cardinal-burkeCardinal Raymond Burke, Prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura, has graciously agreed to serve as the Chairman of the Honorary Dinner Committee for Christendom College’s 35th Anniversary Gala dinner on April 6, 2013, at Westfields Marriott Washington Dulles in Chantilly, Virginia.

In 1977, when Dr. Warren Carroll and a few of his associates founded Christendom College, authentic Catholic higher education was under attack and seemed to be on the brink of extinction. With but five faculty, twenty-six students, borrowed facilities, and a mere $50,000 in the bank, Christendom College began its long, and frequently difficult, journey to restore Catholic higher education to its rightful place and become one of the top Catholic liberal arts colleges in the nation.

Today, Christendom is a permanent and solid college, with undergraduate and graduate programs enrolling 500 students. It maintains two campuses, manages a modest endowment of nearly $10 million, and enjoys an excellent academic reputation, as well as an impeccable reputation for fidelity to the Holy Catholic Church.

“This success is quite remarkable,” says Admissions Director Tom McFadden, “especially in light of the fact that Christendom remains the only accredited Catholic institution of higher learning in the country to neither seek nor accept any form of federal aid, either in loans, grants, or subsidies. We have had to rely on God’s loving Providence, and, of course, on the generosity of thousands of friends and benefactors over the past thirty-five years.”

The actual 35th anniversary was this past September 14, which marked the anniversary of the first day of school back in 1977. Throughout the year, a number of anniversary events and activities have taken place or are being planned, including a pilgrimage to Spain and Portugal; a spectacular fireworks display; a rededication of the college community to its patroness, Our Lady of Fatima; a Catholic college presidents roundtable meeting; a public lecture by Francis Cardinal Arinze; a celebration in Rome of the tenth anniversary of the Semester in Rome program; a gala dinner dance; and finally, a summer institute focusing on the theme of the Catholic vision of history.

Cardinal Burke, who in 2007 received an honorary doctorate from Christendom College, is deeply impressed with how Christendom’s education is making an impact on its alumni and the culture at large.

“I always think that the ultimate test of the excellence of a Catholic college is the quality of Faith in Christ and in His Church of the alumni, and Christendom certainly stands out in that regard,” he said.

Joining Cardinal Burke on the Honorary Dinner Committee, so far, are Senator George Allen, Cardinal Francis Arinze, Rev. Robert Barron, Rev. Shenan Boquet, Governor Sam Brownback, Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz, Bishop Robert Carlson, Archbishop Charles Chaput, Hon. Ken Cuccinelli, Bishop Everard de Jong, Archbishop Joseph Di Noia, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Dr. William A. Donohue, Cardinal Francis George, Dr. Robert George, Mother Assumpta Long, Archbishop William Lori, Most Reverend Paul S. Loverde, Patrick Madrid, Most Reverend John J. Myers, Bishop John Nienstedt, Cardinal Edwin O’Brien, Bishop David O’Connell, Bishop Kevin Rhoades, Bishop David Ricken, Rev. George Rutler, Bishop Michael Sheridan, and Bishop David Zubik.

According to Honorary Dinner Committee member, Archbishop William E. Lori, Archdiocese of Baltimore, “[Christendom College] continues to guide young people at a critical juncture in their lives to strengthen their relationship with Christ through the sacraments and prayer, to grow in virtue, and to develop a deeper understanding of all that the Church believes and teaches.”

“Since its founding in 1977, Christendom College has sought to be an example in Catholic higher education through fidelity to the Magisterium and intellectual tradition of the Church. In addition to providing students with the academic skills to become capable professionals, Christendom College also strives to offer its students the opportunity to grow in their love for Christ,” says Committee member Francis Cardinal George, Archbishop of Chicago. ” I am grateful for the mission of Christendom College and for the blessing that its graduates are to our communities as well as to the universal Church. As we celebrate the Year of Faith, we give thanks to God for the dedication of those who teach, administer, and study at Christendom College, contributing to the important work of the New Evangelization.”

The Gala dinner, which will be emceed by a former original “Mouseketeer” of the Mickey Mouse Club, Sherry Van Meter, is open to friends, benefactors, students, and alumni. Click here for more information.

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