Student Profile

Lawrence Urgo

Age: 20
Year: Junior
From: North Carolina
Major: Political Science
Hobbies: I definitely like to stay active, so all sports are good. I also love to play Irish music.
What extra curricular activities do you participate in? Like I said, I love sports. I've played rugby and the intramurals are awesome. Also the confraternity of St. Don Bosco is a great group! A lot of great guys are part of the confraternity, and it is great for the formation of young men.
What's your favorite thing about Christendom? The people hands down! The people definitely make the school and it is extremely unique that I—as a college student—have the ability to be fully surrounded by friends who share so strongly in the faith. Because of this, the friendships are much deeper then anywhere else. It is something very special, and often I think people—including myself—take for granted the people that we are here with.
Why did you choose Christendom? Honestly, Christendom was the last place I ever wanted to go. I played hockey very competitively growing up, I left home when I was 14 and moved up to Canada to play and continue that dream. I then got a very serious head injury that ended my ability to ever play hockey again. It was after that that I heard about Christendom from my mom, and I fought her tooth and nail on the idea. I finally said I would try it for a semester, and I have loved it ever since!
What surprised you the most about Christendom? Definitely how much my faith has grown. Leaving home at such a young age to play hockey, especially during those early years, I didn't realize how far I had fallen in my faith. Christendom has definitely helped me fix that.
Any parting words of advice for prospective students? Give it a chance. Mostly everyone that I have ever talked to has the same story. I thought the school would have a bunch of nerds and I was forced to go. Coming here you will find the best group of friends you ever could. The reason I didn't want to come is the same reason I love it so much, the people!

Student Life


Appreciation Week

At every lunch last week, Christendom's Student Activities Council recognized a group of people who give their time to help provide for and enrich the lives of students at the college. Cavalier Cleaning Services, the kitchen staff, chaplains, faculty, and staff were all recognized separately and provided with little tokens of the school's appreciation for all that they do. The students were happy to be able to show those who do so much for them how grateful they are, and all who were recognized expressed how happy they were to be a part of such a vibrant, holy, Catholic community.

The student body stands to express their appreciation for the college Faculty.


Tocqueville, China, and the West

Last Wednesday afternoon, students and faculty of Christendom College attended a talk in Kilian’s Café given by Dr. Emmet Kennedy. The lecture, which was sponsored by the Christendom History Department, was entitled “Tocqueville, China and the West.” Everyone enjoyed refreshments while listening to the fascinating talk. Kennedy started with an anecdote and some background on the thought of Tocqueville on democracy. He then went on to examine modern-day China in light of this thought and talk about how Tocqueville would view China’s government today. The event was thought-provoking and prompted questions and comments from the audience at the end.

Dr. Kennedy makes a point about Tocqueville's thought.



Choral Stations of the Cross

Last Friday, Christendom's usual Lenten Stations of the Cross was accompanied by the college's choir, in honor of it being the last Stations of the Cross the students would pray together before Easter Break. Choir Director, Dr. Kurt Poterack, did an amazing job preparing pieces that truly augmented the beautifully reflective nature of this Lenten devotion. Many of the students and faculty came to prayerfully follow the way of Christ's Passion before their weekend obligations began. All who attended commented on how blessed Christendom is to have such talented singers within its community, always lifting their voices for the greater glory of God.

Dr. Kurt Poterack accompanies his choral students on the piano to the "Stabat Mater."


Post-Grad Life Talk for Women

Prof. Mary Stanford, adjunct professor of Theology at Christendom, gave a talk to the young women on campus on Thursday, April 10, on life after graduation. She shared her personal testimony and gave practical guidance and advice on how to approach your post-grad life and find peace and contentment amidst job searching, applying for grad schools, preparing for marriage, or discerning your vocation.

“It was so refreshing to hear a talk about life in the real world after college life, and how to approach the world after graduation,” says senior Hannah Ethridge. “It was especially reaffirming hearing it from someone just like us, who graduated from a small Catholic college and then had to figure out her life immediately after graduation.”

Christendom women take in Mrs. Stanford's helpful advice in St. Kilian's Cafe.


Murder in a Modern Art Museum!

This year’s Mystery Dinner Theater production, titled “A Menacing Night in a Modern Museum,” took place the weekend of April 12-13. As could be expected from this popular annual event, this year’s performance was spectacularly funny and clever. Directed by seniors Katie Shannon and Conor O’Donnell, and featuring an all-star cast of crazy characters, the two performances were packed and a huge success. The guests were treated not only to a wonderful show, but to a delicious dinner as well, prepared by members of the senior class. The event is a fundraiser for the Senior Class Gift, and the large crowds drew in over $3,500 for this fundraiser.

“I was really lucky that I was able to direct this year, and we put it together in less time than is usual for Mystery Dinner Theater,” said senior Katie Shannon. “It was a lot of stress on everyone, but I'm really proud of everyone's hard work and long hours spent in rehearsals. I've heard a lot of positive feedback and I couldn't be happier with how it turned out!"

“I have performed in Mystery Dinner Theater for the past three years, and this year especially, when I looked at the smiling faces of the masses, I knew it was worth the pain and work that went into this production,” said senior Faith Leopold.


An epic stand-off!

The omniscient narrator tells the sad tale of a crazy couple

The witch and the Puritan causing mischief with the curator

The charming millionaire couple was huge hit!

The devious Mr. Clooné shows the crowd his tricks.

The detective steps on stage to solve the murder of Mr. Clooné.

The cast solicited clues from the audience during break.

The entire cast takes a bow after a wonderful show!

more pics on picasa

Math Club Fun

This semester, students inaugurated the Christendom Math & Science Club. The club provides mathematically minded students with fun opportunities to explore their interests as a community. Earlier this semester, the club led two field trips: one to the Air and Space Museum (road trip pic to the right), the other to a Science conference at Patrick Henry College. Some the clubs intended activities include: geological field trips, work with robotics kits, pi parties, and many more exciting possibilities.


Rome Report

with Philip Gilbert

Pope Francis and Easter Liturgies


We were recently given the incredible opportunity of being in the heart of the Church for Holy Week.  The week began with Palm Sunday, and since we had tickets to the pope's Mass we got up super early so that we could get decent seats, which we secured just a couple rows from the front. As a consequence of our getting up so early we were all fairly tired, and many of us took advantage of the pre-mass down time to catch a brief nap on their neighbor's shoulder.

The ceremonies began with the pope and many bishops and priests processing to the platform that had been erected in front of the obelisk in the center of Saint Peter's Square.  There the Holy Father blessed the palms and olive branches that the thousands of excited Catholics were holding up, making the vast piazza seem a bit like a forest. After the blessing of the palms and branches the procession proceeded to the steps of the basilica for the chanting of Saint Matthew's account of the passion, and the solemn celebration of the Palm Sunday mass.

Many of us also managed to get tickets to the Easter Vigil at the Vatican, also celebrated by Pope Francis. Needless to say, it is one of the most well-attended liturgies of the year, and so we began standing in line many hours early so that we could get inside of the basilica. The wait began pleasantly, as we passed around snacks and chatted with each other in the square. However, as time drew on, the weather grew wet and the crowd grew thicker and less comfortable, since most Romans aren't familiar with personal space or with waiting in lines.  When the gates opened there was a fair bit of chaos as people jumbled for seats, but it paid off since we managed to sit very close to the front, and because the Mass was absolutely incredible. The indoor setting of the mass made it much more personal than those celebrated out in the square, and it was amazing to see so many people receive the sacraments of initiation from the pope himself. The liturgy was beautiful, and we were all very excited to have reached the end of Lent and to celebrate the Lord's resurrection together.

In Rome we can often see beautiful liturgical customs not often practiced back in the States—during the Palm Sunday Mass, the three deacons that chanted the Passion Gospel were each vested in the traditional dalmatic, which I had never seen used before coming to Rome, but have since grown somewhat partial to.

We also have the amazing opportunity to experience different expressions of the faith and the various rites of the Church. The city is home to many Pontifical Colleges that house seminarians from different regions around the world, allowing one to get a taste of their culture by visiting. For Saint Patrick's Day many of us joined the Irish College for mass in Gaelic and a celebratory party with traditional Irish fare. This week some of us found our way over to the Russian College to experience the Holy Week traditions of Eastern Christianity. Being Eastern Catholic, I knew what to expect, but my classmates that came with me were amazed by the beauty and liturgical richness of what they saw. On Good Friday, we attended the vespers, which commemorates the taking down of Jesus from the cross. As a men's choir chanted ancient Lenten hymns in Slavonic, several bearded and burly priests clad in elaborately embroidered black and purple vestments carried a tapestry representing Christ's body to the center of the church for veneration by the faithful. Words cannot justly convey the beauty of the service, but it was truly awe-inspiring. A similar experience was had when some of us joined the Russicum for the midnight Paschal Liturgy. I was given the opportunity to serve as an acolyte for the Paschal Vigil and Liturgy, which by itself was pretty incredible; but to make it even better, the liturgy was celebrated by Archbishop Cyril Vasyl, the Secretary of the Congregation on Eastern Churches, with the various priests of the Russicum assisting. The Paschal Liturgy began with a procession of beautiful ceremony, which took the tapestry of Jesus's body up from the middle of the church to the sanctuary, signifying the emptying of Christ's tomb. Throughout the entire liturgy the choir and congregation sang “Christ is risen!” over and over, joyfully proclaiming the news of the resurrection to the world.   So in this richly cultural expression of the faith, we ushered in the end of Great Lent and the celebration of the Resurrection of Christ. Though by the end of the liturgy my watch told me it was sometime in the wee hours of the morning and our legs were tired of standing, we couldn't help but be energized and happy for the coming of Pascha.


Pre-Mass naps.

Pope Francis blessing the palms from the obelisk.

Processing to the alter.

Palm Sunday greeting of Pope Francis.

Palm Sunday in St. Peter's Square.

Daniel McDowell venerates the Good Friday tapestry at the Russian College.



Crusader Sports Center

Memorable Shield Match Marks First Games on New Crusader Fields

The Saturday before Easter break marked a historic day in Christendom history. Not only was it the first time Christendom and Franciscan University had faced off in rugby, but it was the first home sports game on the newly completed Crusader Fields. After an unusually cool September forced the opening of the fields to be delayed until the spring and a long winter caused even a further delay the fields were opened. Crusader Fields feature two full size Bermuda grass competition fields. One of which will serve for intramurals and rugby games, while the other will serve for soccer in the fall. The field could not have been in better condition, complete with bleachers, team benches, and full goalposts. It took prime stage on Saturday for the match with Christ the King Chapel as the picturesque backdrop for a beautiful day.

The game itself was undoubtedly the highlight of all the spring athletics for the entire semester.  The Christendom Crusaders rugby team, historically one of the most successful athletic teams at Christendom, faced an impressive Baron Rugby squad in front of a large fan base close to 350 people strong—many of which were Christendom Crazies and alumni back for the big occasion. With a memorable opening ceremony that featured a blessing of the field and of the teams by chaplain Fr. Donald Planty the much anticipated Shield Match began.

Christendom drew first blood with a try scored by freshman Peter Gaetano. The Crusaders were working their way towards the goal line, when they caught the Barons off guard by a quick reverse pass to Gaetano on the left of the field who ran it in for the try. After that sophomore Sean Salmon scored the extra points to bring the score to 7-0.  However, this initial lead was to be short lived with the Barons' answering with their own try and extra point kick. The score line went back and forth throughout the first half.  Gaetano scored a second try, Salmon added six more points with two accurate dropkicks between the uprights.  In addition to this, junior Hal Kokes added another 5 points with his own try.  The Barons who have a long history of a powerful Rugby program that included a stint at #1 in the national standings just two years ago were obviously tempered by the methodical movements of the Crusaders.

“Our forwards played really well,” said second-year head coach Theo Smith. “We knew it was going to be a battle of strengths. Franciscan likes to move the ball with their forwards and we like to get the ball out to our backs and let them run.”

The Barons scored two more tries and two more extra point conversions in tandem. So by the end of the first half, Christendom was up by two with the score of the game at 23-21.

The second half turned to a defensive struggle as both teams moved the ball, but couldn’t punch it in for scores. With about 11 minutes to go, the Barons cracked the forwards of the Crusaders and dashed across the touchline for a try and the lead. With just four minutes left, the Crusaders drove the ball within the 5-meter line after an impressive run by Peter Gaetano, who just barely stepped out. After numerous attempts to drive the ball across the line the Barons held and regained possession. The final whistle blew and the first ever Shield Match ended with a score of Franciscan 26, Christendom 23.

“It was a tough game, if a couple of things had gone differently we would have won that match,” said senior captain Ben Scrivener. “I’m glad we played hard and it was a great match and weekend, but I’m definitely disappointed that we didn’t get the win.”

The match and weekend, which included team activities including a social, Mass, and brunch was a great tribute to these two Catholic colleges.

“I couldn’t be happier with the way everything went,” said athletic director Chris Vander Woude. “Obviously I wish the score had been reversed, but the way both teams played, the great support for the match by the whole Christendom community, and the way both schools handled each other in victory and defeat was a great example of what Christian competition and sports should be like. I am excited for this annual event and hope it only brings the two colleges closer together not only on the pitch, but in our efforts to evangelize and bring Christ to the world.”

The Crusaders faced Lord Fairfax Community College on Wednesday of last week and achieved a 17-7 victory over the Lions.

more pics on picasa


Check out some Crusader Rugby action in the new video below:

Click here to watch the extended version.



Special Report

Women's Residence Halls

The women’s residence halls at Christendom truly feel like home to students. Housing options at Christendom are a mix between traditional dorms and off-campus houses. Each house or dorm is named after a patron saint. Campion Hall, one of the oldest buildings on campus, is where many of the freshmen live and is notable for its sense of close community. Campion Hall hosts the beloved annual Christmas party for the entire campus to enjoy. Blessed Margaret’s serves as a small but cozy haven for upperclassmen. St. Catherine’s Hall, the largest and newest of the three women’s dorms, houses women from all different classes and its distinctive feature is that each room has its own sink and mirror. All three dorms have their own laundry rooms, as well as common areas on each floor where residents can gather to relax and enjoy each other’s company. Often, formational talks and floor activities are held in the common rooms as well, making them fun gathering points for the residence halls.

Christendom also offers three off-campus houses for students to live in named after St. Augustine, St. Anne, and St. Teresa. These houses, which are just across the road from campus, all not only have common rooms and separate bedrooms, but also fully equipped kitchens. These offer students a chance to cook their own meals, and even girls who live in the dorms can use the kitchens after securing permission. The house dorms serve as a good way for students to get the privacy and quiet they need without being too far away from the rest of the college community.

Christendom’s residence halls offer a small, comfortable and closely-linked community to the women on campus.

Check out the video below:


Tom McFaddenAsk the Director

Q. I am really good at my math and science-related subjects in high school, particularly math, yet, I also like the idea of Christendom's liberal arts curriculum, which doesn't seem to offer much in the math and science department. Is there some way that I can do both if I attend Christendom?
A. This is a very common question that is asked of me, and I hope this answer will be able to help.

From my understanding, normally, the reason people like math/science related subjects is because their brains are wired that way and they like the idea of things being black and white, right and wrong, objectively true rather than subjectively true. Additionally, they are interested in the reasons why things are the way they are, thus the desire to understand how things work and operate through the sciences.

When I came to Christendom as a freshman many years ago, I was the math kid. It was my favorite subject. I scored 200+ points higher on the math section of my SAT than on the reading section. My Dad has an Electrical Engineering degree, two of my brothers have computer science degrees, one of my brothers has a doctorate in Electrical Engineering, and my sister has been a math teacher. Math seemingly runs through my blood.

But I am here to tell you that Christendom has many offerings for those who tend toward "left side of the brain" activities. We offer many math classes (in which one can get a minor in math, if desired)

  • Introduction to Mathematical Thought
  • Euclidean Geometry
  • College Algebra and Trigonometry
  • Computer Programming
  • Calculus I, II, III
  • Linear Algebra
  • Probability and Statistics
  • Symbolic Logic
  • Modal Logic
  • Mathematical Logic
  • Differential Equations

And we also offer a number of science courses as well:

  • Introduction to Scientific Thought
  • Descriptive Astronomy
  • General Physics I and II
  • Laboratory for General Physics I & II

And besides the actual math and science offerings, there are many subjects that work well with the "left side of the brain" people. If people like objective truth, it doesn't get much more objective than Theology. If people like to figure things out and learn to understand what makes things tick, then Philosophy is the subject to study. History is also very good for people who like to keep things objective. Studying these subjects definitely fulfills the needs of a "left brain" person, so it is not always necessary to actually study math/science in college, even if it is your favorite subject. Take it from me, a Theology major.

Finally, I wanted to let you know something that my brother, Michael, told me a while back. He came to Christendom for two years and took all the core curriculum courses that were offered (history, Theology, philosophy, political science, English), as well as a whole bunch of math classes. After two years, he decided that he wanted to do electrical engineering, so he transferred to George Mason University.

Because he had taken so many math courses at Christendom he didn't need to take any more math courses to fulfill his degree in engineering, and he finished up with his EE degree in just three additional years. He eventually went on to get his doctorate in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Delaware. He currently works for Alcon in Texas and recently told me that he tends to use more of what he learned in his two years at Christendom than he does all the scientific stuff he studied for 8 years. I asked him why and he said that it is because scientists spend much of their time doing various projects, and when the project is over, there needs to be some sort of synopsis or paper written up about it. As a result of his Christendom liberal arts education, he says that he is quite often selected to be the project manager and therefore, the one responsible for writing up the findings. So, there's something to be said for a well-rounded, well-read scientist.

For more information on our math/science department please click here.

God bless,




Issue 4/24/2014