As a young professional living in the Front Royal area, Christendom alumna Catherine Briggs ’11 has had the unique opportunity to see firsthand the college’s growth over the years. Consequently, she’s seen the increasingly stark contrast between the culture on Christendom’s campus and the culture of our modern day.
“Young people today are facing so many incredible challenges,” shares Catherine. “I look around when I’m on campus and see these young men and women as my future co-workers, doctors, and lawyers. And we need well-formed leaders now more than ever.”
As alumni representative for her 2011 graduating class and an involved member of the community, Catherine sees her connection with the college since graduation as her “little way” of helping society and the Catholic Faith.
“I want to make a difference in the lives of future students,” says Catherine. “I have always felt the desire to help younger generations through friendship and mentorship. I can now give in a more concrete way to the spiritual, emotional, and academic formation of these young men and women.”
Catherine views Christendom as integral to her own formation. Growing up in Front Royal, with alumni parents who met at Christendom and siblings who attended the college before her, Catherine feels that Christendom is, in many ways, an extension of her own family.
“I see my Christendom family as a macrocosm of my immediate family,” says Catherine. “Just as in my own family, Christendom is united through the Eucharist as a communion of persons. Christendom’s loyalty to the Faith provides a strong bond among alumni, promising a home and family that traverse time and distance.”
Catherine’s parents, Doug and Nancy, feel similarly. Entering with the 1983 graduating class, just two years after the college’s founding, the Briggses were some of the college’s first alumni. Over 40 years later, they believe that the Christendom community is like family to them.
“We’ve seen the Christendom family grow so much over the years, alongside our own,” says Nancy. “Being so involved in the community, we see alumni all over the country, in every place and every career, living out the mission of the college. It’s so encouraging to see the Christendom family growing and remarkable to witness the activity of the Holy Spirit in the world through this family.”
Doug and Nancy have personally experienced the fruits of a Christendom formation in their own family. Of their nine children, six are alumni and two are currently enrolled. Their family includes young professionals, two Christendom alumni sons-in-law, nine grandchildren as of this April, and a son in the seminary.
“The abundance of riches we have gained at Christendom is something we want our children and grandchildren to also experience,” share Doug and Nancy. “We want our support of Christendom to impact the culture and further Dr. Carroll’s mission of forming young people and restoring the culture. Having our children attend and seeing the kind of people Christendom produces have reinforced what we saw in our own experience. Christendom truly has a life-changing effect on young people, and it’s still happening now.”