Student Profile

Patrik Harangozo

Age: 25
Year: Transfer (Freshman for a semester)
From: Szombathely, Hungary
Major: Political Science and Economics
Hobbies: I am interested in everything that has to do with the hospitality industry. I love gastronomy, cooking, and serving.
What is your favorite class or professor? I am really grateful, because I like all of my courses, as well as the professors teaching them. I have Principles of Microeconomics and International Economics with Dr. William Luckey, Moral Theology with Dr. William Marshner, Russia's Diplomacy in Europe and American Government Institutions and Politics with Professor Bernard Way. Both their knowledge and their way of teaching is remarkable.
What extra-curricular activities do you participate in?  I have to admit, I am still struggling with my English vocabulary. Because of that, my main focus is on my studies, but I try to participate in as many programs as possible.
What is your favorite thing about Christendom? I have many favorite things, but I really love my job with the college's dining services. It is very fun to work there.
Why did you choose Christendom? I always wanted to study in the United States to practice my English. But as I have progressed in my studies here, I have realized it is inevitable that my Catholic faith is fortified. Here at Christendom College, I can deepen both my knowledge and my faith, without having to give up either one.
What surprises you the most about Christendom? Everyone is so friendly and kind at Christendom. From the admissions and scholarship process to when I finally arrived here, everyone was excessively kind and helpful to me. I would like to say thank you to Dr. Eleanor Kelly, who made it possible for me to spend an entire semester at Christendom. I am also very grateful to Mr. Tom McFadden, who helped me so much especially with my visa application. And lastly Walter Janaro and Dan Mitchell, who made the enrollment process prompt and pleasant.
What are your plans after graduation? I already graduated from a university in Hungary, so from January onward I plan to start working at a political advisory and analyst firm in Budapest.
Any parting words of advice for a prospective student? Do not have any worries. Divine Providence will always help in times of need.


Student Life

Friendship and Femininity

On Friday evening, Christendom women came together in the lower level of the library for the Women's Convocation to discuss the theme of femininity and how to be a true woman of God. The senior girls hosted, planned, and decorated for the event, along with Miss Amanda Graf, the Director of Residence Life. After enjoying all the delicious snacks and chocolate treats, everyone took part in a few girl-bonding games, including a dress-up race.

Mrs. Mary Stanford, an adjunct professor of Theology at Christendom, then gave an uplifting and inspiring talk to all the young ladies on the theme of femininity, and she summarized the essence of femininity by discussing the “3 C’s”—care, conversation, and community. She explained how women should use their natural God-endowed gifts as strengths, rather than allow them to become weaknesses. After her talk, Mrs. Stanford was joined by other staff and faculty members to lead a question-and-answer discussion panel.

“I thought that the panel did an amazing job answering our many questions right on the spot,” says sophomore Cecilia Heisler. “I was also very impressed with how beautifully decorated the event was, and it was just an overall beautiful evening.”

The girls loved hearing advice from the faculty and staff—women that they look up to. This event is a great example of the personal touch that makes Christendom's education and formation so exceptional.

Fondue treats and flowers decked the tables.

The games had the girls racing around to learn more about each other.

Senior Maribeth Kelly shows off her fall apparel during the dress-up race.

Mrs. Mary Stanford spoke on the topic of femininity.

Sophomore girls enjoying their evening.

The panel of Christendom women answered all of the girls' questions.


Men's Discussion and Poker

At the same time that the women were conversing about their femininity at the Women’s Convocation, Christendom men gathered in the gym to listen to talks and discuss the theme of chastity at the Men’s Convocation. Residence Life Director Dan Mitchell and the senior men hosted the event where everyone enjoyed pizza, inspiring talks, and several fun rounds of poker.

Fr. Burchell, a recently ordained diocesan priest, opened the evening up with a powerful talk about chastity and purity . Victor Alcantara, a Christendom alumnus ('05), followed up with a talk about chastity within dating relationships. Finally, Coach Chris Vander Woude, Director of Athletic Affairs, gave a talk on the dangers of sins against chastity.

“My favorite part of the evening was by far Fr. Burchell's talk on chastity and being a man,” says freshman Daniel Montanaro. “I enjoyed getting to know a lot of the guys better as well.”

The men were grateful for the advice and time that the faculty, staff, and alumni had shared with them.

Freshmen enjoyed their first Convocation experience.

Fr. Burchell made the trip to Christendom's campus to speak to the young men.

Alumnus Victor Alcantara shares his experiences.

Coach Vander Woude spoke on the topic of chastity.

Philosophy Professor Mike Brown enjoys a game of poker with the Christendom young men.


Cookout Time

The smell of delicious grilled ribs and sausages filled the air on Saturday evening, as students gathered outside of the Student Center for a fun cookout organized by Sophomore Nick Jaroma, and the rest of the Student Activities Council (SAC). Everyone had a great time by taking advantage of the fantastic food, lighthearted music, fireside chats, and corn hole.  The fact that Christendom College has such a welcoming and friendly community makes events like this one all the more enjoyable.

“I had such a fantastic time," junior Maggie Schuberg said. " The food and music were amazing, and the fact that it was such a carefree event made the evening very relaxing.”

Sophomore Nick Jaroma seized the opportunity to show off his skills at the grill.

Students enjoyed great conversations around the chimay fire pit.

Freshman girls Emily Updike, Evelynne Stewart, and Liz Dorss were all smiles.

Students enjoyed games of corn hole throughout the evening.


Pub Night with the Bishop

The Christendom College community had the privilege of having Arlington Bishop Paul Loverde visit and give an inspirational talk in St. Kilian’s Cafe on Sunday night. His lecture, which was on the Second Vatican Council, drew over 80 students. He spoke of how great of an impact the Council had on the Church, and gave the students a background on the history and theology of the Council.

“His talk really deepened my understanding on Vatican II,” said senior Jake Morgan.

Bishop Loverde wrapped up the evening by saying, “this year of Faith is to be a renewal of the Church—and renewal of you and me.” 

Bishop Loverde speaking about the Second Vatican Council.

Students listened intently during the inspirational lecture.

Students had the opportunity for further discussion with the Bishop following the talk.

Freshman David Massa meets with the Bishop.


Canoeing the Shenandoah River

On Sunday afternoon a group of students loaded into vans and rode out to enjoy the beautiful weather on the historic Shenandoah River. Though the college has the unique privilege of being situated on a bend in the great river, and provides students with canoes and kayaks for recreational use, groups throughout the year will take the short drive up the road to the Front Royal Canoe Company for a day of outdoor fun.

"The blue skies, historic surroundings, and good company made for the perfect day on the Shenandoah," freshman Paul Flagg said.

Christendom's location in the heart of the Shenandoah Valley, gives students the extraordinary opportunity to regularly visit and enjoy the river.

Ladies pose for a picture before the fun begins.

Students collect their paddles and lifevests.

All smiles on the way to the drop-off.

The guys get competitive as the paddling begins.

Freshmen Emily Updike and Liz Dorss laugh as the guys fix their flipped canoe.

Christendom's students have a reputation for frequent canoe flipping.



Scott Hahn Adresses Students

hahnOn September 16, world-renowned Bible scholar and theology professor Dr. Scott Hahn launched Christendom College’s Major Speaker Program, delivering a lecture on “The Bible, the Eucharist, and the New Evangelization.”

“We face the task of re-evangelizing the de-Christianized,” Hahn said. “The cause of de-Christianization has been this oppressive secularization, which doesn’t just cause us to forget the faith, but it causes us to become more and more distant from those structures that make it real.”

Hahn explained that just as human love and relationships lead to a sacrament—Matrimony—so too does our love and relationship with God lead to a sacrament—the Eucharist. He noted that it was Blessed Pope John Paul who first called for the new evangelization to be based on the Eucharist and, citing a paper by Cardinal Francis George of Chicago, he said, “all evangelizers proclaim Christ, but Catholic evangelizers proclaim a Eucharistic Christ.”

Read more about the lecture here and see more pics from the event here.

Students Brad Torline and Will Stamper chat with Dr. Hahn following his talk.

You can download the lecture at Christendom on iTunes U by clicking here.

Or watch in now:



On September 18, Dr. Hahn delivered another lecture as part of the College's Faith and Reason Lecture Series. The talk entitled "Consuming the Word" discussed the Eucharist as Christ's second coming. Download the lecture at Christendom on iTunes U by clicking here.


Special Report

A Freshman's First Impression of Christendom

Almost a month has passed since Orientation Week, and the new students on campus are beginning to settle into their new schedules and surroundings. Now that they've been here for a few weeks, the freshmen have been able to form some early opinions of college life.

John Paul Heisler shared that, although he is from the Front Royal area, adjusting to college life has still been a process. When asked how he was handling the change, he answered that the hardest thing has been "learning how to prioritize."

"There’s always something going on, especially through the school, and trying to balance homework and social activities has been difficult,” he says.

And though the variety of fun and different activities can be overwhelming at first, it does not overshadow the challenging and invigorating nature of Christendom's core curriculum.

John Paul enjoys the way all of the classes link together.

"It is unique," he says. "I’ve noticed that, particularly with my History, Theology, and Philosophy classes, we seem to be discussing the same aspect of life in each class, while approaching it from different perspectives, which helps us develop a more complete picture of how an event or concept effected the past, and what impact it has on us today."

Though it was a difficult choice, he shared that his favorite classes are The Fundamentals of Catholic Doctrine with Fr. Donald Planty and The History of Western Civilization with Dr. Brendan McGuire.

“They both have a dynamic teaching style that helps bring the material to life," he says. "In history, using the Bible as a historical book is intriguing, and is something I’ve never seen before. And in theology, taking the time to really learn the Catechism for the sake of better understanding the faith has been enjoyable.”

John Paul stays very busy throughout the day; here's how he described a typical weekday:

After waking up and eating breakfast, I have three classes before 11:30 am Mass, which I attend daily. After Mass my friends and I head over to St. Lawrence Commons for lunch, and—because my schedule is a bit different than most of my classmates—I have two more classes before dinner, separated by an hour which I use to study. After dinner I have basketball practice, followed by working in the library. I have a student job as a moderator on the Library's basement level, where the two computer labs and the student-run coffee shop are located. It’s a great job, because I can socialize and study while working. If the college doesn’t have anything planned, I like to hang out in the top floor of St. Benedict Hall, the largest of the three men’s dorm halls on campus. But if the college has a dance or other event planned that night—that’s where you’ll find me!”
When asked if there had been any surprises, he answered, “Not really. I expected awesome, and it is awesome!"


Crusader Sports Center

Lady Crusaders Volleyball Starts Strong

The Lady Crusaders’ Volleyball team is off to a great start this fall with head coach Josh Petersen.  After posting a winning season last year, the ladies are looking for yet another successful season.

The ladies opened up the season with back to back sweeps of Mid Atlantic Christian University (MACU) down in Elizabeth City, NC. The very next weekend the ladies traveled to Pennsylvania and beat Valley Forge in 3-2 win, but had a tough loss to Keystone College. After that, the Ladies traveled to Maryland to beat Division II Washington Adventist in an impressive 3-0 sweep. 

Just last Saturday, the ladies hosted both Byrn Athyn College and MACU at the Crusader Gymnasium in a tough round of games. The ladies fought hard against Byrn Athyn, but lost 1-3, but went on to beat MACU 3-0.

 “It was a tough loss to Byrn Athyn, but we came back strong to pull off a win in the second match,” senior captain Bridget Vander Woude said.

The Ladies have continued to play well in their last few matches and have posted an impressive winning record of 5-3.

Their next set of home games will be the Crusader Invitational on Friday, September 20, and Saturday, September 21, in which they will host Johnson & Wales, VUL, and Piedmont University. Go Lady Crusaders!



Tom McFaddenAsk the Director

Last week, I talked about what makes Christendom Christendom, and what it is trying to do. I want to follow up with that and discuss what some of our alumni are doing to achieve our mission of restoring all things in Christ and to sum up some of the aspects which set Christendom apart from other good Catholic schools

When you want to find out if a college is doing what it says it's trying to do, the best thing to do is look at the alumni of the college. If, as I said last week, we at Christendom are 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, then I think we are over-achieving this goal.

Our alumni are involved in just about every career field possible, and not only are they successful in their chosen fields, but they are successful in their spiritual and personal lives as well. Sometimes, people look at college as a place to go and get a degree so that you can get a job. Our students do not view their education here at Christendom that way. They view their education as an investment in their future, to help them achieve success in life, as well as in work.

Specifically, our alumni who have married other alumni (which is up to 359 marriages at this point) are still married, and the vast majority of our alumni are still practicing Catholics. We do know of one or two (out of the 2500 total alumni) who have fallen away from the faith, and we pray for them daily. Many have chosen to join the priesthood or religious life (total is 146) while others are very active in various apostolic works, such as religious education, pro-life, and youth ministry.

And for those of our alumni who are in the medical, business, law, engineering, IT, marketing, education, and management fields, they too are working to restore all things in Christ by being great examples and witnesses of what it means to live the good, Catholic life.

Now what are some aspects which set a Christendom education apart from other good Catholic schools?

There is no one specific thing that we have that another college doesn't have, but when you put all of the following together, it makes our college experience unique.

We are located in a beautiful part of historic Virginia, on 120 acres, overlooking the Shenandoah River. We have a student body of 421 with a goal of somewhere around 450 on-campus students in the near future. We offer a solid 86-credit hour core curriculum with an emphasis on written and oral communication skills, which all of our students take, and we have 6 different majors (and various minors) from which to choose (although, remember, just because we have limited majors, our alumni work in every field possible). We have very competitive intercollegiate athletic teams, yet, all of our athletes are students first, athletes second. We have incredibly numerous opportunities for students to get involved with musical or dramatic performance, as well as take part in cultural festivities and celebrations. Our semester in Rome cannot be surpassed (due to our location and price) and the mission trips offered over Spring break are truly life-changing. Our students have the opportunity to take part in outreach programs in the area (pro-life, soup kitchens, meals on wheels, etc) and to march for life as an entire college community in DC every January. Leadership opportunities are endless and our career development program which helps students discover their natural talents and abilities, while aiding them in grad school and career decisions, is one-of-a-kind. Catholicism is not something confined to the Chapel here at Christendom, but permeates all that we do. Our classes are taught with a Catholic worldview, when possible, and our living arrangements and student life policies reflect the Church's teachings.

In summary, Christendom is small enough, but not too small, to have a big Catholic family feel to it, yet big enough to offer many life-broadening experiences for our students. We have a dedicated, well-educated faculty who are here to teach the students and spend time with them outside of class when necessary, and an administration which is focused on helping the students attain all of their personal and professional career goals—particularly their sought after career to be a saint. :)