Instaurare | Fall 2008

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The Christendom College Quarterly Magazine

Vol. XVI, No. III Fall 2008

Inside this issue...

NDGS Graduates Largest Class - pg 5

Summer Program Changes Students’ Lives - pg 6

Cong. Chris Smith Speaks at Summer Institute - pg 9

A Record Year Begins

President’s Council Awards Dinner - pg 16

From the President College President Timothy O’Donnell delivered this address to the College community at the beginning of the Fall 2008 semester. We have just finished the historic celebration of our College’s 30th anniversary. Now is the time to duc in altum! - to put out into the deep, as Pope John Paul II frequently said. This is a chance for renewal, a recommitment to our core principles as a Catholic institution dedicated to the pursuit of wisdom through the liberal arts in fidelity to the Magisterium of the Roman Catholic Church. We have the benefit of beginning this year in what certainly will be a special year of grace. Pope Benedict XVI has proclaimed this the year of Saint Paul. The apostle of the Gentiles, in his thundering letter to the Romans, wrote “Be not conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind” (Romans 12:2). In an effort to do just that, and to enter into this grace-filled year as a college community, I would like to share with you some of Pope Benedict’s thoughts on Catholic education. In an address he gave in April to the presidents of Catholic colleges and universities, he said a number of things which are very important for us here at Christendom. His address was brilliant and challenging. Rather than quoting from Ex Corde Ecclesiae, as many had expected, I believe he went far deeper, and took us to the very roots of our contemporary problem. The Pope stated that “education is integral to the mission of the church to proclaim the Good News.” Rather than seeing the university as something separate and distinct from the Church, he placed this educational mission right at the heart of the fundamental mission of the Church, which is to evangelize. Because of this, a Catholic school is first and foremost, above all other considerations, “a place to encounter the living God, who in Jesus Christ reveals His transforming love and truth.” He immediately pointed out the absolute centrality of faith in Catholic higher education. Flowing from this encounter with the living God and the relationship established with Jesus Christ, higher education is meant to “elicit a desire to grow in the knowledge and understanding of Christ….” The Holy Father, in his address, with great gentleness and paternal solicitude, asked five radically fundamental questions. Rather than simply affirming those present in their mission, he provided an opportunity for a profound examination of conscience. He certainly provoked me, in that address, to a deeper reflection upon what we are doing here at Christendom, and I ask you today to prayerfully reflect with me on these fundamental questions. They ultimately are a question of conviction. First: Do we really believe that only in the mystery of the Word made Flesh does the mystery of man become clear? Second: Are we ready to commit our entire selves: intellect, will, mind, and heart, to God? Third: Do we accept the truth Christ reveals? Fourth: Is the faith tangible in our universities and schools? Fifth: Is it given fervent expression, liturgically, sacramentally,


Timothy T. O’Donnell, STD, KGCHS

through acts of prayer, acts of charity, concern for justice, and respect for God’s creation? After raising these fundamental questions to a room full of Catholic leaders, to drive his point home, he then went on to say, “Only in this way do we really bear witness to the meaning of who we are and what we uphold.” The Holy Father then spoke of the crisis of truth afflicting contemporary culture and the academy, which is really rooted in a crisis of faith. My dear students, what an incredible opportunity we have been given, to be of service here at Christendom. Here we can serve Christ in His Church, for God in His providence has brought us all here together for this purpose. Here we have the joyful opportunity to be attentive to and follow the lead of our Holy Father during this special year dedicated to Saint Paul. Let us recall once again Saint Paul’s words: “Be not conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind.” We have here an academic program second to none, a student life program to aid you in your formation as lay apostles, and a chaplaincy that offers daily Mass and confession. Carpe Diem! I exhort you to enter into this program fully, and you will grow in wisdom, knowledge, and grace “before God and men.” One final word about Dies Domini, the Lord’s Day. As Pope John Paul II taught, the reclaiming of the Lord’s day, and making it central, is crucial in the cultural war in which we are all engaged. Sunday, the Lord’s Day, should not be treated as a weekday, or a weekend, but as something that is truly special as His day, not our day. Yet, by a strange paradox, if we truly do make it His day, we will find that it will in fact become our day, for “the Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath” (Mark 2:27). Enter into the mystery of the sacred liturgy, with the beauty of the Latin, the Gregorian Chant, and the patrimony of musica sacra. And don’t forget also, whenever possible, daily Mass, Eucharistic adoration, and visits to the Blessed Sacrament. All these will help us to grow in love for our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and our neighbor. As Aristotle once said, “Friendship needs proximity.” Can we really say we are growing in our friendship and our walk with the Lord if we are not taking time to be with Him? I still remember the letter my father gave me when I left for college. In that letter, he reminded me, “Son, never forget in all your difficulties that there is always that place where a red candle is flickering, beckoning to you. Take all your trials and difficulties and cares there, and you will find rest for your soul.” And when the inevitable challenges come, problems, difficulties with roommates, breakup of relationships, all the things that will happen during the course of this year, remember in those times your youth was not given to you for self indulgence, but for heroism. Christ came not to make life easy, but to make man great. Each and every one of you is called to greatness. In this year of Saint Paul, let us hearken to the voice of the Vicar of Christ and learn from the great apostle to make Christ central to all we do, and live our College’s Pauline motto, Instaurare Omnia in Christo, to restore all things in Christ. If we do that together we will have a great year.

Cover Story

CollegeWelcomes Largest Freshman Class and Begins Year with Record Enrollment


Christendom opened its doors to a record 148 new students (123 freshmen, 18 transfers, and 7 re-admitted students) on August 22. Coming from 45 different states, as well as Kenya, Hungary, Belgium, Columbia, Canada, Japan, and England, this year’s student body of 421 is the largest in the history of the College. “We’ve had the best recruiting year ever,” Admissions Director Tom McFadden said. “Last year we brought in 115 new students and had a total student body of 397. Considering all the talk of recession, the housing problems, the declining dollar, and all the doom-and-gloom we read about in the news, it is really a remarkable achievement to have been blessed with all of these young, dedicated Catholic students. Of course, when you have great men like Pope Benedict XVI, Cardinal Arinze, Arlington Bishop Paul Loverde. Cardinal O’Malley, and Archbishop Burke commending and praising our college over the past year, it makes my job a lot easier.” Prestigious students who want to learn more about the liberal arts and who want to immerse themselves into the truly Catholic culture on campus are seeking out Christendom, McFadden said. “Admissions essay after admissions essay, I read that today’s youths are so eager to be different than their peers,” he said. “They don’t want to simply go to college, they want to become part of something, and they see Christendom as part of the solution to today’s problems, both in the Church and in the world.”

tion of the Holy Cross, Christendom celebrated its thirty-first Anniversary with a Rosary procession in which Chaplain Fr. Gee carried a relic of the True Cross. “This is an exciting year for us,” O’Donnell said. “Our thirtieth anniversary celebrations and the visit to the US by His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI have filled our campus with energy and Pauline zeal. The Pope has dedicated this year to St. Paul, and the College will follow his lead. When I attended the meeting of Catholic educators in April, our Holy Father affirmed the mission of Christendom, yet also challenged us to go deeper—to put out into the deep. And, so, as our student body grows, it is my hope that spiritually we will grow, too.” The largest in the history of the College, the freshman class of 123, with an average SAT score of about 1840, includes 50 siblings of other Christendom students or alumni and 12 alumni children. Additionally, 50% of those who participated in last year’s High School Summer Program chose to attend Christendom this fall. According to the Admissions Office, the College received a record number of applications this year and has already received many applications for both the Spring and the Fall semesters of 2009. Freshman student Lizzie Crnkovich from McLean, VA, said that she is extremely happy to be at Christendom. “I attended the Latin Immersion Program and the two-week ‘Experience Christendom’ Program this summer and just knew that I had to attend the College this year,” she said. “Now that I am here, I feel right at home, like I’m part of a family. The best part of being see NEW YEAR on page 11

On August 31, Arlington Bishop Paul S. Loverde celebrated the Mass of the Holy Spirit where he witnessed the entire faculty take the Oath of Fidelity to the Magisterium. Christendom is one of a few Catholic colleges whose entire faculty voluntarily takes this oath annually. Following the Mass, College President Timothy O’Donnell addressed the entire student body at a Convocation (read President O’Donnell’s address on page 2). Also, on September 14, the Feast of the Exalta- College President O’Donnell leads the faculty in the annual Oath of Fidelity to the Magisterium.


Free Congress Foundation: Christendom Excellent American College


“A conservative thorn in the side of our nation’s capital and nestled in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley, one would be hard pressed to find a more faith-filled and politically active student body in the United States [than Christendom College],” according to the Free Congress Foundation’s (FCF) report What Makes an Excellent American College: “Liberal” Ideas Every Conservative Should Love, released July 3. The report is a response to frequent requests for “a recommendation for good institutions of higher learning,” the FCF stated. Schools included in the report had to meet the demanding 11-point criterion developed by the FCF. Some of the criterion are that the school must recognize that truth exists; that it advances the canon of Western Civilization; that it maintains rigorous academics and a highquality faculty to support its mission statement; that it encourages the participation in one’s own religion; that it be faithful to the Magisterium, if it is Catholic; that patriotism is embraced; that the arts and entertainment on campus uphold what is inspirational, timeless, wholesome, and beautiful; that the institutional structure and management be morally and financially sound; and that all sanctioned student activities be consistent with the university’s mission of promoting genuine and wholesome liberal education.

“Too many universities have either forgotten that human beings have souls or intentionally have set about wrecking them,” the report laments. Yet, it notes, “islands of sanity do exist.” Christendom College is one of the nine colleges or universities featured. “This definitely is not a group of separatists,” researcher Paul Yarbraugh writes. “One sees a large contingency of Christendom students at every significant pro-life event in Washington, DC. President Timothy O’Donnell is a prominent advocate for the college who walks the walk of faith in his own life. His education in Rome and connections to the Vatican help assure the Catholicity of the college.” It continues: “With 84 core credits required for graduation, this school has perhaps the most demanding core curriculum of any college in the United States. The school’s athletics are well supported...Given its close proximity to Washington, the college has its fair share of high-powered speakers, and the school ensures that their presentations are compatible with the mission of the school. Christendom is committed to maintaining a wholesome, entertaining, genuinely Catholic environment for her students in unison with rigorous academic standards,” the report concludes. “We are pleased that the Free Congress Foun-

dation has included us in their short list of excellent American colleges,” said Director of Admissions Tom McFadden. “We strive to be the premier Roman Catholic college in the United States and based on the fact that we had our best recruiting year ever, many high school aged students must be viewing us that way too.” Other schools listed in the report include Hillsdale College, Grove City College, and the Catholic University of America.

National Rankings v Top 50 All-American Colleges - Intercollegiate Studies Institute v Top College for American Values - v Top Conservative College -Young America’s Foundation v Excellent American College - Free Congress Foundation v “Joyfully Catholic” - Cardinal Newman Society v Barron’s Best Buys in College Education v Peterson’s Competitive Colleges v Peterson’s 440 Colleges for Top Students

According to Guide, Choosey Students Should Choose Christendom


Christendom College is once again included in the Intercollegiate Studies Institute’s (ISI) Choosing the Right College: The Whole Truth About America’s Top Schools. This sixth edition of the guide provides an independent, truthful assessment of what is really happening at the top 134 colleges in the nation, and also provides specific advice on which professors to seek out at these schools. “The guide has become the most valuable and trusted college guide on the market for students seeking a genuine liberal education,” ISI’s website states. According to the guide, Christendom College is “flourishing, having gained a reputation for academic excellence, doctrinal fidelity, and a wholesome atmosphere where students cheerfully embrace the ancient traditions of Catholicism.”


The guide speaks highly of Christendom’s strong core curriculum and fidelity to the Catholic Church and the Pope.

“The unfortunate fact is that many college classes today consist of little more than indoctrination in leftist propaganda,” Walter E. Williams writes in the introduction. “Yet, despite the fact that the vast majority of colleges are pervaded by leftist ideology, it is still possible to get a good, non-ideological liberal arts education.” “It’s great to be included in this guide once again,” College President Dr. Timothy O’Donnell said. “Inclusion in such a prestigious guide not only gives witness to the great work we are doing at Christendom, but also helps us connect with future students who are thinking about choosing Christendom.”

NDGS Graduates Largest Class – Puts 18 Students Out Into the Deep


On Saturday, August 2, the Notre Dame Graduate School (NDGS) of Christendom College awarded the Master of Arts degree in Theological Studies to eighteen graduates, and the Apostolic Catechetical Diploma to eight graduates. This is the largest class that NDGS has graduated since it became the Christendom Graduate School in 1997. The Baccalaureate Mass was celebrated by Rev. Daniel Gee, Christendom’s newly appointed Chaplain. NDGS Professor Rev.

Class valedictorian Kathleen Cassidy Leffas delivered the Graduate’s Address. Paul F. deLadurantaye concelebrated. After Mass, Christendom President Dr. Timothy O’Donnell awarded the degrees while Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Steven Snyder and Graduate School Dean Dr. Kristin Burns assisted.

from others. “Be Bold! Don’t be afraid or become despairing amidst persecution,” she concluded. This class has a very international flavor, as five of them are from other countries: Korea, Ireland, Britain, Canada, and India. The class includes one lawyer, one PhD, five high school teachers, several mothers, a college librarian, and two newly-weds (not to each other). John Noronha, Monty De La Torre, and Sean Murphy (a Christendom alumnus of the Class of 2003) are going on to further studies in theology. Jennessa Durney, the former NDGS administrative assistant, has become the new youth minister at Our Lady of Hope, a parish whose founding pastor is Fr. William Saunders, former dean of the Christendom Graduate School. Sr. Mary Joseph Mei, of the Handmaids of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, is the third graduate to earn her degree in the new Theology of the Consecrated Life concentration as part of the Vita Consecrata Institute. Other ’08 graduates are Wolkyun Beecher, Teresa Cotter, Kevin Ferros, Carol Hertz, Shirley Johnson, Mary Martino, Pat Maskell, Eugene McCarthy, Victor Nardo, Barbara Pegis, Kathleen Reyner, Joe Sebastian, and Michele Witzel. “This is an outstanding class,” said Dean Burns, “not only in their studies, but also in their various apostolates and ministries. They are truly working for the restoration of all things in Christ.”

Joe Sebastian receives his degree from Dr. O’Donnell.

Jennessa Durney is now the Youth Minister at Our Lady of Hope in Potomac Falls, VA.

Sean Murphy now holds a BA and MA from Christendom College.

Valedictorian Kathleen Cassidy Leffas, originally from Ontario and now living in Fairfax, VA, gave the Graduate’s Address. “And how timely it is that we graduate with degrees in theology while the Church is celebrating the great apostolic missionary, St. Paul. We graduate under the umbrella of a great call within our church to deepen our friendship with St. Paul and to imitate him in our witness to Christ,” she began. “Our culture tells us that it is only polite to talk about the weather and sports. Speaking about our faith causes waves, sometimes dissension. It creates tensions in families, especially when we are dealing with strongly held beliefs. No one wants to cause waves, and we fear anger and labeling

The Notre Dame Graduate School Class of 2008 graduated on August 2.


High School Students Experience Christendom During Summer Program


“It’s easier to do what is comfortable and to crumble under peer pressure than to go against the flow,” Prof. Benjamin Akers told the high school students of Christendom College’s “Experience Christendom” Summer Program. The program, which brought 108 students from across the United States and Europe to the Shenandoah Valley, held two different sessions, one from June 22 to 29 and the other from July 6 to July 19.

alumnus and priest of the Diocese of Arlington, VA (read about his heroic father on page 18).

“Dead fish go with the flow,” Akers continued. “Living fish swim against the current.”

“I loved how happy and fun it was, yet with a serious and wonderful focus on classes,” Lucy Salazar of Wheat Ridge, CO, said. “More importantly, God was the center of all activities. This program has changed my life forever— for the better.”

The program not only gave students an opportunity to meet fellow young Catholics who desire to grow in their faith and go against the current, but also gave them a taste of life at Christendom College. Akers, an alumnus who is also Director of Christendom’s Rome campus, taught a class in History.

The students’ schedule is busy – packed with classes and daily Mass in the morning, and a wide array of activities in the afternoon and evening, including swing dancing, canoeing, touring Washington DC, hiking, bowling, cheering at a Nationals baseball game, and playing many sports.

Tommy Salmon of Galway, Ireland, agreed. He found the camp to be not only packed with fun activities but also learning. “You truly learn to understand your faith and meet the most fantastic people that have the same beliefs as you do. I feel like I’ve learned more in these two weeks than I have my whole life.” College President O’Donnell believes the program is an important part of Christendom’s mission “To restore all things in Christ.”

The students learned how to swing dance as well as how to dance the Virginia Reel. “A particular theme we explore in the history class is the difference between gifts and character,” Akers said. “We look at historical examples of people who changed history in some way. “There is a sharp divide in history between people who have natural talents and gifts, but lack the virtue necessary to use their gifts well, and those who, in the eyes of the world, lack gifts but have a strong character. It is the latter who often make a lasting impact on history. This is an important idea to introduce to high school students because they are at a time in their life when they are beginning to make serious decisions about what kind of person they want to be,” he said. Taught by Christendom’s own faculty, students also take classes in philosophy with Dr. John Cuddeback, literature with Dr. Patrick Keats, and theology with both Dr. Timothy O’Donnell and Fr. Tom Vander Woude, an


“The program is an opportunity for students to get to know the College, but, as we have seen year after year, it is also an experience that changes these students for the better. Sometimes two weeks of Christendom-living is enough to change hearts—change lives.” Anastacio Hinojosa of San Antonio, TX, who was attending for the second time, said that the program still taught him new things and brought him closer to God. “It’s not only an opportunity to discover a school, but also an opportunity to discover yourself,” he said.

The campers took advantage of Christendom’s location overlooking the Shenandoah River. den. “They look at me like I’m a little crazy. But following the program, I receive many letters of thanks and emails telling me the changes the program has made in their lives. It’s actually quite funny, in a way.” Due to increased interest in the program, plans are currently being made to have three different “Experience Christendom” Summer Program sessions in 2009: two one-week sessions and one two-week session. Please refer to for more information. Additionally, thanks to the generosity of College benefactor Mr. Jack Murphy, the College was able to offer financial assistance to over 50 of this year’s participants who otherwise would not have been able to attend. If you would like to donate to the financial assistance fund for the “Experience Christendom” Summer Program, please contact either the Admissions or Development Office.

One of the most intriguing aspects of the program, according to Admissions Director Tom McFadden, is the fact that many of the rising high school seniors come to the camp expecting it to be a dull and boring time, with too much emphasis being placed on Catholicism. “At the beginning of the program, I tell the students that this program will be one of the best times of their lives and that it will have a deep impact on them forever,” says McFad-

Students take classes in History, Theology, Philosophy, and English Literature.

Quotes from students who attended the “Experience Christendom” Summer Program 2008: “It was the fullest week of my life! Incredible classes and professors and Mass and Rosary give the camp depth and seriousness, but every afternoon and evening was filled with non-stop fun, amazing events. I loved all of the amazing people I met. Being a convert, I haven’t been able to be as open about my faith, and at Christendom, I felt free to talk about my faith with anyone. By the end, I was exhausted, but I felt like I could run a spiritual marathon. I was so excited to go home and tell everyone about my week.” – Emi Funai, WA “I loved everything about the program! The classes were incredible, the prayer time was awesome, the counselors were the best, and the activities were a blast. If I could, I’d freeze time so I’d never have to leave. The campus is gorgeous – the pictures aren’t even adequate. I hate leaving and can’t wait for my next visit.” – Sara Federico, KY “One heck of an awesome week: Great Catholic environment; sweet classes; awesome counselors; and pretty decent food.” – Dean Dewey, NY “The week I spent at Christendom allowed me to experience and live my faith in a way I had never done before. I can honestly say that I am a better Catholic and a better person because of this experience.” – Kyle O’Connor, VA

thought more and learned more then I did throughout the school year. It was the most amazing week ever. I’ve never had so much fun!”– Marilyn Charba, WA “I have never been to a place where I felt so incredibly Catholic!” – Rachel Kujawa, GA “The week I experienced at Christendom made me aware of a love of Truth which I had been ignorant of until now, and for the opportunity to know this desire of knowledge I am unceasingly grateful. It was the first, genuinely Catholic society that really emphasized the incredible truths and important Catholic traditions that I had experienced. It wasn’t what I expected – it was so much better than I could have imagined. If it were possible that I could never leave, I’d love that.” – Liz Urban, OH “I had a very bad prejudice against Christendom College and did not want to attend the Summer Program that much. I had a stereotype of everyone being homeschooled nerds, but everyone was totally AWESOME. I had

the best time of my life.” – Bernadette Brock, VA “It was actually one of the best weeks of my life! It was great to be surrounded by people who are working hard to get to heaven just like me. I deeply appreciate the great examples that the counselors and the staff set for all of us ‘kids’! Christendom is the only college that I’ve ever visited, but I’m sold! It was invigorating to attend such great classes and have such a great time, while still having a rock solid Catholic Backbone! I am encouraging all of my friends to apply for next year’s program. Believe me, Christendom is going to be the #1 college that I send my application to.” – Michael Sheehan, FL “The time here at this camp I number as the best and most life forming I have ever experienced.” – Phillip Henderson, TX “I was happily surprised to find out that not all the kids were nerds (which I thought was going to be the case before I came).” – Mark Proska, PA

Fifty-seven students took part in the one-week session of the Experience Christendom Summer Program.

“At first I thought it would be really strict, but I was surprised at how relaxed everything was. The rules that were enforced did not in any way lessen the fun, but rather, made it more enjoyable. I have grown so much in my faith through all of the prayer, Masses, and bonding with fellow devout Catholics. Amazing on all levels!” – Corinne Riley, VA “It was a life changing experience. In the one week that I was there, it seemed like I

Fifty-one students took part in the two-week session of the Experience Christendom Summer Program.


College Makes Strong Impression on Catholic Radio Pioneer Zurlo


From the first time Board Member Gene Zurlo and his wife, Charlotte, set foot on Christendom’s campus, they were impressed by the holiness, faithfulness, joy, and kindness that they encountered. “It made a strong impression on us the first time and continues to,” Zurlo said. A graduate of Fordham University, Zurlo worked as an executive for several health care companies for 30 years. He founded Alpine Biologics, Inc, a pharmaceutical company where he continues as Chairman. Currently, he is active as a private investor in real estate and early stage health care companies. Additionally, he is co-founder and Chairman-Emeritus of the Catholic Radio Association, a trustee of the Witherspoon Institute (Princeton), and a Knight Commander of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre.

Being involved with the College has made Zurlo more hopeful that young people, given the Christendom experience, can change the world in a good and meaningful way. “The many new friends we have made among the students, faculty, administration, and trustees has been a joy and they inspire us with hope for the future,” he said. The mission of the College, “to restore all things to Christ,” is what attracted Zurlo to Christendom College. Inspired by Regnum Christi spiritually, Zurlo is committed to the restoration of our culture by advancing the re-evangelization of the country. He believes that this nation is meant to lead the world to Christ. Zurlo and his wife celebrated their 46th anniversary in August. Natives of upstate New York, they currently reside on Kiawah Island, SC, and have two children and one grandchild.

Mr. and Mrs. Gene Zurlo pictured with Francis Cardinal Arinze.

Advisor to the Board Rick Santorum Inspired by Christendom


“I heard positive things about Christendom from a variety different people during my time in the US Senate,” former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum said. “They spoke of Christendom as one of the truly orthodox schools.”

In 2003, Santorum made his first visit to Christendom College where graduates and their families rose in standing ovation for his Commencement address, in which he spoke passionately about the defense of the unborn and family values. Santorum was as impressed with the students as they were with him. Santorum served on the US Senate from 1995 to 2007 and as a member of the US House of Representatives from 1991 to 1995. He is currently a Senior Fellow at the Ethics and Policy Center, where he is working on a program called Protecting America’s Freedom, which aims to educate the American public on the nature and gravity of the threat of radical Islam to the US. Through this program, he is working on a film and will soon publish a book on the “gathering storm” of the 21st century—the challenges posed by radical Islamic fascism and its growing alliances around the world. “It’s not just a think tank,” Santorum said, “but a communications strategy around the message that there are people motivated by


religion to take over the world and destroy everything that western civilization stands for.”

be changed in America, it must be done by planting new seeds.

Additionally, Santorum is currently involved with MPower Media, a company trying to change the culture by creating an opportunity for parents to have television customized to the values of the family. Using leadingedge technologies, families will be able to customize what they watch down to an individual scene level.

“It can’t be done by re-grafting the Faith back into some of these ugly plants that have grown in the Catholic education of this country. Christendom inspires me to encourage others to do what Christendom has done, which is to start anew and build something authentic.”

Born in nearby Winchester, VA, Santorum believes that the best thing about Christendom is its adherence to the teachings of the Magisterium, which he sees as vital to Catholic education.

Santorum, his wife Karen, and their seven children live in Great Falls, VA.

“Authentic Catholic education is a gift and it is a gift not given out very often here in the United States,” Santorum said. “The people that I have met from Christendom certainly have encouraged me about what is possible in education.” Christendom has shown Santorum two things, he said. First, that following the teachings from Ex Corde Ecclesiae and the Magisterium is possible here in the United States and that you can attract quality students. Secondly, it has given him the impression that if Catholic education is going to

Senator and Mrs. Rick Santorum.

Laity Called to Change the World at Annual Summer Institute


“Now is the time for a dramatic infusion of strategically placed competent pro-life people of faith in government,” said Congressman Chris Smith (R-NJ) at Christendom’s 19th annual Summer Institute held July 12.

the privileged, and the perfect. Unborn children have inherent worth, value, and dignity, given to them by God, not by politicians. The unborn are not disposable commodities or junk, they are children, he said.

Focusing on the role of the laity in the Catholic Church, the Institute welcomed attendees from across the country to hear from Smith as well as film producer Steve McEveety, medical doctor John Bruchalski, Rev. Thomas Dubay, journalist Colleen Carroll Campbell, and Christendom College President Dr. Timothy O’Donnell.

“I believe that anyone who is willing to learn with due diligence can master the art of policy making. It’s not rocket science. The ministry of politics begs and it beckons. And if enough people answer the call, the world will be made much safer for the family, including its smallest and most vulnerable members, unborn children,” he said.

In his talk entitled Bearing Witness to the Truth in the Political Sphere, Smith spoke of

“This [Christendom College] is truly a remarkable place that is having such an impact on so many lives—men and women who will then go out into the world and bring the great news of Christ and His justice to the world,” he concluded. Steve McEveety, executive producer of films such as We Were Soldiers and Braveheart, spoke candidly about his work on The Passion of the Christ in an address entitled Faith in Film.

“The devil masqueraded himself quite well for me in my life, always with beauty and good things—like he usually tempts you—but that wasn’t Congressman Chris Smith (R-NJ) delivered the keynote ad- working on this,” McEveety said. “So dress at the annual Summer Institute on July 12. strange things would happen, which I the human rights that governments and in- won’t get into, but I’ll tell you a few great ternational organizations attempt to enumer- things that counteracted those strange things ate and declare. that happened.” “Such fundamental rights do not come from the UN or from sovereign governments,” he said. “If they did then governments and international organizations would not only have the power but the legitimate authority to rescind what had previously been conferred. If our fundamental rights are truly rights and not mere privileges, then they must be derived from a source that precedes and transcends any earthly political power, indeed they must come from God.” The congressman declared that what the US government needs is “an army of Thomas Mores.” He believes that congress has a duty to protect everyone at risk, not just the planned,

He shared one remarkable story of a crew member who was struck by lightening twice and survived unscathed. This crew member, which McEveety referred to as “lightening boy,” was the first child baptized by John Paul II. It was also this crew member who eventually led to their ability to screen the Passion for John Paul II, who famously said that the film “is as it was.”

Colleen Carroll Campbell filled the attendees with hope with her talk, Catholic Journalism and the New Faithful. Campbell presented many statistics and personal testimonies, revealing that the Christendom’s Rome Program new faithful Director Ben Akers was the of this genera- emcee. tion have the potential to reshape American Christianity in the next century. “The new faithful,” Campbell said, “belong to the new generation raised in the wake of the sexual revolution and no-fault divorce. While this generation was never urged to seek Jesus or avoid sin or carry the cross, they were simply told to be nice to each other, believe what suited them, and never commit the cardinal sin of intolerance.” This lack of formation, according to Campbell, left many young adults adrift, confused, and estranged from the Church; but a childhood without God has often led these young adults to an intense spiritual search that culminated in conversion. “This generation is turning back to traditional sacramental forms of worship. Eucharistic devotion, praying of the rosary, the liturgy of the hours, and the Latin Mass have become more popular. There is a counter-sexual revolution going on as well in the world of

McEveety closed his address by announcing that he has begun pre-production work on a film based on the book Our Lady of Guadalupe and the Conquest of Darkness by Christendom College’s Founding President Dr. Warren Carroll. Presidential speech writer and journalist

Film producer Steve McEveety spoke on the role of faith in film.


fashion and courtship mores,” she said. “As one seminarian put it,” she said, “‘We’re rebelling against the rebellion. We want tradition.’” Campbell noted that despite the fact that the new faithful are a minority in their generation, their zeal for cultural engagement and their commitment to proclaiming the faith suggests that their impact may far exceed their numbers. “These young believers may be the early adopters of a larger trend with the potential to renew the Church and transform the culture in the years to come,” she concluded.

this was the right thing to do. He thought he could change the Church. He said that the current moral confusion has resulted in a crisis in medicine today. “Medicine has done tremendously good things,” he said, “but science can only bring progress—it cannot bring redemption. And yet, in our life we are faced with this paradox, great health care, but God forbid we take the holistic approach—addressing the body, soul, and spirit of the patient.” In closing, Bruchalski admonished the audience to do three things: to trust in Jesus, to acknowledge the fact that we are the Body of Christ, and to be ready to suffer.

Fr. Thomas Dubay. soldier, St. Ignatius of Loyola, and pray as if everything depended on God and act as if everything depended on ourselves, the Divine Mercy will certainly not be found wanting,” he concluded.

Christendom College President Dr. Timothy O’Donnell spoke of the lay charisma and Catholic education.

Mass was concelebrated by renowned theologian Rev. Thomas Dubay, who delivered a homily on man’s universal call to holiness. Dubay told a story of a group of prisoners who began a prayer group that sought to live as contemplatives amongst prison life.

“I thank you so much for this invitation,” Dr. John Bruchalski said at the beginning of his talk, The Colleen Carroll Campbell. Healing Presence of Christ in the Practice of Medicine. “I congratulate [Christendom Col- “There can be no intelligent understanding lege] on 30 years. Dr. Carroll—I can’t thank of the role of the laity in the Church’s aposhim enough for what he has done to start this tolate without a precise understanding of the place.” Church herself,” he began. “All members are called to contribute to Her growth. The laIn his talk, Bruchalski read ity is called to exercise their a letter he had been given apostolate as a leaven in the from a father to a son that world.” demanded that he abort his third child for financial reaO’Donnell reminded listensons. The letter was harsh ers that they are involved in and cruel and revealed the a war. The Church on earth would-be-grandfather’s is the Church Militant or blindness to the life of the the Church Fighting against unborn child. He also rewhat he called “the grand allated a recent story of the liance”: the world, the flesh, illegally signing of a waiver and the devil. for a 16-year-old Guatemalan girl to have an abortion He expressed the need for by the Richmond Diocese laity to be fearless in the Catholic Charities. witnessing of the Faith, even if it seems like the battle Dr. John Bruchalski. “This is my life as an OB/ against the culture of death GYN in America today,” Bruchalski said. “I is being lost on all fronts. don’t really have a funny story to tell because it is indeed not very funny.” “The world has always awaited and proclaimed the death of the Church, but death He described the confusion that he experi- could not hold Christ our Divine Head and enced as a layman before he had a re-con- it certainty will not be able to hold the diversion. He would distribute Communion at vinized members working in the world as Mass and then distribute the contraceptives lay members of the Church Militant. For at work. His education had told him that certainly, if we apply the words of that great


“Each one of us is called to a profound intimacy with the Trinity,” he said. “If these men, in their circumstances, which are very painful, even in a modern prison, can get to heroic virtue and a profound intimacy with the Trinity, you and I have no excuse whatsoever of failing to reach heroic virtue and deep intimacy with the Trinity.” Next summer’s Institute is planned for June 2627, 2009, and will focus on St. Paul: His Spiritual and Scriptural Contributions to the Church. Invited speakers include Dr. Scott Hahn, Dr. Tim Gray, Bishop Paul Loverde, and Auxiliary Bishop of Denver James Conley. For more information visit

Dr. Timothy O’Donnell.

Mission Possible: Students Spend Summer in Dominican Republic


The Diocese of Arlington’s mission in Banica, in the Dominican Republic, was home to 19 Christendom students doing missionary work there for two months this summer. “Contrary to our thoughts – that we were going to help them – they really taught us a thing or two,” recent graduate Erin McCafferty said. “All the Dominicans, especially our host families, opened up their homes as much as they opened up their hearts to us all. Although they have less than we do in America, they all have a certain mentality that we missionaries came to deeply admire and that all Americans can learn from.” She found that her Christendom education was utilized in so many aspects of her missionary work. Christendom had fostered within her an ability to speak candidly about theology and the Catholic spiritual life, she said. Due in part to her experience in Banica, McCafferty decided that she wanted to continue working for an apostolic endeavor and accepted a position as the Assistant Director of Religious Education at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Alexandria, VA. Working with the students in Banica was Christendom’s new chaplain, Fr. Daniel Gee. “When I was assigned to Banica I thought I was blessed—I was overjoyed. I had visited it as a seminarian and it was always something that I wanted to do,” he said. Fr. Gee related that for the first two weeks, the Christendom missionaries built a huge barbed wire fence and a pavilion for the parish center, which would provide shelter from the sun or rain for meetings and meals. In the remaining weeks, the missionaries broke up into teams and led five-day summer camps to the various campos (small villages). The missionaries taught classes in art, music, sports, and catechism. “I’ve always been highly impressed with Christendom students,” Fr. Gee said. “It was the only place from which we accepted sum-

mer missionaries because we knew we could count on them.”

paired roofs, built seven chapels, renovated Churches, offered religious and sporting camps for several hundred young children, and delivered food and medical supplies to over 30 small villages surrounding Banica.” Brown sees the trips as opportunities for students to see firsthand what real poverty is like.

Since the start of the Mission Trips Program in 2000, Christendom has completed 18 different mission trips, 12 of which have been to Banica. “We’ve sent over 300 students,” Mission Trips Director and Philosophy Professor Mike Brown said. “They have built outhouses, re-

“This is something that most young Americans read about but do not understand because they never directly encounter it. The experience of real poverty has had a lifechanging impact on many of our students— they’re more grateful for what they have, they’re more detached from materialism, and they’re more sensitive to their responsibility, as Christians, to serve the poor,” he said. Students experience a spiritual rejuvenation and return with a deeper desire to serve the Church and others. Upon graduation some students have devoted up to two years in mission work, four returning to Banica.

New Year... here is that I don’t have to search very hard to find other young people who have the same core beliefs and values that I have. Everyone here is on the same page when it comes to the important things in life, and as a result, it is much easier to focus on being a student and on my vocation to holiness. I heartily recommend it to anyone!” With over 91 percent of last year’s freshmen returning for their sophomore year, and with a summer attrition rate of only 5 percent (the number of non-degree earning students who choose not to return to Christendom) – half of what it normally is – the entire College community is very excited to move forward and see what this historic year will bring.

on. Also, Dr. Warren Carroll is scheduled to give his monthly public lectures and Fr. Frank Pavone and Dr. Jude Dougherty will be honored at Commencement 2009. The Summer Institute for 2009 is already being organized with Scott Hahn, Tim Gray, Fr. Mitch Pacwa, Christendom Professor Eric Jenislawski, Bishop Loverde, Bishop Conley, and Singer Mark Forrest invited to attend. For more information on upcoming events, including the Major Speakers Program, the Summer Institute, the “Experience Christendom” Summer Program, or the Latin Immersion Program, please refer to

A number of exciting events are already scheduled for this academic year. The Major Speakers Program will host Dr. Scott Hahn, Mrs. Camille Pauley, Mr. Russell Shaw, Mr. Michael O’Brien, and Fr. Robert Bar- Prof. Brendan McGuire with one of his freshmen history classes.


College Welcomes New Employees; Says Farewell to Good Friends


As the College enters this historic academic year, with more than 420 undergraduates and its largest incoming class in the history of the College, it welcomes a number of new employees to the Christendom family. The Student Life Department experienced the biggest amount of change over the summer months. Jesse Dorman, a 2001 graduate of Gannon University, replaces Joe Wurtz as Dean of Students. Wurtz, who served Christendom for four years, is now Dean of Students at his alma mater, Benedictine College. Dorman most recently worked in the student life office at Mount Saint Mary’s University in Emmitsburg, MD.

In an effort to help support the ever-growing athletic programs, the College made the decision to move the Athletic Director position from a part-time position to a full-time one, allowing Athletic Director Chris Vander Woude to spend more quality time organizing the Christendom Crusader Athletic Program. Also joining the Student Life Department as a Career Development Consultant is a familiar face around campus, Keith Robinson. Robinson, a ten year vetCareer Consultant Keith Rob- eran in Silicon Valley as an exinson. ecutive coach assisting senior technology executives in their career exploration strategies and career search tactics, has a vast amount of experience in a variety of fields. He was

New Personnel in the Student Life Office: Athletic Director Chris Vander Woude, Dean of Students Jesse Dorman, and Director of Student Activities and Alumni Relations Marie Antunes. responsible for up to 33,000 employees and was part of an executive team that helped grow a firm from $8 billion to $32 billion in revenue. He and his wife have six children (one of whom attends Christendom) and six grandchildren (so far).

as Dr. O’Donnell’s assistant is Miss Melanie Baker. A 2001 graduate of Washington and Lee University, Baker spent the past 6 years working for the US Department of Labor.

Alumna Marie Antunes ‘05 has been hired for the newly created position of Student Activities and Alumni Affairs Director. She is responsible for directing the Student Activities Council as well as serving the alumni of the College.

There are a couple of new faces in the Admissions Office as well. Joining Admissions Director Tom McFadden and A d m i s s i o n s Assistant to the President Counselor An- Melanie Baker. nie Clark are Lauren Clark (no relation to Annie Clark) and Caitrie Santicola.

Antunes’ new position takes the alumni responsibilities from former Alumni and Career Development Director Tom McGraw, who, for personal and family reasons, left Christendom after more than ten years of dedicated service. Additionally, Antunes takes over the student activities responsibilities that were performed by Siobhan O’Connor last year. Serving as Dr. O’Donnell’s personal assistant since her graduation in 2005, O’Connor was a great asset to the College and resigned during the summer so she could dedicate more of her time to discerning her vocation to the religious life.

Former employees Siobhan O’Connor, Fr. John Heisler, Joe Wurtz, and Tom McGraw were bid farewell during the summer months. Joining the College family


Lauren Clark has taken on the newly created position of Associate Director of Admissions. She is responsible for making contact with high school guidance counselors, sending information to schools and parishes, and representing Christendom at homeschool conferences and college fairs. She is a 2007 graduate of Hillsdale College and spent the last year as an Admissions Counselor for her alma mater. Caitrie Santicola, a 2008 Christendom Theology major, will be helping prospective students arrange their campus visits as well as answering emails and phone calls on a daily basis. In





Operations and Facility Planning. Foeckler is a 1985 Christendom graduate who has worked for the College since 1993. Under his watchful eye, the College has built 9 new buildings and made many improvements to the plant and grounds.

Lauren Clark and Caitrie Santicola join the Admissions Office team. O’Donnell recently announced that former Director of Operations Mike Foeckler has now been promoted to Vice President for

Other additions to the Christendom family this year are Julie Thimons (NDGS Administrative Assistant), Sarah Mason (part-time Library Donations Assistant), and Mickey Krebs (from part-time to full-time Library Acquisitions Assistant). Additionally, the College said goodbye to employees Lorraine Podlinsek, Louis Massett, Jennessa Durney, and Angela McNeely. They, and all of those who have left the Christendom family, will be missed.

Vice President for Operations Mike Foeckler.

Christendom’s Chaplaincy Gets Boost with Three Full-Time Priests


By the grace of God, Christendom has had many wonderful, dedicated chaplains over its 30 years, including Fr. Cornelius O’Brien, Fr. Vincent Miceli, Fr. Edward Berbusse, Fr. Robert Skeris, Fr. Jack Reilly, Fr. James McLucas, Fr. David Rahn, Fr. Robert Ruskamp, Fr. Anthony Mastroeni, and most recently, Fr. Seamus O’Kielty, and Fr. John Heisler.

cal College Josephinum in Columbus, OH, and that he was to no longer serve as College Chaplain, a position he had held since 2005. Over the past three years, Fr. Heisler deeply affected the students, faculty, and staff who took advantage of his spiritual guidance and his offering of the Sacraments. He will be missed by the entire College community.

Over the summer, the College community was saddened to learn that Fr. Heisler was asked to join the faculty of the Pontifi-

Continuing in his role as Assistant Chaplain is Fr. Seamus O’Kielty who came to Christendom in 2002 and has made a lasting effect on the College over the years. A native of Ireland, Fr. O’Kielty was ordained a priest in 1954.

Christ the King Chapel Schedule Holy Sacrifice of the Mass: Sunday: 10:00 am (Latin Novus Ordo) Monday-Saturday: 7:30 am and 11:30 am (Latin Novus Ordo on Wednesdays and Fridays at 11:30 am, Mass of Blessed John XXIII on Tuesdays at 7:30 am) Confessions: Monday-Friday: 11:00 am–11:30 am and 5:45pm–6:30pm Saturdays: 10:30 am–11:30 am

Joining Fr. O’Kielty this year in the chaplaincy are Fr. Daniel Gee and Fr. William Fitzgerald, O.Praem. Fr. Gee is the Head Chaplain, assigned to the College by Arlington Diocese’s Bishop Paul

Loverde. Fr. Gee, ordained in 1995, spent many years in parish work before his 2003 assignment to Banica in the Dominican Republic. Now, after 5 years in missionary territory, Fr. Gee is happy to be back in the US where he can spend time helping to guide Christendom students in their pursuit of holiness. Also new to campus this semester is Norbertine Father William Fitzgerald, O.Praem. Fr. William, a native Australian, was ordained a priest in 1979. Most recently, Fr. William was the director of the office of worship for the Diocese of Covington, KY, and was the former director of liturgy at the Josephinum in Columbus, OH, where Fr. Heisler now teaches. Christendom is greatly blessed to have these three chaplains on campus this year and with their help, the entire Christendom community hopefully will grow in holiness and virtue.

Adoration: Monday-Friday 7:50 am–11:25 am Eucharistic Holy Hour: Wednesdays at 6:00 pm Evening Prayer and Rosary: Monday-Friday at 6:00 pm Solemn Vespers: Sundays at 4:00 pm

Christendom’s chaplains: Fr. Seamus O’Kielty, Fr. William Fitzgerald, O.Praem, and Fr. Daniel Gee.


Alumnus Sees Value of Christendom Education in Medical Field


Christendom Alumnus Dr. John Paul Jansen is currently completing his residency at the University of Kansas Medical Center, after which time he plans to go into oncology, the branch of medicine that studies cancer and seeks to understand its development, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention. Jansen, who earned his BA in history from Christendom in 2000, graduated from medical school one year ago where he found that

“You can do more than state the obvious or say something that may sound nice but doesn’t really make any sense,” he said. “I’ve heard fellow doctors say to family members of a patient with no brain activity, ‘At least he’s not in pain.’ “They are not able to see that there is more to life than simply prolonging it and being healthy,” Jansen said. “The purpose of life is to achieve a goal—to arrive in Heaven, to be with God. When medicine is seen in that light you have something more, because, ultimately, in dealing with cancer patients, I will be the one there, transitioning them, with the priest of course, into the next life. I am there longer and am very much a part of their day at the end of their life.”

potential physicians need not insulate themselves from the liberal arts, and in some cases may hurt their chances by doing so. The report showed that although grades and academic honors are important for admission to medical school, a student’s choice of major has no bearing. Dean Whitla, director of Harvard’s office of tests, says: “It would be regrettable if some of our students who plan to become doctors felt that they must turn away from their interest in the liberal arts for fear of being rejected at medical school without a premedical major.” At Harvard Medical School, premed-prepared students do better the first year, but by the third year they fall slightly behind students who majored in the liberal arts.

A Harvard University report indicates that

Jansen is one among many Christendom alumni who, upon attaining their liberal arts degrees from Christendom, choose to pursue careers in the medical profession. Others include Anesthesiologist Neill Mollard (‘97), Dentist Sam Aronhime (‘93), Nurses Teri Rusnak (‘03) and Jill (Menke) Vander Woude (‘04), and Physical Therapist Joe Soos (‘93).

The Intercollegiate Studies Institute (ISI), a national educational organization, recently selected James Tillman, a Christendom senior studying Philosophy, as a Marion G. Wells Honors Fellow, one of 50 Honors Fellows chosen for the 2008-2009 academic year. ISI’s prestigious Honors Program annually selects the nation’s most talented undergraduates to participate in a yearlong program of educational enrichment.

mentors and staff will provide one-on-one professional assistance to each of the Honors Fellows, including information about internships, job opportunities, graduate and professional programs, and related concerns. Tillman will also attend an ISI Career Development Seminar, designed to help prepare him for future positions of leadership. In addition, he will receive a large collection of free books and journals.

Jansen says that he understands his limitations as a physician and his strengths as a Catholic. “I’m able to bring more to the bedside than just my medications and procedures.”

ISI Awards Tillman Prestigious Fellowship his professors seemed to talk about more things than just science and, often, would espouse principles and philosophies that are not compatible with the Catholic Faith. “With my Christendom education it was very easy for me to step back and say, ‘Oh, that does not seem right. Is that true? And if so, how and why?’” Jansen says he knows and can explain why abortion is wrong and how to address the end of life issues and why they are so important. “I can take a look at the whole person, not just the patient’s physical health. Christendom really helped me, not only in medical school, but as a physician, to see the person as a whole—mind, body, and soul—not just the body, which medicine has a strong tendency to do.” Jansen believes that his Christendom education completed what was started at his baptism. In his educational journey, Christendom gave him an understanding of the world that is grounded in the Faith.


Tillman, along with recent graduate John Jalsevac, recently won ISI’s annual international essay contest. Tillman placed first, while Jalsevac took third. In addition, as part of ISI’s Honors Program throughout the next academic year, Tillman will receive continuing direction from his faculty mentors through participation in small seminars and online discussions about both permanent questions and contemporary concerns. The ISI faculty

“We are very proud of James and John,” Christendom President Dr. Timothy O’Donnell said. “They are both extremely talented men who are a testament to the power of our Catholic liberal arts education.” Founded in 1953, ISI works “to educate for liberty”—to identify the best and the brightest college students and to nurture in these future leaders the American ideal of ordered liberty.

Dr. and Mrs. O’Donnell to Lead Pilgrims in the Footsteps of St. Paul


In an effort to better celebrate the Year of St. Paul, Dr. and Mrs. Timothy O’Donnell will be leading a Pauline pilgrimage from March 2 - 13, 2009, traveling in the footsteps of St. Paul on his path to Rome by visiting Malta, Sicily, Naples, and Rome. Departing from Dulles Airport outside of Washington, DC, the pilgrims will land in what Dr. Warren Carroll refers to as, “the most Catholic country on earth”—Malta. After being shipwrecked on the island, St. Paul spent three months in Malta, preaching the Gospel, and converting many Maltese to Christianity during his stay. While in Malta, the pilgrims will visit the House of Parliament; the Fine Arts Museum which features art collections from the Knights of St. John as well as paintings by Tintoretto and other masters; the church dedicated to the Assumption of the Virgin Mary; and the beautiful St. Paul’s Church which overlooks the piazza. After taking a ferry from Malta to Sicily, the pilgrims will continue to Ragusa and visit the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist and palaces built during the 18th Century, famous for their Sicilian Baroque and Gothic Architecture. Later, they will travel to Agrigento and Palermo where they will visit the famous Valley of the Temples, including the larg-


est Doric temple in the world, the Temple of Jupiter. Afterwards, they will take a sightseeing drive to Palermo, a historic city in southern Italy, the capital of the autonomous region of Sicily and the province of Palermo. The city is noted for its rich history, culture, architecture and gastronomy, playing an important role throughout much of its existence; it is over 2,700 years old. The O’Donnells will then lead the group to the Cathedral of Palermo. They will visit the Palace of the Normans and the Palatine Chapel which used to be the royal residence in Norman times, now the seat of Regional Parliament. Afterward, the group will proceed to Monte Pellegrino that overlooks Palermo’s bay to visit Santa Rosalia’s Sanctuary. After a short drive, the pilgrims will then visit Monreale to tour the exquisite church of San Giovanni degli Eremti, the 12th century hillside Cathedral Monreale, lavishly decorated with more than 6,000 square yards depicting the Old and New Testaments. Following Monreale, they will transfer to Palermo port and sail to Naples. After landing in Naples, the group will drive to Pompeii, best known for its burial in volcanic ash. They will visit the ruined city dug

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out from the ashes rained on it by Vesuvius in AD 79 and then go to the Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary in Pompeii. The pilgrims will then travel on the original Via Appia, stopping at Three Taverns on the Ancient Appian Way where St. Paul was first greeted by the Christians from Rome. The group will spend four days in Rome, touring the city and visiting the many Pauline sites, including the prison where St. Paul and St. Peter were kept; the place of Paul’s beheading; and the church of St. Paul Outside the Walls under which the tomb of St. Paul can be viewed. Also, the group will have a papal audience with Pope Benedict XVI in St. Peter’s Square during their time in Rome. This pilgrimage is open to all and space is limited. For more information about this exciting pilgrimage, please contact Miss Melanie Baker at 800.877.5456, ext. 1211 or melaniebaker@

College Honors Fr. McGivney with Scholarship Christendom recently established a new scholarship, the Michael J. McGivney Annual Scholarship, which will be restricted to qualified Christendom students who are children of members of the Knights of Columbus.

The scholarship is in response to Pope Benedict’s decree last March 16, which recognizes formally the heroic virtue of the “Venerable Servant of God” Father Michael J. McGivney, founder of the Knights of Columbus. “We were looking for ways both to honor Fr. McGivney and to build up the popular relationship between Christendom and the Knights of Columbus,” said President Timothy O’Donnell.

“Based upon the existing tradition of support from individual K of C councils, this was an easy decision. Beginning this fiscal year, gifts from individual councils will be pooled and designated for this new scholarship purpose,” explained Vice President for Advancement, John Ciskanik, “and used to support K of C families.” Christendom plans to award its first McGivney Scholarship in the Fall term of 2009. Questions about how your council may support the Michael J. McGivney Annual Scholarship may be directed to VP Ciskanik at 800.877.5456, ext.1250.


Benefactors and Friends Gather for President’s Council Awards Dinner


Building upon last year’s successful launch of a new Christendom tradition, 72 guests and friends attended the second annual President’s Council Awards Dinner on a warm summer evening following the annual Summer Institute on July 12.

As the major donor society of the College, the President’s Council is an important part of the Annual Fund. The Council is an organization dedicated to the advancement of Christendom College through financial and personal involvement.

After a festive reception in the rotunda of the St. John the Evangelist Library, Congressman and Mrs. Chris Smith (R-NJ), President’s Council members, Board members, faculty, staff, and guests enjoyed a sumptuous meal provided by Catering by J’s Gourmet of Front Royal.

Through their participation, President’s Council members provide invaluable support to programs that attract intelligent and motivated students, such as Michele and many others.

Alumna Michele (LaPalm) Velasco ’91, Vice President for Finance at XM Satellite Radio, opened the short formal program with a moving, personal testimony which revealed the powerful impact of a Christendom education upon her life and career. Beginning as a teenager resolved not to attend Christendom, Michele described a reluctant visit to campus, the awakening of her intellect and soul to Truth, an unexpected conversion of heart, and concluding with a “joyous present” – a deeply rooted love for Jesus Christ, family, and friends. Michele and her husband, MJ, have been actively involved with Christendom College and other non-profit organizations for nearly twenty years.

Also in attendance at the dinner was world renowned film producer and member of the 2008 Summer Institute faculty, Steve McEveety, who showed a brief and hilarious preview of his latest film production, An American Carol. The comedy, which follows an anti-American filmmakers’ experiences with three ghosts (ala A Christmas Carol), is set for an October 2008 release.

VP for Advancement John Ciskanik served as emcee for the President’s Council Awards Dinner. process; and meet the needs of students with enhanced student services.

As an expression of the profound appreciation that Christendom has for President’s Council members, President Timothy O’Donnell personally presented awards to members present for the occasion.

President’s Council membership is open to alumni, parents, and friends who meet or exceed the recognition level of $1,000 in annual support during the course of the fiscal year running June 1st to May 31st. Members may renew their gift annually to retain membership.

Beyond providing student scholarships and financial assistance, gifts from President’s Council members also attract quality faculty and support their professional development; sustain and upgrade the technological tools that are integral to the teaching and learning

Donors are invited to become President’s Council members at these levels: Founder’s Circle - $10,000 and above; Board Associate - $5,000 to $9,999; Sustaining Member - $2,500 to $4,999; and Member - $1,000 to $2,499. The following donors attended the 2nd annual President’s Council Awards Dinner. Founder’s Circle Mrs. Diane Cavazos Mr. and Mrs. Edvin Farinholt III Mr. William Stoops III Mr. and Mrs. Eugene Wurster Board Associates Mr. and Mrs. Chris Cuddeback Mr. Joseph Duggan Mr. Edward Ettner Mr. and Mrs. Corey Huber Mrs. Nancy Leahy Mr. and Mrs. M.J. Velasco Mr. and Mrs. Thomas West Sustaining Members Mr. and Mrs. Raymond Anater Mr. and Mrs. Marion Bickford Hon. and Mrs. Wayne Cobb Mrs. Lucie Dilger Mr. and Mrs. Michael Nelson

Dr. O’Donnell presents an award to Founder’s Circle members Mr. and Mrs. Ned Farinholt.


Venerunt, Viderunt, Dixerunt : Inaugural Latin Immersion Program Has Everyone Talking


They came, they saw, they spoke. Christendom held its inaugural Latin Immersion Program for twenty-six high school aged students from June 8-14.

Longtime friends of the College and Board Associates Mr. and Mrs. Chris Cuddeback.

Founder’s Circle members Mr. and Mrs. Gene Wurster.

Christendom Classics Professor Mark Clark and Professor David Morgan of Furman University taught students in the intensive Latin course, using the same method that modern language immersion programs use, as well as the Latin teaching traditions of the Church. Students found the program to be very challenging, yet at the close of the oneweek program, the students were longing for more, Clark said. Clark describes the classes as a type of intensive Latin Kindergarten. They used Orberg’s Lingua Latina, as well as dialogs from fifteenth, sixteenth, and seventeenth century courses, modifying them to suit the students’ needs. The Gospels were also used by mimicking the many conversations Jesus had with others. “It’s an easy way to teach youngsters how to begin to think with different thought structures,” Clark said. Besides studying Latin, students were able to go on a hike on the famous Skyline Drive and take a trip into nearby Washington, DC. “It was great to see the students speaking Latin outside the classroom as well,” Clark said. Clark started the program in response to a

serious need in the Church. “The Church has a treasury of Latin literature spanning almost two millennia, which is now sitting like an unnoticed trunk in the attic. Two generations ago, there were priests who knew Latin well enough to work on that tradition—the greatest historians of medieval theology in the twentieth century, for example, were priests and even bishops—but now only a handful survive,” he said. This, coupled with a failure by modern school systems to teach Latin, has created a dire need in the Church for those who can work fluently with Latin. “A sign of how bad things have gotten is that even Vatican documents are written in the vernacular and then translated into Latin that isn’t really Latin,” Clark said. “We are, in short, in real danger of being cut off from our own tradition. The need, therefore, is crystal clear.” Due to the enthusiasm of the students and a high level of interest, two one-week programs will be offered next year. The College only accepted 26 students into the program this year, but received applications from close to 50 students and had to place students on a waiting list. Next summer’s Latin Immersion Programs will be held from July 12-18 and from July 19-25. Interested students may register online beginning in October.

Mrs. Diane Cavazos accepts the Founder’s Circle award on her and her husband, Daniel’s,behalf.

Founder’s Circle Member Mr. William Stoops III.

Professor David Morgan and Christendom Classics Professor Dr. Mark Clark ran the Latin Immersion Program this past summer. Two one-week sessions are planned for the summer of 2009.


Grad School Celebrates Year of St. Paul with Special Courses


When Pope Benedict XVI declared 2008-09 a jubilee year in celebration of the 2000th anniversary of St. Paul’s birth, Christendom’s Notre Dame Graduate School was ready to answer the call.

with a special interest in Biblical inspiration and inerrancy. He is the director of the St. Jerome Biblical Guild (, an apostolate that promotes the study of Scripture within a theological and practical framework, and a frequent contributor to Latin Mass magazine.

Planned for the Spring ’09 semester is a course on the Acts of the Apostles, taught by Professor Stephen Pimentel, another NDGS alumnus. He is the author of two books on the Acts of the Apostles, both published by Emmaus Road: Witnesses of the Messiah and Envoy of the Messiah. In these commentaries, Professor Pimentel advances the covenantal approach to biblical theology, which employs typology to interpret the correspondences between biblical covenants. Pimentel has pre-

sented papers to the American Catholic Philosophical Association and he is the winner of a Templeton award for his 2004 essay, “The Natural Order and the Human Mind.”

Although plans are not yet definite, the grad school hopes to end this special year of St. Paul with a course focusing on Pauline theology as part of next summer’s Vita Consecrata Institute for consecrated persons (22 June – 1 August 2009).

Former Athletic Director Tom Vander Woude Gives Up His Life So That His Son May Live It is offering a year’s program of special courses focusing on the writings and theology of St. Paul. In fact, the first course in the series, “St. Paul and Salvation: Epistles to the Romans and Galatians,” had begun a week before the start of the jubilee year on June 29. Taught by Professor Salvatore Ciresi as part of the NDGS Summer Program, the course was chosen because these epistles reveal essential truths in soteriology, such as Christ’s redemptive sacrifice, the necessity of grace, the doctrine of justification, and the covenantal model within Salvation History. This fall, Professor Ciresi is teaching a course on St. Paul’s First Letter to the Corinthians. “This inspired tome is crucial for understanding St. Paul and many issues within the nascent and contemporary Church,” said Professor Ciresi. “Key topics such as the danger of schism, doctrinal orthodoxy and liturgical praxis, Christian morality, authentic charismatic gifts, and the centrality of the resurrection are treated in the letter.” Professor Ciresi is both an alumnus (1998) of NDGS and a regular professor at the Christendom Graduate School. He is a frequent lecturer on scriptural and apologetics topics,


On September 8, the Christendom community was saddened to learn that former Athletic Director Tom Vander Woude died in a tragic accident at his house in Nokesville, VA. Vander Woude was not only the former Athletic Director, but the father of 5 Christendom alumni; the father-in-law to two more alumni; and the grandfather of current Christendom College sophomore Mary Kate Vander Woude. Vander Woude died while trying to save his 20 year old son, Josie, who has Down syndrome, from drowning after he had fallen into the family’s septic tank. Once in the tank, Vander Woude ensured that Josie was able to be rescued, but in doing so, drowned to death, thus giving his life for his youngest son. According to family members, Vander Woude had gone to Mass that day, celebrating the birthday of the Blessed Virgin Mary, to whom he was deeply devoted. “Tom VanderWoude was a great man, a devout Roman Catholic, and great friend of the College,” said College President Timo-

thy O’Donnell. “He sent his children here and made an incredible contribution to not only our athletics program, but also to the larger life of the community here. Our hearts go out to his family at this time. He will be deeply missed.” Vander Woude served both as Christendom’s Athletic Director and as Career Development Officer from 2002 to 2007. As Athletic Director, he also coached the men’s basketball and soccer teams. His son, Fr. Tom Vander Woude, was the main celebrant (with 75 of his brother priests concelebrating – 9 of whom are Christendom alumni) of the funeral Mass on September 15, the feast of Our Lady of Sorrows, which was attended by close to 1800 people, including Bishop Paul Loverde of the Diocese of Arlington. Many people involved with Seton High School and Christendom College filled the pews and over 80 young boys and men served as altar boys. Please pray for the repose of the soul of this great man – and hero – and for the consolation of his wife, Mary Ellen, children, and grandchildren.

The Catholic College of Virginia

Overlooking the Shenandoah River in Front Royal, Virginia

National Reputation 2008-09 Facts & Figures Total Undergraduate Enrollment: 421 Degrees: Associate of Arts (A.A.), Bachelor of Arts (B.A.), Master of Arts (M.A.) Majors: English, History, Theology, Philosophy, Classics, Political Science; additional minors in Liturgical Music and Math Student Life: 45 States and 6 foreign countries Male to Female Ratio: 46:54 Freshmen SAT Midranges: Verbal: 570-700; Math: 520-620; Writing: 560-690 Freshman Retention Rate: 91% Graduation Rates: 4 year - 69%; 6 year 70% Student/Faculty Ratio: 14:1 Sports: Men’s Varsity Soccer, Basketball, Baseball, and Rugby; Women’s Varsity Soccer, Basketball, and Volleyball; Intramurals Study Abroad Program: Junior Semester in Rome Tuition/Room & Board/Fees: $25,444


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2009 Summer Programs “Experience Christendom” Summer Program for Rising High School Seniors E a c h y e a r, C h r i s t e n d o m welcomes over 100 rising high school seniors to its campus to experience what life would be like as a Christendom student. And every year, students are deeply impressed by what they experience during the program. During their stay on campus, they are given the rare opportunity to experience a truly Catholic culture where the Catholic Faith plays an important role in everything that they do; where Catholicism is the “air that they breathe.” Think of it as a “Catholic Immersion Program.” Students spend their mornings taking classes in Theology, Philosophy, Literature, and History (all of which are taught from a Catholic viewpoint by Christendom’s own faculty) in order to gain an appreciation for the liberal arts. After Mass, lunch, Benediction, and the Rosary, students spend their afternoons and evenings enjoying a number of recreational and social events, both in and around the Front Royal area, and in nearby Washington, DC.

One of the highlights of the program is the opportunity the students have to meet other young Catholics like themselves who are trying to live good, Catholic, well-balanced lives. Through this program, they make friends for life. Students can choose from three different sessions: two one-week programs and one two-week program. Space is limited to 40 students per session and limited financial assistance is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Full daily schedules for each of these three sessions may be found on Christendom’s website as the dates draw closer. Session 1: June 20-27 (one week) - Cost: $500 Registration deadline is May 22. Session 2: June 28-July 4 (one week) - Cost: $500 Registration deadline is May 29. Session 3: July 12-24 (two week) - Cost $950 Registration deadline is June 12.

Latin Immersion Program for High School Students Learn to speak and read Latin at the same speed you speak and read English during Christendom Classic Professor Mark Clark’s Latin Immersion Program. All classes will be conducted wholly in Latin, and students should expect to make substantial progress in active Latin. This program is designed for any high school aged student. Prior knowledge of Latin is preferred, although not required. Two oneweek sessions will be held: July 12-18 and July 19-25. Cost of the program, including room and board, is $895.00. Space is limited to 30 students per session. Register online at

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