Christendom College

A Candle in the Darkness

April 21, 2016

Board Member Looks to Christendom for Hope

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In today’s culture, faithful Catholics are thirsty for vibrant communities striving toward the same fundamental goal: salvation. Such communities may be found in a variety of places, but benefactor Gene D’Agostino found his community in a unique location — Christendom College — a place he describes as a “candle in the darkness.”

Before discovering Christendom, D’Agostino found himself disturbed by the true “crisis of culture” sweeping across America, finding it first in his home state of Connecticut. Seeing a supreme lack of transcendence and a celebration of self in its place, D’Agostino and his wife, Janet, realized the need for a community with a faith-based understanding of culture and the world.

Janet & Gene D’Agostino.

In their hunt for such a community, the D’Agostinos encountered two men: Christendom board member Douglas Dewey and former board member Eugene Zurlo, who both inspired them with their strong Catholic faith and incredible charity. Together, they brought the D’Agostinos into contact with Christendom’s unique, Catholic liberal arts education and its mission “to restore all things in Christ” — a mission the D’Agostinos eagerly wanted to further.

“In order to impact culture, you have to have an understanding about Truth, about natural law, and about tradition. When you have these understandings, you can truly live the faith and affect the culture. Christendom is the perfect outlet for giving students those understandings — it serves a crying need in our nation and our culture,” says Gene. “We need to teach future generations that there are absolute truths, and that is very much what Christendom does. It’s a real candle in the darkness.”

When Dewey and Zurlo asked Gene to join the college’s Board of Directors last year, he did not hesitate to become a part of the school. Since joining the college and its vibrant community, Gene has used his business background to help guide the college in its goal of changing the culture through education, providing it with the resources it needs to continue in its noble mission.

Desiring to impact the culture, the D’Agostinos extended their generosity one step further last year by placing Christendom College in their will. By making Christendom one of a select few beneficiaries, the D’Agostinos plan to share their treasures with Christendom long after they’ve gone to their eternal reward, helping the college continue to teach students the truths of natural law and the canon of Western Civilization for years to come.

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