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Instaurare The Christendom College Quarterly Magazine

SUMMER 2015

COMMENCEMENT 2015 Strengthening Marriages Across America | Instagram: Seeing Christendom in a New Way

Mathematics in the Liberal Arts Tradition | Unmatched Personal Attention SUMMER 2015

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VOLUME 23 | NUMBER 2 | SUMMER 2015 Published quarterly by the Christendom College Marketing Office. Executive Editor: Tom McFadden Managing Editor & Design: Niall O’Donnell Photos: Gabi Muskett, Niall O’Donnell, Abigail Reimel, Cecilia Flagg Contributors: Kris Burns, Vince Criste, Zachary Smith Christendom College 134 Christendom Drive, Front Royal, VA 22630 800.877.5456 | christendom.edu Copyright © 2015. 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 (christendom.edu).” SUBSCRIPTION FREE UPON REQUEST. 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.

CHRISTENDOM COLLEGE BOARD OF DIRECTORS

ADVISORS TO THE BOARD

Timothy O’Donnell, President Donna Fitzpatrick Bethell, Chair Douglas Dewey, Vice Chair Robert Scrivener ’81, Secretary Bernadette Casey-Smith John Cecconi Robert Crnkovich Richard Esposito Daniel Gorman Richard R. Hough III Steven O’Keefe ’93 Mary Beth Riordan Mark Swartzberg Thomas West Eugene Zurlo

Mary Ellen Bork Philip Crotty John De Matteo Joan Janaro Kay MacAvoy Rev. C. John McCloskey III John McNeice Joseph Melancon Rev. Robert Morey Hon. James Nicholson Rev. George W. Rutler Mark Ryland Rev. William Saunders Hon. Rick Santorum Owen Smith Marjorie Teetor David Vicinanzo George Weigel Thomas Young Luane Zurlo Robert P. George Robert Mylod

On the Cover Members of the class of 2015 (L-R): Philip Gilbert, Leif Pilegaard, Gabrielle Cintorino, Stephen Treacy, and Midori Funai

Want more news from Christendom? SIGN UP FOR OUR CHRISTENDOM NOW EMAIL NEWSLETTER christendom.edu/now

OR FIND US ON

Midori Funai Seattle, Washington Major: Philosophy

“Christendom has inspired me in ways I never could have imagined. My four years here have been challenging and rewarding. My Christendom education has helped me to recognize the importance of the intellectual life and has given me a desire to continue further studies after graduation. I am incredibly grateful for the knowledge I have received here. I have the proper skills to write, speak, and think clearly and look forward to success in whatever I do.” Read more notes from our graduates on pages 19-20.


Inside This Issue 16

Commencement 2015 Four years of Christendom’s rigorous, time-tested, and authentically Catholic liberal arts education came to fruition at this year’s Commencement Weekend.

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Strengthening Marriages Mary-Rose (Lombard) Verret ’04 is setting new, exciting trends in diocesan marriage preparation, thanks to “Witness to Love,” her new marriage preparation ministry.

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Mathematics in the Liberal Arts Tradition Integral to our students’ intellectual formation in the liberal arts tradition is the study of mathematics.

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News in Brief

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Unmatched Personal Attention

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Instagram: See Christendom in a New Way

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In the Classroom: Philosophy of Household

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Liberal Arts in Action

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Faith & Fairy Tales: Alumna’s New Book

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An Incredible Season: Crusader Rugby

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Saving San Francisco

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Leadership That Makes an Impact

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From the Chronicler: Campus Life Photos

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Christendom Launches New Publication

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Classmates: Alumni News

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Omnia in Christo

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Speaking the Truth FROM COLLEGE PRESIDENT DR. TIMOTHY O’DONNELL Dear Friends, I would like to share with you some reflections that I gave to our graduating class of 2015: There was a small child, only five years old, who was attending a Montessori school, and in the school, like many Montessori schools, there were religious images around the room. At one end there was a particularly beautiful statue of the Blessed Mother. At the other end was a very manly statue of St. Joseph. Each day, this little child would enter the classroom and silently pick up St. Joseph and carry him across the room and place him right next to Mary. One day the teacher, who thought this was so beautiful, asked the child, “Why do you do that each morning?” The child quietly replied, “Because my daddy does not love my mommy anymore and is leaving us.”

Those who deny reality and persecute His Church bring nothing new to history. Only the tired, sad story of sin and death.

We have forgotten the child! This is such a characteristic of our age. We live in the age of choice, the age of the emotive will. We want what we want, when we want it. Ms. Terry O’Neill, the president of NOW, recently called abortion, “an essential measure to prevent the heartbreak of infant mortality.” We need to speak truth to a culture of lies. Some will say, “You are on the wrong side of history!” But we know that those who gather by the empty tomb of the risen Lord are truly on the right side of history. And those who deny reality and persecute His Church bring nothing new to history. Only the tired, sad story of sin and death. They are truly retrograde even when they claim to be enlightened and progressive. Living our faith will allow us to reveal wisdom, the power of witness and the kindness of charity to those who lack this great and most precious gift. As Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newman stated in his Idea of University, “right reason, that is

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reason rightly executed, leads the mind to the Catholic faith, and plants it there, and teaches it in all its religious speculations to act under its guidance.” It would seem that we have forgotten the child because we have forgotten God, the living and true God who became a little Child! In the words of our beloved founder Dr. Carroll, “Truth exists. The Incarnation happened.” Therefore, we know that God exists and that in Him there is no change or alteration, with Him there is eternal joy, newness and no weariness. For with the Father and the Son in the intimacy of the Holy Spirit there is stillness, peace, a lasting home. For you see, we know our end. When Christ came in the fullness of time, he spoke to us and the world of that which the world had dreamed of but could not know: “Eye has not seen and ear has not heard nor has it entered into the human heart what God has in store for those who love Him.” 1 Corinthian 2:9 We know that time will end. We know that mysterious longing in this life in the midst of all of the vicissitudes of life is beckoning us to that ultimate transcendent reality, which the world seeks to obscure, to hide and ignore. May we always keep—through that fruitful union of faith and reason—a deep and abiding sense of God and the eternal, which He has planted in our hearts, which gives us meaning and purpose. May our hearts be continually touched by that sense of the eternal, so that in our mission “to restore all things in Christ” we will order our temporal works rightly that they will in fact carry over into eternity and enter with us into the everlasting Kingdom of God. Praised be Jesus Christ now and forever!


NEWS

in

BRIE F

Tolkien and Catholicism Tolkien expert Joseph Pearce delivered a public lecture titled “Unlocking the Catholicism of The Lord of the Rings” at Christendom on March 30, in which he revealed the deep, theological truths that permeate Tolkien’s masterpiece. Pearce, an internationally renowned author and editor of over twenty books, including Tolkien: Man or Myth, explained that the Lord of the Rings is fundamentally a work that is both religious and Catholic.

Students for Life Christendom College’s Students for Life group recently initiated the “Planned Parenthood Project,” an activity that the group hopes will help raise awareness of the evils of abortion on other college campuses. A student initiative, the organization seeks to evangelize on secular campuses and defend human life in all its forms, but especially in its earliest stages.

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Dr. Ryan T. Anderson speaks on marriage.

The Future of Marriage The Heritage Foundation’s Dr. Ryan T. Anderson presented a talk titled “What is the Future of Marriage?” at Christendom College on April 7. The co-author of What is Marriage? Man and Woman: A Defense, Anderson spoke on the future of

Joseph Pearce delivers a lecture titled “Unlocking the Catholicism of The Lord of the Rings.”

marriage in the United States, and how it ultimately relates to the timely, and important, question of religious liberty in our modern times. One of the most soughtafter speakers on the subject of marriage and religious liberty today, Anderson began by first presenting the two definitions of marriage in today’s culture, and made it clear that there is no “neutral ground” between them.

Top Student Latinists Christendom students continue to rank amongst the best and brightest in the nation, with four students recently taking top spots in a national Latin translation contest, sponsored by the Classical Association of the Midwest and South. Standing out from a group of 602 contestants at the advanced level and 384 at the intermediate level, the students revealed the strength of Christendom’s classical liberal arts education, and the hard work that the college’s academic culture encourages.

New Science Textbook Christendom College philosophy professor Dr. John Cuddeback and Dr. Christopher Blum, academic dean of the Augustine Institute, recently published Nature’s Beautiful Order: An Introduction to the Study of Animals Taught by the Classical Naturalists, a natural history textbook that examines the history of animals through the lens of classical naturalists. Published by Memoria Press, Nature’s Beautiful Order is intended for students of middle-to-high school age, and acts as a counter to the reductionist and mechanistic theories characteristic of modern biology.

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UNMATCHED

PERSONAL ATTENTION S

tudents at Christendom College have an academic experience like none other. The curriculum and committed faculty are complemented by a culture of unmatched personal attention, helping each student discern and develop his academic and vocational goals.

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TRUE MENTORSHIP

ACADEMIC ADVISORS

SUCCESS COACH

PEER MENTORS

From encountering professors at the lunch table or walking across the beautiful campus, students discover true mentorship. The professors—not teaching assistants—conduct all classes. They welcome and encourage participation from everyone and are always willing to remain after class to further discuss a question or concern that a student might have.

Each student has a professor for an academic advisor through all four years at Christendom. This advisor helps the student to choose his or her classes and to plot a sound course through college that fits his or her personal academic needs.

Maribeth Kelly, the Academic Success Coach, works with students who are having problems in their classes, and encourages them to take advantage of the many academic aids on campus. She meets individually with students on a weekly basis, assisting them in overcoming challenges and achieving great things.

This program pairs a student with an upperclassman who has excelled in his or her academic career. The upperclassman meets with the student in need on a regular basis to study together and to discuss strategies to help ensure academic success.

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“The close relationship you can have with your professors is incredible. You can sit with them at lunch, you see them at daily Mass, and some of them even come out to cheer on the sports teams. The most unique thing of all, however, is Dr. O'Donnell's personal presence in the community. It is so inspiring to see our president at daily Mass, come to some home games to support us, and even perform at events like Coffee House and St. Patrick's Day. It is a great gift to have him so close to the student body.” – Mike McMahon ’17

Farewell

Dr. William H. Marshner, one of Christendom’s original five founding faculty members, gave his final lecture as a professor at the college on May 5, after nearly forty years of service to Christendom. Although he has retired from teaching, Marshner will continue on at the college as a scholar in residence. Marshner ended his teaching career at the college with a lecture in one of his most popular, upper-level theology courses, “De Deo Trino,” a complex, detailed study of the Divine Trinity. Many alumni who were in attendance from the 1980’s through the 2000’s reminisced and congratulated Marshner at the end of the lecture, taking time to celebrate his teaching career and thanking him for his many years of service to the college.

SMALL CLASS SIZE

CAREER DIRECTION

There are no huge lecture halls filled with hundreds of students. Each class has an excellent student to teacher ratio of approximately 15:1, and upper-level elective courses especially are the perfect size for fruitful seminar discussion.

Director of Career and Leadership Development Greg Monroe offers personalized assistance to students (and alumni) to help them plan and achieve career and vocational success. His services are designed to help students explore options, connect with opportunities, and succeed no matter what their career aspirations are.

Dr. William Luckey, who has been teaching political science and economics courses at Christendom since 1984, gave his final lecture as a professor at the school on May 6. A former chairman of the Political Science Department, Luckey will continue on as a scholar in residence. Luckey announced his retirement earlier this year, after devoting over thirty years of his academic career to the Christendom community. An acclaimed and accredited economist, Luckey helped introduce and refine the economic course offerings at Christendom since the 1980’s. Fittingly, Luckey gave his final lecture as a Christendom professor in one of his most popular classes: “Microeconomics,” a study of how the economy functions in individual levels of activity.

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STRENGTHENING MARRIAGES A

fter more than a decade of judicial activism that has Ministry sought to Alumna Founds Dynamic Marriage Prep

redefine marriage, and a big decision facing the U.S. Supreme Court this year, the outlook on marriage in America looks bleak. One Christendom alumna is offering hope amidst this darkness with a new ministry that seeks to strengthen traditional Catholic marriages.

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Christendom alumni Lucy Briggs and Brian McCrum ’14. Photo Credit: Spiering Photography, www.spieringphotography.com


Mary-Rose (Lombard) Verret ’04 is setting new, exciting trends in diocesan marriage preparation, thanks to “Witness to Love,” her new marriage preparation ministry, under the guidance of Archbishop Gregory Aymond of the Archdiocese of New Orleans. A system to supplement diocesan marriage preparation, Verret’s “Witness to Love” ministry is drawing interest from dioceses across the United States, providing engaged couples with the tools to help their marriage preparation process become more fruitful, not only for themselves but their entire parish community. Verret credits this desire to help supplement current diocesan marriage preparation, and to foster a greater community life in parishes to her Christendom education. “Couples, nowadays, are becoming increasingly less engaged in marriage preparation. I sought to change that — a new, risky undertaking that Christendom gave me the confidence to do,” says Verret, who graduated with a B.A. in English. “Many people don’t have the skills to think outside of the box anymore, which is crucial if you want to bring change to anything. A strong liberal arts education gives you the tools— like the ability to think critically—that you need to not only think outside of the box, but to do so confidently,” she said. After serving as a diocesan marriage preparation coordinator since 2005, Verret, who is a certified Prepare-Enrich facilitator and instructor, founded “Witness to Love: Marriage Prep Renewal Ministry” with her husband, Ryan, in Louisiana. Seeing that many couples weren’t enthusiastic, or even interested, in a strong marriage preparation through the Church at her parish, she founded her program as a new means of helping engaged couples receive a witness of healthy marital love and family life, by allowing them to choose their own sponsor couples from their parish to guide them through the preparation process. “Allowing couples to choose their own mentors makes them more comfortable in the entire process, and helps them take their understanding of what marriage truly is, and how it relates integrally to every aspect of life and to the Church, to a whole new level,” says Verret. “The mentor couple acts as a witness to love for the engaged couple, which not only makes their preparation process more fruitful, but helps foster a stronger community in the parish as well.” Twenty-two dioceses are currently interested in Verret’s ministry, with four dioceses already implementing it in

Many people don’t have the skills to think outside of the box anymore, which is crucial if you want to bring change to anything. A strong liberal arts education gives you the tools—like the ability to think critically—that you need to not only think outside of the box, but to do so confidently.

parishes. The greater sense of community that Verret seeks to foster through “Witness to Love” is inspired by the sense of community she witnessed at Christendom. “The importance of community that I learned in my classes, and through the way that the professors interacted with us, enriched the liberal arts program even more,” she said. “I always looked for these qualities later, and when I found that many parishes were lacking in this same sense of community, I wanted to fix this.” “Witness to Love” is currently establishing itself as a nonprofit organization, with Witness to Love: How to Help the Next Generation Build Marriages that Survive and Thrive, written by Verret and her husband through St. Benedict Press, being released this summer. To find out more about Verret’s ministry, please visit www.witnesstolove.org. SUMMER 2015

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Instagram Contest

Photo of the Semester #christendomcollege

This social media term became a staple of the spring semester at Christendom College, as students eagerly took part in the college’s first Instagram photo contest. Taking 744 pictures of the campus, the people, and the out-of-the-ordinary sights that make Christendom so special for so many people, students’ photos were chosen each week as the “photos of the week,” leading up to one photo being chosen as the “photo of the semester.” Together, the entire campus showed the whole world a new way to look at Christendom College.

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Photos of the Week

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In the Classroom HIGHLIGHTING A COURSE FROM OUR RICH CURRICULUM

PHIL 492 PHILOSOPHY OF FAMILY & HOUSEHOLD Course Description: An investigation of the ‘second part’ of ethics (the other two being individual ethics and politics)—that which concerns the household, and how the human good is sought and achieved in that context. Based upon readings from the primary texts of philosophers, especially Aristotle and St. Thomas Aquinas’ commentary on Aristotle, as well as those of contemporary writers.

FROM THE PROFESSOR DR. JOHN CUDDEBACK I have always loved where philosophy and daily life intersect. That is what moved me to write my first book on friendship. The wisdom of Aristotle, St. Thomas, and others can make a dramatic difference for our most intimate relationships—if we are willing to make the effort to study carefully, and then implement what we learn. The philosophy of family and household is no different. Our great tradition has the insights that can transform our daily lives, our homes, and our society—if we are willing to do our part. This course is both the fruit of my own poor efforts at being a husband and father, and has changed how I live in my own home. What does nature teach us about the differences between man

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and woman, and their complementarity? Does nature intend that there be a head in the household? How should motherhood best be characterized? What is the end of marriage? What is the role of work in the household? How can we try to re-establish our homes as places of production and not just consumption? How should we think about how many children we should have? …The conversations we have in the classroom are passionate and urgent; I will not forget them. I don’t think the students will either.


ArtsinAction L i b e ra l

John O’Herron ’06 Major: History

Dennis Pregent ’07 Major: Philosophy

Founders: Cardinal Newman Academy, Richmond, Virginia

Christendom alumni are involved in just about every field possible and are making an impact on the culture. As founders of schools, our alumni

“The culture at Christendom fostered an entrepreneurial spirit and provided leadership opportunities. Both of us were active in various student groups, sports, or new ventures while at Christendom. Denny co-founded the rugby program and I co-founded and published a student newspaper. Christendom’s environment cultivated our desire to make a positive impact in our community. This led us to explore the possibility of starting a much needed, co-ed high school to serve the Catholic community in Richmond, Virginia. We graduated from Christendom with a deep appreciation for the quality of the education we received. Our commitment to help form minds, educate young Catholics, and strengthen the Church is born from the intellectual and spiritual formation we received while students at Christendom.”

are using their passion for learning and love of the liberal arts to provide a traditional and classical education for young people across the nation.

“One of the great advantages of Christendom is the ability to become involved in activities and gain valuable experience that will translate into post-collegiate success. While at Christendom, both my (now) wife and I were heavily involved in college activities. This involvement, coupled with the exemplary education, gave us the tools and work-ethic required to fully engage the culture. Emily and I have developed a passion for education and a desire to serve at-risk students. After countless prayers and thousands of hours of volunteer effort, we gained approval from the our state and are scheduled to open our school, Youngsville Academy, this year with 140 students and 11 staff. Within five years, we’ll grow to 360 students. We continually reflect on a quote from Pope Benedict XVI: ‘The ways of the Lord are not comfortable. But we were not created for comfort, but for greatness.’”

Daniel Henson ’08 Emily Henson ’09 Major: Political Science Major: Political Science & Economics & Economics Founders: Youngsville Academy, Youngsville, North Carolina

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Alumna Reveals the Secret Lessons in Classic Tales

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hristendom alumna Jennessa Terraccino recently published The Princess Guide: Faith Lessons from Snow White, Cinderella, and Sleeping Beauty (Servant Books). The book uses the stories and characters of the fairy tales to explore issues important to women today and to inspire them to dignity, femininity, and fervent faith. The popular stories are a backdrop for lessons on beauty, vocation, sexuality and chastity, friendship, and marriage. Terraccino draws on Scripture, writings of saints, Church Fathers, The Catechism of the Catholic Church, and many interesting personal experiences. She describes her book as a “road map for a lady’s life.” “Personally, there was a lot I didn’t know when I headed off to college,” she says. “My book is filled with everything I wish someone had told me.” Terraccino, a 2008 graduate, says that earning her Master of Arts in Theological Studies from Christendom was key in preparing her for her apostolate. “I am able to be both confident in the Faith and creative in my presentation – sharing the truths of the faith in a fresh way,” she says. Studying both the moral theology and the catechetics concentrations, Terraccino also completed a youth ministry internship as part of her program of studies. As

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a full-time parish youth minister after her graduation, she realized that teens do not have ready access to the Church’s rich teachings on the complementarity of men and women. She began hosting monthly “Girl Talks” and “Guy Talks” to help the young people become true Christian men and women. The events were very popular and Terraccino started to think about writing a book to spread the message further. The idea of using fairy tales as a creative vehicle for this teaching came to her when she was struck by the fact that an apple is used as a temptation in Snow White, mirroring the story of Adam and Eve. “I started looking at fairy tales more carefully and drawing greater meaning from them,” she says. “Since everyone knows the tales, and all girls want to be princesses, I started using fairy tales to speak to the hearts of young women about authentic femininity rooted in Christ.”

I am able to be both confident in the Faith and creative in my presentation – sharing the truths of the faith in a fresh way.

While The Princess Guide was written for older teens and young women in their 20’s, it is also a valuable resource for parents, teachers, youth ministers, and others tasked with the formation of Catholic women. Some other topics Terraccino tackles include cohabitation, the “con” of contraception, dating and relationships, modesty and fashion, religious life, and careers and motherhood. The book can be used as a guide for hosting “Girl Talks,” for a book study, or in the classroom. There is even a Guide to the Princess Guide available as an ebook from Amazon.

The Princess Guide is just one part of Terraccino’s apostolate ministry to young women, called Femme or Faux (femmeorfaux.com), which challenges young women to become true Christ-filled ladies, modeled on the Blessed Mother. As a young wife and mother of two small boys, Terraccino today concentrates on writing for a variety of Catholic publications and speaking at parishes, schools, and university campuses. “I want all women to know how cherished they are,” she says, “and that it is okay to have ‘princess desires’ because Christ is our Prince!”

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an

incredible SEASON By Patrick Audino ’16

Rugby Captain Reflects on a Victorious Spring Season

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e had one mission in mind coming into the season: retrieve the Shield Trophy from Franciscan University of Steubenville.

successful this year? We finished the season with an incredible 7-2 record, playing tough teams and consistently rising to the challenge. But, what was it that made us one of the best rugby teams in the college’s history?

After playing well last season, but coming up short in the first annual shield rugby match, Christendom’s rugby team travelled to Steubenville, Ohio, in April to find redemption, playing the NCAA Division III Barons on their home turf. As team captain, I was impressed with the way our team composed itself for the game, especially considering the long trip and the almost overwhelming amount of hype coming into the game.

I took some time to reflect on this question, and I quickly realized that it wasn’t that we had a more athletic team than in past years, or that we suddenly had individual talent that set us apart. In fact, in my three years playing at Christendom I think that the opposite could be true. What made this year’s team so special then? The commitment every person had to the team.

We were on a four-game winning streak, and brought a younger, faster team to take on Franciscan than we had last year. Still, we had one lingering question: could this team not only play well, but also take back a trophy for the entire Christendom community? That question was answered resoundingly, with a crushing 57-11 victory over Franciscan University. There is nothing quite like lifting that Shield after the game, making all the winter practices finally worth it. Several people have asked me the same question over the past few months: what made the Christendom rugby team so

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We had a record number of players this year, with over forty students joining the varsity squad — many playing rugby for the first time. The unsung heroes of the team are those very players, the freshmen and sophomores who came out to practice every day, despite knowing that their time on varsity was limited. And yet, they consistently came out, because of their commitment to Christendom rugby. I could not have asked for a better group of guys to lead this spring. The shield match defined our season, but it was not the entire story. Our hard work practicing in the snow this past winter paid off in the very first game, with an amazing comeback win


New Digital Home for the Crusaders

Christendom’s athletic department launched a new Crusader athletics website in April. Featuring a new, streamlined design and current updates for all athletic events, the website provides prospective and current students, alumni, and competitors with a central location to view all things related to Christendom’s vibrant athletic program. Visit it today at christendomathletics.com.

against Mount Saint Mary’s University on our home field, winning 39-27 in front of hundreds of fans. We were down fourteen points in the second half and still managed to come back to win by twelve, making it one of our season’s greatest accomplishments. Mount Saint Mary’s went on to play in the national championship title game later in the spring, and we defeated them — something that speaks wonders to what Christendom rugby could become in the near future. That win gave the team confidence going forward, with our hard work paying off again in a tangible way at the Jeff Hewitt Memorial Cup tournament in Pittsburgh. In three games, we scored 128 unanswered points and swept the competition, bringing home another trophy for Crusader Gymnasium. By the end of it all, we finished the year 7-2 — a testament to the commitment of every single player on the team, and to the strength of Christendom rugby. I have been blessed with the opportunity to continue playing rugby here at Christendom, after playing the sport at St. Gregory’s Academy in high school. After winning a state

championship in high school and excelling in my classes, I applied for, and was awarded, the Thomas S. Vander Woude scholarship at Christendom. By coming here, I’ve learned a lot more about rugby, but even more about the important off-the-field aspects. I have grown as a leader, and as a man, through my seven years of playing rugby. I am honored to have captained this team for the past two years now, and it has taught me more about myself than I ever could have imagined. There is something about the sport of rugby, especially here at Christendom, which draws men to test themselves, not only physically, but also mentally. It gives these men a “band of brothers” to help them in all aspects of their life. Our weekly team Mass, team study hall, and the simple disciplines that we upheld throughout the season helped us to succeed on and off the pitch. The story of our season is that hard work pays off. I’m excited for the future of Christendom rugby, as our support grows, and the chance at competing for a national championship continues to become a greater possibility.

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COMMENCEMENT 2015 College Sends Forth Largest Graduating Class at 36th Commencement

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our years of Christendom’s rigorous, time-tested, and authentically Catholic liberal arts education came to fruition at this year’s Commencement Weekend, held on May 15-17. The college awarded a record-setting one hundred and two Bachelor of Arts degrees to the Class of 2015, and honored Dr. Alice von Hildebrand and the Most Reverend Paul S. Loverde, Bishop of the Diocese of Arlington, at the Commencement ceremonies. Bishop Loverde celebrated the Baccalaureate Mass and received an honorary doctorate, while Dr. von Hildebrand was awarded Christendom’s St. Catherine of Siena Award before delivering the commencement address.

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At the Baccalaureate Mass on Friday afternoon, Bishop Loverde delivered a powerful homily to the graduates and their families, encouraging them to look back on their four years at Christendom with gratitude, and to look ahead to the future with hope. After the Baccalaureate Mass, an elegant reception and dinner was held at the picturesque Shenandoah Valley Country Club, where graduates and their parents enjoyed the company of the faculty and staff. They took advantage of the opportunity to meet and mingle with the people that had guided their children through Christendom’s challenging academic life and inspiring social atmosphere, while students relaxed and celebrated their great achievements in the beautiful setting. Following several toasts, graduates and their families returned to campus for the graduation dance, featuring a live band, Yesterday Swing Orchestra. Saturday’s ceremonies began with a bagpipe-led procession from Christ the King Chapel to St. Louis the Crusader Gymnasium, where over a thousand guests joined the Christendom community in celebrating the achievements of Christendom’s 36th graduating class. Salutatorian Melody Wood of Auburn, Ca., welcomed all the attendees to the Commencement ceremonies, noting in her address that, despite their time at Christendom coming to a close, the class of 2015 should rejoice in the knowledge that they truly learned what is good in life during their college careers.

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Dr. Alice von Hildebrand is awarded the St. Catherine of Siena Award. Established in 2008, the award recognizes women who have made an outstanding contribution to Christ and His Church and shown support for the mission of Christendom College. Past recipients have included: Mrs. Irene Fedoryka, Dr. Kristin Burns and Mrs. Anne Carroll.

“As graduates seeking to restore all things in Christ…we have learned to recognize and seek the good in each encounter with another person, in each blessing, and even in times of adversity. I entreat each of you: never lose your desire to pursue the good in your own life,” Wood said. College president Dr. Timothy O’Donnell then bestowed an honorary doctorate in humane letters on Bishop Loverde, who thanked the college for the countless blessings it has brought the Diocese of Arlington during his sixteen years as bishop. “I consider myself the most blessed bishop in the world. Why? This diocese is not only home to one of the fastest growing flocks in the United States, but we are also home to one of the finest Catholic colleges in the entire country and beyond…as you go forth, to restore all things in Christ,


Stephen Treacy

Huntingdon Valley, Pennsylvania Major: History “Christendom College is a very unique place. It has shaped me in many ways that I believe no other college could ever do. It provides social, academic, athletic, and outdoor environments that are superior to others. Such formation has instilled in me an incredible amount of confidence to tackle the challenges I will face after graduation and to succeed.”

Leif Pilegaard

Galt, California Major: English Language & Literature “Christendom College has inspired me to do my best in the great and small works of life. From the pursuit of knowledge, to prayer, to music, to sports, to socializing, and even to just relaxing, Christendom has taught me to do it well, and to the best of my ability. After coming to Christendom, I now see what is really important in life and what will make the difference in my own personal life and in my career. God willing, I hope to have a larger impact on the world after I graduate by bringing Christ into the heart of it using the tools that Christendom College has given me.”

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Gabrielle Cintorino Stony Brook, New York Major: English Language & Literature

“Christendom has allowed me to be the best person I can be, and has enabled me to connect with others, inside and outside the Catholic Faith in a way that is loving, non-judgmental, and unconditional. Without Christendom, I would not be able to articulate my thoughts in a clear way, nor be able to express objective truth in a way which is understandable to others. I plan to pursue a career in journalism, through which I can promulgate the same principles which I have been taught and have learned to appreciate. My Christendom education has helped me deepen my Faith, and I would like to thank our benefactors, without whose help I would not be here today.”

Phillip Gilbert Ukiah, California Major: Theology

“My time at Christendom was a period of great growth and learning for me. The formation I received really taught me to be confident in who I am, and especially in the faith. Now, four years later, I feel able to go out into the world and continue practicing the faith in such a way that it is integrated into every aspect of life, and thus, spreading it to those around me.”

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know that the Lord is with you always,” Bishop Loverde said. After receiving the college’s St. Catherine of Siena Award, Dr. Alice von Hildebrand delivered an inspirational commencement address to the graduates, drawing upon Scripture and her own studies on feminism to give deep insights into the true dignity of women. Turning to both the book of Genesis and to the Incarnation, von Hildebrand provided sharp contrasts to the horrors of abortion and the rejection of maternity by the world today, imploring the senior class to fight these trends in society. “Keep in mind that we are at a crossroad. Today, the mission of women is to become conscious of their beauty and the dignity of their function… Until women rediscover the beauty of their mission and stand for life, the world is doomed,” she warned. Following the her address, assistant director of donor and alumni relations Vince Criste presented the annual Student Achievement Award to Peter Foeckler of Manassas, Va., for his dedication to the community. Foeckler made great contributions to the academic and social life of the college as the head male resident assistant, a member of the student activities council, a summer program counselor, and a member of the varsity soccer and rugby teams. Valedictorian Michael Kopp of Johnstown, Pa., then delivered his address. Kopp related the weekend’s events to Christ’s farewell at the Ascension, and His promise to the disciples that they would be filled with the Holy Spirit to become witnesses in the world to the Truth. “As we start our new lives as businessmen, doctors, engineers, teachers, priests and religious, or whatever field we may enter, we must let the wonder and enthusiasm for truth and beauty that we have developed here be a light to the world. We stand as witnesses to the love and glory of Christ,” Kopp said.

I consider myself the most blessed bishop in the world. Why? This diocese is not only home to one of the fastest growing flocks in the United States, but we are also home to one of the finest Catholic colleges in the entire country and beyond.

Closing the ceremony, college president O’Donnell delivered his charge to the graduates. [See page 2.] While their time at Christendom has come to a close, the historic class of 2015 will not be forgotten. Their names will be engraved not only on plaques but in memories as well, for their many achievements and contributions to the noble mission of Christendom College.

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1) Vince Criste presents the Student Achievement Award to Peter Foeckler. 2) Student Body President Katie Brizek toasts to the staff of the college. 3) Senior Class President Julie McMahon toasts to the faculty at the Senior Dinner. 4) Elizabeth Slaten and her parents chat with Prof. Raymund O’Herron at the Senior Dinner. 5) Joe Walsh receives his degree. 6) Mary Barbale enjoys the commencement ceremonies 7) Julie Mersch with her parents. 8) Katy Arnold with her family. 9) Salutatorian Melody Wood. 10) Valedictorian Michael Kopp. 11) Clare Kosten and Nick Gossin with their parents at the Senior Dinner. 12) Kat Turner celebrates with a fellow graduate. 13) Cousins: James Ciskanik and Gabrielle Muskett.

Philanthropy Board 2015 The class of 2015 is truly distinct. Not only is the class of 2015 the largest ever to graduate from the college since its founding in 1977, the senior class philanthropy board inspired 90% of those donating back to the college to make a recurring monthly gift. The philanthropy board achieved a remarkable 86% giving rate out of a graduating class of 102 seniors. Even more impressive is that 90% of those who chose to give made a monthly recurring donation, an act of generosity that will continue to assist future generations of Christendom students. The three-year value of all gifts made by the class of 2015 is an amazing $20,693. The purpose of the philanthropy board is to educate fellow classmates about the need to financially support the college post-graduation, to give them insights into how the college operates, and to learn about its generous benefactors who help make the Christendom experience possible. In turn, seniors are asked to reflect on the many blessings of their Catholic education, their friendships, and their spiritual growth over four years, and to prayerfully consider “giving back” to the school they love.

The 11 member 2014-2015 philanthropy board included: Mark Turner (President), Hal Kokes (Vice President), Midori Funai (Secretary), Margaux Killackey (Treasurer), Philip Gilbert, Jane Riccardi, Bernadette Sartor, Pat McKenna, Josh Van Hecke, Maggie Ostrowski, and Maria Bonvissuto.

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Mathematics in the Liberal Arts Tradition By DR. GREG TOWNSEND

Vice President for Academic Affairs Professor of Mathematics & Science

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fter four years, the Catholic liberal arts student is equipped for a life of leadership and excellence. Integral to their intellectual formation in the time-tested liberal arts tradition is the study of mathematics. It is a subject that is studied for its own sake and for the benefits it brings to the intellect of the student.

Mathematics arises from a consideration of the quantitative aspects of real things, so its study is necessary if we are to fully understand reality. One cannot truly grasp the reality of something if we do not include its quantitative aspects: the number of lines in a poem, the height of a building, and the mass of a planet are just as important to understanding the nature of these things as the tone of the poem or the purpose of a building or the habitability of the planet. Fr. William Wallace, in The Modeling of Nature, notes that in the case of inanimate matter, these quantitative aspects are so intrinsic to being that we can use mathematics to describe their very natures – as is done in chemistry and physics. Mathematics has also been valued for its ability to train a student’s mind in the art of deductive reasoning. In the language of Aristotle and the Scholastics, mathematics deals with abstract quantity; a thing which is abstracted from the

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quantitative aspect of real things. Because of this closeness to actual things, its conclusions tend to be particularly easy for the mind to grasp. Thus, even a two-year old grasps that two is bigger than one—they always choose two cookies over one cookie—and that a straight line is the shortest distance between two points—the fastest way to get to mom’s loving embrace. So mathematics is the unique subject where a student can construct a logical argument and he or she has a sense of the validity or falsehood of the conclusion. Within mathematics, then, it is possible to study the logical structure of an argument, rather than the conclusions of the argument: does one statement truly flow from the other or is something hidden being assumed? In this way, a student can be trained in deductive reasoning. It was the Greeks who first developed this aspect of mathematics, and its earliest expression in Euclid’s Elements is still studied today.


It is a subject that deals with absolute truth – even the most ardent atheist accepts that ‘one plus one equals two’ – and our minds delight in the truth.

Course Highlights from the Mathematics Major • • • •

Mathematics is also present in the liberal arts curriculum because it provides a foundation for the concepts used in the more abstract sciences like philosophy and theology. The concepts used in these disciplines are developed using analogies from the natural sciences and mathematics. In his work, The Way toward Wisdom, Fr. Benedict Ashley notes that Aristotle’s works are filled with references to results in mathematics in order to illustrate concepts he is discussing. Such concepts as unity, truth, beauty and causality arise naturally in mathematics and an understanding of them are necessary for mastery of philosophy and theology Perhaps the most surprising aspect of mathematics is its beauty. It is a subject that deals with absolute truth – even the most ardent atheist accepts that “one plus one equals two” – and our minds delight in the truth. Students of Euclid’s Elements, which deal with the geometry or the abstraction of our immediate sense experience, experience a delight as they master each of the Theorems. They “see” the truth of the theorem in that they not only know the truth of it but also can perceive why it must be so. This experience gives us a little foretaste of Heaven – our final end – where we will “see” Absolute Truth Himself.

MATH 203: Calculus III MATH 204: Linear Algebra MATH 361: Differential Equations MATH 441: Real Analysis

core curriculum is carefully designed to provide an orderly sequential presentation of the fundamental principles of mathematics and natural science, philosophy and theology in conjunction with the historical and literary knowledge that are needed to refine the human intellect. There is a great need for a student of mathematics to undergo this refining process. The concepts used in modern mathematics (post 1600’s) have gone beyond the concepts developed by the Greeks and reveal to us aspects of reality of which they were unaware. Through the principles introduced in the core curriculum here at Christendom College, a student of mathematics will have a unique ability to carefully define the concepts used in modern mathematics. He or she will be able to understand the strengths and limitations of the modern concepts and identify the true source of these paradoxes. The student would be able to “carefully define them with a non-arbitrary reference to real quantity,” to use Fr. Ashley’s phrase. To find out more about Christendom’s core curriculum, and about our challenging mathematics major, please visit christendom.edu/academics.

From its beginning, Christendom College has been committed to a Catholic liberal arts education. The 86-hour

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Saving San Francisco G

rowing up in San Francisco can be difficult for many conservative Catholics. Between its far-left leaning politics and progressive agendas, the city has become the antithesis of the joy and hope that flourishes at Christendom College. In 1985, San Francisco natives Frank and Clare Lynch saw Christendom as a beacon of hope and began supporting the college.

In San Francisco, the Lynches lived simple, frugal lives in the city: Frank was an ex-cop turned taxi driver, while Clare was a high-level clerk for the city. Despite not making much money, they insisted on donating to organizations that still promoted the traditional, conservative, Catholic values they hoped could one day save their hometown. Out of many other conservative institutions of higher education in America, Frank and Clare chose Christendom as a worthy organization to donate to — why? After reading about the college in the Catholic newspaper The Wanderer, Frank and Clare were drawn strongly to the mission of Christendom, which was founded in response to the very cultural revolution that had transformed their home of San Francisco in the 1960s. With the little money they had, Frank and Clare began to donate to Christendom in 1985 and continued to do so for the next sixteen years, before Frank passed away in 2002. When Clare died in August of 2014, the executor of Clare and Frank’s estate, Charles Holbrecht, was shocked to

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discover that the Lynches had amassed a large amount over the years — 1.1 million of which they bequeathed to Christendom College in their will. This incredible showing of generosity revealed the belief of one family that Christendom’s unwavering stance for traditional values in America was worth preserving into the future. The Lynches are not alone in this belief. By rejecting federal funding, Christendom’s ability to continue in its mission hinges on the generous support of donors, who have helped the college continue to properly educate students since its founding. The traditional, liberal arts education that forms the backbone of Christendom can help bring change, not only to the Lynches’ San Francisco, but to the rest of the world as well. By investing in the students of the college, donors can be assured that their gifts will bring hope for a brighter future.


LEADERSHIP THAT MAKES AN IMPACT

Praying for Our Benefactors

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f the many new initiatives started by the career and leadership development office this past year, the most impressive were the leadership projects carried out by the sophomore and junior classes. Tied to the Education for Lifetime Program, each student is responsible for planning, coordinating, executing, and reflecting on a project that demonstrates their leadership capabilities, and makes a significant impact on campus or back in their local community. Of the almost 200 projects completed, many of them took place on campus. These included a student-run news commentary website; clubs focused on physical fitness, acapella singing, gardening, and martial arts; a “Christmas cards for soldiers” evening; a new spring break mission trip to the Bronx; and the first philosophy thesis defense evening for the seniors. Outside of the campus, the students were just as active. From giving a 4-H animal education class in Arizona, to speaking at an upstate New York Catholic high school about finding success in college, to putting on a strings performance with fellow musicians at a local retirement community for the elderly, and establishing a high school essay contest for prospective students, Christendom’s impact was felt in local communities throughout the nation.  “These leadership projects highlight the ability of our students to lead, and prove to future employers that they have the technical skills to carry out projects, which involve collaboration, foresight, and follow through,” says Greg Monroe, director of career and leadership development. “Seeing the students put  their faith into action, and improve campus life and their home communities through creative initiatives, is a foreshadowing of the impact they will have as graduates to change the world for the better as lights of Christ.”

LEADERSHIP PROJECT HIGHLIGHT For their project, Sean Shanahan (left), Peter Tapsak, and Timothy Egan created an academic journal to compile the best papers submitted to the faculty during the semester. With the assistance of Alexandra Skuba, Monica Burke, and Madeleine Deighan, these dynamic individuals received submissions, edited, and published the first volume of the The Chester-Belloc Review.

The 2015 Divine Mercy Novena, which began on Good Friday and continued until Easter Saturday, was a great success. The entire college community was invited to enroll loved ones through a unique Divine Mercy enrollment web page, as well as by a beautiful enrollment card. More than 500 friends and benefactors participated in the annual novena, enrolling thousands of loved ones – living and deceased. In addition to being remembered in the nine day Divine Mercy Novena, the Divine Mercy Sunday Mass was offered for them and their intentions.

The 2014-2015 academic year included six First Friday community holy hours with all night adoration. Members of the student body, as well as faculty and staff, joined in this public act of adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. Participants were encouraged to pick up a holy hour card and dedicate an hour in front of the Blessed Sacrament for the intentions of a specific Christendom benefactor. Students offered 521 holy hours for benefactors of the college this academic year.

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Sophomore Mary Solitario pitches at a softball game against Trinity. The Lady Crusader softball team enjoyed a winning season.

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Sophomore Mary Arnold sprints to the base after a hit.

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Student musicians formed a small orchestra this semester.

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College President Dr. Timothy O’Donnell gives juniors in Rome a tour of the Colosseum.

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Junior Madeleine Deighan explains her work to a fellow student at the Spring Art Show.

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Counselors of the popular Experience Christendom Summer Program will host 6 sessions this summer.

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USCCB Director Mark Rohlena ’00 speaks at a “Life on Tap” event on success in the non-profit industry.

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Students enjoy dancing at their annual Spring Formal.

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Students and college Chaplain Fr. Stephen McGraw at the National March for Marriage.

10. Spring Play: The Christendom Players performed “And Then There Were None” by Agatha Christie. 11. Mystery Dinner Theater: Humorous duo, freshman Dominic Winter and senior Michael Kopp. 12. Kimberly Day was awarded the first William H. Marshner Award for Outstanding Theology Thesis. 13

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13. Stephen Snyder was awarded the first William R. Luckey Award for Outstanding Political Science Thesis. 14. One of the newest additions to the Christendom athletic life is the boxing club, a student-run organization, advised by Literature Professor Dr. Ben Reinhard. 15. In Rome: Philosophy professor Mark Wunsch visits students and takes them on the Seven Church Pilgrimage.

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16. Senior Joseph Gonzalez takes the floor at a Chester-Belloc Debate Society meeting.

Christendom College’s The Chronicler is an online publication appearing weekly on Fridays throughout the academic year. Written and photographed by students,The Chronicler provides a glimpse into life as a student at Christendom. Find out more and sign up to get notified when a new issue appears at christendom.edu/chronicler.

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Restoring the Temporal Order

Christendom Brings the Liberal Arts to a Wider Audience with Principles

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ver 150 years ago, Blessed John Henry Newman saw the shift toward a specialized, utilitarian education that was beginning to overtake the colleges and universities of his time. Rather than let the classical, liberal arts education of the past be lost forever, Newman set down a standard for all educational institutions to follow in the future, in his seminal The Idea of a University. It is Newman’s standard of universal study resulting in a “philosophical habit of mind” that Christendom College has embraced since its founding. Now, that educational model is coming to a wider audience in Principles, Christendom’s new, bimonthly publication. Offering readers a new opportunity to learn about contemporary issues through the lens of John Henry Newman, Principles brings together the best minds in academia in each issue, writing accessible essays where readers will see the issues that matter today in a new light. “Leaders and laymen are looking for guidance in today’s unstable social and economic environment. Many turn to utilitarian thinking and question the usefulness of a liberal education. With Principles, we’re offering a deeper perspective that comes from the formation that the liberal arts gives to our students,” says Christopher Lane, assistant professor of history at Christendom College, and the editor-in-chief of Principles.

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Seeking to employ Christendom College’s educational model for the renewal of the temporal order, Principles offers a unique, scholarly perspective lacking in contemporary thinking today. Like Christendom, the perspective embraces John Henry Newman’s vision of a liberal education that disciplines the intellect and thus forms good members of society, who will bring sound principles to their personal, professional, and civic endeavors. The inaugural issue features an essay by Robert Louis Wilken, professor emeritus of History of Christianity at the University of Virginia. This piece focuses on how to build a Christian culture amidst today’s crisis in learning, by looking at how educators preserved and relied on a traditional liberal arts education after the fall of the Roman Empire in the West. Lane believes that the clarity offered by Principles will offer a stark contrast to the contemporary opinion pieces of the modern news media. “Newman often spoke about something he called ‘viewiness,’ which he described as a tendency to express an opinion at a moment’s notice without adequate thought or consideration. Our 24/7 news and opinion cycle is glutted with this ‘viewiness,’ which we seek to counteract in Principles through writing that comes from a properly trained philosophical habit of mind,” says Lane. Principles is published every two months, focusing on the contemporary topics that matter to today’s readers. Sign up to receive Principles at getprinciples.com.


CLASSMATES

our to dy Sen sions mis es@ sub ssmat .edu m a l o c nd iste chr

[your paper & ink alumni social network]

1990’s Dori Greco Rutherford ’93 enjoyed reconnecting with her Political Science & Economics Professor Dr. William Luckey, following his last lecture on May 6. See more on page 5. Joanne Fields ’98 opened a chapter of St. Paul Street Evangelization in her town of Gaithersburg, MD, last August. She began with no money and no members other than herself. In the last nine months, membership has grown to about twenty five and God has always provided for their financial needs. The Gaithersburg team evangelizes about once a week at local public areas, handing out free rosaries, medals, crucifixes, and Catholic literature. They have helped a number of people back to their Catholic faith. Check out what is going on with her team at www.stpaulse.com/gaithersburg or contact her if you are interested in learning more: GodLovesGaithersburg@gmail.com.

2000’s

David and Elizabeth (Rice) Wallace ’05 are delighted to announce the arrival of their fourth and fifth sons, Ambrose Gregory and Basil Michael, born April 18, 2015. Nick ’09 and Jackie (Belle-Oudry) ’08 Akhurst, along with their son Austin David (3) welcomed George Francis in March of this year.

Lizzie (Crnkovich) ’12 married graduate school alumnus, Adam Richard ’13 (MA), in Christendom’s Chapel of Christ the King on December 27, 2014. Dominic de Souza ’12 has published a website to transform the way we learn about the saints: a social network through which the saints come to life online. Saintnook is the first website to aggregate galleries, videos, information and references through an elegant, beautiful experience. The saints are always online. Find out more at saintnook.com. Heather Lawrence ’13 got engaged to Joseph Strickland ’13 on November 8, 2014. They will marry on July 18, 2015.

2010’s Aaron ‘10 and Andrea (Cook) ‘09 Pfauth recently welcomed their first daughter, Gemma Pfauth, on April 27. She was 5 pounds 12 ounces, and is their pride and joy.

Gabriel Young ’01 has served almost 11 years as an active duty Judge Advocate in the US Air Force. He was last seen in the Virginia area while attending George Washington Law School in 20122013 (graduated with a LLM in Environmental Law). He, his wife (Jen), and three lovely children (Luke, Dominic, and Emma) are currently stationed in Paradise (The Aloha State). However, they will depart Oahu in July to continue his service at DavisMonthan Air Force Base in Tucson, Ariz. Please feel free to contact Gabriel at gmtyoung@yahoo.com. Matthew Rensch ’11, a seminarian at the North American College in Rome, was recently honored with carrying the crucifix during Pope Francis’ historic visit to the seminary on May 2.

6th Annual Thomas S. Vander Woude

GOLF TOURNAMENT

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Kelly Lawyer ’13 (right) graduated with her master’s degree in classics and a certification in spoken Latin from the University of Kentucky. (Pictured above with her classmates and fellow Christendom alumnus Dennis Toscano ’10 (left), who is currently in the same graduate program.) Lawyer also won a Goldman Sachs’ Scholarship to study with the Classical Summer School at the American Academy in Rome this summer for six weeks.

SAVE THE DATE October 9, 2015 SUMMER 2015

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Omnia in Christo David Jones: Epic Poet of the Great War

Taken from the college’s motto “Instaurare Omnia in Christo,” this section features an excerpt from a recent paper or talk by one of Christendom’s distinguished faculty.

By Dr. Adam Schwartz

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early four decades after he left the trenches of Word War I, the poet David Jones (1895-1974) declared that “the forward area of the West Front had a permanent effect upon me and has affected my work in all sorts of ways.” Jones saw more active service than any other British war writer and was wounded at the Battle of the Somme. This conflict affected his religious beliefs and historical imagination enduringly; these ramifications of his soldiering in turn shaped his poetic reflections on the Great War. Jones was an increasingly apathetic Anglican as a private. In early 1917, though, he happened upon a Roman Catholic chaplain and some infantrymen celebrating a Mass, which he had never seen before. Witnessing the liturgy made a powerful impression on Jones because it fed a lifelong sacramental impulse that had been frustrated in his family’s evangelicalism, a bent based in his conviction that people are by nature makers of signs and thus at root are artists and sacramentalists. Ensuing encounters with Catholics built on this aesthetic attraction to Rome; Jones considered himself “inside a Catholic” from mid-1917 and was received into the Church in 1921. Similarly, his war experiences gave greater vitality to his view of history. Jones had always had a strong consciousness of continuity between past and present, but he claimed this sensitivity was quickened in the Forward Area: “It was there that one felt in communion with all the past.” Jones’ religious renascence and his belief in historical continuity during the Great War converged in his poetic reckonings with it, principally In Parenthesis (1937). His verse seeks to put World War I in religious and historical perspective while simultaneously stressing the unique conditions and anguish of mechanized combat and its combatants. Jones drew on religious images and themes to theodicize his war memories without blessing jingoism. Instead, he saw religion’s great power as its ability to descry the war’s folly clearly and still make the conflict comprehensible—even in such hard cases as the use of tactics that repeatedly decimate regiments—yet remain unaltered: …by Him even the G.O.C. in C.’s diversion before the Mill can shine with the splendor of order.

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To Jones, then, belief in this “eternal economy” …brings in a manner, baptism, and metaphysical order to the bankruptcy of the occasion of calamities like the Great War. Jones thought that this order was also a yield from investing in more temporal traditions. Throughout In Parenthesis, he refers to sundry actual and fictional battles (like King Arthur’s Camlann), while further invoking Shakespeare and other Western literary luminaries extensively, plus British folk lore and popular culture, and even regimental and newlyfounded trench traditions. Behind this wideranging allusiveness is an underlying assertion that the war is intelligible within any of the manifold legacies that readers of his verse might bring to it, and is hence not a radical departure from earlier eras metaphysically and morally. Jones did, however, acknowledge the modern soldier’s special circumstances, especially the effect of technological change on his fellow front-line fighters. Lest the sacrifices of ordinary men be lost in the anonymity of modern combat and thus engender despair among their survivors, Jones emphasized naming them and honoring their courage, so as to help make sense of their foolish fate: “They’re worthy of an intelligent song for all the stupidity of their contest.” Although fewer chances for conventional heroism exist in mechanized warfare, he held, the common troops’ willingness to face its terrors directly made them the worthiest heirs to traditional heroes, for doing so evinced more bravery than “staff-wallahs” or civilians displayed: it is “the small men who permanently are with their sections” who “endure all things.” Jones therefore posited the continued validity

of the epic heroic heritage by adjusting its customary focus on the social elite to account for total war’s technological transformations. His admiration for the infantry’s valor also had a spiritual aspect, as “courage is one of the Four Cardinal Moral Virtues….And behind those again stand the three theological ones.” In loving the common warriors while hating the brutality of industrial war, then, Jones sought to defy the dehumanization and despondency he associated with such conflicts and reactions to them by memorializing their most direct combatants in his framework of historical and religious meaning. Discussing the war two years before his death, Jones confessed “I still think about it more than anything else.” His lifelong grappling with this conflict was both personally agonizing and imaginatively fruitful, especially in yielding In Parenthesis, which one critic dubs “the greatest work of literature on the Great War.” But the poem’s religious and historical depth gives it even richer significance. One night shortly after the Somme offensive, Siegfried Sassoon (a fellow war writer and Catholic convert) was “overawed” by an epiphany: “It was as though I had seen the War as it might be envisioned by the mind of some epic poet a hundred years hence.” To read In Parenthesis during the centenary of the Great War is to recognize David Jones as that epic poet. Adam Schwartz (professor of history) is author of The Third Spring: G. K. Chesterton, Graham Greene, Christopher Dawson, and David Jones (The Catholic University of America Press, 2005).

An expanded version of this essay appeared in The University Bookman (Winter 2015).


Hope for the Future Help Christendom bring hope to the future by including a few words in your will.

By making an estate gift, you will support the academic and spiritual programs that make Christendom students and alumni such a powerful force for change in the world. A gift from your will is an ideal way to fight for Catholic truth and speak out about the values that are so close to the Heart of the Lord for years to come. You can bring hope to the future and leave a lasting legacy by adding a few words to your will.

christendom.edu/giving

If you are interested in leaving a legacy for the college in your estate plans please contact: Glen McLeod Office of Advancement glen.mcleod@christendom.edu 800.877.5456 ext. 1602.

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NON-PROFIT U.S. POSTAGE PAID Huntington, IN Permit # 832

134 Christendom Drive Front Royal, VA 22630

Now more than ever America and Ireland need Catholic leaders.

Join us in Summer 2016. Open to all college-aged students.

3 weeks | 6 credits christendom.edu/ireland

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Instaurare | Summer 2015