“If the world hates you, know that it hated Me first.” These words of Christ, coming from John’s Gospel, echo loudly in today’s culture. Students are finding persecution for their religious beliefs in many college classrooms, as agendas continue to creep into academia and teachers seek to drive out any thought that runs counter to theirs. One of the sadder aspects to this is how this has happened to some Catholic campuses as well — an experience that transfer student Abigail Thomas encountered at the College of the Holy Cross in Massachusetts. Now at Christendom, she is excited to learn and grow in an environment that promotes the Catholic Faith, rather than squash it down.

Thomas transferred to Christendom this fall, looking for a place that would help her grow in her Faith and challenge her in the classroom.

Thomas, a native of Standish, Maine, spent a year at her previous college, after receiving a substantial aid package from them. While the school was not her number one choice, she was determined to make it her home. Quickly after her arrival, however, she realized the school was not accepting of her Catholic and conservative values.

“I received negative backlash from my professors in class — I was told that ‘being a Republican is a dirty word,’” says Thomas. “I was surrounded by toxic liberalism over the past year and was forced to fight for what I believe. I grew increasingly unhappy with the student culture and general lack of morality on the campus and decided to transfer to a school with more like-minded students, while at the same time learning from professors who would encourage me to develop my conservative beliefs rather than give me negative backlash for them.”

While still a student at the college, Thomas began to search for a school that would be fully Catholic in its culture and equally challenging in its academics to transfer to, and discovered Christendom. After poring over the website, she made a visit to campus with her family and attended classes. It did not take her long to realize that this campus was what she had been looking for all along – a place where she could not just survive college, but thrive. She applied and was soon accepted to Christendom.

Thomas was amongst the packed congregation at the Mass of the Holy Spirit, celebrated during Orientation Weekend.

Now, Thomas is a student at the college, taking classes and becoming a part of Christendom’s tight-knit community. In addition to her coursework, she is interested in the college’s choir, pro-life group, and theatrical productions, and hopes to make the most of the supportive campus during her time here. After only a few weeks, she is already feeling the stark difference to her first year of college, and is so excited to be at a place where she feels she can truly thrive.

“During that first year, I struggled to find any kind of support system, but as soon as I stepped onto the Christendom campus, I felt that support and the joy radiating from all of the students and staff. I never realized that such an environment existed, and felt I had almost resigned myself to always being in a hostile environment that does its best to enforce a liberal agenda. At Christendom, I truly believe that I will thrive, taking what I have learned on my own in the past year and applying it to a curriculum that not only allows but encourages me to be a conservative Catholic,” says Thomas.

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