Christendom College Begins Twenty-Sixth Academic Year

September 5, 2002

When Christendom College first opened its doors on September 14, 1977, twenty-six students saw the vision of Dr. Warren Carroll and enrolled in the College. Now, twenty-five years later, the College has a total of 360 undergraduate students enrolled, making it a ninth consecutive record enrollment year.

The increase in the student body this year is partially due to the recently introduced Semester in Rome Program, beginning this semester. On September 19, half of Christendom's Juniors will begin studying just a few minutes from St. Peter's, in Rome, staying at the Domus Mariae, a beautiful facility with classrooms, a dining room, study halls, and a chapel dedicated to the Blessed Mother. Accompanied by Christendom College chaplain Rev. Anthony Mastroeni, and Philosophy Professor Doug Flippen, the students will continue in the core curriculum with classes in philosophy, theology, and English literature. Italian art and architecture, as well as language classes, will round out their schedules.

In addition to the Rome Program, Christendom has recently begun building a new 39,000 sq. ft. library. The St. John the Evangelist library will be nestled in the woods of Christendom's 100 acre campus above a scenic bend in the Shenandoah River. The planned neo-colonial style library will accommodate 125,000 volumes of books, and provide for much needed study space for the students. With the architecturally inspiring design to supplement the wisdom found within, the library will serve as the academic center of life at Christendom College.

Both the construction of the new library and the introduction of the Rome Program are drawing students from 44 States and four foreign countries to the College, with the average SAT score of this year's incoming freshmen being a phenomenal 1240.

Christendom's twenty-sixth academic year opened with a Mass of the Holy Spirit offered by His Excellency Paul S. Loverde, Bishop of Arlington, on August 25, 2002. During the Mass, Bishop Loverde accepted the Oath of Fidelity to the Magisterium from Christendom's entire faculty. Christendom College is the only college whose entire faculty takes this oath annually.

In his homily, Bishop Loverde compared the founding and beginnings of Christendom College to the disciples in the upper room on the night of Pentecost.

"In 1977, a small group of lay men and women found an institute of higher learning that is unabashedly faithful to the Church's Magisterium, is committed to reinstating the two millennia of Catholic academic teaching and thought that has been cast aside by many of today's colleges and universities, and is determined to educate and form young men and women to be apostles of the third Christian millennium," began Bishop Loverde. "Indeed, how similar this small lay group was to those in the Upper Room!"

"Those gathered in the Upper Room on Pentecost were not to remain there. The gift of the Holy Spirit and the various particular gifts which the Spirit manifests in different individuals are meant for your benefit and the benefit of others," he continued.

"In your education here at Christendom, you have been given a great gift – utilize it! Let Christendom College come to be known to the ends of the earth because of the example of your holy and enthusiastic lives. Allow yourselves to be transformed by the Holy Spirit, and allow Him to use you, as He did those first disciples in the Upper Room, to evangelize the world bringing all to the loving embrace of the Father through His Son Jesus Christ in the power of this same Holy Spirit," concluded His Excellency.

Following the Mass, Bishop Loverde blessed two statues, St. Louis the Crusader and Blessed Pope Urban II, which stand outside of Crusader Memorial Gymnasium. Although the statue of St. Louis IX arrived a year and a half ago, in May of 2001, the statue of Pope Urban only arrived at the end of the summer. Taking almost a year to finish each statue, Fr. Nevin Ford (the uncle of Mrs. Cathy O'Donnell) hand-sculpted the beautiful six foot three inch statues from Yule marble from the Rockies.


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