Student Profile

Catherine McFadden

Age: 19
Year: Sophomore
From: Front Royal, VA
Major: Philosophy
Hobbies: Singing, baking, sewing, dancing, and spending time with friends.
What is your favorite class or professor? Definitely HIST 101 with Dr. Timothy O'Donnell. As a freshman it was such a privilege to be taught by our president, and he presented us with salvation history in such a beautiful and inspiring way. Philosophy with Dr. John Cuddeback and History with Dr. Adam Schwartz are both close seconds.
What extra curricular activities do you participate in? I put on the "Swing 'n Sundaes" events, I sing in the choir, I acted in the Fall play, "The Three Musketeers", I attend the debates and Shield of Roses as often as I can. Also, I went on the Peru Spring Break mission trip this year, which was the best experience of my life!
What's your favorite thing about Christendom?
The people! Since we are a small student body, it's easy to feel like we're a big family. All the students are so fun and kind and easy to get to know. I also love how willing the faculty members are to help us outside of class, and especially to be there as our mentors and friends.
Why did you choose Christendom?
I grew up around the school, both my parents went here, and so it really felt like a second home to me, and I thought it was cool to be able to follow in their footsteps.
What surprised you the most about Christendom? How enjoyable the classes are! I was home schooled my whole life prior to Christendom, and was never really excited about learning before. Here the classes and the professors really instill in one the desire for wisdom, and I have come to realize what a privilege an education, especially a traditional, Catholic, liberal arts education, is.
Plans after graduation? Right now I'm focusing on doing the best I can in my classes, working towards graduation, so that I will be prepared for whatever I decide to do.
Any parting words of advice for prospective students? If you have not attended the Experience Christendom Summer Program, you should! And if you become a student here, take advantage of every moment and opportunity, because although four years may seem like a long time, it passes in the blink of an eye!

Student Life


Stations of the Cross

Every Friday during Lent the Chaplaincy of Christendom College leads the community in Stations of the Cross, a popular devotion that follows the suffering of Christ from the moment He is condemned to die to His being laid in the tomb after His death. The Stations of the Cross on campus are always well-attended by students and faculty alike, all seeking to grow in devotion together. Reflecting on Christ's sacrifice for His people during Lent provides the students with an opportunity to meditatively reflect on their Lord during this penitential liturgical season.

The chapel was full of students and faculty meditating on Christ's Passion together.


The Passion

On Friday night after Stations of the Cross, students and faculty assembled in the basement of the Student Center for a movie night featuring Mel Gibson's acclaimed film, "The Passion of the Christ." Before the movie was played, Christendom College Vice President Ken Ferguson gave a fascinating talk on the making of "The Passion." Mr. Ferguson, who helped with the production of the movie, was able to give interesting background and insights into all aspects of the film, from casting to the meaning of certain scenes to stories about the conversions the movie brought about. The audience was able to ask Mr. Ferguson questions about the movie as well. Afterwards, everyone was able to view the film with a greater appreciation for all that had been put into it.


Open-Mic and Barbeque!

On Saturday evening students gathered behind the campus's office building, Regina Coeli, to take advantage of the Spring weather with a special Open-Mic and Barbeque Night. Burgers and hot dogs were served hot off the grill, and students indulged in a variety of fun snacks while socializing for the first half of the evening. Later on the singing started, and Christendom's musically talented community did not disappoint; students shared songs of their own composition or performed impressive renditions of well-known favorites for their peers. It was an enjoyable evening and succeeded in providing everyone with rest, laughter, and a chance to spend time appreciating old friends and making new ones.

Freshmen Rosie McNeely and Mary Wynn Wilson try their hand at bean bag toss.

Students pause conversation to pose for a picture.

Junior John Federline serves Sophomore Sarah Furth a burger off the grill.

Senior Kelsey Ingold's performances are always a hit.

Junior Rosemary Hedge shows off her skills with the fiddle.

Freshmen Paul Flagg and Thomas Hepler impress their friends with their performance.



On the Joy of Being a Woman

On Sunday afternoon, the young women of Christendom College gathered in the lobby of Campion Dorm to hear a talk given by Sr. Mary Michael of the Nashville Dominicans entitled “The Joy of Being the Woman: Meditations on the Feminine Gift in the Gospels.” Sister gave a thought-provoking reflection on how women have the power to use their particular feminine gifts to set the world on fire for Christ. She focused on four specific aspects of woman and how to guard against the devil's twisting of them for his own ends. Her talk was greatly enjoyed by all.

Sr. Mary Michael gets some smiles from the girls with her humorous insights.

Students listen attentively to Sister's reflections.

Sr. Mary Michael's points on the feminine genius struck home with her listeners.


Chester-Belloc Debate

The Chester-Belloc Debate Society gathered again on Sunday evening to debate the proposition, “First-person shooter games contribute to the culture of death.” The night was full of passionate speeches by students both for and against this statement, and special focus was given to addressing the game Call of Duty. As usual, refreshments were provided for those who attended. In a close finish, the pro side won the night by one vote.

Arguing against first-person shooter games

Sophomore Sean Shanahan argues for the con side.

Senior Aislinn Gibson makes a point.

Junior Margaux Killackey presents her speech in favor of the pro side.

Bioethicist Dr. Marilyn Coors Addresses Students

Dr. Marilyn Coors, a professor of bioethics and genetics at the University of Colorado, delivered a talk entitled "A Catholic Approach to Topics in Bioethics Across the Life Span" to the students and faculty of Christendom College on April 7. Coors' talk examined the current hot-button bioethical issues, including in vitro fertilization (IVF), organ transplantation, genetic engineering, neuroscience, and mechanical life support.

"Without accurate facts, a bioethical analysis is incomplete, naïve, or just simply wrong," Coors said. "When you have accurate scientific facts, I have found, it is going to back up our Catholic beliefs and, when it doesn't, it is because the science is wrong. Truth always wins out."

Click here to read more about this lecture.

Students chat with Dr. Coors following her talk.


Confraternity of Saint Don Bosco

After Dr. Coors presentation on Bioethics to the student body on Monday night, the Confraternity of Saint Don Bosco went for a rosary walk followed by a game of bowling in town. The Confraternity, comprised of a number of men ranging from freshmen to seniors, is committed to attending daily Mass and daily individual prayer, including a specific prayer to Saint Don Bosco in which each individual member of the Confraternity is prayed for by all the other members. The Confraternity was founded last year and has seen a steady growth in its numbers.

"It is truly a great thing to see young men not only striving to grow in holiness, but doing this together," said Associate Director of Admissions Zac Inman. "This is one of the great things about Christendom College—that students not only receive a top notch Catholic education, but that they also enter into an environment where they can grow in their faith alongside other young people who share their desire to grow in their love of Christ."

Joe Marra, a current senior at Christendom and a member of the Confraternity, spoke on his appreciation of the Confraternity: "Personally, having the Confraternity has really helped me to make my spiritual life a priority. Knowing that other guys are also committed to attending Mass and daily prayer has been a great encouragement."​


Rome Report

with Philip Gilbert

Station Churches & Vatican Radio


Living in Rome during Lent offers many unique opportunities, particularly being able to attend Mass at the station churches.  For every day of Lent, one of Rome's many churches is selected as the day's station church. When it is the day for a particular church to be the station, various orders and colleges have Mass at the church throughout the day. The Pontifical North American College hosts an early Mass at the church of the day for all the English speakers who wish to attend. The early time of the Mass allows us to go to the station church prior to our morning classes, and so many of us take advantage of this opportunity.

Getting up and heading to the metro with the rest of the Roman populace as they go to work, makes you feel more part of the everyday culture. In addition to that, it's amazing to see hundreds of English-speaking Catholics from many different countries and backgrounds together in one place united in the celebration of the Mass. The Mass is concelebrated by all the priests of the NAC with a choir of seminarians, making it ceremonially and musically beautiful. Additionally, it's special to visit churches on the day that they are the station because they usually decorate and bring out many relics that are not regularly on display.

This week, one of the station churches was Saint Peter's Basilica. The masses throughout the day were celebrated at the Altar of the Chair, but the main altar was laden with many precious relics from the  basilica’s sacristy. That evening a few cardinals and many priests celebrated solemn vespers, and then with all appropriate pomp and circumstance held a procession around the narthex of the cathedral, as hordes of tourists watched from behind the barriers. The procession was led slowing around by an acolyte swinging a large thurible billowing clouds of sweet smoke while the choir and the people chanted a litany to the saints mystically present with us in their relics. The procession wrapped around the church and ended with all the faithful standing near the main altar. On a balcony high above a bishop emerged carrying the veil of Veronica, and so blessed all those assembled with the sacred image of Christ.

Being able to be part of that remarkable ceremony was simply awesome.

Another thing that we got to do this last week was see the inside of Vatican Radio. One of my classmates got in contact with Sean Lovett after he gave a talk at Christendom last year, and so he graciously met with us and showed us around the facility. On the tour we got to peek into a live studio where someone was singing on the air, as well as see the chapel where the Mass has been broadcast everyday for decades. Mr. Lovett also brought us into the Karol Wojtyla Studio where JPII used to broadcast programs in Polish many years ago.

The most incredible part of the tour was realizing how far the broadcasts of Vatican Radio reach and the good that they do. Joking that a canoe is one of their main forms of broadcast, Lovett told us of a region where a priest records Vatican Radio broadcasts onto cassette tapes and CDs  and paddles a canoe from island to island distributing them to the people that live there.

Sean Lovett also related to us how he had just come back from a trip to Uganda and discovered just how many lives the Church can reach through the radio. While there, Lovett got the chance to talk and interact with some of the displaced people residing in a refugee camp. They were proud to show him their one book from which they were teaching themselves English—a book of idioms. Being a landlocked country, the people had never seen the ocean, and so Lovett was challenged when asked to explain “as happy as a clam.” When they asked him where he was from, Lovett expected his answer to be met with the same unfamiliarity, but upon hearing “the Vatican” the people around him excitedly shouted “Pope Francis! Pope Francis! We love Pope Francis!” These excited people were mostly Muslim and non-religious with no contact with the rest of the world, but because of Vatican Radio were very aware that Pope Francis loved him. Listening to the words of the Holy Father through Vatican Radio's broadcasts gave them hope, and they instructed Lovett:

“Tell Pope Francis about us. He can help us. We know he loves us, and if he knows how we live he will do something.”

Relics on display in St. Peter's.

Cardinals bless the congregation with the relic of St. Veronica's veil.

Peter Foeckler. The next vaticanista? Maybe he'll follow in the footsteps of alumni Chris Wells ('97) and Ann Schneible ('04), who work as journalists for Vatican Radio and other news sources in Rome...

Exclusive tour of Vatican Radio.

Students pray before the tomb of St. Cecilia after Mass.


romeWant to learn more about Rome's station churches?

Download and watch EWTN's "Rome's Hidden Churches" series hosted by Christendom College President Dr. Timothy O'Donnell at Christendom on iTunes U.

iTunes U




Crusader Sports Center

Crusaders Fight Hard in Cherry Blossom Tournament

Last weekend the men of the Crusader Rugby Team were back in action, travelling to Washington D.C. to take part in the 48th Annual Cherry Blossom Rugby Tournament—a national tournament consisting of teams from all over the US and even Canada. The national competition was comprised of a group stage in which the four teams of the various groups would play each other and the winner of each group would go on to play in the elimination rounds in an attempt to make it to the finals. Christendom competed in Group B against West Virginia University, Mary Washington University, and powerhouse Salisbury University.

The Crusaders kicked off their first game of the tournament against West Virginia University on Saturday.  This game was a rough game physically even by Rugby standards, but nevertheless, the Crusaders fought hard and well against West Virginia.  Sophomore captain Pat Audino scored a try for five points and freshman Joey Kuplack added another three points with a dropkick from distance between the uprights.  However, West Virginia played very well and managed to put up a total of 10 points to beat the Crusaders 10-8 by the final whistle.

With a victory barely missed against the powerful West Virginia Mountaineer team, the Crusaders returned to the field the next day to face a very talented squad from Mary Washington University, who came in second in last year's Cherry Blossom Tournament.  This game was also very intense due to the talent on both sides.  Both sophomore George Dewey and freshman Joey Kuplack scored tries for the Crusaders, with one extra point conversion, giving the crusaders a score of 12 and a lead at halftime. Kuplack went on to add another three points from a well-placed dropkick giving the Crusaders 15. Mary Washington fought back in the second half to take the lead 19-15. Towards the final minutes of the match, junior Hal Kokes took the ball across Mary Washington's goal line for the try that would have secured the win for the Crusaders, but it was unfortunately called back because of an illegal forward pass. So Mary Washington ended up winning the game with a final score of 19-15. The Crusaders played extremely well but were unable to come away with the win.

After 2 tough losses the Crusaders played their toughest opponent of the day (if not the last 4 years) when they went up against Salisbury University. The DII USA Rugby Champions Salisbury University took control of the match and never looked back. The Crusaders fought and battled for the entire match but the speed of Salisbury was too much and the Crusaders fell 0-40. Salisbury would go on to play for the championship later in the day.

All in all, the tournament was a great experience and a successful one.

“To be at a tournament with the likes of Pittsburgh, WVU, Georgetown, Mary Washington and Salisbury and to hold our own on the pitch was awesome,” said Senior Captain Ben Scrivener. “I am proud of the guys and how we battled in each game. It was a real tribute to have referees and players from opposing teams come congratulate us on how we played throughout the tournament.”

The Crusaders have already been invited back to next year’s 49th Annual Cherry Blossom and hope to make it a yearly event.

The Christendom Ruggers are back on the pitch this Saturday for the first ever Shield Match when they host Franciscan University of Steubenville on the brand new Crusader Field. Opening prayer and field blessing will be at 1:45 with the match starting at 2pm.

Joey Kuplack slips past his opponenet.

Conor Coyne plows though the oposition.

Pat Audino takes off down field.




Special Report

Declaring Your Major

Christendom College offers a classical liberal arts education which places great emphasis on the core curriculum in order that students do not learn how to simply do something in a particular field of study, but rather, they learn how to think as educated, Catholic individuals. Although Christendom does not offer dozens of different majors, the six majors that it does offer all give students an incredible foundation for any career choice.

Students declare their major towards the end of their sophomore year, and thus finish up their core classes in their junior and senior years while also taking additional, more focused classes within their major. After sophomore year, students are free to take more classes of their choosing in whichever field of study most interests them, choosing one of the following majors: Classical and Early Christian Studies, English Language and Literature, History, Philosophy, Theology, and Political Science and Economics. In addition, students can add a minor in Economics, Mathematics and Science, or Liturgical Music, if they so choose. There are course requirements within each major, but also a variety of elective classes from which students can decide to take. Declaring one’s major is a very exciting process for students, and the sophomores are therefore extremely happy to have made this big move in their educational process in the past couple of weeks.

“I am very excited and relieved to have declared my major, and I am very eager to now earn my degree in Philosophy with a minor in Political Science,” says sophomore Corinne Kavanagh. “I never would have guessed that I would end up majoring in Philosophy, but I have found Philosophy at Christendom extremely interesting and all of my professors have been excellent. I love all of my classes, and I think majoring in Philosophy will be very useful for the future.”

To declare one’s major, sophomore students meet with their respective academic advisors, who give the students advice and discuss with them their academic plan in order to graduate with that specific major. Advisors go over the exact requirements and number of credits the students have already acquired and still need to complete before graduation. After discussing the matter with their advisor, students then turn in their completed “major/minor” forms to the registrar, who then reviews their academic history with them and helps them prepare a schedule for the following semester based on their new major.

You can do just about anything with a degree in any of the academic majors which Christendom offers, and Christendom, in fact, offers flexibility in one’s career path and the opportunity to be successful in many things at life, rather than just cultivating a skill in one particular field of study. Christendom students take the information they acquire from their core curriculum and specific majors and apply it to their career paths, therefore making all of the majors which Christendom offers extremely practical.

“After I graduate from Christendom College, I plan on getting my RN, that is, becoming a registered nurse, and I decided to declare my major in Political Science to help me on that track,” says sophomore Madeleine Deighan. “Because the political world and medical world are becoming more intertwined, I thought it would be a good idea to have a background in politics, so that I could better understand how the political world is affecting people medically, so that I can have that perspective of it while being in the middle of the medical world.”


Tom McFaddenAsk the Director

Q. I am interested in entering the medical field after college and wanted to know if this was possible if I went to Christendom?

A. Thanks for the question! Well, let me begin by saying that it is quite possible to go to medical school after earning your liberal arts degree from Christendom. In fact, according to a Harvard University report, if you want to be a doctor, it may be more beneficial to earn a liberal arts degree than a pre-med degree.

The report indicates that potential physicians need not insulate themselves from the liberal arts, and in some cases may hurt their chances by doing so. The report showed that although grades and academic honors are important for admission to medical school, a student's choice of major has no bearing. Dean Whitla, director of Harvard's office of tests, says:

It would be regrettable if some of our students who plan to become doctors felt that they must turn away from their interest in the liberal arts for fear of being rejected at medical school without a premedical major. At Harvard Medical School, pre-med prepared students do better the first year, but by the third year they fall slightly behind students who majored in the liberal arts.

Although it may take a little extra work to get prepared for the MCATs and medical school, those who have chosen to do so from Christendom have no regrets.

John-Paul Jansen majored in history and graduated from Christendom College in 2000. He is now a physician (internal medicine) in Colorado and believes the education he received at Christendom did more than just prepare him for medicine: but it helped him to become someone who understands more of life than simply what is in front of him. It helps him to achieve his goals every day, whether professional, social, or spiritual.

And finally, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC):

As you select a college remember that just as in high school, a good liberal arts education is a key ingredient to becoming a physician. You'll need a strong foundation in mathematics and the sciences that relate most to medicine: biology, general chemistry, organic chemistry, and physics. But it's important for your college experience to be broad. Taking courses in the humanities or liberal arts will help you prepare for the 'people' side of medicine.

So, hopefully you can see that attending Christendom and earning a degree in liberal arts will not limit you in your career choice, but rather, opens it up to many different possibilities, with medicine being only one of them. Check out a pretty in-depth list of what many of our alumni do.

God bless,



Issue 4/10/2014