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Although Christendom College works tirelessly to keep costs low for its students, many Christendom families depend heavily on the generous financial aid program that the college offers – grants, loans, and scholarships. Without the generous support of Christendom’s many benefactors, these faithful Catholic students would not be able to afford Christendom’s time-tested, authentic Catholic liberal arts education. With the support of Christendom’s many friends and benefactors, over 75 percent of Christendom’s students are able to receive some type of financial discount, which often is the difference between whether a student attends or not.

One very popular program that the college offers is the Sponsor a Student Program, whereby benefactors can witness the direct impact of their gift in the life of a Christendom student.

Donors receive direct communications from the students about the impact Christendom is making in their lives. Each spring, they have the opportunity to meet their sponsored students on campus and see firsthand the difference their generosity is making.

This story is from the Winter 2018 issue of Instaurare. Read more from the issue here!

Senior Joe Kelly is a typical Christendom student. He is the eldest in a homeschooling family of six children, with his father being the sole financial provider. He did very well on his standardized tests, had a great high school GPA, and received a generous financial aid packet from the college.

When he applied to Christendom, in one of his application essays he wrote:

Having been educated in a strong Catholic family, where daily Mass, devotion to Mary, and Eucharistic adoration formed an essential part of the fabric of my life, I now desire a college experience where I can strengthen and develop my faith and intellect in the truth and enjoy Christ-centered friendships. When I visited in April, the Catholicity of the campus, especially the beauty of the liturgy, struck me deeply. It is in that uniquely Catholic experience that I hope to further my knowledge of the faith, pursue to the fullest a true liberal arts education, and acquire a deep knowledge of the Western Catholic tradition, putting everything I gain at the service of God and neighbor.

Saint John Paul II, a much-loved saint in my family, often spoke about the “law of the gift”: We are fully human to the extent we make a gift of ourselves to others. This, then, is what I hope to contribute to Christendom College – a gift of self. For all of my youth I have undergone a formation within a dynamic Catholic home, learned the fine art of the “love of learning”, and experienced the unique beauty of family life. My humble contribution to Christendom would be the gift of self: placing my gifts, talents, and uniqueness at the service of the Christendom family. 

Senior Joe Kelly.

While excelling academically, Kelly is also thriving outside of the classroom through serving his fellow students – doing what he said he wanted to do during his time at college. He is grateful for an education that has given him the academic prowess he sought and that has also taught him the place of service as a higher good by benefiting the community with his education.

Over his four years at Christendom, Kelly has been blessed with many opportunities to lend a hand or take on leadership roles to benefit the college community. He has served as a Student Ambassador welcoming visiting students to campus, as a sacristan helping prepare for and serve Mass, and through part-time work helping maintain campus facilities.

Now as a senior, Kelly continues to serve the community through special leadership positions. He serves on the Student Philanthropy Board, a group of seniors encouraging their class-mates to financially support the college post-graduation, and he is also a Resident Assistant, helping to apply college policies and foster community on campus.

“Being an RA has given me a chance to grow the most because it’s a very ‘other-centered’ activity,” shares Kelly. “This has helped me realize that my formation is not just about earning good grades, but it’s often about putting the other person and their real-life problems first. It’s about making sure that I’m using the blessings and education I’ve received to help these students succeed in all aspects of their lives.”

According to Kelly, one of the greatest truths Christendom has given him is the fact that no man is an island. Christendom has helped him see that the Church extends beyond his family, his homeschool group, and the college.

“If you are to answer the call to restore all things in Christ, you must surround yourself with others who will stand by you and help you make the hard decisions that being Catholic is going to require you to make,” he concludes.

Because of Christendom College’s complete rejection of federal funds, there is an average shortfall of $5,000 per student each year. Christendom relies on generous benefactors to help bridge this gap so that students like Joe can thrive at Christendom. To learn more about Sponsor a Student, please visit www.christendom.edu/sponsor or call 540-551-9300.

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