College President Dr. Timothy O’Donnell, his wife, Cathy, and College Chaplain Fr. Heisler led a group of 35 Christendom faculty and friends to Rome during the College’s Fall Break: October 14-23, 2005.

During the pilgrimage, the group had the opportunity to present to the Holy Father a spiritual bouquet from Christendom College students, faculty, staff, and benefactors. Upon receiving the gift, Pope Benedict smiled and said to President O’Donnell (regarding Christendom College), “Thank you for all that you are doing! Please continue to pray for me.”

Pope Benedict XVI with President Timothy O'DonnellHis Holiness, while Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, served as the Chairman of the Honorary Dinner Committee for Christendom College’s 25th Anniversary Gala Dinner, held in September 2002.

In a letter to Dr. O’Donnell, then-Cardinal Ratzinger wrote, “I am well aware of the distinguished record of Christendom College over these past twenty-five years, and of the outstanding contribution which it has made to Catholic life in the United States of America. For this reason, I am particularly honoured by your kind invitation and am happy to accept your invitation [to serve as Chairman of the Honorary Dinner Committee], and in so doing to associate myself with such a fine Catholic institution of higher learning….I offer my best wishes for a successful 25th Anniversary celebration and my prayers that Christendom College will enjoy many more years of service in the education and formation of young people.”

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