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Christendom welcomed a record attendance for its Best Week Ever high school summer program this year, with 314 rising high school seniors coming to campus to participate in one of the five week-long sessions.

Christendom welcomed a record attendance for its Best Week Ever high school summer program this year, with 314 rising high school seniors coming to campus to participate in one of the five week-long sessions. Immersing students in the college’s academics, spiritual life, and Catholic culture, the Best Week Ever transformed so many lives this year, giving high school students the unique experience of learning the Truth, living the Faith, and thriving as young Catholics.

Each week, students were able to kayak and swim on the Shenandoah River — right in Christendom's backyard.

Each week, students were able to kayak and swim on the Shenandoah River — right in Christendom’s backyard.

“The whole week truly changed my perspective on living out my Catholic Faith,” says Amelie Halisky of Virginia. “I made so many memories and met so many wonderful people — some of whom I know I will stay in touch with the rest of my life. This week let me experience being around truly kind, chivalrous young men and wonderfully supportive and thoughtful young women. I have never been in a community before that bonded so well and, in a way, helped me see my self-worth because of the way I was treated. I truly loved every second and wish I could go back and do it again. This truly was the Best Week Ever.”

College President Dr. Timothy O'Donnell hosted students at his barn for an Irish Sing-Along and dance.

College President Dr. Timothy O’Donnell hosted students at his barn for an Irish Sing-Along and dance.

The Best Week Ever has drawn huge interest from high school students during its 24-year history, making it the most popular, well-attended, and highly ranked pre-college program of its kind. The demand this year was unparalleled, according to Director of Admissions Sam Phillips.

“We had to put more than 100 students on a waiting list this year,” says Phillips. “We were so happy to welcome all 314 of the participants and give them a taste of our transformative education and immersive Catholic culture.”

Every day, students were able to pray in front of the Blessed Sacrament in the college's Christ the King Chapel.

Every day, students were able to pray in front of the Blessed Sacrament in the college’s Christ the King Chapel.

Sebastian Sanda of North Carolina thought that the authentically Catholic culture he experienced while on campus was something so rare in today’s world.

“One thing I loved about the week was the authentic Catholic culture,” he said. “At home, the atmosphere sometimes makes it feel like Catholicism is just something we need to do, like a chore. But at Christendom, our Faith was a large part of our lives. It was essential to us as individuals and as a group. It was so amazing and hope-filling to be around other teenagers who were dedicated to truly living their Faith, and it really helped me grow in my Faith.”

Dr. John Cuddeback hosted students at his barn and taught them how to contra-dance.

Dr. John Cuddeback hosted students at his barn and taught them how to contra-dance.

In addition to the vibrant educational and spiritual aspects of the program, students also experienced a rich cultural experience. Participants had the chance to canoe on the Shenandoah River, attend a barn dance and Irish sing-along, perform in a talent show, participate in a parliamentary-style debate, compete in dodgeball games, hike in the Blue Ridge Mountains, learn how to swing dance, and attend a semi-formal dance. These activities gave participants a taste of the joyful and fully immersive Catholic culture that Christendom offers, leaving participants excited to return for a campus visit this fall.

In the classroom, students learned philosophy, theology, history, political science and economics, and English language and literature from college faculty.

In the classroom, students learned philosophy, theology, history, political science and economics, and English language and literature from college faculty.

When asked to rank their satisfaction level with the program, the average for the summer was an impressive 4.83/5.0 — the highest ranking in more than five years.

Approximately 75% of this year’s incoming freshman Class of 2026 are alumni of The Best Week Ever — a great tribute to the value of the summer program for the students.

At the end of each week, students took on the counselors and Admissions team in an epic dodgeball game.

At the end of each week, students took on the counselors and Admissions team in an epic dodgeball game.

Next year’s five one-week Best Week Ever sessions will take place in June and July with the application process opening on January 16, 2023, at thebestweekever.com.

To close the Best Week Ever, students prayed in a rosary procession and then gathered around a bonfire for one last night of singing and reminiscing on what they experienced at Christendom.

To close the Best Week Ever, students prayed in a rosary procession and then gathered around a bonfire for one last night of singing and reminiscing on what they experienced at Christendom.

To read testimonies from previous Best Week Ever participants, visit here.

To view photos from past Best Week Ever sessions, visit here.

For more information about making a visit to campus, please visit here.

Christendom welcomed a record attendance for its Best Week Ever high school summer program this year, with 314 rising high school seniors coming to campus to participate in one of the five week-long sessions.
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