Student Profile

Mary O'Reilly

Age: 18
Year: Sophomore
From: Front Royal, VA
Major: Undeclared
Hobbies: Irish Dance, traveling, eating ice cream, and being with family and friends.
What is your favorite class or professor? This is one of the most difficult questions to answer because every teacher and every class has so much to offer and no single one of them lacks brilliance. But I would say that personally, Prof. Sharon Hickson’s overall character, in and outside the classroom, is one that I truly cherish. In the classroom, her love of Literature never ceases to enthrall and enlighten me and the meaning she draws out of it (and conveys with much wit) is indispensable. Outside the classroom, she is extremely approachable and always listens patiently to your qualms in life. She is an outstanding example of womanhood and a true inspiration to all who are fortunate enough to encounter her.
What extra-curricular activities do you participate in?  I participate in most of the intramural sports.
What is your favorite thing about Christendom? I love the classes so much! The beautiful, God-filled people who surround me also enhance the already fabulous experience found here. Most importantly, I sense the presence of God here because He is in everything we do and He is present in every single one of the students on this campus. Due to this, we are all united as one super awesome family that people outside the community would die for.
Why did you choose Christendom? I would class myself as a cradle Christendom lover as I grew up one mile down the road from Christendom and have seen its progress. By virtue of this, I have been blessed to know many of the college’s former students and have been amazed at the way people from here turn out. I wanted to be like them. When the time rolled around for me to go to college, I hadn’t a doubt in my mind that it would be Christendom. So here I am!
What surprises you the most about Christendom? The focus that the school has on doing all things in Christ. In today’s world, this is rare to find. At Christendom, the staff is very successful in diminishing any sense of mediocrity and replacing it with excellence.
What are your plans after graduation? I am planning on pursuing something that will involve my past dance career. I also aspire to spend time traveling in Europe in order to become a linguist...but that may just be the dreamer side of me.
Any parting words of advice for a prospective student? Come visit campus or just give the Admissions office a ring because I know for a fact that we would love to have you. Also, before you make any decisions, make sure that you put your future into God’s hands. Once you do that, you will be in unity with God’s will and you will find so much happiness and peace wherever He puts you. Enjoy the rest of your day!


Student Life

Contra Club Commences

On Wednesday night, students gathered in St. Lawrence Commons for the first Contra Dance Club meeting of the year, where participants observed, learned, and practiced different group dances, ranging from the classic Virginia Reel to the little-known Jamaican. This form of relaxation and entertainment is a part of Christendom’s culture, and is enjoyed by all students due to its crowd-friendly qualities. It is not uncommon for various events throughout the year, including barn dances hosted by professors and theme-based parties on campus, to incorporate the fun activity. Junior Lindsay Trapp shared that she was grateful to be attending a college that offered such an enjoyable and exclusive way to relax in the middle of the week.

“I love the contra dances and have been attending them for the last two years," she said. "Christendom is the only place I know that offers this unique form of fun and fellowship”.

Junior Mike Kopp and Freshman Clare Fletcher try a new step.

Senior Tim Johnston and Freshman Katie Kelly sashay down the line.

The Virginia Reel

Students enjoyed this fast-paced number.

Students delight in the fun.


Adoration for Syria

Christendom College joined Pope Francis this Saturday in Holy Adoration to pray for peace in Syria. The vigil started at 8:00 in the morning to ensure that the students in Virginia were praying simultaneously with their fellow classmates in Rome, and with the Pope himself. Between 7:30 and 11:30 Mass students paused to dedicate time to this important intention by kneeling before the Eucharistic Lord. Since the chapel is positioned in the middle of the campus, it is easy for students to stop in throughout their day- thus keeping Christ at the center of their lives in more ways than one. The students appreciated this extraordinary opportunity to join with the Holy Father in prayer and penance for the sake of those in need.

Students pray before the Blessed Sacrament.

Students and faculty take time to pray for this important intention.

The spirituall life is central to the formation that the students receive.

Praying for peace in Syria.

Father Mark at Benediction.



Buona Sera!

Students happily gathered for the famous and loved Italian Night celebrations on September 7. Cultural events have always been popular in the Christendom College community. The evening started off with a delicious meal of spaghetti and meatballs and tiramisu for dessert. Red, white, and green decorations livened up the atmosphere at dinner. Afterwards, all enjoyed dancing to Italian music under the stars outside the St. Lawrence Commons. There were beautiful lights hung in the trees, a white lattice work photo booth, and the always popular Italian sodas.

“It was an absolutely perfect night. And the decorations were gorgeous,” sophomore Bridget McMahon said.

Students enjoyed the Italian meal cooked up for them.

Freshman girls loved their first Italian Night.

Sophomore Peter Blank gives his sister, Senior Klarissa Blank, a spin.

Junior Mark Turner and Sophomore Melissa Lucas enjoying the Italian music.

Everyone thoroughly enjoyed having the dance held outdoors.

Students were all smiles during the dance.


Upper vs. Under Football Game

There was much excitement and anticipation in the air leading up to the Upper vs. Under football game on September 8. The students love competition, so when the Freshmen and Sophomores teamed up to play the Juniors and Seniors, everyone came out to cheer the teams on. Key players in the game were Sophomores Nick Jaroma and Ryan Tappe, who both led their team throughout the entire game. And the dynamic duo, Senior Matt Speer and Junior John David Speer were influential on the upper team. Within the first 10 minutes, Freshman Paul Maschue scored the only touchdown of the game, giving the Under their historical second victory ever against the Upper. This was the first time, though, that the Freshmen and Sophomores were united on the same team. In years past, it was basically the Freshmen against everyone else, and that normally resulted in misery for the new students. This year's game had better balance and was much more enjoyable to watch.

“It was by no means an easy fought game," Under quarterback and sophomore Nick Jaroma said. "Both teams gave it their all until the end and fought nobly.” 

Freshman Andrew Ford attempting to escape Senior Sean LaRochelle's attack.

Senior Joe Duca swiftly running away from the Under players.

Senior Matt Speer and Sophomore Sean Salmon battling for the football.

Sophomore George Dewey leaping for a catch.

Senior Sean LaRochelle racing down the sideline.

A desperate attempt for the first down knocked out of bounds.

The Under team celebrating their victory.

The Upper team fought hard.


The victors.


Special Report

Student Clubs and Leadership Opportunities on Campus

This week, Christendom students have been learning more about the outreach and leadership opportunities through this week's “club fair.” Many students come to Christendom without realizing just how much the college offers.

Christendom College gives students numerous opportunities to cultivate leadership skills and make a positive difference in the world with its many diverse campus groups, clubs, and societies. By leading and participating in these student organizations, Christendom students are able to take on leadership roles not only on Christendom’s campus, but in the community as well.

Shield of Roses members travel to Washington, DC, to prayerfully protest in front of a Planned Parenthood abortion clinic every Saturday morning. In addition, the Shield of Roses leaders plan a “Mega Shield” event once every semester (Coming up October 5th), in which the entire student body is encouraged to come out and pray together. Students who invest their time in Shield of Roses are always abundantly rewarded—whether they can directly see the results of their actions or not—and the group is truly instrumental in forming leaders for the pro-life movement.

Students for Life is similar to Shield of Roses in that it is a student-run pro-life group, but it takes a more direct and active approach in dealing with issues on the sanctity of human life. Members of the group focus particularly on political activism, and meet twice a month to discuss issues and how they can make a difference in regards to them. By getting involved politically, whether by producing and distributing literature or writing letters to politicians, Christendom students truly take a stand and are able to become leaders in one of today's most important issues.

The Legion of Mary is an organization that is present world-wide in which members give voluntary service to the Church through a variety of means. Christendom gives students the confidence and encouragement to take their faith, and their knowledge of the Church, out into the community, thereby strengthening their own faith and sharing it with others. Members are involved in door-to-door evangelization, visiting the sick and dying in nursing homes, and visiting the local prison.

Outreach is a club which provides ample opportunities for students interested in helping out the community by performing the corporal works of mercy. Students are involved in such works as visiting the elderly in nursing homes, volunteering with Habitat for Humanity and at a local crisis pregnancy center, and feeding the poor and hungry once a week at the local soup kitchen through the Meals on Wheels program. While such actions take only a few hours out of a student's week, students who participate in such works would agree that the time spent in such activity is extremely rewarding and eye-opening.

For those interested in writing and media, The Rambler gives students the opportunity to cultivate journalism experience and engage the world through the media. The Rambler is a journal in which students report and write articles about issues they believe are prevalent and interesting in such areas as the news, arts and culture, and faith and reason. The liberal arts education, which students receive at Christendom, helps them gain a perspective from which they can draw from and make an opinion. Further, since The Rambler is a member of the Collegiate Network (CN), journalists and editors for this student publication are able to make journalistic connections and gain real experience in the journalism world through conferences, internships, and other opportunities.

In addition, Christendom College allows students to rise to their potential and become “tomorrow's leaders, here today,” through other student groups and clubs such as the Film Club, the Holy Rood Guild, the Chester-Belloc Debate Society, the Ambassador club, and the Student Activities Council. Students also participate in mission trip programs, organize Red Cross blood drives, become Resident Assistants, office interns, and take part in career and vocation fairs.

There is always a plethora of opportunities for Christendom students to take on responsibility and leadership roles on campus, and the range of activities is so broad that there is something for everyone.

Leaders of the Shield of Roses group are happy to gain new members.


Crusader Sports Center

Crusaders Continue to Trample the Competition

After starting off the season with two big wins in route to a championship victory at the Hersha Hospitality Tournament a week and half ago, the team took back to the field yesterday against Allegany College of Maryland, whom the team hadn’t played in 3 years.

Under second year Coach Jake Guttierrez, the Crusaders play a very aggressive and entertaing style of soccer trying to constantly keep offensive pressure on the opponent. It only took a few minutes for the style to pay dividends on Wednesday. Sophomore forward Sean Salmon got a pass from John Foeckler and after putting a series of moves on his defender put a shot in the back of the net for the first goal of the game. The goal was only the start of the first half barrage from the Christendom men as they continued to riddle the opposing goalie with shot after shot. The Crusaders would finish the day with an incredible 26 shots on goal and a convincing 5-0 victory for the Christendom team.

With three games, three wins, three shutouts, and an overwhelming goal margin of 22-0 for the Crusaders, things are looking good for this season. But the team heads into possibly its toughest stretch of the season as they head to Williamson Free School in Media, PA, for a Friday night game followed by a Saturday game at USCAA opponent Bryn Athyn.

Sean Salmon sinks one in the net.



Tom McFaddenAsk the Director

Q. I'm looking around at a bunch of different colleges. I think I want a good Catholic one, but even then, there appear to be a number from which to choose. Can you give me a better understanding of what Christendom College is and what it hopes to achieve? And also, can you sum up some of the aspects which set Christendom apart from other good Catholic schools?

A. This is the best question anyone could ever ask, so thanks! This is what every high school student should try and find out from the various schools they are looking at. It's not enough to visit, or spend time on the college's websites, or talk with the students about their experiences. People should find out what the college is actually all about, from its very core and mission, and what it does differently from others. This is how you can make a solid, well-informed decision.

So, here it goes. I will answer the first part of the question this week, and the second part next week.

Christendom College's mission is to provide a Catholic liberal arts education, including an integrated core curriculum grounded in natural and revealed truth, for the purpose of forming the whole person for a life spent in the pursuit of truth and wisdom. Intrinsic to such an education is the formation of moral character and the fostering of the spiritual life. This education prepares students for their role as faithful, informed, and articulate members of Christ's Church and society. The particular mission of Christendom College is "to restore all things in Christ," by forming men and women to contribute to the Christian renovation of the temporal order.

Great, but what does this all really mean?

It means that Christendom is trying to do something more than simply educate its students and give them a degree. This is what most other colleges seem to be focused on. Christendom is working to give our students a broad education, taught from a Catholic worldview when possible, in an environment that will aid our graduates to go out into the world and re-Christianize the temporal order. We are all here at Christendom to prepare for the great culture war that is upon us, and has been upon us.

Dr. Carroll, our founder, understood that the Catholic Faith was more than simply a religion – it was an entire way of life – a culture, which must be lived and breathed, in order to transmit it to others. Later, in May of 1982, Blessed John Paul II wrote in a letter instituting the Pontifical Council for Culture, that "a faith that does not become a culture is not fully accepted, not entirely thought out, not faithfully lived." The college fully embraced this concept by providing an atmosphere on campus where Catholicism is the "air that they breathe."

Dr. Warrne CarrollIn 1977, Dr. Carroll, wrote the following in response to the question, "What is Christendom?"

Our college takes its name from the word which embodies the Christian social and political ideal: a society, a culture, a government in which Christ the King reigns. To help extend His reign, insofar as His grace strengthens us to do so, is the heart of our mission.

We prepare ourselves, first of all, by learning, study and practice. We investigate the character of Christendom in past ages, the enduring principles which must undergird any Christian society, and the particular new applications of these principles for our age in the area of society and government which have been set forth by the recent Vicars of Christ in their social encyclicals. We learn the Christian and Catholic foundations for every field of study we enter and every action we undertake. Above all, we try to build in our own lives, and in our work with fellow Christians, a mini-Christendom, a society, however small, in which Christ does truly reign.

Christendom College aims to be such a Christian society, a microcosm of the social reign of Christ. As such, it will strive to be an example and a model, as well as a center of study on what Christendom is and how it might be built anew even in our secularized age. The education Christendom College provides, primarily for laymen who will spend their lives in the world, will prepare and strengthen them both to maintain themselves and their families in that world, and for the better service to God within it.

There is no wider Christendom today. The very word, once commonly used to designate our Western civilization, is going out of style and even out of knowledge. Many have never heard it, cannot pronounce it, much less explain and serve what it stands for. At this moment of history, Christendom can exist only in small and self-contained places. But the Christian in such a place never settles for it, never hides in it, for he has a message to bring to the world.

So, there you have it. This is what Christendom College is, from the words of our founder. And is Christendom College achieving its lofty goal? Are the graduates of Christendom actually doing anything to transform the culture and to re-Christianize it? I think the answer is a resounding YES and I will talk about that more next week.