Teacher):

Qualifications: Faith-filled and joyful; minimum bachelor's degree, preferably music; experience as music director preferably in a Catholic parish; good working knowledge of and experience with Catholic liturgy; piano proficiency with choral/vocal pedagogy skills; comfortable working with all ages from young children through adults; effective leadership and interpersonal skills. STAND Certification from the Archdiocese of Baltimore & successful completion of criminal background check every five years. Salary commensurate with experience.

As you can see, it says they prefer a BA in music, but it is not essential.

Here's a job at Queen of Apostles in our own diocese:
Qualifications: We have an opening for Church Choir Director & Music Coordinator. The ideal candidate must possess a solid understanding of the Catholic Mass, knowledge of liturgical music, and the ability to work with the choirs, cantors, organists and parish community. A music degree is helpful but not required. Salary and benefits will be commensurate with qualifications and experience.

As you can see, a music degree is helpful but not required.

We have students who come to Christendom with great musical abilities. They play instruments, they sing, they write music, they do everything. While here, many join the choir (and through doing so, learn much about choir direction and music teaching), or they sing at some of our many various talent nights, or they sing in our plays, or at the nursing homes, or in the shower. They play instruments in groups, on stage, in their dorms, wherever. Some choose to minor in Liturgical Music, too.

When they graduate, they are well-rounded, well-educated, Catholics, who also have God given talents in the music arena. So, a job opens up and they apply and during the interview, maybe they have to sing something, or play something. It's sort of like one of those reality shows, like American Idol. It doesn't matter what your degree is in or what experience you've had, if you can't sing or can't play, well, they are not going to hire you and send you to Hollywood.

So, for example, Liz (Sartor) Foeckler '12 (former 4-year reporter for The Chronicler) teaches choir at Seton High School and music at All Saints School in Manassas. She sang before she came to Christendom. She sang while at Christendom. She minored in Liturgical Music. She sang in the choir and even helped direct it at times. Now she's able to teach. It's that easy.

Amy (Guettler) Zuberbueler sang back in my day here at Christendom. She sang at my wedding. She did not take any music classes at Christendom. She did get her Masters in Music at Shenandoah University, though. She is now a music teacher in Texas.

Monica Clarke served as a music teacher at Our Lady of Hope in VA for a while. She is quite talented at singing and playing violin.

Elizabeth Black teaches music appreciation, among other things, at Oakcrest High School in McLean, VA. She previously was a music teacher at Holy Family Academy in VA and sang professionally in the choir at the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. She majored in Classics and minored in Philosophy.

Current freshman here at Christendom, Abby Wilkinson, who has been learning piano for many years, now teaches my kids, and some other local alumni children in the area. When she graduates, she will have piano teacher on her resume.

All in all, these alumni are well-versed in the canon of Western Civilization, and are fully educated, rather than trained in one area, such as music. Yet, they are still able to get into the music field.

I'd be interested to learn what percentage of grads with a degree in music actually work in their field. If averages are true, then only 27% of them are doing so, which means that getting a degree in music does not guarantee one's ability to work in that field.

I hope this clears things up. Let me know if you have any other questions!

God bless,