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Instaurare The Christendom College Quarterly Magazine

Fall 2013

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College Surpasses Recruitment and Fundraising Goals

A Life-Changing Mission Trip Experience New Professors Join Faculty Beautifying the Founders Graveyard Fall 2013


From the President


As we begin the fall semester here at Christendom College, I wanted to reflect, for a moment, on the man who God, in His providence, has given us to be our Holy Father, Pope Francis. In his first address to young people, dealing with education, it’s interesting to hear and reflect upon what he emphasized. He says:

Dear young people, if I were to ask you now; why do you go to school what would your answer me? It would probably be a whole range of replies, according to the sensibility of each person. Yet I think they could all be summed up together that school is one of the educational environments in which we develop through learning. How does school help you grow? It helps not only by developing intelligence, but also by an integral formation of all the aspects of your personality. In following what St. Ignatius teaches, the main element of

Timothy T. O’Donnell, STD, KGCHS

The Holy Father concluded his remarks observing that in order to be magnanimous with inner freedom in a spirit of service, spiritual formation is necessary: Dear young people, love Jesus more and more! Our life is a response to His call, and you will be happy and will build your life well, if you answer this call. Our students are in the pursuit of an authentic liberal arts education—an education that will equip them for freedom and a life of service to God and neighbor—an arduous good. It will require of them discipline and sacrifice. As young Catholic Christians, our students are called to nobility and heroism, not self-indulgence. Here at Christendom, they have an outstanding faculty to help them on their journey. A staff in Student Life anxious to help them grow to maturity and become the person Christ wants them to be. They have a dedicated team of chaplains longing with paternal hearts to lead them more deeply into the life of

‘ As young Catholic

Christians, our students are called to nobility and heroism, not self-indulgence.’ grace. They are continually encouraged to take full advantage of what is offered to them—to not squander this time on the ephemeral, but pursue the True, the Good, and the Beautiful.

school is to learn to be magnanimous. Magnanimity: this virtue of the great and small, which always makes us look at the horizon. What does being magnanimous mean? It means having a great heart, having a greatness of mind; it means having great ideas, the wish to do great things, to respond to what God asks of us. Hence, also for this very reason do well the routine things of every day and all the daily actions, tasks, and meetings with people. Doing the little everyday things with a great heart open to God and to others.



In what remains of this “Year of Faith,” which reaches its culmination fittingly on our Patronal Feast, the Solemnity of Christ the King this November, let us take the words of Pope Francis to heart in deepening our faith. Let us strive to be magnanimous and let us be open and receptive to the beauty we find in each other and to give to others with a magnanimous heart the True, the Good, and the Beautiful. May God bless you all!

Table TableofofContents Contents 2 Our Best Year Ever Christendom began its 37th academic year on a high note, matching an all-time record enrollment as well as finishing the fundraising year well above the goal.



A Life-Changing Missionary Trip Katie Brizek (’14) explains how encountering the generosity of donors inspired her to attend one of the College’s life-changing mission trips.

5 Christendom in Ireland 9 News in Brief 10 Band of Brothers 11 Campus Expands with New Athletic Fields


12 New Professors Join Distinguished Faculty 14 Behind the Scenes at PRI 15 Faculty Notes 16 Great in Accomplishments: Graduate Class of 2013 18 College Welcomes New Executive Vice President 19 Full-Tuition Scholarship Competition Revamped



20 Dr. Carroll’s New Gravesite Plans and Final Book 21 Classmates: Alumni News 23 Advancement Office Notes

Instaurare Published quarterly by the Christendom College Marketing Office.

24 Photo Gallery: This Summer and More at Christendom IBC Omnia in Christo: Romano Guardini’s Catholic Environmentalism

Executive Editor: Tom McFadden Managing Editor & Layout: Niall O’Donnell Christendom College 134 Christendom Drive, Front Royal, VA 22630 800.877.5456 ~ Copyright © 2013. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is hereby granted, provided the following credit line is used: “Reprinted by permission from INSTAURARE, the quarterly magazine of Christendom College (” SUBSCRIPTION FREE UPON REQUEST.

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Instaurare magazine (pronounced “in-sta-rar-ay”) receives its name from the Latin in the college’s motto, “Instaurare Omnia In Christo” or “To Restore All Things in Christ.” Christendom College does not discriminate against any applicant or student on the basis of race, sex, color, or national origin.

Fall 2013



Christendom began its 37th academic year on a high note, matching an all-time record enrollment as well as finishing the fundraising year well above the goal. This is the first time in the College’s memorable history that both the Admissions and Advancement departments exceeded their goals in the same year.




From Summer to Fall, College Has Record Setting Year The College welcomed the largest class in its history to campus this fall. With 139 freshmen, coming from 31 different states as well as from Italy and Japan, the class of 2017 is already making its mark on the College community. “We normally have an average of 109 students in the incoming freshman class,” says Admissions Director Tom McFadden, “so the 139 is really quite a remarkable phenomenon. Interestingly, these incoming students have the highest SAT average over the past five incoming classes (1833), which should give them an advantage as they immerse themselves in our academically rigorous curriculum.” Last fall’s enrollment was 388, while this year, enrollment has soared to 421 students—an 8% increase over last year. Also, this year’s yield rate was much higher than normal, increasing from 51% to 60% in one year, which shows that Christendom students greatly valued being admitted to the College. Christendom’s yield rate of 60%

places it in the top ten amongst all liberal arts colleges in the nation, according to U.S. News & World Report’s 2012 rankings. The Advancement Office’s surge in its fundraising efforts came at the perfect time, as well. According to Vice President for Advancement John Ciskanik, Christendom’s donors exceeded the challenging Annual Fund goal of $2.17 million by nearly $185,000, for a final total of more than $2.35 million. “We owe these tremendous results to an incredible supporter base, which is dedicated to our relevant mission and to the fruit of significant investments in growing our Advancement Office and Christendom’s donor base,” he said. “Last year, for example, the College’s donor list expanded by a remarkable 35%.” This past summer was a remarkable one as well for the College, having hosted a variety of very successful events and programs.

Fall 2013


The summer began with the very popular Experience Christendom Summer Program for high school seniors. Celebrating its 15th year of offering these life-changing programs, the College held five one-week sessions and attracted a record 212 students from across the U.S. and beyond. “Based on the huge number of participants and their survey results, I am confident in saying that, amongst our competitors who offer similar programs, our summer program for high school seniors is the most popular and highly ranked in the nation,” says McFadden. “And we are working to keep it that way!” Christendom’s Graduate School held its annual six-week residential summer program on campus throughout June and July, drawing many students—both lay and religious—from all over the country. The annual graduation was held on August 3 where seven graduates received their Master of Arts in Theological Studies: Ryan Brady, Ramona Carter, Bradley Cypher, James Hannon, James May, Adam Richard, and Janna Stockinger. [See page 16.]

High school students enjoy an evening of bowling.

High school students get a taste of Catholic liberal arts.

The Vita Consecrata Institute held two two-week sessions which were very well-attended this year, as usual. Priests and religious from across the nation took part in a retreatlike setting, and refreshed their minds and souls through classes and liturgy. On July 13, Christendom hosted a one-day conference on Catholic history, featuring prominent historians from across the country. Over 230 attendees were given a Catholic perspective on topics that ranged from the Crusades to ecumenism with the Eastern churches. Held in the memory of the College’s founder, Dr. Warren Carroll, the conference was emceed by EWTN’s Marcus Grodi.

Graduate students at the residential summer program.

Conference speakers included Dr. Thomas Madden of Saint Louis University, Dr. Brad Gregory of the University of Notre Dame, as well as Christendom College’s own Dr. Timothy O’Donnell. College faculty members Dr. Christopher Shannon, Dr. Adam Schwartz, and Dr. Brendan McGuire also spoke at the conference. Dr. Madden explains the motivation behind the Crusades.





Christendom Launches Annual Summer Program in Ireland


In July, the College launched a new initiative, an annual study abroad program in Ireland called the St. Columcille Institute. For three weeks, 40 students stayed at the beautiful Ards Friary of County Donegal, which is located in the north of Ireland. Through the Institute’s college-level courses, students were given a better understanding of Catholicism, ensuring that they developed the ability both to evangelize and defend the Faith within secular society. Taught by Christendom faculty, students examined the patrimony of Western Christian Civilization through an in-depth study of theology, history, and literature.

The St. Columcille Institute 2013.

The Institute included many excursions outside the classroom.

“The program was so good,” said Mark Turner, a junior at Christendom, who attended the Institute. “The classes were inspiring and the excursions were fun, and Ireland is so naturally beautiful—especially Donegal. Just hiking and walking the 200 acres surrounding the friary was amazing.” The students ranked the program very highly and everyone is already anticipating next year’s Institute. For more information, visit

Papal Nuncio to Ireland, Archbishop Charles Brown, offered Mass. Fall 2013


the hand of


guiding my life by Katie Brizek (‘14)


My experience at Christendom has been invaluable to me, not just because of the solid education, but because of the experiences I’ve been able to have, which are no less than the hand of God guiding my life.

Last year, I began working in the Advancement Office three nights a week, calling the generous supporters of Christendom to thank them for their self-sacrifice. For hours, I would dial numbers, and—­­­­­most of the time— the phone would ring and ring until their voicemail answered. But every once in a while, I would have the opportunity to talk to a benefactor.

Their generosity also made me want to be generous. Since I don’t have the means financially, I looked into other ways to give. What I found was a mission trip.

In the spring of 2012, I went to Peru to assist the Missionary Servants of the Poor of the Third World. A group of women from Christendom, myself included, helped in their school, From the first moment I set foot in a orphanage, and hospital The conversations I’ve had are for handicapped and third world country, I saw that suffering amazing, being able ill girls. There, I was to hear the stories and impoverishment is very real. And introduced to poverty and appreciate the for the first time. We have it isn’t just real to these people—it’s richness and variety of all seen it on the TV, when the Christendom family. an organization is pleading everything. It’s their whole life. Every time I thanked a for money for the starving donor, my gratitude increased. I was struck with how children in Africa or Asia. We’ve seen the huts they live they pour themselves out for college students they’ve in and the tiny villages they inhabit, but it’s easy to be never even met. I understood how dependent I am detached. From the first moment I set foot in a third on their generosity, since without the financial aid I world country, I saw that suffering and impoverishment is very real. And it isn’t just real to these people—it’s receive from the school, I wouldn’t be able to attend Christendom. everything. It’s their whole life.



The guys stop for a group photo on the 2013 mission trip to Guatemala with College chaplain Fr. Donald Planty.

Being in Peru for ten days had me convinced that I wanted to do something concrete to help the millions in the world just like those girls who are in need of help. But when spring 2013 rolled around, my mother didn’t think it was fair to harass all my neighbors and relatives for the second year in a row. I was unable to raise the money to go on a mission to Guatemala. It was the first time Christendom was going, just as it was the first time the College went to Peru in 2012, and I was miserable. All of my friends were going on mission trips, eager to do their part, and packing excitedly. And I was packing a little bag to go home. I had spent weeks praying, and invoking St. Francis Xavier (patron of missionaries) to try to come to terms with the fact that I couldn’t go. On Thursday, February 28, I was sitting in the John Paul the Great Student Center after work, very sad about my upcoming spring break, while my friends all chattered about their upcoming trips. Then my brother came in and asked if I’d heard that one of the girls couldn’t go

Katie Brizek plays with one of the children from the hospital run by the Missionary Sisters of the Poor Jesus.

Fall 2013


on the mission trip. He asked me whether I knew if someone were filling her spot. I was speechless. I sat, stunned, unable to process what was going on, as my friends all urged me to call Mr. Brown, our mission trips coordinator. But there was one tiny detail: my passport was at home in New Jersey, and the bus for the airport was leaving in less than 12 hours. One of my friends offered to drive six hours to go get my passport, if I would just call Mr. Brown. So I did. At 5 p.m. I was going home and at 5:30 a.m. with passport in hand, I was going to Guatemala. And we were leaving campus in 7 hours. Even though all my friends had been packing for days, everything just fell into place. I waited nearly two hours to go to confession, and thank Christ for giving me this beautiful opportunity. Everyone lent me clothes, and other necessities like travel size shampoo and sunscreen. I had close to no information about where we were going or what we were doing. All I knew was I was going to Guatemala. I was so overcome that I sat in the middle of the cafeteria during dinner crying, unable to eat a bite. The trip was everything I knew it would be. The people in Guatemala are poor and suffering. Even the Sisters we worked with had very little by American standards. And yet they were so happy doing Christ’s work, pouring their life into helping those in need. In Guatemala, the primary problem is that the children are malnourished, and, because of this, they’re very sick. We went into the mountains with the Sisters one day with medicine. Mother sat in their tiny chapel all day, seeing children and administering antibiotics, while we played with the kids. It was astounding when each of us went in to listen to Mother. The children we were playing with were so happy and mischievous and childlike, yet they were so sick they should’ve been laying in bed. I witnessed Mother tell a little boy that she couldn’t help him; he had 8


to go to the city and see a doctor. But the boy knew he couldn’t because his parents couldn’t afford a physician. It was heartbreaking. We spent most of the week chopping wood with machetes in the forest. The wood we chopped enabled the Sisters to make tortillas and beans for the children, their primary food source. We helped around the convent and hospital, taking care of the children and doing maintenance and yard work. It was amazing to see my fellow students pouring themselves out in self-gift for these children as they toiled on behalf of the unfortunates. Every morning we attended Mass, consecrating our work to Christ. Without the time we took for prayer, the work would have been long and laborious. Instead, it was rigorous and satisfying. The experiences I’ve had on these mission trips wouldn’t have been possible without Christendom and the missions program. Since these trips, I have been seriously considering dedicating my life to service of the poor. Whether that be forever or for a year, abroad or in my hometown, I don’t know. But I do know I never would have discovered this without Christendom.


Philosophy Professor Dr. John Cuddeback launched a new webpage and blog dedicated to sharing his work in the Philosophy of Family and Household. The site features a brief mini-course on Household according to Aristotle, as well as a weekly Wednesday quotation and reflection on household.

The College expanded Radio Christendom to include WHFW 89.7 FM in Winchester, Va. The station is broadcasting a simulcast of EWTN Catholic Radio currently heard on WXDM 90.3 FM in Front Royal, Va. The station, with an 185W-powered signal, covers the entire Winchester area, reaching over 89,000 people.

In a new report, ranked the College as one of the top 20 Christian colleges in the nation for student success and satisfaction. The report also ranked Christendom as one of the top five selective Christian schools in the nation.

College President Dr. Timothy O’Donnell appeared on EWTN Live with Fr. Mitch Pacwa on September 4 where they discussed the life of St. Peter, before the airing of a new film on the life of the saint.

Fall 2013


BANDOFBROTHERS L-R: Peter (’16), Johnny (’14), and Stephen (‘17) Foeckler.


Christendom College has a tradition of attracting many members of the same family to its campus. For the past thirty-five years, the College’s rigorous academics and Catholic formation have inspired confidence in parents across the country—so much so that many families send child after child after child—seeing the difference it makes in each one of their lives. This fall, there are 58 sets of siblings on campus, with 9 of those having three children concurrently enrolled (Murphys, Cintorinos, Arnolds, Flaggs, Kellys, Millers, Wenzels, Willsons, and Foecklers), and the Ellis family with four (Greg, Katie, Kevin, and Bernadette). This year, Stephen Foeckler became the fourth from his family to enroll at the College. He joins two of his brothers currently enrolled, Peter (’16) and Johnny (’14). Their oldest brother, Chris, graduated in 2012 and now teaches at a school located down the road from the College. “Having siblings here has really helped my experience so far at Christendom,” Stephen says. “They have already made it clear to me that if I need any help with anything,



I need only ask. Already, after only a few weeks, they have helped a lot.” Having grown up together playing soccer at Seton School in Manassas, Va., Stephen says that he relishes the opportunity to continue that tradition during the college years. The brothers recently played together in a tournament at Valley Gorge, Penn., where the Crusaders placed first. (See trophy in picture above.)

Campus Expands with New Athletic Fields

“Having a sibling here at Christendom adds an aspect of familiarity,” Johnny says. “I have always been pretty close with my brothers and it has been great to share the college experience with them.” With three children enrolled, the Foeckler family has been able to take advantage of the College’s family discount plan. The second student of the same family who is simultaneously enrolled receives a 25% tuition discount, while the third and fourth enrolled at the same time receive a 50% tuition discount. Their parents, Eugene and Aileen, credit the legacy of College founder Warren H. Carroll for their children being immersed in the history, the heritage, and the living spirit of the Church. “They are taught to give everything—mind, body, and heart—to Christ,” Eugene says. “We did not attend Christendom College ourselves, but we have known many graduates over the years. Pius XII said, ‘Religious, honest, cultured, open minded, and enterprising—this is how we would like to see youth come forth from the schools.’ We have seen Pius XII’s hope fulfilled in Christendom graduates. This is why we want our sons to attend Christendom College.”


This past summer, the College broke ground on two new sports fields. After the College purchased new property to the east of the campus in the early months of 2013, the decision was made to move forward in developing part of the property into athletic fields. The fields will serve many needs for the students, including the long-awaited opportunity to have home soccer and rugby games on campus. “The project has brought incredible excitement to all connected with Christendom,” Athletic Director Chris Vander Woude says. “Once the students arrived back on campus in August and the soccer teams got going, the enthusiasm only grew as the talk of home games right on campus spread. The new fields will not only allow for the fun and high spirit of home games, but it will greatly enhance all aspects of the athletic and intramural program.” Over the past few years the soccer and the men’s rugby teams have been some of the most successful teams for the College. Campion field, despite being maintained and monitored each year, has been overwhelmed from the use of soccer teams, three annual football games, and rugby in the spring. With the purchase of the new east property, which is directly across from the chapel, Vice President of Operations Mike Foeckler pursued the immediate development of the athletic fields. A plan was formulated with the help of Premier Sports Fields, LLC, which included a competition soccer and rugby field, complete with Bermuda grass and fully automated irrigation system, as well as a practice field, also with irrigation and Bermuda grass. The competition field had sod installed to increase the possibility of having some home soccer games even this season. The practice field will be seeded with Bermuda grass and will be available for use beginning the summer of 2014. The field will include new equipment as well, including team benches and bleachers for all of the fans, known as the Christendom Crazies. When Instaurare went to press the men’s soccer team was undefeated after six games, and had an overwhelming goal margin of 44-2 for the Crusaders. Things are looking good for this season. Above Sean Salmon flies past the competition in a game against Allegheny College. 2013 11 11 Fall Fall 2013

New Professors Join Distinguished Faculty


The members of Christendom College’s faculty dedicate their lives to teaching, giving Christendom a well-earned reputation as an institution that places undergraduate learning at the center of its mission. This year, the College welcomed four new professors to its full-time faculty.

c l e W

Christopher Lane first joined the Christendom faculty in August 2012 as a visiting lecturer, and this fall, was hired as an Assistant Professor of History. After graduating from Christendom College with a B.A. in 2003, he received an M.A. in History from Saint Louis University. He received a second M.A. in History from the University of Notre Dame, where he is near the completion of his Ph.D. His dissertation, entitled “The Diversity of Vocations: Choosing a State of Life in Early Modern France,” explores how vocational discernment practices developed in relation to religious rigorism, parental authority, and royal law. He has received several academic fellowships, including a 2010-2011 Bourse Marandon from the Society of French and Francophone Professors of America, which funded an academic year of research in Parisian archives and libraries. He resides in Front Royal, Va., with his wife Dixie, a historian, and their daughter, Mary.

Michael Kelly, like Professor Lane, first joined the Christendom faculty in August 2012 as a visiting lecturer and is now an Assistant Professor of History. He attended the University of Oregon and received his bachelor’s degree in 2003 with majors in History and English and a minor in Medieval Studies. He received his M.A. in History from St. Louis University in 2005 and then transferred to the University of Notre Dame to study early modern European history. While a graduate student, he received Presidential Fellowships from St. Louis University and Notre Dame and a dissertation fellowship from the Kellogg Institute for International Studies, enabling him to do archival research in England. He received his Ph.D. in History from Notre Dame in 2013. Kelly specializes in the social and cultural history of the British Isles in the early modern period. He is recently married; at the present time, his wife teaches anatomy at the veterinary college at Oregon State University.



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Ben Reinhard attended Purdue University and earned his B.A. in History and Medieval Studies in 2006. He began graduate study in the Medieval Institute at the University of Notre Dame in the fall of 2006, received his M.M.S. (Master’s of Medieval Studies) in 2008, and his Ph.D. this past September. He has spent the last couple years teaching “writing and rhetoric” and working on his dissertation, which focuses on estates literature in Anglo-Saxon England. Reinhard married his wife, Hannah, in May 2012, and a baby followed in February 2013. He is now an Assistant Professor of English Language and Literature.

Andrew Beer studied at Hillsdale College where he first discovered the gigantic beauty of Latin and Greek. He continued his classical studies at Bryn Mawr College, where he met his wife and fellow student of Classics, who helped him discover the gigantic beauty of the Catholic Faith. He taught Latin for two years in Fort Worth, Texas, then returned to school at the University of Virginia, where he completed his Ph.D. in Classics with a dissertation titled, “Socrates and the Art of Healing Souls: A Study in Socratic Rhetoric.” He is an Assistant Professor in the department of Classical and Early Christian Studies, where he strives to help his students better appreciate the insight of St. Justin Martyr that: ὅσα παρὰ πᾶσι καλῶς εἴρηται ἡµῶν χριστιανῶν ἐστιν, “to Christians belongs all

that has ever been beautifully said.”

Fall 2013


BEHIND THE SCENES @ PRI Alumni Fight for the Culture of Life


“I want to wake up in the morning and know that my work is making a difference in the world,” alumna Mary Harrington says. A history major from the class of 2011, she works as a builder relations specialist at the Population Research Institute (PRI), located in Front Royal, Va. And she’s not the only alum there. Four members of the class of 2013 recently joined her there: Susannah Cavanaugh as the marketing and communications coordinator, and Matthew Camp, Charles Van Hecke, and Steven Wood as development specialists. A non-profit research group, PRI works to expose the myth of overpopulation, to expose human rights abuses committed in population control programs, and to make the case that people are the world’s greatest resource. Harrington says that she was drawn to work in the prolife movement by the example of her parents and her experiences as a sidewalk counselor for the College’s prolife group, Shield of Roses, which travels to Washington, D.C., each Saturday morning to pray in front of a

“My first hire, when I arrived in Front Royal in 1996, was a Christendom College graduate, Sarah Dateno. I was immediately impressed with both Sarah’s knowledge of the Catholic faith and her ability to put ideas on paper. But she brought something even more valuable to our office. She was on fire with a missionary zeal to live out her faith in our common vocation of pro-life work. Over the years, perhaps two dozen graduates have followed in her footsteps and have contributed, in various ways, to saving countless lives.” - Steve Mosher President, PRI 14


Planned Parenthood clinic and provide counseling to the women and men who plan on entering. “Seeing so many women and couples walking into the abortion mill is hard to watch. It definitely made me more determined to help stop it,” she says. Harrington and her fellow alumni make up over 60% of the staff at PRI. “At PRI, we have long valued the Christendom student who becomes a team member, and many have passed through our halls,” Executive Vice President Joel Bockrath says. He describes Christendom students as “authentic, bright activists” who come “ready to approach the issues of our day with the mind of the Church” and credits Christendom’s “faithful program and formation.” “I can say unequivocally that they’ve caught the sacred fire and intend ‘to restore all things in Christ,’” he says. “Who wouldn’t want a Christendom graduate?”

L-R: Susannah Cavanaugh, Mary Harrington, Matthew Camp, Charles Van Hecke, and Steven Wood.

Faculty Notes Professor Michael Kelly, Assistant Professor of History, successfully defended his dissertation entitled, “The Invasion of Things Sacred: Church, Property, and Sacrilege in Early Modern England,” on August 23, and thus completed all the requirements for the Ph.D. in History from the University of Notre Dame. Prof. Andrew Beer, Assistant Professor of Classical and Early Christian Studies, will deliver a scholarly paper entitled, “The Two Kinds of Rhetoric in Plato’s Gorgias,” at the 145th Annual Meeting of the American Philological Association. Prof. Sebastian Carnazzo, Graduate School Adjunct Lecturer in Sacred Scripture and Catechetics, published five papers in Theosis magazine on topics which included, “When the Fishermen were filled with Wisdom: A Biblical Analysis of the Festal Troparion for Pentecost,” and “The Waters of the New Creation: A Biblical Analysis of the Festal Troparion for Theophany.” Prof. Salvatore Ciresi, Graduate School Adjunct Instructor of Theology, gave two lectures for the RCIA program at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Fredericksburg, Va.: “The Credibility of the Gospels” and “The Authority of Scripture in Relation to Tradition and the Magisterium.” Prof. John Cuddeback, Professor of Philosophy, launched a website and blog, [see page 9]. Prof. William Diem, Adjunct Instructor of Theology, wrote a review for journal publication in final revision of C. Stephen Evans’ “God and Moral Obligation” and delivered a set of eight video

lectures aimed at high school students, covering the Church’s teaching on life issues, for the American Life League. Prof. Christopher Lane, Assistant Professor of History, continues as a regular contributor to the “Standard Bearers” column at Crisis Magazine. Most recently, he wrote a piece entitled, “The Holy Household of Louis and Zélie Martin.” Prof. William Luckey, Professor of Political Science and Economics, finished his book, A Catholic Economic Perspective on Wealth Creation, which will be published by the Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and liberty. Prof. William Marshner, Professor of Theology, has completed a translation of Josef Kleutgen’s “Pre-modern Philosophy” (Philosophie der Vorzeit, 2nd Ed., Innsbruck, 1878) to be published by St. Augustine’s Press. Prof. R.J. Matava, Graduate School Assistant Professor of Theology, delivered a conference paper which will be revised and submitted for publication: “Aquinas on Divine Operation and Human Cooperation in Justification.” Prof. Christopher Shannon, Associate Professor of History, presented a paper at Oxford University on the research he has done on his Religion and Innovation in Human Affairs project, “The Salvation of the Nations: Sacred and Secular Narratives of Progress in the Postwar West.” He also presented a paper on Romano Guardini at a conference in Catholic environmentalism sponsored by the organization Creatio [see inside back cover].

Fall 2013




The Graduate School’s class of 2013 may be few in number, but they are great in accomplishments. While seven graduates is significantly smaller than recent classes, which averaged close to 20 degree recipients, the majority of the graduates will continue their studies at schools such as Kings College at the University of London, Ave Maria University, and the Pontifical University of Saint Thomas Aquinas (the Angelicum). This class also features the Graduate School’s first student to earn his degree completely online. Meet the class of 2013.


Born in Toronto, Ryan Brady studied at Thomas Aquinas College before transferring to La Salle University where he earned a bachelor’s degree in Religion. He also spent several years in a contemplative monastery before deciding to pursue a more active apostolate. Having earned his M.A. in Systematic Theology, he is now studying in the doctoral program in Theology at Ave Maria University, and he hopes eventually to teach theology at a college or seminary.


A recent convert to the Faith, Janna Stockinger has had a long and varied career. She attained her B.S. in Political Science and an M.A. in Contemporary European History from the University of Arizona, and had a Graduate Certificate from the Long Island/ United Nations University before earning another master’s degree in International Relations from Columbia University. She worked all over the U.S. and in Japan before beginning her studies at Christendom. Stockinger’s concentration at Christendom was Moral Theology, and she has future plans to pursue a doctorate in theology.




3 Northern Virginia native Bradley Cypher came to

Christendom with a B.A. in History from the University of Mary Washington, and after teaching at Our Lady of Hope Catholic School in Sterling, Va. His concentration was Systematic Theology, and he is continuing his theological education this fall at the Pontifical Faculty of the Immaculate Conception (Dominican House of Studies) in Washington, D.C.

4 Boston native James Hannon earned his B.A. in

Philosophy with a minor in Theology from Christendom College in 2011. He served as Residence Director at Christendom while studying at the Graduate School. Now with his M.A. in Systematic Theology, he is pursuing a doctorate in Theology at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas (Angelicum) in Rome.



Catechetical Program Administration The Christendom Graduate School is re-designing its catechetics program to better prepare its students for the new evangelization, and the first of the new courses is offered this fall. “Catechetical Program Administration” is a practical course on how to run a parish program in catechesis or evangelization, such as religious education, youth ministry, adult education, parish evangelization, or RCIA. It includes such topics as planning, budgeting, hiring, catechist formation, catechetical methods and models, choosing instructional materials, parent education, and program assessment. 5 James (Jimmy) May, an engineer and father of three

from Louisville, Ky., earned both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Engineering from the University of Louisville. He is very active in apostolic activities, from coaching a local Catholic high school basketball team and leading activities for the local young adult group to evangelizing his coworkers via Bible study sessions. May was one of the first students to enroll in Christendom’s online program, and he is the first to earn the M.A. completely online.

6 Adam Richard, from Baton Rouge, La., earned his B.A.

in Sociology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and began his graduate theology studies at Ave Maria University before transferring to Christendom. He has taught the Faith in RCIA and parish religious education programs, and intends to use his new theology education to “teach, evangelize and further the mission of Christ’s Church on earth.” Richard is now in England, beginning graduate studies in medieval history at Kings College, University of London.

The instructor of the course, Professor Noelle Hiester, has master’s degrees in both Theology and Business Administration, which make her uniquely qualified to teach this course, especially when added to her experience in the classroom and running religious education programs.

Ramona Carter [not pictured below] is a wife and mother of three from Northern Virginia. She is a graphic designer with a B.F.A. degree in Graphic Design, although most recently most of her design work has been pro-bono for her parish and children’s school. She teaches CCD and Theology of the Body for Teens, and hopes to continue this work with teens now that she has finished her degree. She is particularly interested in topics such as human sexuality, marriage, the dignity/ vocation of women, and woman’s particular unique gifts and would like to help form women in the Church’s teachings in these areas.

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Fall 2013


College Welcomes New Executive Vice President


Christendom College welcomed Ken Ferguson, C.P.A., as its new Executive Vice President early this summer. Ferguson joins the College administration after serving on its board of directors for six years. “I am so happy to be able to serve the mission of this great Catholic institution,” Ferguson says. “Christendom is unique in its dedication to the promotion of Truth and is a beacon of hope for Catholics worldwide. I’m hopeful that my professional expertise will serve as a valuable resource in the management of college affairs, and will continue as such in the years to come.” Ferguson began his career as a consultant to the entertainment industry in Los Angeles, working for MGM, United Artists, Dino Delaurentiis, and many other studios. He later joined Dino DeLaurentiis, where he financed several feature films including “King Kong” and “Blue Velvet.” He then became the CFO for Dick Clark at the young age of 29, and managed all of Dick’s publicly traded entertainment businesses, which included American Bandstand, as well as feature films. Ferguson brought his family to Washington, D.C., when he was appointed as the COO for National Geographic Television and Film. There, he helped launch the National Geographic Channel and their feature film business which produced “K-19,” which starred Harrison Ford, as well as “Snow Dogs” with Cuba Gooding, Jr., for Disney. At National Geographic, he helped acquire, develop, and distribute the Academy Award winning movie “March of the Penguins.” Success with “March

of the Penguins” fueled Ferguson’s start of his own film production and technology company, MpowerMedia WorldWide, which produced “Bella” and “The Stoning of Soraya M,” both of which won best Picture Awards at the Toronto Film Festival—an unprecedented achievement. Ferguson appreciates how the College environment embraces Catholicism as a way of life, the effects of which he says, “are lasting and integral to having a positive impact on the culture. Catholicism is at the forefront in all aspects of campus life.” Ferguson is now the Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Office at Christendom College, replacing long time employee, Mark McShurley [see Noteworthy].

Notewor thy The College released a new promotional video entitled, “Tomorrow’s Leaders. Here Today.” Produced by the College’s Marketing Office, the video consists of student insights into how a Christendom education helps them become leaders in society.



Mark McShurley retired from his position as the College’s Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer this spring. McShurley served the College for 31 years, leading it through many challenging years.

Full-Tuition Scholarship Competition Revamped


Entering its fourth year, the annual Padre Pio FullTuition Scholarship Competition will see some changes this year. In past years, participants in the prestigious competition could travel to campus on a number of different occasions throughout the year to interview with faculty, but this year, all competitors will need to come to campus for a single one-day event in early spring, tentatively set for Friday, March 7, 2014. In addition to applying for the scholarship and to the College itself, students will be required to write a specific essay and meet certain academic requirements. In particular, students must have an SAT score of 2060 (all three sections combined) or higher or ACT score of 31 or above. Parents of competitors are also encouraged to attend and the admissions office plans on having a full-schedule of events, activities, and talks geared toward them. 2013 Padre Pio Scholarship Recipients: Grace Mooney

“We are expecting between 40-60 applicants to take part and Carolyn Manion. in the competition this year,” says Admissions Director Tom McFadden. “And once we enact our plan to revamp our academic Dear Donors, scholarship program, and increase the amount adventures ic and spiritual em ad ac ur o n of money we give out, I am sure that our itude to en embarking o express our grat As two freshm to e lik d incoming students will be more than pleased ul o w College, we ecial way. We at Christendom College in a sp e with the financial packages they will be offered th f o n o si is for ort the m provided funds ho w from Christendom this year.” those who supp se o th f o ty a Catholic te the generosi enthusiasm for ur greatly apprecia Yo p. hi rs la our spiritual ll-Tuition Scho McFadden is referring to the fact that our studies and the Padre Pio Fu ke ta to us s al ar ts ation inspire the College is currently restructuring its to pursue a liber n io at in liberal ar ts educ rm te de larship. Presidential academic scholarship award e next level. Our ceiving the scho re f o formation to th r no ho e th amounts, and is looking to make academic the Good, augmented by uit of the Tr ue, rs education was pu e th rt o scholarship money available to even more ll our willing to supp urage us to fulfi People like you, co en , students, as well as offering full-tuition us e lik ts llege. l by studen lic liberal ar ts co ho at C and the Beautifu scholarships to all National Merit Scholarship ly al tic en keep in ents at an auth ur year s, we will Finalists. fo vocations as stud xt ne e th r Padre Pio our studies ove offered by the ity As we continue un rt o pp o e er s blessing of th For more information about the Padre Pio Full you in our pray ep ke ill w e mind the great w , ty rosi Tuition Scholarship Competition, or any of the dful of your gene ist. scholarship. Min all things in Chr re o College’s scholarship opportunities, please go to st re to r o as we endeav In Christ,

Fall 2013


College to Beautify Founders Graveyard


College founder Dr. Warren H. Carroll died on July 17, 2011 and was buried in a plot located behind Regina Coeli Hall, overlooking the Shenandoah River, on July 24 of that year. In the fall of 2012, a beautiful headstone was created for the College’s late founder, and in the fall of 2013, the College hopes to complete the beautification of the site, with the help of its many friends and alumni. The plans involve the construction of a stone archway and custom iron fence at the site where other members of the founding faculty will also be buried. The Founders Graveyard, as it will be called, will pay tribute to the sacrifices made by these pioneers in the rejuvenation of faithful Catholic higher education. The College is calling on the alumni, faculty, staff, students, benefactors, and friends of Christendom to come together and raise the needed funds to begin work on this project. Already, over $13,000 has been raised toward the $40,000 goal.

To make a tax-deductible donation online, visit or for more information contact Tom McFadden at

Christendom in Crisis is Focus of Carroll’s Last Book


This past summer, Christendom Press released the final volume in Dr. Warren Carroll’s A History of Christendom series. The sixth in the series, The Crisis of Christendom is concerned with the “crises” which plagued humanity during the modern era. The book was brought to completion posthumously with the help of his wife and fellow historian, Anne W. Carroll. The book discusses in detail Nazi and Japanese militarism and its crisis in World War II, the inhumane system of Communism and its fall in 1989, and the origins and consequences of the denial of human dignity in the modern culture of death. Carroll shows the power of evil in the twentieth century, but focuses also on the great



popes, in particular Pope John Paul II, and the great apparitions of the Marian Century. He ends with a call to hope and action. In this book, Carroll holds true to his first principles and what he called “the watch words of Christendom College:” Truth exists. The Incarnation happened. The long-awaited sixth and final volume to the highly regarded History of Christendom covers the years 1815 through 2005. This series is the only in-print, comprehensive narration of Western history written from an orthodox Catholic perspective. The book can be ordered directly from AmP Publisher’s Group by visiting

CLASSMATES [your paper & ink alumni social network]

1980’s Frank Nicely (’86) is the principal at St. William of York Catholic school in Stafford, Va. As principal, he has hired a number of Christendom graduates to work for him, with three on staff this fall: Brittany (Smith) Saibini (’05), Kathleen Deighan (’13), and Alexis Thornton (’13). Gloria Falcao Dodd (’87) has published her first book, The Virgin Mary: Mediatrix of All Grace, with the Academy of the Immaculate. John Hofbauer (’89) is the Chair, Division of Philosophy and Religious Studies, at Mount Saint Mary’s College in Newburgh, N.Y. Coincidentally, he works with Paul O’Herron, (Christendom professor Ray O’Herron’s brother), who teaches philosophy there.

Theodore Schwalm (’94) competed in the International Judo Federation World Kata Championships in Kyoto, Japan, last October. He was one of 14 Judoka representing the United States, and he performed the Katame no Kata (a demonstration of holds, chocks, and joint locks) with his training partner of 7 years, Brent Smith. Qualification for this event was based on performance at the National Championships. John and Gretchen Bowes (both ‘97) recently welcomed their 5th child, Samuel, and are currently moving from the Kansas City area to Omaha, Neb. There, John will work aboard the National Airborne Operations Center based at Offutt Air Force Base.

1990’s Peter Jensen (‘99) and Heather (Tansey) Jensen (‘03) had their first child, Conor Nicholas Jensen, on June 23, weighing 9 lbs., 2 oz., and measuring 21 inches.

On July 1st, Mary Lou Loftus (’93) and her husband, Sean, welcomed their second boy, Patrick Finn. His sisters Maureen, Caitlin, Colleen, and Bridget were hoping for a 4th of July baby, but Mom and Dad were happy that he was just two days late! His brother, Ryan, was the first to hold his new brother, and is finding it fun to help with the new baby.

2000’s Christopher Bukowski (’00) is a Senior Associate with Christian Estate Planning in Va. He graduated from Christendom College with a B.A. in Philosophy and then went on to graduate from Ave Maria School of Law with a primary focus on estate planning.

Sarah (Aronhime) Harris (’02) is currently engaged as a solo-attorney in Kentucky, focusing on wills, trusts, and some areas of family law, particularly adoptions. Ben and Theresa (Ford) Fisher (‘03) welcomed their seventh child in March. Anna Francesca Genevieve arrived the day after the election of Pope Francis, and hopes to be one of many in the Christendom class of 2035 bearing the name of the new pontiff. Michael and Elizabeth McGuirk (both ’03) are excited that their daughter Helen’s kindergarten teacher this year is fellow Christendom alumna Bethany Sargis (’03)! There are also three other Christendom graduates on the staff at the school, Our Lady of Hope Catholic School, in Va.:Theresa O’Herron (‘08), Monica Clark (‘10), and Angela (Sus) Matske (‘11). Joan Watson (‘06) was recently promoted to Assistant Director of the Office of Catechetics at Aquinas College. She and two Nashville Dominican Sisters teach all the catechists in the dioceses of Nashville, Knoxville, Tenn., and Lexington, Ky. She is also an adjunct professor at Aquinas College. James Minick (’06) has a law practice based out of Asheville, N.C. His firm, Minick Law, P.C., now has a team of four attorneys working on Criminal and Traffic, Personal Injury, and Worker’s Compensation cases. Please visit for more information.

1st Lt. James Peter Kromhout (‘07) is an Army Ranger in Afghanistan serving until February of 2014. He has Dick Winters’ job with Easy Company (for those familiar with “Band of Brothers”). His wife, Clare (O’Reilly) Kromhout (‘07), welcomed their firstborn son, Peter Roland, on July 3. Roland is named after the famous nephew/general of Charlemagne, and defender of Christendom against the Moors. “The Song of Roland” was part of the curriculum at Christendom College. Fatherson picture taken when Roland was one week old.

Derek and Bethany (Zuniga) Rogers (’07) welcomed their second daughter into the world on September 4. Big sister, Kateri Joy (2), is thrilled to have Avila Hope home and keeps wondering when she will stay awake long enough to play. Louis Massett (’08) is now the principal at Tyburn Academy (middle-high school) in Auburn, N.Y.

Fall 2013


Sarah (Daley) and Matthew Rose (both ’08) were married at St. John the Baptist Church in Front Royal, Va., on June 29. Former Christendom chaplain Fr. John Heisler officiated the beautiful ceremony, made more wonderful by the many friends and family who attended. Alumni comprised almost half the bridesmaids, all of the groomsmen, the DJ, the photographer, and a quarter of the guests. It was like a mini-Homecoming! Sarah and Matthew happily reside in Manassas, Va. Sister Mary Lawrence Wright, O.P. [formally Elizabeth Wright] (’08) made final vows with the Congregation of St. Cecilia (Nashville Dominicans) on July 22.

In June 2013, 1st Lt. Rand L. Brown II,USMC (‘08) returned from a two-year tour overseas in Okinawa, Japan. While assigned to 3rd Marine Logistics Group, he was deployed to Korea, Thailand, the Philippines, and helped organize the 68th Memorial Reunion for American Pacific War veterans on the island of Iwo Jima. He is currently assigned to 2nd Tank Battalion, 2nd Marine Division, and has recently accomplished his life-long dream of living on a beach. You can find him there in Topsail, N.C., at anytime.



Sr. Immaculata (Brittany) Scheidler (’09) made temporary profession in the Apostolic Sisters of St. John on September 29, in Semur-enBrionnais, France.

Joseph Ruhl and Lisa Irwin (both ’11) were married on August 17. Lisa recently graduated from Mount Saint Mary’s College in Los Angeles on August 9 with a BSN degree.

Maura McMahon (’09) recently was hired at the Front Royal Pregnancy Center as the Administrative Assistant and Outreach Coordinator.

David Frank (’12) entered seminary for the Archdiocese of New Orleans this August, and is studying at Notre Dame Seminary in New Orleans as part of the class of 2018.

2010’s Sarah Miranda (’10) graduated from the Pontifical John Paul II Institute this past May with a M.T.S. for studies on marriage and family. She is beginning her first year at St. Jerome Academy in Hyattsville, Md., as a 3rd grade teacher. After having spent two years as the Assistant Director of Religious Education at St. Andrew the Apostle Parish in Clifton, Va., Sarah Marchand (’10) was recently promoted to the Director’s position. She is personally involved with the Faith formation of approximately 500 children in grades K-8.

Jeannie (Goeckner) Bock (’10) and her husband, Ken, had a baby girl, Cassidy Anne, earlier this year. Nick Petersen (‘11) has been accepted by the Diocese of Arlington, Va., to begin formation for the priesthood at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in Philadelphia, Pa.

Chris Foeckler (’12) recently finished a year of teaching at Holy Family Academy, a private Catholic K-12 school in Manassas, Va., and is now working at Chelsea Academy in Front Royal, Va. He is engaged to Elizabeth Sartor (‘12) and will be getting married on December 28. Tyler Lowe (’12) is currently the Director of Online Education at the Federalist Society. She recently participated in the Koch Associates Program and the National Review Institute’s Washington Scholars Program. She was selected to participate in the inaugural Carolina Summer Academy. These young leaders and scholars spent five days at Palmetto Bluff resort in Bluffton, S.C., where they were joined by celebrated scholars and proven leaders from around the world to debate, ponder, and learn about the fundamental principles of a free and prosperous society. Lizzie Crnkovich (’12) is currently in Europe teaching the children of a duke and duchess. When she is not teaching, she is kept busy exploring their 741 acre farm on the Baltic, spending time and playing with the young dukes, and visiting the local sites. This is all thanks to a Dr. Mark Clark (former Classics professor) connection and recommendation. Luke Tillotson (’13) works in Christendom’s Advancement Office as the Phonathon Manager and Assistant Database Administrator.

Nicholas Blank (’13) and John McFadden (’13) have begun their discernment toward the priesthood this fall. Blank has entered Mount St. Mary’s Seminary for the Diocese of Arlington while McFadden has joined the contemplative Benedictine monks at Our Lady of the Annunciation of Clear Creek Abbey in Oklahoma. Philip Briggs (’13) was recently promoted to an Assistant Wine Producer at Rappahannock Cellars in Va. Lisa Vicente (’13) works with some friends who have started their own traditional vestment business (vianneyvestments. com). Besides the actual vestment sets themselves, they will be making church related items: altar cloths, banners, tabernacle veils, etc. Additionally, Lisa works for Seton Homestudy doing grading and curriculum development, as well as aiding in the development of a Catholic Homeschooling Spanish Online Course for High School. Alexis Thornton (’13) teaches at St. William of York Catholic School in Stafford, Va. She is teaching logic, Latin, and literature. She is very excited because it means that she is actually using her philosophy degree. Chris Roberts (’13) is now the executive project coordinator at The Philanthropy Roundtable.

Send your submissions to or complete the info update form at

A dva n c e m e n t O f f i c e N o t e s C is ka n ik Fr o m th e D es k o f Jo h n

in the Shenandoah ever visited our campus here e hav rs cto efa ben r ou of f e with you. Since less than hal integral aspects of the Colleg few a ing iew rev by ur” “to Valley, let me take you on a mitment to is a sign of strength and com r yea s thi nt me oll enr ord Academics: First, our rec ools’ reaccreditation visit ociation of Colleges and Sch Ass rn the Sou the d, on Sec itation with no our mission. s for improvement. Reaccred on ati nd me om rec or s ng rni last year offered no wa ic institution. is a sign of a well-run academ and e abl nd me com is s on ati recommend and to the sending us Fr. Donald Planty for de ver Lo p ho Bis to ul dedicated priests. They Spiritual Life: We are gratef Byrne, SOLT. They are such rk Ma Fr. us g din sen for y ation SOLT communit s Mass times, as well as inform ght hli hig ich wh le” Bib e Lif recently issued a “Spiritual and works of mercy. ssion trips, spiritual events, regarding the sacraments, mi ty which will be used for e invested in adjacent proper lleg Co the r, me sum the er sful teams in the Athletics: Ov ich have been our most succes wh , ms tea by rug and cer soc n and athletic fields for our p form character in young me hel l wil ies ilit fac c leti ath y qualit last few years. Adding these in Christ. the restoration of all things to ted ica ded are o wh n me wo one year under its belt. n for a Lifetime Program) has tio uca (Ed P EL new ’s om Career: Christend dents in the world. r strategic effort to engage stu ou of t par al vit a is m gra This pro you, none of this rs, for your support. Without cto efa ben d ove bel r ou , you time. I am grateful to all of visit campus for a real tour any to me lco we are u Yo le. ssib would be po

A Note from Tim Flagg

PHILANTHROPY OFFICER In my travels I have had the privilege and honor to vis it and get to know some loving people. I want to pe of the most rsonally thank you wond erful, gracious donors wh financially for the well be o giv e not only ing of the College, but yo u also give the gift of your me to visit in person or via tim e by allowing the phone. You are integr al and beloved members called Christendom Colle of this family ge. In my eyes you are fam ily because you enable the planted, to be nourished, seed of Truth to be and finally born in the he arts and minds of young in turn, bring this Truth women and men. They, into society by their words and actions. These words ripple effect in the world and actions cause a around them, which spread s throughout our great co globe. And whether you are untry and around the conscious of it or not, yo u have been and will be aff actions. Your generosity co ected by your own mes back to you in many forms. I am deeply honored to considering a visit from when you are open me. I always pray to the Ho ly Spirit, our Blessed Moth own guardian angel befor er, and to your e my visit and I ask them to be attentive to your ne your brother in Christ, I eds and concerns. As ask for your prayers as we ll. You have a crucial role younger generation “to rea to play in enabling the lize that true freedom consi sts above all in being able demands of truth” (Veritati to respond to the s Splendor, no. 84). At Ch ristendom, we know you which espouses honor, Tr as members of a family uth, and beauty, and which boldly proclaims Christ to the world. In all humility, thank you! Fall 2013


This Summer &more 1


at Christendom 3


5 6







1. Experience Christendom Summer Program (ECSP) Counselors enjoy a game of bowling / 2. Professors make oath of fidelity to the teachings of the Church / 3. Students prayed in adoration with Pope Francis for peace in Syria / 4. Good eats at Italian Night / 5. ECSP hiking at Skyline Drive / 6. Best dressed tourists at annual Luau / 7. Hayride at annual barn dance 8. Performers at first Pub Night of the year / 9. Arlington Bishop Paul Loverde joined the College for its opening Mass / 10. Annual Upper-Under football game / 11. Students enjoy the first Swing ‘n’ Sundaes of the year / 12. ECSP counselors and students enjoy the Irish sing-along hosted by College President Dr. Timothy O’Donnell



Omnia in Christo

Christopher Shannon, Ph.D.

Romano Guardini’s Catholic Environmentalism


In July of this year, Professor Christopher Shannon attended a conference, “Jesus and Nature: Catholic Perspectives on Environmental Issues,” held in conjunction with World Youth Day 2013 in Rio de Janeiro, w. Professor Shannon presented a paper, “Nature and Culture in Catholic Environmentalism: Romano Guardini’s Letters from Lake Como.” The conference featured speakers from North America, South America, and Europe. His Eminence, Cardinal Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson, President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, delivered the keynote address. The following is an excerpt of Dr. Shannon’s talk. Romano Guardini is without a doubt one of the major sources for [Pope emeritus] Benedict’s environmental thinking. Benedict has acknowledged his strong intellectual debt to Guardini, citing in particular Guardini’s The Spirit of the Liturgy (1918) as one of the most important books of his early seminary education (as Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, he would publish his own Introduction to the Spirit of the Liturgy in 1999). Benedict’s environmental concerns appear surprising, even shocking, only for those unfamiliar with the rich tradition of Catholic thinking about man’s relation to nature that developed among the thinkers of the liturgical and ressourcement movements of the first half of the twentieth century. Among the works of these thinkers on this issue, Guardini’s Letters from Lake Como is perhaps the most eloquent and accessible. Born in Italy in 1885, Guardini early on moved with his family to Mainz, Germany, where his father went in search of work. Guardini underwent a crisis of faith while studying at the resolutely secular University of Munich. Continuing his studies at the University of Berlin, he survived his spiritual crisis with his faith intact and received ordination to the priesthood in 1910. Concerned to understand the secular intellectual challenges of his day and integrate the best of modern thought into the Catholic intellectual tradition, Guardini went on to earn the doctorate that would qualify him to teach in the German university system. Though he eventually received a chair in the philosophy of religion at the University of Berlin, Guardini never neglected his pastoral duties as a Catholic priest. During the 1920’s, while advancing in his career as a university professor, Guardini also served as a chaplain for Quickborn (“wellspring of life”), the national Catholic youth

association of Germany. Like many of the youth groups that sprung up across the Western world in the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries, Quickborn sought to remedy the unnatural alienation from nature experienced by youth growing up in modern industrial cities. Guardini’s Letters from Lake Como originally appeared as a series of articles in Schidgenossen, the house journal of Quickborn. Letters recounts Guardini’s experiences while visiting his mother’s ancestral home in the Lake Como district in northern Italy. Significantly, and unlike so much “environmental” thought then and now, Guardini experiences the natural beauty of Lake Como as inextricably bound up with human culture: “Everywhere it was an inhabited land, valleys and slopes dotted with hamlets and small towns. All nature had been given a new shape by us humans. . . . The lines of the roofs merged from different directions. They went through the small town set on the hillside or followed the windings of a valley. Integrated in many ways, they finally reached a climax in the belfry with its deep-toned bell.” Here Guardini rejects any notion of “pure” nature for a model of human integration with nature. Guardini does, however, distinguish between good and bad models of integration. After his lyrical portrait of ideal integration, he abruptly changes his tone: “Yet all at once, then, on the singing lines of a small town I saw the great box of a factory.” Guardini’s critique of industrialism is consistent with that of many secular thinkers, but he distinguished himself from them by insisting on the basic good of a certain human ordering of nature and connecting this proper ordering to man’s relationship to Jesus Christ. Catholics wishing to contribute an authentic witness in today’s debates about the environment will find no better starting point than Guardini’s Letters from Lake Como. A graduate of Yale, Dr. Christopher Shannon is a Professor of History at Christendom College and author of the highly acclaimed Bowery to Broadway: The American Irish in Classic Hollywood Cinema. Fall 2013


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