Listening to God's Call


Name: Sarah Barren
Woodbridge, VA
I have been studying culinary arts since my freshman year of high school and I love it.
What's your favorite class?
If I had to pick my favorite class it would be Fr. Gee's Theology. I love that class because the material is very interesting and Fr. Gee is very engaging. All the professors are impressive, though. I love how they make themselves so available for their students!
Do you play any sports?
I play basketball because it's always been a sport that I've liked and I hope to play volleyball next fall. I've participated in all the intramurals so far this year.
Do you participate in any drama or music related activities?
I have a role in the upcoming Mystery-Dinner Theater (April 9 and 10) and I in sing in the choir.
What is your favorite thing about Christendom? One of my favorite things about Christendom is its family atmosphere! As a freshman, I feel I can talk to anyone here comfortably. The alumni of Christendom College are still very much involved and I think that's a great thing! I love when families come to Mass or visit the campus!
Why did you choose Christendom? I chose Christendom College because I knew it was the best place for my soul. Even though I've wanted to study culinary arts, I knew that Christendom would prepare me better for Heaven and that was most important to me!
What do you plan to do after graduation?
I plan to teach for a year, then pursue culinary school.


Students Discern God's Call

Saturday afternoon, many different orders of religious filled the St. Lawrence commons for Discernment Weekend at Christendom. Each of the different religious orders present hosted tables enabling students to discover more about the orders. The weekend began with Vespers in the Chapel of Christ the King, with a homily by Christendom Alumnus Fr. Tony Stephens. After dinner, a well attended Stations of the Cross was held. Saturday morning began with confessions and Mass, followed by lunch. After lunch, the breakout sessions began.

Lots of different opportunities to hear talks were provided. One of the many talks was given by Sr. Maris Stella, a Nashville Dominican. The girls in the classroom couldn’t help but smile when greeted by the beautiful smiling Sister with blue eyes and a freckled face.

Sister Maris Stella encouraged the girls to be especially open, and reminded them that “when we seek to grow in God’s love, we grow in His will.” She told the girls about how she was fickle with her discernment period, but was reminded that “every soul will be fickle until it makes a decision and sticks with it.”

She ended by reminding the girls that “God never forces us into our vocation. He’s a gentleman. He’ll hunt you down, and hound you, but never force you into the religious life.”

Another of the great talks was given by Christendom Alumni Tim and Katie Halisky on “Marriage as a Vocation.” They talked about the importance of chastity in relationships because those dating want to know that someone really cares about their souls, and also on how it is important to be open to God’s will. They talked also about married life, and how important Catholicism is in things like daily prayer, rosary, frequent attendance of Mass, etc.

Another talk was given on “Discerning Your Vocation While Single” by Seminarian Matthew Hoelscher. He spoke on the discernment process while single, and again, like the other talks, emphasized being open to God’s will. He recommended ways to help in the discerning process, like daily examinations of conscience, frequent confession, daily rosaries, etc. After explaining his process of discernment, and the ups and downs, he said, “If you’re open to it, God will get you. He’s not going to let you do something you aren’t called to do.”

Upstairs, in between talks, students milled about and spoke with the different religious about their journeys, and finding God’s will in their lives.

“I think it’s really touching to hear all the vocation stories of all the religious," said Freshman Sara Federico, "and it’s really neat to see how they’ve found joy and peace in what they’ve been called to.”

Along with daily Masses, rosaries, prayer, and of course the great Catholic environment, Discernment weekend is just one more way Christendom helps students focus on discovering God’s will for their lives.

An Open Panel Discussion with priests and religious was held on Saturday night. Sophomore Ted Cantu was particularly amazed by it. “There were over 20 religious answering questions, offering advice, and sharing some of their experiences,” he said. “It's tremendous that we are able to get so many religious to come here and help us discern our vocations. It was a really edifying weekend.”

Alumni Tim and Katie Halisky tell students about the joys and challenges in married life.

Students filled the classrooms for the break-out sessions.

Senior Jozef Schutzman plans on discerning a vocation this summer with the Transalpine Redemptorists, an order of monks located on the island of Papa Stronsay, Scotland. “I am really looking forward to it,” he said.

The Arlington Diocese's Director of Vocations, Fr. Brian Bashista, was there. “His presence provides a great opportunity for local students in the Arlington Diocese who are discerning a religious or priestly vocation, like myself, to make first contact with the Vocations Director,” said Sophomore David Frank.

Students, priests, and religious enjoyed the social on Saturday night. All were able to relax and have candid conversations.

Students hang out with Benedictine Fr. Gregory Gesko.

Charity in D.C.

Early on Sunday morning, Christendom student volunteers, under the leadership of Philosophy Professor Mike Brown and Associate Dean of Student Life Miss Tambi Spitz, boarded vans bound for the Missionaries of Charity house in Washington D.C. Upon arrival, the students visited the chapel, and then split into two groups: the guys assisting in the men’s residence and the girls volunteering in the women’s housing.

The girls donned aprons, some assisting in mopping floors and cleaning windows, some feeding and bathing residents, and others washing laundry – by hand – whistling, chatting, and praying together as they happily worked alongside the nuns. Upstairs, the boys completed similar tasks, and then visited and prayed with the residents.

“Working with the sisters was so nice, and in a way paralleled our recent speaker, Susan Conroy, who worked with Mother Teresa and the Missionaries of Charity. She just radiated joy,” said freshman Lisa Hill. “The sisters we worked with had the same cheerfulness and genuine joy, and there was such purity in their love of working for Christ.”

Other missionary trips are being planned for the spring semester, both locally and internationally, to “Restore all things in Christ.” Another trip to the Missionaries of Charity house is scheduled, and over the spring break, Christendom College students and faculty will be traveling to Honduras and the Dominican Republic to assist in poverty stricken areas.

Junior Brittany Buckner and Freshman Lisa Hill sweep the refectory.

After the work was completed, students led a rosary with nuns and residents, and then visited the Chapel in thanksgiving for a successful trip.

Lithuanian Hero

On Monday, Christendom's Founding President Dr. Warren Carroll delivered a lecture entitled "Andrew Eiva and the End of the Communist Empire." Eiva, a personal friend of Carroll and native of Lithuania, was instrumental in defeating the Soviet Union in Afghanistan.

"As long as I knew him—about ten years—Andy always called communism 'the death machine,'" Carroll said. "He dedicated his life to the destruction of the Communist Empire, which ruled his first homeland, and for which he an abiding hatred."

Download this talk at Christendom on iTunes U.


Rome, Sweet Home

Our first week in Rome is now over and done, and what a week it was. After our retreat in Assisi and Siena, we started classes the following Monday.

Our classroom is located in the lower part of a convent connected to the Vatican, so we pass by St. Peter's every day. We also can receive the Pope’s blessing on Wednesdays at noon if we climb to the balcony on top of our classroom building.

The first week of school consisted of major immersion in the Italian language, a class taught by Professor Eric Hewitt. In order for the Christendom students to fully experience the Italian culture, familiarity with the native language is required. Professor Hewitt drilled us, especially in the everyday use of Italian, such as asking for directions, shopping, and ordering meals at the local restaurants. One of our first assignments was to shop at a nearby food market and become familiar with buying food, using our recently learned Italian. The only downside to this school assignment was the fact that it was scheduled on Ash Wednesday. Thus the sight of the fresh vegetables, fruit, and delicious desserts caused the fasting Christendom students to groan in hunger.

Despite the temptation to eat before lunch, we greatly enjoyed the realistic experience of an Italian market. We found the venders to be loud, friendly, and lively. One butcher even struck a dramatic pose with a lamb skull and quoted some lines from Hamlet.

Although our Ash Wednesday was a full one, all our activities were eclipsed by a very unexpected surprise later that afternoon. After Italian class, a group of classmates and I noticed some commotion near one of the Vatican side parking lots.
We then realized that the Italian police and Swiss Guards were preparing for Pope Benedict’s departure to say the first Station Mass at the Church of Saint Sabina. We immediately made a beeline for the barriers and were able to group together very close to where the Pope would drive out. We waited with bated breath, praying to be able to have a close glimpse of the Vicar of Christ. Our hope was fulfilled within minutes - a Mercedes drove into our view and Pope Benedict smiled and waved as he passed us. The Christendom students went crazy with joy, the girls screamed and the boys cheered, while Nick Lowry waved his Christendom book bag above our heads. It was an amazing and grace-filled moment for all of us!

The rest of our week was filled with settling into our apartments, studying, shopping, and cooking our meals. Luckily for me, I have two good cooks as roommates, Bernadette Horiuchi and Mary Kate Vander Woude, so there is no chance I’ll starve. My only worry is that I might be gaining excessive weight before the semester ends.

So, now the Christendom students are gearing up for our first free weekend, which will give us the chance to do some traveling and exploring on our own.

Until then...

There's lots of fun and to be had at the Trevi Fountain at night.

Elise Anderson, Margaret Antunes, and Anna Zganiacz enjoy the glories of gelato.

Thomas Kelly and Michael Strickland enjoy the glories of the Colosseum.


Find Out More About Your Future Major

Christendom Tube has a lot of great videos that will help you discover more about the Christendom College experience. One series of videos is the Department Videos. Interested in a one of our Majors or Minors? Watch the videos below to find out more.


English Language & Literature

Politial Science and Economics



Classics and Early Christian Studies


Math & Science


Crusader Rugby Gets Toughed up in the Snow

Rugby season hasn't started yet, but it is just around the corner. Our lads are toughening up and training hard, making themselves thirsty for victory.

And although there is still quite a bit of snow on the ground, it has not stopped the team from practicing. Rugby in the snow sounds like fun right? Well maybe...but I don't know about the 20 push-ups for a dropped pass.

Check out the photos below:

Sophomore Ben Ranieri reaches to complete the pass.

Sophomore Paddy "Toothless" Norton charges through the snow

Snowy push-ups.

Snow flies as Sophomore Joe Long gets ready to catch the ball.

Senior Zach Miller leads his teammates down the field.

Q. I’ve heard that Christendom recently started some sort of athletic scholarship. Can you tell me more about it?

A. Yes, we have created The Thomas S. Vander Woude Memorial Scholar Athlete Scholarship and will be awarding it to one incoming freshman this year.

As people continue to donate to this fund, we may be able to offer to many more students each year, but we have to see how donations go.

Basically, incoming freshmen may apply for this newly created scholarship by filling in an application. The scholarship, named in memory of former Athletic Director Tom Vander Woude, will hopefully enable more student-athlete leaders to attend Christendom and be formed physically, mentally, and spiritually. Mr. Tom Vander Woude was dedicated to the overall character formation and personal growth of the young people on campus, especially those participating in intercollegiate athletics.

Applicants should have shown excellence in the areas of leadership, academics, and athletics in addition to other factors which are listed on the application. For more information or for an application please contact the athletics department at

Christendom offers many athletic opportunities, including inter-collegiate sports such as rugby, basketball, soccer, golf, and baseball; club sports such as boxing (which is hoping to be inter-collegiate next year); and many intramural sports such as 3-on-3 basketball, indoor soccer, volleyball, whiffleball, flag-football, and dodgeball.
Director of Admissions
800.877.5456 ext. 1290

If anyone has questions about applying, visiting, scholarships, financial aid, campus life, rules and regulations, majors, core curriculum, transfer credits, or even about the food here at Christendom, please do not hesitate to contact me at any time.

Mardi Gras


Name: Dennis Toscano
Medellín, Colombia (South America)
Playing piano, studying foreign languages and outdoor activities like running, biking and Hiking on big mountains, especially if it is with other friends.
What's your favorite class?
If I were to pick one, I would say Dr. Snyder’s Recent Philosophy class. It was a fantastic class. I had the opportunity to have oral presentations which allowed me to practice public speaking, and put in tangible words to other, difficult concepts. This class really gave me a much clearer understanding of Philosophy as a whole. It would also be fair of me to note Dr. Cuddeback, Dr. Flippen, and Prof. Wunsch for the love of the pursuit of wisdom that they have sown in me.
Do you play any sports?
My favorite sports are soccer and swimming, although i like soccer the most by far. I am participating in the intramural soccer this semester.
What is your favorite thing about Christendom? My favorite thing about Christendom is that it is an institution that cares about the formation of the whole human person: body and soul.
Why did you choose Christendom?
After I finished High School in Colombia, I came to the United States with what at that time was an unthinkable dream: going to College in this country. But I did not know about Christendom. While I was working and learning English in Alexandria, VA, I became good friends with some Christendom grads, and I always admired them for their great spiritual and intellectual formation. This was a clear sign that God was calling me to Christendom. After four years here and being away from home, there are no regrets of my decision, and I can say that in Christendom I have found another home.
What do you plan to do after graduation?
For my short term plans, I am going to stay in the United States in the D.C. area and plan on being a linguist for the US federal government... my long time plans are still in God’s hands.


Movie Night's Are a New Favorite

Friday nights at Christendom have a new best friend: the College's Registrar, Walter Janaro. His movie nights continue to bring students into St. Kilian's Café for a great time.

This films shown are always high-quality in content and the presentation is great. Utilizing the café's great sound system and projecting the video onto a large screen really creates a mini-theater experience.

This week students enjoyed A Man for All Seasons, which tells the story of St. Thomas More, who stood up to King Henry VIII when the King rejected the Roman Catholic Church to obtain a divorce and remarriage.

A Man for All Seasons won six Oscars: Best Actor, Best Cinematography, Best Costume Design, Best Director, Best Picture, Best Writing.

All is Topsy Turvy at Mardi Gras Dance

Saturday night a cacophony of colors whirled around the dance floor in St. Lawrence Commons as students celebrated one last time before Lent began. The event was the Mardi Gras dance, which was celebrated with a “topsy turvy” theme. Students were encouraged to dress in obnoxious, backward clothing, which several students enjoyed quite a bit. There were also masks on all the tables on the edge of the dance floor, as well as Mardi Gras beads for those particularly excited about the occasion.

Students were really happy to have one last dance before Lent, and are in awe that they have to wait till Spring Formal (April 24th) to enjoy the fun of Christendom dances again.

“It's so much fun to dress up like this! We won't get to for a while because of Lent!” Sophomore Grace Bellow said.

Freshman Thomas Ferrara sways across the dance floor with Sophomore Angela Swaggler.

Sophomore David Frank swings with Freshman Sara Federico.

Even Darth Vader joined in the fun.

Love is in the Air at St. Valentine's Day Dinner

On Sunday, St. Lawrence Commons was adorned in pink, red and white. Love was in the air and romantic music added to the ambiance as students gathered for the St. Valentine’s Day Dinner. After a delicious dinner prepared by the kitchen and food service staff, students enjoyed a lovely dessert assortment of cookies, candy and cupcakes. Following which, the romantic comedy “Kate and Leopold” was shown.

All the common tables had been arranged in the shape of a heart, and at the center, select students were paired at random as "Christendom College's Top Valentines." Couples included Freshman Anthony Readings and Sophomore Liz Sartor, Freshman Tim Beer and Senior Jeanie Goeckner, and Junior Tim Ginski and Senior Bonnie Wunderlich. Event coordinators Ryan Doughty, Troy Spring, and Eve Owen expressed their excitement in sharing their love of St. Valentine’s Day with the Christendom Community.

“We had a blast pulling this event together,” said SAC president Eve Owen. “Everything was done in the hopes of communicating the true spirit of St. Valentine’s Day!”

Freshmen Ana Sofia Artega and Eileen Dziak show off one of the tasty cookies.

Top Valentines Tim and Bonnie got up and danced to song.

Junior Visit Day

Students traveled to Front Royal for the first of two Junior Visit Days on Monday. Students were able to sit in on classes, tour the campus, meet faculty and staff, view a slide show of Junior Semester in Rome, check out our residence halls and much more.

The next one is being held on April 12.
You can register for it here.

Lessons from a Friend of Mother Teresa

“What Mother Teresa was doing was not extraordinary,” Susan Conroy told students and faculty at Christendom College during a Major Speaker address given on February 8. “They were basic, simple, ordinary things. It was the love, humility, and spirit with which she served the dying that was extraordinary.”

Conroy traveled alone to Calcutta to work with Mother Teresa and the Missionaries of Charity at the age of 21 in 1986 and later in 1991. She and Mother Teresa kept in touch until Mother Teresa's death in 1997.

Author of the best-seller, Mother Teresa's Lessons of Love and Secrets of Sanctity, Conroy recounted what she had learned from Mother Teresa through her experiences in Calcutta at the orphanage and the home for the dying.

One of the powerful lessons that Conroy learned was “one, one, one.” Mother Teresa showed her that it all began with one person at a time. “Put all your love, attention, care, respect, and reverence into one human being at a time. Mother Teresa said, 'If I hadn't picked up that person off the streets of Calcutta, I wouldn't have picked up the 42,000 others.' Never think it's too small,” Conroy said.

Read more about this talk here or download it at Christendom on iTunes U.

Seniors Maureen Dalley and Lauren Merz discuss Conroy's inspiring story further following the talk.


Exploring Assisi and Sienna

Greetings from the Eternal City!

I had to pinch myself as our plane finally landed in Italy, I could see my classmates felt just as excited. After all our planning and preparation, we were finally beginning our semester in Rome. No matter how many people we had talked to, no matter how much research we had done, nothing prepared us for the awe we felt as we first stepped on Italian soil.

Our Rome Directors, Tomas and Caroline Fuerte, gave us a warm welcome and swept us off to our first Mass in St. Peters and a delicious pizza dinner served in true Italian style. Despite the good food however, most of the Christendom female students were more interested in the Fuerte’s baby, the cutest member of our large supper party. The male students of course were merely content with the food.

Just as we had recovered from our plane flights, the students of Christendom packed again and took a bus for a week long retreat which was divided between Assisi and Siena. Throughout this retreat, Mr. Fuerte reminded us of the fact that we were pilgrims in Italy, not merely tourist, we were walking on the ground of saints, a feat we should all strive to follow.

Although our days in Assisi and Siena were busy with lectures and tours, we still had time to explore and sight see on our own. Our retreat chaplain, Father Dennis Himes, celebrated Mass for us every day, once even in the tomb of Saint Francis. Many of us elected to take the optional tour to the hermitage of Saint Francis during our stay as well. Although the walk was long, we all agreed it was worth it. A little humor was added to our pilgrimage when David Klosterman and Rocco Levitas decided to run ahead and scare their classmates by unexpectedly breaking out of the wood with wild war whoops. Although we were surprised, our initial shock changed to laughter when David slipped and fell, which totally ruined their brilliant plan.

After three eventful days in Assisi, we finished the remainder of our retreat in Siena, the city of the great Doctor of the Church, St. Catherine. Mr. Fuerte showed us not only the church that housed the crucifix that gave Catherine the stigmata, but we were able to see Saint Catherine’s head as well. We also found the historical sites and churches of Siena so jammed with historical details that our heads and eyes boggled.

We left Siena under a blanket of snow, a rare event apparently, and though we had enjoyed every minute of our retreat, we were ready to return to the Eternal City. We are now fully ready for our semester, thanks to the Fuerte’s talks and tours, Father Himes’ spiritual direction, important facts on Italian culture from a special lecturer Mary Nolan, and of course our dependable Residence Assistant, Beth Doherty.

Arrivederci to Assisi and Siena, Rome here we come!

On tour with Mr. Fuerte.

Rome Report Photographer John Kilackey snapped this breath-taking shot in Assisi.

The historical and aesthetically rich Duomo of Siena.

Elise Anderson enjoys snowy Siena.

Spring 2010 Junior Semester in Rome.


Discovering the Treasures of Vatican II

Monday, Wednesdays and Friday afternoon, students filter into classroom four in the basement of St. Lawrence Commons, for Fr. William’s enlightening Vatican II class. The class, which contains about 30 people has been in existence for a while, though this is Fr. William’s second year teaching it.

Taken by both Theology majors and History majors, the class is extremely helpful, especially for undergraduate students, because, as Fr. William pointed out, “it’s a good thing to have a look at the council, see where it comes from, what it said, and what are its fruits at this stage in history and some time after the council.”

There is a lot of interest in the class and the students, as Fr. William affirmed, ask good questions and pick excellent paper topics.

One of the reasons the class is so great is because so many people are so uninformed of what the council actually said.

“There have been those people who have been told by their elders and others that the Second Vatican Council was the greatest thing that ever happened in the history of the church on the one end of the spectrum, and on the other end of the spectrum there’s an attitude that says ‘this is a Council about nothing that changed everything.’ And so people will come to their own evaluation of what they think of the council, but the course hopefully will give them some material to decide for themselves,” he says.

The class goes over the Councils and Synods in the history of the Church, and then moves onto the Council of Trent, which Vatican II footnotes a lot. They then move onto Vatican I, to understand what’s happening in the nineteenth century. Then they continue on into looking at the documents of the nineteenth century and finally look at the documents of Vatican II.

Junior Angela Sus a student in the class neatly summed up how most people feel about it:

“I do enjoy the class. I think it’s really great because he’s teaching us not only what Vatican II was about as far as the liturgy, and recognizing the liturgical problems and things being changed already before Vatican II, but there’s also emphasis on the laity and things that normally you wouldn’t associate with Vatican II, so there is a lot of stuff you learn in addition to learning about Vatican II itself. Father William is really well balanced too, so it’s a great class.”

Essentially, Fr. William’s Vatican II class is just one more reason to consider coming to Christendom.


Updates from CrusaderVille!

We are in our last week of the basketball season here in Front Royal, VA. This past Friday night the men’s and women’s basketball teams played in the Shenandoah Chesapeake Conference Tournament at Patrick Henry College. The Conference which was started a few years ago by former athletic director Tom Vander Woude as well as the athletic directors of Patrick Henry, Washington Bible and then Roanoke Bible College now Mid-Atlantic Christian University. The goal was to offer an end of the season tournament for these teams.

The women played Patrick Henry in the first game, whom they had beaten 2 times before during the course of the season. The Lady Crusaders played their “now assumed” tough defense and rebounded very well despite their relatively short team. The game was back and forth between the two teams with Christendom leading by about 4 points for most of the game. Patrick Henry fueled a comeback late in the game which was capped by a controversial 3 point call which looked to be only a 2 pointer but which ended up sending the game into overtime.

Throughout the game the Lady Crusaders got open shots and crashed the offensive boards, but nothing was falling for the Lady Crusaders tonight. The scoring was balanced between Meghan Kavanagh, Emily Baldwin, and Bridget Massur, but in the end the Sentinels of Patrick Henry pulled out a 4 point victory in overtime.

The women finish their season this week with their last home game tonight at 6pm vs Gallaudet University and at Franciscan University of Steubenville this Saturday at 6pm.

The men’s game proved to be as exciting! Having already played 3 times in the regular season and losing twice for the first time in the history of the two teams the Crusaders were ready to equal the score. The team started off hot with a suffocating defense that limited the Patrick Henry sentinels on the offensive end. Patrick Henry clawed back into the game and took the lead just before halftime. The Crusaders who did not shoot the ball well in the first half were led by Tim McPhee’s 11 points. The 2nd half saw the Sentinels race out to an early lead and build on it, big men Brian Fox and Sam McMahon got in foul trouble and with no outside shots falling the game looked headed for another loss for the Crusaders.

But the men would fight back, down 16 points with about 5 minutes to go the Crusaders went on to outscore the sentinels 14-0 in the next 4 minutes of play cutting the margin to just a 2 point game with just over one minute to play. The comeback was fueled by an exciting pressing defense led by Tim Beer, David Townsend, and Mark Hepler. The Sentinels would score on their last 2 possessions . The Crusaders got the ball with about 8 seconds to go down 3 and a missed 3 point attempt by TJ Nacey rattled out the ball bounced to Mark Hepler who was in the right spot at the right time and put the layup in as time expired……AND HE WAS FOULED! So with the clock reading 0:00, freshman Mark Hepler stepped to the free-throw line with the Crusaders down by one. Unfortunately he barely missed the free-throw and the Crusaders came up one point shy.

The Crusaders play their last home game of the season tonight at 8pm vs Gallaudet University and will finish at Franciscan University of Steubenville on Saturday at 8pm.

The intramural dodgeball tournament also just finished up, see the intramural blog for pictures and updates from the tournament.

Q. Can you tell me a little more about your Equestrian Program?

A. This was the first year that our students have been able to take part in this wonderful equestrian program, and from everything that I have heard from the participants, it has been a great experience.

The Royal Horseshoe Farm is located just a couple of miles from campus and the students can arrange to take part in a variety of different riding sessions. They can choose from the following:

Casual Option ($135 per semester):
This is designed for the student who just wants to ride on an occasional basis. Group Rides are scheduled two (2) times per month (6 per semester). The first several sessions focus on the formation or enhancement of riding skills. Later sessions are trail rides or organized riding activities in an arena.

Weekly Option ($250 per semester):
This is for the student who would like to work on riding skills, but only has a limited amount of time. Group sessions are scheduled weekly (12 per semester) and are under the direction of a certified instructor. Students will see steady progress in their riding skills and will learn about basic horse care.

Focused Option ($495 per semester):
This is for the student who wants to accelerate the pace of improvement in his or her riding skills. Group Sessions will be smaller and there is more individualized training by a certified instructor. Sessions occur nominally twice a week (any combination of week days or weekend days (24 per semester)). As much as possible, sessions will be tailored to the skill of the individual rider.

Here is the link on our website about the equestrian program.

And here is a link to a story that our local Catholic newspaper did on the program last semester.

Director of Admissions
800.877.5456 ext. 1290

If anyone has questions about applying, visiting, scholarships, financial aid, campus life, rules and regulations, majors, core curriculum, transfer credits, or even about the food here at Christendom, please do not hesitate to contact me at any time.

Snowy Fun


Name: Colleen Harmon
Shippensburg, PA
Undecided (Political Science or English)
Reading, Classic Movies, Photography, and Music, Volunteering.
What's your favorite class?
It's so hard to choose a favorite! I look forward to Dr. Stanford's English class, because I love literature, and he presents it in an amusing and in-depth way. Theology with Fr. Gee is also a definite favorite. He always make me love being Catholic, and desire to know, love, and serve God better.
Do you play any sports?
Not officially, though I'm an avid fan of all our sports teams! Go Crusaders! I've played intramural volleyball and dodge ball, and powderpuff football. I can't wait for spring, so we can play frisbee football on Campion field!
What is your favorite thing about Christendom?
Everything! There are so many opportunities for Mass and the Sacraments, and professors who take a personal interest in my success in the classroom. I've met so many incredible people that share my morals and interests, and I've developed strong friendships. Also, Christendom is fun! We may be small, but there is always something to do. I enjoy the dances, movie nights, and spontaneous adventures on campus.
Why did you choose Christendom?
Christendom is centered as a community around Christ who is “the way, the truth, and the life.” I felt that by going to College which allows me to grow both spiritually and academically, I could best prepare myself for success in my life. We read and study all things that are true and beautiful, so I'm always happy! It's the best decision I've ever made.
Plans after graduation?
I hope to pursue journalism or law.


Life on Tap

St. Kilian’s Café was open on Thursday night for “Life on Tap.” The topic for the night was interviewing. Speaker Keith Robinson presented tips on successfully preparing for a job interview like dressing appropriately and answering questions professionally. Students were given frequently asked interview questions and ideas on how to answer tough questions with ease.

Juniors and seniors attending the event had the opportunity to interact in a mock interview, and were able to see how the skills they have developed in their leadership positions and personal experiences at Christendom will assist them in the job market. St. Kilian’s Café and SAC provided beverages and refreshments during the event.

On the Waterfront

Some students find themselves with nothing to do on Friday nights at Christendom, having finished a busy week, and needing to relax, but Walter Janaro is here to solve that problem! Mr. Janaro, Christendom’s registrar, aired his second choice for the weekly “Movie Nights with Walter” this past Friday.

Though he was unable to attend due to the snow, SAC made sure that the 1954 film On the Waterfront was aired on the large projector in St. Kilian’s café. Students sat back, snacked on munchies, and enjoyed the movie, starring Marlon Brando, who plays an ex-boxer attempting to stand up to his criminal boss with the help of a waterfront priest, (Karl Malden) and the woman he loves (Eva Marie Saint). Students really enjoyed the chance to watch a classic film which is also on the Vatican's best films list, and look forward to the third of the six-part series of “Movie Night with Walter.”

On the Waterfront won 8 Oscars: Best Actor, Best Actress Best Art Direction-Set Decoration, Best Cinematography, Best Director, Best Film Editing, Best Picture, and Best Writing.

Saturday, Snow and Sadie Hawkins

On Saturday night, despite the snowy weather, St. Lawrence Commons was crowded with students dressed in a variety of creative costumes for the Sadie Hawkins Dance. In keeping with the theme, the Christendom girls and their dates were dressed as classic pairs or as famous icons of the decades.

Star couples included Popeye and Olive Oil, Mr. and Mrs. Incredible, Hercules and Meg, Beauty and the Beast, Sonny and Cher, Cleopatra and Marc Antony, and Goldilocks and the three bears. The Roaring 20’s, Fabulous 40’s and 50’s, Cowboys and Cowgirls and Disco Dancers were well represented, among many other colorful and imaginative costumes.

In true Sadie Hawkins tradition, the “girls asked the guys” to dance, and swinging couples packed the floor.
Sophomores Emily Baldwin (Princess Peach) and Ted Cantu (Mario) won the costume contest to the overwhelming applause of the Student Body. In addition to fun music and swing dancing, Students were treated to scrumptious snacks and sherbet, provided by the student activities council.

Seniors Daniel Collins and Sarah Marchand waltz away.

The dance floor was filled the entire night.

Freshman Tommy Salmon gives his mate a twirl.

When The Saints Go Marching In

On Sunday night, excited cheers, delicious smells and enthusiastic football fans filled the Crusader Gym at Christendom. Superbowl Sunday brought many students to the gym to enjoy watching the big game on a huge projector screen. The Saints battled the Colts in an exciting game, marking not only the Saints first trip to the Superbowl, but also their first Superbowl win.

When asked which team he was rooting for, Sophomore Rob Festko replied with a smile, “The Saints; they’re the underdogs.”

This time the underdogs pulled through, celebrating a victory over the Colts with a final score of 31-17.

Students munched on amazing snacks during half time, provided by the Kitchen Staff and the Student Activities Council.

Christendom and the Blizzard

Check out the pictures below:

Christ the King Chapel: a haven for both students and the local community.

St. John the Evangelist Library: a warm and inviting study spot on campus.

Snow is piling up everywhere across campus.

A view of the Shenandoah River from behind the library.

Regina Coeli Hall covered with snow.

Our Lady of the Snows, pray for us!


An Introduction to Theology

Few 8:30 AM classes have students as alert and attentive as Father Gee's theology class. As the results of Friday's true or false weekly quizzes are handed out, one freshman student rejoices in accurately defining the infused virtue, temperance, while another groans at their inadvertent heresy.

As the topic moves to the discussion of sin, Father Gee draws on the chalkboard to illustrate the effects that mortal and venial sins have on the soul. Fast paced, straightforward and fun, Father Gee's class is favorite among freshmen and visitors alike.

Next door, students busily take notes in Mr. O'Herron's theology class. After 32 years of teaching Freshmen Theology, Mr. O'Herron's teaching style is both direct and engaging.

“I look forward to Mr. O’Herron’s classes,” said freshmen Lucy Salazar. “He connects the teachings of the Catholic Church to reality – and to everyday life. I have developed a better understanding of my faith, which I will use here at Christendom and for the rest of my life.”

As part of the freshman core curriculum at Christendom, incoming students take two semesters of Theology: Introduction to the Fundamentals of Doctrine I and II.

Course topics in the first semester included Original Sin, Angels and Demons, the nature of Christ and the Trinity. The second semester will cover Morality, the Ten Commandments, and the Sacraments.

Last semester, a friendly, but competitive rivalry between both teachers and students concluded with the “Doctrine Bowl.” The top scoring boy and girl from each section of Mr. O'Herron's and Father Gee's classes were chosen to compete, comprising four teams of two students going head to head in St. Lawrence Commons. The fierce competition included “True or False,” “Always, Sometimes, Never,” and short answer questions. Father Gee's students emerged victorious from the contest.


Dodgeball Plows Through Snow

Diving catches. Airborne throws. Sliding passes. Sounds like the X Games doesn’t? Close. It's Crusader Intramural Dodgeball!

This past Monday, while most of the Mid-Atlantic States lay frozen and incapacitated from 30 plus inches of snow and the threat of another potential foot of snow, the Crusader Gymnasium was rocking!

Now heading into the homestretch of the dodgeball season, teams strive to finish the season strong to ensure a spot in the tournament. This season the always favorite winter aggression-releasing-intramural sport features 12 teams of 6-8 players per team. Over 80 students are taking part this year. Despite many talented teams, the favorite this year has to be Team 8 featuring: Troy Spring, Tim Lanahan, Nick Freeman, James Hannon, Joby Norton, Mark Doran, Sam McMahon, and Peter McNeely. Sam and Peter, despite only being together for a year and half, have already racked up a record of successful intramural seasons and the ire of many other teams on campus. They will be challenged by Team 6 made up of seniors: Jack Anderson, Luke Zignego, Seth Elmenhurst, Brad Thrasher, Matt Lancaster, T.J Nacey, (Junior) Bill Waller, and Cyrus Artz.

From a fan’s perspective the dodgeball games consisting in a best of 3 setting may be the most exciting at the very beginning when both teams starting on opposites sides of the court, sprint to a halfway-line to get their weapons: 6-8 rubber balls. Nearly one third of both teams will be knocked out after the initial sprint and yet you can count on team members making the sprint and the dive just to get that first throw.

So as Front Royal shovels out of 36 inches of snow, remember that for intramural dodgeball at Christendom now is the time that matters. Stay tuned to the Crusader Intramural Blog at for the updated schedules and results of each game and beginning this week photos and videos from the intramural nights will be posted for the entire world to see!

Q: If I take the SAT more than once, and the score goes down the second time, does Christendom only consider the best scores, i.e., do they use the so-called "Super-Score"? Also, if I have already taken a couple of years of a certain language in high school, could I jump into a higher level class of that subject or would I have to start in the basic class?

A. You can take the SAT or ACT as many times as you wish and we will only consider your best scores. For the SAT, we look at all three sections and we take the best reading, the best math, and the best writing scores and add them together to come up with your total SAT score (Super-Score). With the ACT, we simply take the best composite score that is tallied for you by the people administering the ACT (and we do not consider the ACT writing section). For the ACT, we do not take the best of the various sections and add them together.

Regarding the second part of the question, if you feel that you have had, for example, a couple of years of Latin already and you believe that you are beyond basic Latin 101 and want to start in Latin 201 (second year) or even third year Latin, you are more than welcome to try. If you are in doubt about whether you are up to the challenges of the upper division or intermediate course, you can talk with a faculty advisor or simply register to take the harder class and if it seems way over your head or too advanced, drop that class, and sign up for the lower level one.
Director of Admissions
800.877.5456 ext. 1290

If anyone has questions about applying, visiting, scholarships, financial aid, campus life, rules and regulations, majors, core curriculum, transfer credits, or even about the food here at Christendom, please do not hesitate to contact me at any time.

Helping Haiti


Name: Therese Fetsko
Madison, OH
Reading, singing, drinking coffee, hanging out with friends.
What's your favorite class?
Ethics with Dr. Cuddeback. It opened my eyes to a whole new way of looking at life.
Do you play any sports? Not officially, although I have played on the Powder-Puff team and am presently on an intramural dodgeball team.
Do you participate in any drama or music related activities? I am a member of the choir.
What is your favorite thing about Christendom?
I love how the Truth of the Catholic Faith is found everywhere on campus—from the people to the classes, the activities to the spiritual services offered by our chaplains.
Why did you choose Christendom? It's part of my family tradition and I also knew that Christendom would give me the most complete and well-rounded conclusion to my formal education.
Plans after graduation?
Nothing definite yet, but i am sure God has great plans for me.


The Vatican's Best Films

Students gathered in St. Kilian's Café on Friday night for “Movie Night with Walter,” and the 1941 film, Citizen Kane. This dramatic movie is the story of Charles Foster Kane, a newspaper tycoon and millionaire, and a reporter's attempt to discover the meaning of his dying word, “rosebud.” It is an intriguing story of a man who came from nothing, and acquired fame and fortune, but died without the love he sought.

Christendom's very own Walter Janaro, movie buff and film critic, was on hand to discuss the movie.
Students further enjoyed their movie going experience with popcorn, candy, and drinks provided by the student activities council. “Movie Night With Walter” is the first installment of a six part series to be held during the Spring Semester. Each “Movie Night” will feature a different film voted on by students from the Vatican Best Films List.

Help for Haiti

After the recent earthquake in Haiti, people everywhere have been inspired to help this poor country in need. Christendom students are also doing their part to help. Last Saturday night, Outreach organized a fundraising concert to collect money to assist relief work in Haiti. Featuring some of Christendom’s own musical talent, it included performances from the much-loved Nick Freeman and the Texas Heat.

The evening began around seven, with Seniors Lancaster and Greene beginning the musical glory of the night. They were followed by Senior Anna Adams, who wowed the audience with her rich voice and great stage presence. After a number of stellar acts, the feature of the evening arrived: Nick Freeman and the Texas Heat took the stage. Made up of Sophomores Troy Spring, Nick Freeman, James Hanon, Rory O’Donnell, and guest drummer Jacob Morgan, they played several country hits, including an encore of “Should Have Been a Cowboy”.

The attendance of the event was great, and after the performances Outreach leader Sarah Miranda took the stage to thank the participants who helped raise over 1,200 dollars for the relief effort that night.

Find out more about the Student's Haitian Relief Fund and how you can contribute here.

Sophomore piano whiz Matt Marchand performed a few covers while a slideshow of pictures from Haiti was projected on the stage.

Sophomore Meghan Rubin performed a few originals on the piano, and was then joined by Sophomore Gabe Schuberg, Freshmen Dominic Ginski and Eric Maschue, as well as Juniors Catherine Briggs and Shelagh Bolger.

Sophomore Joe Long performed a brief but impressive juggling act.

Freshman Theresa Lamirade played a few covers on the guitar, as well as an original song.

Guitar master Eric Maschue put on a great solo performance

The Syndicate of Dapper Gentleman featuring of Seniors Brian Gallagher and J.P. Minnick, energized the crowd.

Junior Troy Spring led Texas Heat in a great performance.

Event organizers: Seniors Chris Dayton, Sarah Miranda, and Brian Gallagher.


Haitian Relief Fund Benefit Concert
Check out more photos at Christendom's Picasa site!

Pope John Paul the Great

Monday afternoon eager listeners made their way to the Chapel Crypt to hear Dr. O’Donnell speak on Pope John Paul II. His lecture focused on how the late pontiff truly was a “great” pope, and that though the title was not officially given to him, it has been given to him by acclamation, for many reasons.

Pope John Paul did many great things in our recent history, as Dr. O’Donnell pointed out: aiding the fall of communism, striving to unite the eastern Church with the Western, and working to truly bring the Church to the world as the vicar of Christ. He truly made the head of the Church visibly present on a universal spectrum in a way never done before. He saw many saints canonized and also beatified many holy men and women as well. His theological and philosophical works inspired many. These were just some of the many achievements of Pope John Paul that which Dr. O’Donnell touched on.

Dr. O’Donnell also spoke about his touching personal experience of and with Pope John Paul.

Sophomore Christine Nussio commented, “I thought his talk was moving, especially for someone who had experiences with him. I only knew him for a short time, but hearing about Dr. O’Donnell’s experiences with him really brought my memories of him to life, especially the part of his pontificate that I wasn't able to witness.”

Senior Alan Ng agreed with Christine, saying, “It was cool, the talk informed me of things John Paul II did that I wasn’t aware of. The personal anecdotes of when Dr. O'Donnell was at the Angelicum in Rome and the Pope talking to him were really amazing.”

This talk was the first in a series of talks hosted by the Theology Department on Pope John Paul II. The next two will be given by Dr. Marshner, and Mrs. Stanford.

Check out this video from Christendom's archives:
Pope Joun Paul II Meets with Students from Christendom in 1991.


Outreach: Faith in Action

Senior Sarah Miranda’s sweet smile epitomizes the face of the Outreach club at Christendom. Sarah, the current leader of Outreach says,“it is a club that basically does corporal works of mercy, and reaches outside the Christendom community—though sometimes within the community too—and performs charitable acts.”

The club was started by Alumnus Danielle Lussier ('07), who saw a need for the club, and teamed up with Mrs. Wurtz (wife of former Dean of Student Life Joe Wurtz) to help at a Soup Kitchen. The idea spread and soon other students were joining them. Cynthia Gilday (’08), got involved and soon Sarah became interested.

“I started out as an assistant of sorts,” Sarah says.

The club used to be named “Corporal Works of Mercy” but was renamed Outreach when Sarah assumed the role of leader.

There are different activities in Outreach: Meals on Wheels, Soup Kitchen, both headed by Sarah; the Pregnancy Center, led by Sophomore Francis Dewey; the Habitat for Humanity, currently led by Junior Mike Inzeo, who is assisted by Junior Jack Donahue; the Nursing Home Visits, led by Senior Lindsey Mersch, and Advertising, done by Junior Allison Firehammer and Lauren Oligny. Outreach also does other projects, for example writing letters to the troops, making valentines for elderly, and having clothing/food drives for the needy.

Their most recent accomplishment was heading up a concert to raise funds for the St. Francis Mission, to help out their relief work for Haiti, after the recent tragedy. See the story above.

When asked why she thinks it is important for people to join Outreach, Sarah responds:

“Because you can change not only other peoples lives, but your own too. As Catholics, we are called to give of ourselves. It’s great to be able to see the tangible results when you do something, even if it’s just something like bringing a smile to someone at a nursing home, or serving dinner, or even building a house. We are called to put our faith into actions as imitators of Christ.”

The Outreach program embodies not only St. Francis’ quote, “preach the gospel at all times, and if necessary, use words”, but also Christendom’s motto, working “ to restore all things in Christ.”

Outreach helps roof a house with Habitat for Humanity.

Senior Gemma Larcina and others members of Outreach give manicures to the elderly.


First Wins of the Semester

Both the men’s and women’s basketball teams got in the win column this past week, with the men defeating Mid-Atlantic Christian University on Friday while the women defeated growing rival Patrick Henry College on Monday.

The Crusaders started off red hot against Mid-Atlantic touting a 24-0 start to the game. The team defense was suffocating while everyone got involved on the offensive end. Brian Fox and Tim McPhee led the team in scoring while the Crusaders were able to get all 12 players in the game. The final score showed a 20+ point victory margin by the Crusaders.

The men also played games against Washington Bible College, Patrick Henry College, and Valley Forge Military College this past week. Although playing well in all the games, the Crusaders couldn’t secure a victory. The Patrick Henry and Washington Bible games resulted in losses by 7 and 9 respectively. Freshman Tim McPhee has come on strong averaging over 15 points in the last 4 games, and finishing with a career high 23 against Valley Forge Military College. Matt Lancaster who has been in a shooting drought broke out against Valley Forge Military College hitting 5 of 7 from the behind the 3 point arc. Four of which were consecutive in a stretch of the first half where the Crusaders cut the deficit from 18 to 6 in a matter of minutes. The Crusaders are off this weekend due to snow storm predictions and will be back in action on Monday against Gallaudet University at Crusader Gymnasium.

The Lady Crusaders have been improving with each game they play. After suffering a hard loss to Trinity College (D.C) the team bounced back for a 40-30 victory of the Sentinels of Patrick Henry. Jane Snyder led all scorers in the contest. Jane has stepped up on the offensive end for the Lady Crusaders along with Meghan Kavanagh. The team has been taking lots of pride in their defense which stifled Patrick Henry to just mustering 30 points in the game.

The Lady Crusaders played late last night against Penn State York and although playing tough defense the team lost to the team from York. The Lady Crusaders were scheduled to play Davis College this Friday but that game has been postponed to a later date due to the weather. The Lady Crusaders will play Gallaudet University on Monday at 6pm and will play the Championship of the Shenandoah Chesapeake Conference next Friday vs Patrick Henry College at 5pm in Purcellville, Va.

Tim McPhee looks for Brian Fox down low.

Brendan Krebs adds two to the Crusaders' score.


Q: What is a typical day at Christendom like? How many hours are spent in class, study, prayer, and free time?

A. Great question! First of all there is never really a typical day here at Christendom. Depending on which year you are in and what you are majoring in you will have classes at varying times. But, in general, here’s what I can lay out for you:

Monday through Friday: Mass is offered at 7:30 am. Breakfast is served from 7:45-8:30. Then classes begin at 8:30 (although you may not have a class at that time). On Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays classes are 50 minutes each. So, classes are from 8:30-9:20, 9:30-10:20, and then 10:30-11:20. Then everything stops and our community Mass is offered at 11:30am. (with confessions heard for a half hour prior to it and up until Communion time). Between the end of the 7:30 Mass and the beginning of the 11:30 Mass we have Eucharistic Adoration where students sign up to adore Christ in the Blessed Sacrament in half hour increments. Following Mass is lunch which is served from 11:45-12:45pm. Then classes resume from 1-1:50, 2-2:50 and 3-3:50. Dinner is then served from 5:15-6:00 and then Evening Prayer and Rosary is said in community in the Chapel at 6:15 with confessions heard from 5:45-6:30pm. Then, there are a couple of classes offered at night, but normally they are upper division classes for Juniors and Seniors.

On Tuesdays and Thursdays, classes are 1 hour and 15 mins long. Classes go from 8:30am-9:45am, 10-11:15, 1-2:15, 2:30-3:45, and 4-5:15. Other than that everything is as listed above.

A freshman at Christendom normally takes 6 classes, worth 18 credits, and generally spends 18 hours of his/her week in class. The rest of the time can be used to pray, play, study, build friendships, eat, sleep, or whatever. A typical freshman class schedule may be this:

8:30-9:20 Euclidean Geometry
9:30-10:20 Literature of Western Civilization
10:30-11:20 Elementary Latin
1:00-1:50 Fundamentals of Catholic Doctrine

8:30-9:45 Introduction to Philosophy
10:00-11:15 History of Western Civilization
Director of Admissions
800.877.5456 ext. 1290

If anyone has questions about applying, visiting, scholarships, financial aid, campus life, rules and regulations, majors, core curriculum, transfer credits, or even about the food here at Christendom, please do not hesitate to contact me at any time.