Instaurare THE CHR IS TEND O M C O LL EG E MAG AZINE
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Remaining Steadfast Commencement 2020
A LU MNI ARTISAN S CON TRI B U T E TO C H R I S T T H E K I NG C H A PE L | R E S PO NDIN G TO C OVID- 19 C H R ISTEND OM â€™ S VOCAT I ON AL H A RV E S T | R E S TO R I NG AL E X A N D R I A IN C HR IS T
VOLUME 28 | NUMBER 2 | FALL 2020 Published three times yearly by the Christendom College Marketing Office. Executive Editor: Tom McFadden Managing Editor & Design Director: Niall O’Donnell Assistant Editor: Zachary Smith Design Assistant: Johanna Burke Photos: Johanna Burke, Niall O’Donnell, Zach Smith Contributors: Johanna Burke, Zachary Smith, Tom McFadden Christendom College 134 Christendom Drive, Front Royal, VA 22630 540.636.2900 | www.christendom.edu Copyright © 2020. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is hereby granted, provided the following credit line is used: “Reprinted by permission from Instaurare, the official 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 sex, race, color, age, national origin, religion, disability, genetic information, marital status, pregnancy, or veteran status, or any other status protected by applicable law.
CHRISTENDOM COLLEGE BOARD OF DIRECTORS
ADVISORS TO THE BOARD
Mr. Guy Amisano Sr. Mr. Martin R. Boles Mr. Robert Crnkovich (Treasurer) Mr. Gene D’Agostino (Vice Chairman) Mr. Timothy Halisky ’01 Mr. Julian Heron Mrs. Karla Hester ’99 Mr. Richard Hough Dr. Timothy T. O’Donnell (ex ofﬁcio) Mr. Stephen O’Keefe ’93 (Chairman) Mr. Gary Schuberg Mr. Mark Swartzberg Mrs. Michele Velasco ’90 Mr. Thomas C. West Jr. Ms. Luanne D. Zurlo (Secretary)
Mrs. Donna Bethell Mrs. Mary Ellen Bork Mrs. Bernadette Casey-Smith Mr. John Cecconi Mr. John De Matteo Dr. Robert P. George Mr. Daniel Gorman Mrs. Joan Janaro Mr. John McNeice Mr. Joseph Melancon Rev. Robert Morey Mr. Robert Mylod The Honorable James Nicholson Mrs. Mary Beth Riordan Rev. George W. Rutler Mr. Mark Ryland The Honorable Rick Santorum Rev. William Saunders Mr. Robert Scrivener ’81 Mr. Owen Smith Mr. George Weigel Mr. Thomas Young Mr. Eugene Zurlo
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“At Christendom College, they have a wonderful curriculum...I can assure you that if you’re looking for a place that you won’t have to fear for the spiritual health and wellbeing of your children... you will find that in Christendom College.” - PATRICK MADRID Author and radio show host Patrick Madrid received the Pro Deo et Patria Medal for Distinguished Service to God and Country at the 2020 Commencement Exercises. Read more on page 13.
Inside This Issue 13
Commencement 2020 On Sunday, August 9, the Class of 2020 gathered together once more to finish what they started at Christendom’s long-awaited 41st Commencement Exercises.
Responding to COVID-19 Despite the challenges, the students, faculty, staff, alumni, and benefactors came together in support of one another.
The Vocational Harvest With over 500 alumnus-to-alumna marriages and 94 priests, 55 sisters, 7 brothers, 1 permanent deacon, 5 transitional deacons, and 17 more men currently studying for the priesthood, the vocational harvest is ripe at Christendom.
From the President
Christ the King Chapel Update
Alumni Artisans Contribute to Christ the King Chapel
News in Brief | A Note from the Editor
Business Done Differently: Alumni Entrepreneurs
Ten Years Later: Alumni Are Flourishing
Restoring Alexandria in Christ
Classmates: Alumni News
Omnia in Christo: St. Paul, “Word Sower”
Bearing Witness to the Truth in Love EXCERPT FROM PRESIDENT DR. TIMOTHY O’DONNELL’S CHARGE TO THE GRADUATES
There is a great need in our times to profess the truth boldly and with courage, and that certainly is one of the great fruits of your education here. For 35 years now, I’ve been witnessing—thanks to our outstanding faculty and staff—the incredible education and transformation of souls that takes place here.
“For 35 years now, I’ve been witnessing— thanks to our outstanding faculty and staff—the incredible education and transformation of souls that takes place here.”
Saint John Paul II said that our era was a special time of mercy and, through Saint Faustina, he gave us the Divine Mercy Chaplet—what a gift to the Church! He gave us this right at the beginning of this new millennium and, more recently, Pope Francis gave us an entire Jubilee Year dedicated to mercy. Yet, in spite of all this and this talk of mercy, it seems that everywhere we turn today, we are encountering chaos, hatred, anger, and violence in almost every aspect of culture. And as you know, the devil delights—takes keen delight—in things like disorder, division, and tearing things apart whenever he can. Even in our beloved Church, the Mystical Body, we see sides being taken all the time, people being ostracized, labeling this group or that individual. And now, we are seeing the emergence of what they’re calling the “Cancel Culture.” Oftentimes we wonder: what on earth can I possibly do in a situation like this? As Catholics, and through your education, you know that we must respond to all of this by bearing witness to the truth in love. As the wise St. Augustine once said, “Love the men you fight. Kill only their lie. Rest on truth in all humility; defend it but with no cruelty. Pray for those whom you oppose; pray for them while you correct them.”
May you, with God’s grace, be so transformed that you will reflect His mercy in your families, in the families that you will create, in your workplace, and in this saddened and wounded world of ours. May your prayers, your works, and your actions bring forgiveness through the precious blood of Jesus flowing from His open, merciful, and wounded heart. And in so doing in these troubled, starving, and errant times, you will help mightily to restore all things in Christ. Know that our hearts and our prayers go with you today. May God bless you all. Praised be Jesus Christ, now and forever!.
Christ the King Chapel U
Stay up to date with the latest news, pictures, and videos!
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D A T
Even with an uncertain spring in our
country, construction of the new Christ the King chapel proceeded as planned, with major progress being made over the past few months. The exterior of the chapel is now over half complete, and the roofing team has nearly completed installing the slate roof. The interior plumbing, electrical, and mechanical work are almost complete as well. In addition, the exterior windows that will protect the stained-glass windows from the elements are almost all in place. Progress is being made with the artwork as well. Beyer Studios, the creator of the chapelâ€™s custom stained glass windows, is preparing 8,000 pieces of diamond-shaped colored glass to be installed in the crossing towerâ€™s main window in September. Artwork for the ceiling of the crossing tower is also currently in design. Of the six bells that will eventually be installed in the bell tower, five have recently been re-tuned, while the sixth was recently cast. Kegg Organ Builders is wrapping up design of the new pipe organ, and building will begin in October. FALL 2020
umni rtisans CONTRIBUTE TO NEW CHRIST THE KING CHAPEL Famed author Dante Alighieri once wrote,
“Art is the Grandchild of God.” God creates man, and then man creates art, making art just one more generation removed from God, so to speak. In modern architecture and art, that sense of art being an imitation of God’s creative power has clearly been lost, with a strong deviation from this traditional view evident throughout modern society. This state of affairs leads one to ask: how can this traditional view be restored again? Alumni artisans Michael Schmitt, Mandy Hain, and Corey Morgan are each working to do just that through their contributions to the new Christ the King Chapel, currently under construction. Together, they are working to beautify a sacred space that will impact generations of students, inspiring them through authentic, traditional art and architecture. When planning began on Christendom’s new chapel, there was a desire from the start to build a church that would raise people’s minds toward God, like the great cathedrals and churches of past centuries did. That desire inspired Schmitt, Hain, and Morgan to want to contribute to the chapel through their artistic talents, giving back to their alma mater in a significant way while also assisting in an ecclesiastic project that would impact lives for the better.
“It is an honor to do something for my alma mater—especially something on this scale—that has a lasting quality; the chapel will be around for a very long time,” says Schmitt. “In general, this type of ecclesiastic project is very rare in the modern world because building methods and styles have changed a great deal over the past century. As a mason and carver, I’ve always wanted to focus on ecclesiastic work, but the opportunities to do so are few and far between. So, I was very excited and honored to be able to carve for the chapel.” Schmitt, who graduated from Christendom in 2002, has already completed his work for the chapel, carving the Latin inscription that will go over the front door: “HAEC EST DOMUS DEI ET PORTA COELI,” which means “THIS IS THE HOUSE OF GOD AND GATE OF HEAVEN.” The panel, which is about 24 feet long, was made using Indiana limestone, which is similar to the type of limestone used across Europe for thousands of years in the construction of countless cathedrals, monasteries, castles, palaces, houses, and more. Continuing in that traditional mode, the stone panel was hand carved by Schmitt with a mallet and chisel. Schmitt chose to do the work by hand rather than using a stone blaster, further bringing back the medieval mindset and culture for the new chapel. “The important thing is that the inscription actually reminds people of exactly what it says—the chapel with the Blessed Sacrament in it is truly the House of God and Gate of Heaven. The panel should help create a special and sacred aura at the chapel. It’s a signpost, so to speak—it points to God,” says Schmitt. Like Schmitt, Morgan also wanted to contribute to the new Christ the King Chapel when it was first announced. Since graduating in 2008, Morgan has launched a woodworking business that focuses on residential furniture, including tables, benches, beds, and some cabinets. In 2012, Morgan took a leap of faith and stepped forward to complete the woodwork in a private, gothic-style chapel — a project that gained him several years’ worth of skills and led to further liturgical work as well, including sanctuary furnishings for St. Rita’s Catholic Church in Alexandria, Virginia. That 2019 Lady Crusader Volleyball work ultimately led to him joining the team working on the Christ the King Chapel.
“Being given an opportunity to have such a clear connection with the work of one’s hands being unto the glory of God is truly a blessing,” says Morgan. “It is also incredibly special to be able to give something lasting back to the college, literally out of the fruits that I gained while in attendance there, namely my love of the faith, and the inspiration to pursue the very life of craft I am living now.” Morgan will be assisting the millwork contractor in the new chapel, who is responsible for all the hardwood floors, trim, paneling, and detailing throughout the project. In his case, he will primarily be focusing on the more decorative elements of the new chapel, such as the tracery work, as well as the arches, the side chapels, the confessionals, and an altar surround in “Our Lady’s Chapel,” which will reside behind the main high altar. When Morgan reflects on how he would like his work to be remembered, he points to the Gothic cathedrals in France where one often does not know the names of those who crafted them. “There was something perceptible about the faith of these men. If I can leave a legacy for those who enter the chapel, I would hope it can be of this kind. Now when it comes to me and my children, the idea of leaving a legacy is a real calling and challenge to be mindful of. I will absolutely be leaving them something tangible by this work. It is really beautiful to think that my own kids might one day be able to worship in a space that I had a hand in crafting,” says Morgan. Hain is also cognizant of the effect the chapel will have on young souls, making her all the more grateful to contribute to the project. Since graduation, she has worked as an artist, particularly in beautifying churches. From decorative finishes, to statue restoration, to mural work and more, Hain has worked hard to bring man’s mind to God through art. She sees this newest project as a means, in particular, of celebrating Christ as King.
“I believe that it is of the greatest importance that the students, those in the community and any who may wander in having seen it from the highway be able to worship and meditate in a place of beauty,” says Hain. “Beauty is not an accessory. It is a necessity that has transformative, healing, and encouraging power. It brings us to its source and makes us better without effort on our part. It is truly part of God’s order of mercy and redemption in this way. This is a dream I have for the students—that they encounter real beauty within the heart of Christendom, the Chapel of Christ the King.” Hain will be creating artwork for the ceiling of the chapel, and some of the main focal points of the Sanctuary as well. Her artwork will have a quiet and contemplative tone, according to her, that calls one to inner stillness. The centric point of inspiration for her artwork will be that Christ the King breaks through the glorious Universe through the Eucharist, a reality that she hopes to symbolize through her art. “Art for the Church is different than other kinds of art because it is an extension of the Liturgy itself; and additionally—in this case at Christendom—it is part of the formation of young souls. I admit that I have felt a kind of breathtaking realization that this is not simply an opportunity for artwork, it is an opportunity to answer a moral call,” concludes Hain. When Christ the King Chapel is finished, it will stand as a reminder of Christ’s Kingship and as a source of hope and consolation for all who step foot in it. The work of Schmitt, Morgan, and Hain will contribute to that vision. Through stone, wood, and paint, these alumni are taking on the noble task of inspiring men and women to prayer and love of Christ—impacting countless souls for the better as a result.
WATCH THE PROCESS ONLINE See the alumni-crafted stone lettering above the entrance of the new Christ the King chapel be created and installed.
c h apel.c hr is te nd o m .e d u >
BRIEF FREE ONLINE CLASS AND WEEKLY VIDEO SERIES The college recently launched two exciting online educational programs: a free online class titled Christ: The Center of History and a weekly spiritually focused video, “Principles for Your Week.” The online class is taught by college president Dr. Timothy O’Donnell, while the weekly videos delve into a variety of topics pertinent to the times, providing helpful tips and reflections for Catholic families. For more information on both of these new initiatives, visit principlesclasses.com and principlesforyourweek.com.
THE MARIAN OPTION Dr. Carrie Gress, author of numerous books, including The Anti-Mary Exposed, delivered the keynote address at the college’s annual Summer Consortium, an exclusive event for President Council Members. Gress’ lecture titled Cause for Hope: Mary, the Solution to Cultural Decay explained how the Virgin Mother is the antidote for the cultural chaos in America. The lecture will be available online soon and will be featured in the college’s Principles publication (getprinciples.com).
BOOK AWARD FINALIST Christendom College professor Steve Weidenkopf ’s latest work, Timeless: A History of the Catholic Church, has been named a finalist for the Association of Catholic Publishers (ACP) 2020 Excellence in Publishing Awards. The book, called “a rare gem,” details the history of the Catholic Church in one volume, stretching from Pentecost to the present day.
NEW BOARD MEMBERS Michele Velasco (’91), Julian Heron, and Gary Schuberg were elected to Christendom College’s Board of Directors this past year. The three new members, coming from a variety of different fields and backgrounds, are eager to support the mission of Christendom College and help guide the school toward future success.
F RO M
E D I TO R
Tom McFadden, Editor
MARRIAGE RENEWAL Alumna Mary-Rose Verret (’04) and her husband, Ryan, launched a five-part marriage enrichment and renewal series for couples across the country titled “Be Light” through their Witness to Love marriage ministry. The series features presentations from married couples, reflection questions, and recommended resources, all to help couples reconnect with each other and other Catholic couples across the country.
The ﬁrst issue of Instaurare for which I was editor was the Christmas 2000 issue—Volume VIII, Number IV. I had just been hired in October 2000 to manage the magazine, among other things, and within the ﬁrst week on the job, I was working with then Layout Editor Tom McGraw to write stories and get the publication to press. There was nothing spectacular about that issue—other than some very pithy headlines—but it was a great feeling to be a part of promoting the college, my alma mater, through its magazine. And for the past 20 years, I have felt the same way.
ATHLETES NAMED USCAA ACADEMIC ALL-AMERICANS Twenty-nine Christendom student-athletes were named USCAA Academic All-Americans for 2019-20, an honor recognizing their academic and athletic excellence. The awardwinners include men’s soccer players Pablo Boada, James Foeckler, Ian Heisler, Brian Hicks, Mark LaRochelle, Joshua Mead, and Nate Scanlon; women’s soccer players Martha Blank, Melanie Heinlein, Samantha Stahl, and Basia Syski; women’s volleyball players Maria Cook, Mary Heisler, Claire Guernsey, and Avery Thomas; men’s rugby players Pablo Boada, John Briggs, Benedict Clark, Kevin McDermott, and Matthew McShurley; men’s basketball players Ian Heisler, Jack Hofbauer, and Nate Scanlon; women’s basketball players Bridget Duffy and Mary Heisler; baseball players Stephen Buonocore, Ian Heisler, Max Henrie, Frank Scarchilli, and Caleb Wilson; softball players Kadi Martin and Emily Palm; and cross-country runners Lucy Baird and Joshua Weaver.
The subscription has grown from 7,000 when I ﬁrst started to close to 25,000 today. I have overseen the publication of an astounding 76 issues of Instaurare, helping transform it from the tabloid newsie publication of its youth to a more eye-catching, features-rich magazine in recent years. And I have done this with the indispensable help of a number of people—our student photographers and writers, our copy editors and story writers, and most especially, our long-time Managing Editor Niall O’Donnell. Although this is my last issue of Instaurare, I will continue to work at the college, focusing less on marketing and publications, and more on student success and satisfaction. I gladly hand over the editorial reins to Niall O’Donnell, who will, I am sure, continue to bring Christendom to life in the pages of this magazine, and help our Christendom family of alumni, benefactors, and friends continue to fall deeply in love with this great college. Thanks for your readership and support.
BUSINESS DONE DIFFERENTLY ALUMNI ENTREPRENEURS BRING INTEGRITY AND FAITH INTO THE WORKPLACE Christendom alumni have gone on to start
successful businesses in a wide range of spaces—from construction, to IT, to government contracting, to marketing, just to name a few. Though the types of businesses alumni have started are diverse, what they have in common is leadership that insists on ethical business practices. Alumni are saying no to the dog-eat-dog mindset of doing business, and instead treating employees and customers with dignity and care. From creating positive corporate environments, to treating customers fairly while providing valuable services, Christendom alumni are positively affecting the culture and showing that honesty really is the best policy. Alumni Patrick Weinert, Joe Long, Tony Bodoh, and Sean Garvey are several examples of alumni who are running thriving businesses and doing meaningful work through their leadership. They all believe that their Christendom education has been indispensable as they started and continue to lead their successful businesses. Patrick Weinert ’98 started The Money Mission LLC in 2017, a financial coaching business that assists military service members and veterans with their financial goals. After a 20-year career with the United States Marines, Weinert was inspired to start his business, having observed that military members and veterans have specific financial needs that were not being served.
Weinert’s business is meeting a real need in the market and is helping many active and veteran military members achieve financial freedom. According to Weinert, this has been made possible by the formation he received at Christendom. Weinert regularly draws upon his Christendom education, relying on the critical thinking and problem-solving skills he gained during college; and most importantly, finding inspiration in his faith. “Christendom’s spiritual formation and education were fundamental in helping me establish and run a business,” shared Weinert. “The formation in the faith gives you priorities, the prayer and sacraments give you the spiritual fuel, and the education gives you the knowledge on how to work in the market, determine what the market needs, be willing to pivot in order to remain relevant to community needs, and have the perseverance to see the business through to success.” According to Weinert, his Christendom education has given him the tools to think critically about how his personal expertise and experiences could be used to solve real problems and fill gaps in the market. “Christendom has had a major impact on how I run my business because it gave me the guidance to realize that the market doesn’t always know what it wants,” Weinert remarked. “As a business leader, you have to have a conversation with the market to discover what it wants and needs.”
“Christendom’s spiritual formation and education were fundamental in helping me establish and run a business.” - Patrick Weinert ’98
In addition to having the mental tools to succeed as a business leader, Weinert believes that Christendom strengthened his faith greatly, helping him integrate Catholicism into his daily life as well as his business. “Even though I have many customers and employees who are not Catholic,” he shared, “I strive to act in their best interests, and hopefully, through that, encourage them to develop their relationship with Christ.” The faith of alumnus Joe Long ’12 also plays a large role in his company, Pro Rome, which specializes in organizing European group travel, especially Catholic pilgrimages and high school summer programs in Rome. Through these programs and pilgrimages, Long hopes to inspire a deeper appreciation for the faith and “show Americans the best of Rome.” Long participated in Christendom’s Junior Semester in Rome in 2010, which played an enormous role in his decision to start Pro Rome. Through tangibly experiencing the history and splendor of the Church during that semester, Long’s desire to return to Rome and share the pilgrimage experience with others took root. After graduating in 2012, he attained Italian citizenship and moved to the Eternal City, immersing himself in Rome’s life, history, and culture. He earned a masters in church history, studied the ins and outs of the tourism industry, and just two years after graduating from college, founded Pro Rome. In the years since, Long has continually drawn upon his Christendom education in his work. As he describes it, he tries to create tours and pilgrimages that instill the “Catholic worldview” he gained while at Christendom. “The Catholic and classical mind seeks to make sense of things, and my Christendom education gave me a thoughtful
and universal understanding of the world that I seek to instill in our pilgrims and students,” Long stated. “In my business this translates into building itineraries with purpose, journeys that really seek to engage and transform the individual through a variety of different experiences—all of which shed a bigger and brighter light on the Catholic worldview.” While his educational background constantly comes into play as he plans tours and pilgrimages, he believes that the moral formation he received most deeply affects how he runs his business. “Hands down, the most important aspect of Christendom’s entire educational approach is the moral formation. It permeates everything we did there, and I thank God every day for it,” he declared. “The moral man is just, and I strive to act justly in every aspect of my business, from paying fair wages and creating fair pricing, to giving each and every client my utmost respect and attention. Without morality, life is just a rat race, an anxious pursuit of more and more.” Long is an excellent example of a graduate who has taken what he gained at Christendom and seeks to share it with others. “I really do believe that everyone is an entrepreneur at heart. Most people just don’t know it,” Long continued. “The liberal arts formation, without a doubt, advances and sharpens that innate human capacity to create. It definitely helped me. It’s no surprise that many of my Christendom colleagues now run their own businesses.” Sean Garvey ’93 is among those fellow graduates who are running a successful business of their own. After founding and selling two IT firms, Garvey decided to start an executive consulting firm called Virgil Advisory Services. This firm helps businesses bring their ideas and intended missions to fruition.
“The Liberal Arts formation, without a doubt, advances and sharpens that innate human capacity to create.” - Joe Long ’12
“Being an implicitly trustworthy person is far more important and lasting than being a tough negotiator.” - Sean Garvey ’93 “The primary challenge that faces most businesses is not a lack of good ideas, or a lack of market opportunity,” said Garvey. “It is people, process, and culture. My company helps build an organization and shape it to achieve its mission.” According to Garvey, he regularly draws upon the intellectual and moral formation he received at Christendom, and the critical thinking skills he gained have been a clear asset throughout his career. Moreover, he attributes his current success to the understanding of the human person, proper philosophy of man, and understanding of interpersonal relationships he acquired at Christendom. With these tools at hand, Garvey’s firm instructs businesses how to create a company culture based on trustworthiness and virtue. “In my experience, culture is the most important—and most neglected—asset a company has,” he said. “And culture is, in essence, the values your organization exhibits via the infinite number of interactions it partakes in every day, be they between team members, between the company and its clients, between the company and its vendors, partners, etc.” Garvey encourages his clients to form relationships with clients, and make deals that are mutually beneficial, rejecting the common notion that business deals must result in a winner and a loser. Moreover, Garvey’s firm advises businesses to prioritize honest and ethical business practices. “Being an implicitly trustworthy person is far more important and lasting than being a tough negotiator,” he explained. Like Garvey, Tony Bodoh ’97 has also launched a consulting firm, Tony Bodoh International, a customer experience consultancy. TBI helps businesses apply the scientific research related to human experiences, emotions, and decision making to deepen customer relationships and help businesses grow. In addition to serving as CEO of TBI, Bodoh is actively involved as an owner, partner, or board member in several other
businesses and nonprofits. He is also an author, speaker, and podcast host, and his content has helped many small businesses to grow. For Bodoh, helping others achieve their goals is immensely fulfilling work. “One of the greatest skills that my Christendom education instilled in me was learning how to learn, which includes the abilities to unlearn and relearn,” he said. “Christendom’s education and environment exposed me to truths that challenged what I believed when I first arrived, which helped me see that in order to come to the truth, I would often have to ‘unlearn.’ In today’s rapidly transforming world, the ability to unlearn and relearn is at the heart of resilience—for the person and the organization.” In addition, Bodoh believes his Christendom education gave him a deep appreciation for the value of human creativity and labor at all levels, allowing him to work effectively with employees who work on the front lines, all the way up to CEOs. For Bodoh, the education and formation he received at Christendom have been a catalyst for not only his personal success as a business leader, but the success of many other small business owners as well. Wienert, Long, Garvey, and Bodoh are several examples of alumni entrepreneurs who are integrating their Catholic faith and the principles they learned at Christendom into their work as business leaders. Learning to think critically and morally through the study of the liberal arts is great preparation for the future entrepreneur. The world needs business leaders who are formed morally and have a proper understanding of the human person. This is why Christendom graduates are making waves in a whole host of fields—proof positive that studying the Catholic liberal arts is great preparation for a successful career and a life well lived.
“One of the greatest skills that my Christendom education instilled in me was learning how to learn.” - Tony Bodoh ’97
C O M M E N C E M E N T 202 0
GRADUATES FINALLY GATHER FOR CHRISTENDOM’S 2020 COMMENCEMENT CEREMONIES
On March 17, 2020, everything changed
for Christendom’s Class of 2020. Plans for the final months of their college career, for their upcoming graduation, and their last moments all together as a class disappeared overnight, as Christendom moved to online distance learning in the wake of COVID-19. They endured the same hardships of so many others around the globe, and yet they pushed forward—in prayer, in perseverance, and in hope. In May, they took their finals and officially became alumni of Christendom College—and yet, there was still a feeling of incompleteness. That all finally changed on Sunday, August 9, when the class gathered together once more to finish what they started at Christendom’s long-awaited 41st Commencement Exercises. In the months between officially finishing college and attending graduation, members of the Class of 2020 began to transition into their next phase of life, starting jobs, getting married, and moving from family homes. Nevertheless, of the 89 members of the Class of 2020, 83 managed to return to campus for graduation. Due to the new, late-summer timing of Commencement, they were also joined by 10 newly graduated members of Christendom’s Graduate School graduating class, marking the first time Graduate School graduates would walk with the undergraduates in over 20 years. Bernadette Rohan celebrates after commencement ceremonies.
C O M M E N C E M E N T 2020
Carlos Pardo Gasque (center) with professors Dr. Mark Wunsch and Dr. Andrew Whitmore.
While Commencement was shortened to one day instead of its typical weekend length, graduates still showed the same excitement and the same gratitude as classes before them — and perhaps even more so, after everything they went through in the spring. Arriving on campus on a beautiful Sunday morning with their parents, the graduates saw each other for the first time in months before vesting for their long-awaited baccalaureate Mass. There were differences in how the Baccalaureate Mass was conducted, including the removal of the typical graduate procession in order to maintain distancing in the Chapel. Even still, graduates beamed as they sat in the Chapel again — the same Chapel where they spent hundreds of hours, whether in Mass, in confession, or in prayer over their four years at Christendom. College chaplain Fr. Marcus Pollard celebrated the Mass, calling upon the graduates to maintain the same spirit of prayer they shared as classmates. “We study and pray so that we can live the full Christian life. Dr. Carroll and his colleagues did the laborious work they did years ago so that you can speak intelligently as Christ would have you,” said Fr. Pollard. “The ongoing work of forming minds and souls here at Christendom College never ends. Without your prayers, there is no way it can continue. May God bless you on your Commencement day.”
Parker Feiring ready to graduate.
Following the Mass, graduates lined up to make their procession over to St. Louis the Crusader Gymnasium to complete their Christendom College education. The sound of bagpipes filled the air as they passed by buildings they knew so well — Christ the King Chapel, St. Lawrence Commons, the residence halls, and even the new Christ the King Chapel, currently under construction — before they arrived at their Commencement Exercises. There waited their parents, while hundreds more family members watched them arrive online due to capacity restrictions. Salutatorian Emily Palm welcomed all present to the Commencement exercises, challenging her class to not think on all they missed in 2020 but rather to look back with gratitude on all they did receive during their four years together. “Looking back at our four years together, we have two choices on how to view our college experience: we could focus on everything that we missed and graduate feeling unfulfilled, as if everything we experienced was not enough, or we can choose to embrace our college years as they were, realizing with gratitude all that we did receive during these four years and focusing on all the joyful moments,” said Palm. “Life will not always have great moments of happiness, but it is guaranteed to have lots of small ones—we just have to know where to look. I, for one, suggest reflecting on the times we spent learning,
Let us remember today, with hearts filled with gratitude, our Catholic forefathers and foremothers who loved and lived the Catholic Faith with fidelity and perseverance, sometimes amidst hardship and persecution. Their memory calls to us from the past and encourages us to remain steadfast as they were then.
praying, and socializing…dear Class of 2020, it has been my joy to have spent four years with you at Christendom College. I am so proud to see you all again today and I look forward to whatever the future holds for us.” Following her address, college president Dr. Timothy O’Donnell bestowed the Pro Deo et Patria Award for Distinguished Service to God and Country on author and radio personality Patrick Madrid. Madrid then delivered the Commencement Address for the Class of 2020, remarking on all that has happened in 2020 before ultimately exhorting the Class of 2020 to courageously step forward and take their place as leaders in the Church. “My dear Class of 2020, you sure picked quite a year to graduate,” said Madrid. “We need well-educated and wellformed young men and women, just like you, who know how to think clearly, now, more than ever…let us remember today, with hearts filled with gratitude, our Catholic forefathers and
foremothers who loved and lived the Catholic Faith with fidelity and perseverance, sometimes amidst hardship and persecution. Their memory calls to us from the past and encourages us to remain steadfast as they were then.” During his address, Madrid gave three pieces of advice to the graduating class: to not be afraid to live the truth, to not be afraid to speak the truth, and to not be afraid to suffer for the truth. By doing all these things, the Class of 2020 can have a profound impact on the Church and on society, according to Madrid, resulting in a better tomorrow. “Graduates, do not be discouraged by 2020. Maybe, the best is yet to come, in that more and bigger challenges are still ahead of us. The Church was made for such times and you have been well prepared for such times. You just finished four years of academic training that has equipped you—heart, mind, and soul—to go forth confidently, joyfully, and courageously into the lives God has prepared for you for all eternity,” concluded Madrid.
C O M M E N C E M E N T 2020
Top left-right: Dr. O’Donnell presents Patrick Madrid with the Pro Deo et Patria Medal; James Foeckler is presented with the Student Achievement Award; Graduates Emilie Scarchilli and Christina Nutt. Lower leftright: Salutatorian Emily Palm; Valedictorian Isabella Reilly; Br. John Francis ’14 (B.A.) receives his master’s degree; Graduate School Dean Dr. R.J. Matava.
After the address, Director of Alumni and Donor Relations Vince Criste presented the Student Achievement Award to James Foeckler for his dedication to the community over his four years at Christendom. Foeckler was head resident assistant his senior year, along with serving as captain of the men’s soccer team. He also was a member of the college’s student activities council, competed on the men’s rugby team, and was seen constantly at the Chapel, whether for Mass or for prayer, setting an example for other students to follow. Following Foeckler’s award, Dr. O’Donnell delivered the degrees to the undergraduates. After three months of waiting, they finally walked across the stage to receive their diplomas. Soon after them came the Graduate School graduates, with the dean of the Graduate School, Dr. R.J. Matava, conferring their degrees. Valedictorian Isabella Reilly, now the donor stewardship assistant for Christendom, provided the farewell address for the
Class of 2020. Because of her position, Reilly had the special privilege of preparing the farewell gift boxes for all of her classmates and decided to add a special gift from her as a result: the Surrender Novena. Reilly eloquently spoke on why she made this additional gift for her classmates, explaining that, in the face of all they experienced this year, the only way to find peace is through trust and surrender to Christ. “2020 has a been a trying year for everyone. The anxiety, fear, uncertainty and unpredictability of every aspect of life has been exhausting. Nothing has gone according to plan. Nevertheless, I have repeatedly encountered a single idea, from my family, my friends, and my co-workers: the only way to find peace and to survive these trying times is through trust and surrender,” said Reilly. “We have spent four years here at Christendom. We have spent hundreds of hours in Christ the King Chapel, in the classroom, in the library, and in the offices of our professors. But those four years, those memories, those friendships, and those FALL 2020
C O M M E N C E M E N T 2 0 20
We have spent hundreds of hours in Christ the King Chapel, in the classroom, in the library, and in the offices of our professors. But those four years, those memories, those friendships, and those classes were leading to this moment—to the moment when we officially graduate and formally leave Christendom College in order to spread the reign of Christ in other communities.
Left: Matthew Hill with members of his family and philosophy professor Dr. John Cuddeback. Right: College President Dr. O’Donnell’s niece, Teresa Ford, and nephew, John Lemmon, with family members. Lower: Mark Chamandy with his parents.
classes were leading to this moment—to the moment when we officially graduate and formally leave Christendom College in order to spread the reign of Christ in other communities. We are contingent beings. Our sense of helplessness over the past year has reminded us that we do not control much. If, however, we surrender it all to Christ, then it doesn’t matter what happens to us, for we can do all things in Christ who strengthens us. Class of 2020, I would like to exhort us all to go into the world, surrendering all things to Christ. May Christ conquer the world through and with us.” Closing the ceremony, Dr. O’Donnell delivered his charge to the graduates. The graduates of the Class of 2020 will never forget their Commencement ceremony, nor the semester that led up to it. What they experienced in the spring was historic, challenging, and heartbreaking. But what they experienced in the twilight of summer was full of the joy, hope, and Faith that characterized their four years in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. When they first received word that their final semester would be cut short, the members of the Class of 2020 were
devastated. But the college’s Student Body President, Annie Sullivan, responded to that devastation with a letter that rings as true now as it did then, evidencing the love that united the Class of 2020 and will continue to unite them as they now go off to fulfill the mission of Christendom. “Now, more than ever, it is important to remain joyful and connected...The love, joy, and sacrifice shared in our community go beyond 134 Christendom Drive. Pray hard and stay together.”
Top-left: Sam Morales with philosophy professor Dr. Daniel McInerny. Top-right: Margaret Speer embraces her father. Middle-left: Ann-Marie Wingerter with history professor Dr. Michael Kelly. Middle-right: The 19 members of the Class of 2020 for Christendom’s Graduate School are Kara Anthony-Price, Jordan Boone, Aaron Brasher, Casey Chalk, Brian Dooley, Diane Ferrante, Br. John (Thomas Aquinas) Francis, C.S.J., Florence Garufi, Mary Hundt, Brett Manero, Michael Miller, Aidan O’Malley, Rev. Kyle Neterer, Nicholas Passero, Nathaniel Peters, Joseph C. Schleicher, and Daniel Shinton, John Simpson, and Sister Adriane Mary Torrisi, S.D.S.H. Lower: The 89 members of the Class of 2020 are Kyra Andersen, Thomas Audino, John Bailey, Mikaela Bailey, John Belton, AnneMarie Bulman, Rachael Butek, Rebecca Byrne, Mark Chamandy, Timothy Clauss, Theresa Crnkovich, Christopher Culbreath, Riley Damitz, Olivia Di Falco, Eliana Doll, Jorge Dominguez, Michael Echaniz, Mary Fallon, Katarina Federici, Parker Feiring, James Foeckler, Teresa Ford, Sara Franco Bruce, Gabriel Freivald, Lauren Gage, Abigail Gaus, Laura Gelles, Joseph Gerring, Mary Rita Gies, Cabrina Gorges, Monica Guza, Colette Hazinski, Ian Heisler, Mary Margaret Heisler, William Herb, Thomas Herlihy, Matthew Hill, Margaret Howerton, Monica Kaul, Emma Klein, Benjamin Kristine, Lucy La Fave, Edith Lagarde, John Lemmon, Maximilian Lock, Lily Mann, Joshua Mead, Jonathan Messing, Isabel Meteyer, Aiden Miller, Alexis Miller, Samuel Morales, Diego Moreno II, Patrick Newton, Michael Nodar, Christina Nutt, Gregory O’Brien, Christopher O’Keefe, Rosemarie Olszewski, Maria Ortega, Rowena Owen, Emily Palm, Sarah Papp, Adela Pardo Gasque, Carlos Pardo Gasque, Gabriela Pariseau, Daniel Pearson, Michaela Pennefather, Isabella Reilly, Madison Reulet, Bernadette Rohan, James Rossi, Fernando Sanchez, Katherine Santschi, Emilie Scarchilli, James Scrivener, Sofia Skuba, Anna Solitario, Margaret Speer, Anthony Storey, Anne Sullivan, Michael Urankar, Thomas Vander Woude, Ashley Way, Emily Wenzel, Ann-Marie Wingerter, Abigail Wynne, Vivian Zadnik, and Gregory Zuranski.
Christendom Responds to COVID-19 Christendom College is characterized by
community. The pursuit of wisdom and virtue in the classroom is brought to life by the conversations and relationships formed in the residence halls and at meals. This is why Christendomâ€™s culture prioritizes spending time with one another in person, studying, praying, and living as a community. The need to social distance, the move to online instruction, and most painfully, the unavailability of the sacraments all seemed to hinder the that which the college community holds most dear. Despite what the college community endured during these times, students, faculty, staff, alumni, and benefactors have come together in support of one another, uniting in prayer, remaining positive, and finding hope in Christ.
ROME STUDENTS RETURN TO THE US When news broke that COVID-19 had spread to northern Italy in early March, Christendomâ€™s administration was immediately concerned for the safety and well-being of the students studying in Rome. Not only was their health a concern, travel bans and unpredictable government ordinances became looming possibilities. It became clear that it would be in the best interest of students to return home to the United States and finish their classes online.
On May 13, the feast of Our Lady of Fatima, Dr. Oâ€™Donnell lit a candle for the intentions of the students, promising to keep the candle lit until their return to campus.
Even though ending the semester just two weeks after it had begun was a clear necessity, it was still a painful decision to make. “This decision was not made lightly, and it breaks our hearts that the students will not be able to experience the entire Rome semester,” stated Amanda Graf, VP for student affairs, in her letter to students and parents. “Ultimately, it is our care and concern for the students that motivates us to make this decision.” While not being able to complete their semester abroad was certainly an immense disappointment for the students, they came together in support of one another, showing graciousness and resilience as they ended their semester prematurely. “Even considering how much I had sacrificed and saved for my Rome semester, how eagerly I looked forward to it, and
researching and creating online tools and resources for faculty and students. Faculty quickly learned to use these resources, developing plans to teach online, getting training from staff members, and adjusting lesson plans. This period, though stressful, was characterized by an inspirational level of commitment from both faculty and staff. “The Christendom education would not have been possible this semester without the faculty’s devotion to their students,” shared academic dean Dr. Ben Reinhard. “With only a week’s notice, my colleagues rewrote their syllabi, learned new technologies, and adapted themselves to an entirely new teaching style. While online education can never truly substitute for the real thing, the faculty’s dedication allowed us to make the best of a very difficult situation.”
“The Christendom staff, both at home and in Rome, gave us overwhelming support and care, and my fellow students displayed such beautiful strength of character. Even going through such a huge disappointment, we laughed, we prayed, we smiled, and we trusted.” how quickly it was taken away, I still only feel blessed,” shared Lianna Youngman ’21. “The Christendom staff, both at home and in Rome, gave us overwhelming support and care, and my fellow students displayed such beautiful strength of character. Even going through such a huge disappointment, we laughed, we prayed, we smiled, and we trusted.”
MAKING THE SHIFT TO ONLINE CLASSES As students were being sent home from Rome, no one anticipated that the entire student body would eventually need to shift to online learning. Nevertheless, as health concerns became more worrisome, and government restrictions more stringent, closing campus became a clear yet heart-wrenching necessity. Immediately after the shift to online classes was announced, faculty and staff rallied to strategize and overcome the obstacles posed by teaching online. Members of the college’s computer and library services departments employed their expertise,
Before the students studying in Rome had to depart, they were able to go on pilgrimage to Sienna and Assisi. While having their semester cut short was an immense disappointment, the students kept a positive attitude, handling the situation with grace and patience.
Students also displayed incredible resilience throughout this difficult transition. From notes and books being left behind in residence halls, to simply lacking a quiet place to study, the sudden transition to online learning was anything but easy. Yet, students went above and beyond to continue their learning, showing patience and perseverance throughout the process. According to sophomore Kathleen Sullivan, “[Online classes] will never give the satisfaction the in-class environment does, but the lectures our professors posted made it more personal and helped us stay connected, even though we were not all together. Even though we were disconnected from our usual routine of seeing each other and working with one another, all of the professors made an effort to make sure all of us students were doing okay, and they were there every step of the way, making it as easy as possible for us.” Though the sudden transition to online learning was in no way ideal, the commitment of both Christendom’s faculty and student body was made abundantly clear.
“While online education can never truly substitute for the real thing, the faculty’s dedication allowed us to make the best of a very difficult situation.”
Some groups prayed vespers together via Zoom meetings, while others conducted virtual spiritual reading discussions. Professor Mike Brown stepped up to give students and the larger Christendom community opportunities to connect online. When Christendom is in session, Brown hosts trivia games once a week at lunch, giving students, faculty, and staff a chance to come together for some friendly competition. Brown kept this tradition alive, hosting large trivia competitions via Zoom twice a week, and opening up the competition to the families of students and alumni. In addition, he hosted a virtual Quodlibet. Twice a year, students and faculty gather for an open forum style event in which attendees can ask a panel of faculty members academic questions they do not have the chance to ask in the classroom. Brown made sure that this tradition was kept alive, hosting a virtual Quodlibet, with Professor Sharon Hickson, Dr. Mark Wunsch, Dr. Joseph Brutto, Dr. Andrew Whitmore, and Fr. Pollard fielding questions.
ALUMNI AND BENEFACTORS UNITE IN SUPPORT Since students were unable to complete their semester on campus, Christendom made the obvious choice to reimburse students the prorated cost of room and board. The students studying in Rome also were reimbursed a large portion of their Rome fee. While reimbursing students was clearly the right thing
STAYING SOCIALLY CONNECTED In addition to staying connected through classes, the Christendom community found creative ways to keep in touch outside of classwork. Members of the Student Activities Council organized a virtual Coffee House. A longstanding college tradition, Coffee House is an event where students perform comedy routines, musical acts, and sketches, and display their other talents. This year, instead of performing on stage, students participated by submitting videos, which were compiled and aired via a live YouTube event. Also, student-run prayer and formation groups called Strongholds continued to meet, even at a distance. These small-scale, peer-led, all-male or all-female groups that focus on growing in holiness and virtue continued to meet virtually.
Sophomore Claire Guernsey at work at her home in Florida.
“It is so great to see our alumni not only offering financial support, but also spiritual support for their alma mater.”
“By the end of June and our last fiscal year, our dedicated supporters enabled us to reach 100% of our first campaign goal,” shared director of annual giving Adam Wilson. “Our ‘Zero Federal Funding’ campaign to raise much needed funds while remaining free of federal strings was a success!”
CONNECTING WITH FAMILIES AND HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS Halyna Charba, daughter of alumni John ’87 and Michelle ’88, enjoys a virtual open house from the comfort of her home in Texas.
to do, Christendom did not have the safety net of receiving emergency funds through the Federal CARES Act. While the vast majority of universities across the nation were receiving funds to help cover these emergency costs, Christendom did not receive any aid from the bailout due to its commitment to rejecting federal funding. Despite this unexpected loss in revenue, the college has been generously supported by alumni and benefactors, carrying it through an economically pressing period. During April, the college hosted its third annual Giving Day, which generated great financial support from alumni, alumni parents, and other benefactors. “Our third annual Giving Day was a great success thanks to the generosity of our dedicated alumni base,” said Vince Criste, director of alumni and donor relations. “Despite the challenges, Giving Day 2020 raised $210,795 from 715 donors. In addition, we obtained 309 new monthly donors who will give tens of thousands in additional funds in the next twelve months. Additionally, it is so great to see our alumni not only offering financial support, but also spiritual support for their alma mater.” Christendom also launched the “Zero Federal Funding” campaign in May to help meet the challenging financial goals of the college and meet the rising need of financial aid for its students.
Even in the best of circumstances, researching and deciding upon the right college can be challenging and often stressful for families. This is why the Christendom admissions team strives to make the college discernment process as personalized as possible. Ideally, this involves in-person campus visits and meeting with members of the admissions team. However, with campus being closed in March, the admissions team had to quickly develop new ways to connect with high school students and parents. “Members of our team had extensive phone conversations with families to walk them through the next steps and answer questions and concerns,” said admissions director Sam Phillips. “Additionally, this situation was a catalyst to create and implement new initiatives like our virtual open house events and visit page, which were designed to ensure that families were able to learn more about Christendom’s transformative Catholic liberal arts education and vibrant college community, even when conditions made it difficult for them to physically visit campus.” The college’s record enrollment for the 2020-2021 academic year of 525 students—up 7% over last year’s enrollment— demonstrates that the efforts of the admissions team are bearing fruit and that a Christendom education is still seen as a highly valuable asset. With so many colleges and universities around the country laying off professors and staff, and unable to meet enrollment goals, Christendom’s admissions office ended the recruitment year with a waiting list of highly-qualified students on it—unable to offer them admittance due to such an overwhelming interest in attending this year.
Also, throughout June and July, the college hosted 285 high school students from across the nation for the most popular, well-attended, and highly ranked pre-college summer program of its kind: The Experience Christendom Summer Program.
“The situation was a catalyst to create and implement new initiatives like our virtual open house events and visit page, which were designed to ensure that families were able to learn more about [Christendom]... even when conditions make it difficult for them to physically visit campus. During five one-week sessions, students took classes, enjoyed social activities, attended Mass, and built lifelong friendships, all while discovering the value of Christendom’s Catholic liberal arts education.
LOOKING AHEAD Now that students are back on campus, and the school year is off to a great start, Christendom is taking measures to ensure the safety of students, faculty, and staff as the academic year progresses. From increased cleaning in the residence halls and classrooms, to ending classes before Thanksgiving, the college is taking the measures recommended by medical professionals to keep the community safe while also striving to give students a semester that is as normal as possible. (More details about the college’s protective measures can be found at www.christendom. edu/coronavirus.) Since no one can say what this fall will hold, the college is prepared to respond to changing circumstances as needed. While this past year has proven unpredictable and incredibly trying at times, the Christendom community is looking ahead with hope and faith in Christ.
CHRISTENDOM UNITES IN PRAYER With all the difficulties experienced in the last few months, nothing has united the Christendom community more than prayer. While it was extremely difficult to go without the sacraments for months, many found solace knowing they had the spiritual support of a faith-filled community. Head chaplain Father Marcus Pollard was a great help, sending out daily emails to the student body, faculty, and staff that included Gospel reflections and a mix of humor and advice. He also appeared in a weekly video series and assigned “spiritual homework,” much akin the to the practical advice he is known to give from the pulpit. The chaplaincy and the entire administration continually kept students and benefactors in their prayers. Faculty and staff were able to celebrate a small May crowning on the Feast of our Lady of Fatima, patroness of Christendom College, where special prayers were offered for the students. Also, members of the college gathered together in the chapel for a holy hour for the college’s donors each week, offering their prayers for those who are so generous to the needs of the college community.
Ten Years Later
CHRISTENDOM GRADUATES ARE FLOURISHING
In 2010, Joby Norton, Tim Lanahan, and
JP Minick were featured on the cover of the graduation edition of Instaurare. Now, a decade later, they are still seeing the daily fruits of having attended Christendom College. With families of their own and successful careers, this trio of friends has plenty to say about how their Christendom education has guided them throughout the last 10 years. “Christendom changed my life — plain and simple,” shares Lanahan. In his family life, in his career, and in his faith, Lanahan believes Christendom has played an immense role in making him the man he is today. Since graduating in 2010 with his B.A. in philosophy, Lanahan has married and started a family with his classmates Dorothy (Merrill) and has graduated with a master’s in Systems Engineering from George Mason University. He currently works for Capitol One as a senior software developer. While Lanahan chose a career that relies heavily upon technical knowledge, he still frequently returns to the speculative knowledge he gained as a philosophy major. “My Christendom education is always a topic of conversation with people at work,” he says. “I carry my Christendom education with me everywhere.”
One of the ways that Lanahan feels he is able to tap into his Christendom roots is by sharing his philosophical and theological knowledge with his colleagues when conversations about the “big questions” arise. “Learning from the intellectual giants at Christendom has given me the ability to inject some true goodness into daily conversations,” Lanahan observes. “In these small ways, I hope to ‘restore all things in Christ.’” He believes that the friendships he formed at Christendom are of equal importance to the education he received in the classroom. Lanahan, Minick, and Norton have remained close in the 10 years since graduating. Lanahan lives just 15 minutes away from JP and his wife, Emily (Jaroma ’10), in West Virginia, and their families are good friends. Joby and his wife, Hannah, are godparents to the Lanahans’ second daughter, Rosaleen. The continuation of these friendships is a testament to the depth of the relationships students form at Christendom. “The greatest gift bestowed by my time at Christendom has been the friendships that I have carried on from my time there,”
Left: Lanahan returned to campus in the spring of 2019 to present at Christendom’s Life on Tap speaker series, discussing his IT career with students. Right: Minick and his wife are proud owners of their own real estate investment firm.
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ent 2010 m e c n e m Com shares JP Minick. “Former classmates have become an extension of my family.” Since graduating, Minick has gone on to launch a successful career in tech sales, following a stint working for political campaigns immediately after graduating. In addition to his sales position, Minick and his wife are proud owners of their own real estate investment firm. The Minicks have been blessed with four children—Xavier, Avila, Chiara, and Cabrini. According to Minick, his Christendom education still largely affects how he lives as a professional and as a husband and father. “The motto that has proven most influential in my own life regarding how I try to conduct myself in the household, at work, and in the public eye is issued by Christendom’s founder, Warren Carroll: ‘Truth Exists. The Incarnation Happened.’ These words provide a compass for navigating life,” Minick explains. “The love of faith imbued at Christendom has allowed me to connect in a deep and meaningful way with my co-workers—the majority of whom do not have faith—and spread the message of the Gospel even in the work place.” As for Joby Norton, he has accomplished much in the 10 years since he earned his B.A. in philosophy. Directly after
graduating, he was a salesman for an alumni-owned software company, before working at a DC-area think tank. Later, he discovered his desire to become a nurse, and completed an accelerated nursing program with George Mason University in 2016, earning his BSN in just 12 months. Now, Norton works in an intensive care unit and cardiac catheterization lab in Winchester, Virginia, and is pursuing his master’s in nursing. In addition, since graduating, Norton met his wife, Hannah, and they now have four children—Joseph, Colette, Lucy, and Benedict. Norton believes that Christendom and the friends he made there have been a guiding force in his career and vocation. “After my parents, I credit Christendom with forming my heart and mind to do good in my work,” he says. “Every day, I should thank God for my Christendom College education.” Lanahan, Minick, and Norton are just a few examples of alumni who have gone on to be successful in their careers and in their spiritual vocations. Endowed with a strong intellectual and spiritual foundation, as well as many lifelong friends, Christendom alumni go out into the world with these priceless gifts, enabling them to restore the culture—even 10 years later.
Norton also returned to campus in the fall of 2019 to speak at Life on Tap, discussing his nursing career with students.
THE VOCATIONAL HARVEST ALUMNI FIND THEIR CALLING AT CHRISTENDOM Today’s world offers limited solutions to the age-old
question: “What am I called to do with my life?” The solutions it does offer are shallow at best, and devastating at worst. Every young person asks this question of themselves at some point, which makes finding a good answer imperative. Since 1977, thousands have come to Christendom College with that question, hoping for answers. And they found them. With nearly 500 alumnus-to-alumna marriages and 94 priests, 55 sisters, 7 brothers, 1 permanent deacon, 5 transitional deacons, and 17 more men currently studying for the priesthood, the vocational harvest is ripe at Christendom. When Christendom was founded by Dr. Warren H. Carroll in 1977, its express purpose was to help form young people so that they would have an impact in every aspect of society. The vision was grand: a restoration of “Christendom,” of truly “restoring all things in Christ” through a rigorous educational formation that would allow them to enter every field possible and bring the light of Christ to the world. This vision is what continues to bring new students to campus year after year, all searching for how they can accomplish that vision in their own lives. In fact, while other colleges are struggling to meet admissions goals, enrollment at Christendom continues to be on the rise. This makes one wonder: what is it that makes Christendom not only a popular choice for students, but also a prime place for helping people discover their vocations? “Christendom equipped my friends and me with all we needed to begin to imitate the great saints of the Church: solemn worship offered at the center of campus,
Alumnus Fr. Peter McShurley receives a chalice and paten from Bishop Michael Burbidge of the Diocese of Arlington at his recent ordination to the priesthood, with alumnus and current seminarian Andrew Clark assisting.
“Christendom equipped my friends and me with all we needed to begin to imitate the great saints of the Church: solemn worship offered at the center of campus, a vibrant and truly festive social life, and the quiet needed for hours of study and prayer in both the dorm and the chapel.”
a vibrant and truly festive social life, and the quiet needed for hours of study and prayer in both the dorm and the chapel,” says Fr. John Mark Solitario, OP, one of Christendom’s more recently ordained alumni priests. “This made Christendom a very important preparation for my friends and me to accept the vocations we have now begun to live—my own being that of a Dominican friar, priest, and theologian.” Christendom’s entire campus life is designed to help students be formed in such a way that they leave as confident, well-informed Catholics, ready to stand as beacons of truth in a world that seems to despise truth. Through liturgical offerings, the classroom experience, the mentorship of the faculty and staff, to the vibrantly Catholic social activities, students are able to learn the Truth, live the Faith, and then go out into the world and embrace their God-given vocations. Alumni Greg and Anna (Wright) Polley met while students in the late 1990s, ultimately getting married in 2002. After nearly 20 years of marriage, they see their growth and vocational discernment at Christendom as ultimately life changing. “Christendom fostered our vocation in several ways,” explain the Polleys. “In class, we learned about the actual vocation of FALL 2020
married life and God’s plan for man and woman, which gave us the foundation for our future marriage. In student life, we got to know some truly amazing fellow students who were all actively pursuing the good, the true, and the beautiful in a fun and authentically Catholic way. Together, we all laughed, prayed, played, and discussed the beautiful things we were learning in class and how they resonated with us personally. Out of these conversations and this time well spent emerged vocations to the priesthood, religious life, and married life. It has been a true gift to see where Christ has led us and each of our friends.”
“Christendom gave us the foundational principles to live out our life as a married couple. The education and entire experience gave us the tools to learn for a lifetime and to restore all things in Christ.”
While at Christendom, the Polleys saw many examples of faithful Catholic marriages to emulate, especially in philosophy professor John Cuddeback and his wife, Sofia. They provided “wise counsel” while also giving witness to how they lived the Catholic faith with each other and their children. “Christendom gave us the foundational principles to live out our life as a married couple. The education and entire experience gave us the tools to learn for a lifetime and to restore all things in Christ,” conclude the Polleys. Alumni Zac and Sadie (Bratt) Inman concur with the Polleys. This year, the couple is celebrating their fifth wedding anniversary, and they see their time at Christendom as integral to them fostering their vocation. “Christendom is one of those rare colleges that, while immersing students in some of the greatest works of our Western tradition, also cares for the whole person and provides an environment where students can grow closer to God,” they say.
“In growing closer to Him, students become more attuned to His voice and what their calling in life is. Christendom provided us with the opportunity to truly focus on our relationship with God and what He was asking of us, excellent friends who assisted us in our discernment, and, most directly, provided the place where we met each other and where no fewer than four of Sadie’s siblings met their spouses.” When it comes to the religious vocations, alumni have similar feelings toward how Christendom helped them find their vocation. Whether it was praying in the chapel, being formed intellectually in the classroom, or the encouragement of friends, time spent at Christendom led alumni to choose to serve as priests or religious. “It was at Christendom that I discovered the beautiful Extraordinary Form of the Mass, which really was the biggest influence on my vocation,” says Fr. Zachary Akers, FSSP. “I did not know that this older form of the Mass existed until I came to Christendom, and I fell in love with this Mass, and everything that I had learned about our wonderful Catholic Faith ‘made sense’ to me through observing these ancient liturgical traditions.” Since 1977, Christendom has had 18 alumni become priests in the college’s home Diocese of Arlington. Fr. Michael Isenberg, current vocations director for the diocese, sees the college’s alumni as uniquely suited for the priesthood, and is thrilled to see so many currently in seminary for the diocese (five) and preparing to be ordained to the priesthood next year (three). Over the past 42 years, the vocational harvest has proven to be ripe at Christendom. The college will soon see its 500th alumnus-to-alumna marriage—a momentous milestone, and further evidence that the college’s formation is shaping alumni lives for the better. Next year, there will be five priestly ordinations, bringing the total number of alumni priests to 99—three to the Diocese of Arlington, one to the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter, and one to the Benedictine monks of Clear Creek Abbey. Christendom was founded to help students answer the question “What am I supposed to do with my life?” in a manner that helps to restore the culture. Whether it be an ever-growing domestic Church with strong Catholic families sprouting up all over the United States and beyond, or zealous priests and religious ready to serve Christ and His Church, these alumni have discovered the answer to that age-old question. And these alumni are just the beginning.
“In growing closer to Him, students become more attuned to anniversary, and they see their time at Christendom as integral to them“It fostering vocation. wastheir at Christendom that “Christendom is one of those rare colleges that, while I discovered immersing students in somethe of thebeautiful greatest works of our Western tradition, also cares for the whole and provides an Extraordinary Form person of the environment where students can grow closer to God,” they say.
Mass, which really was the biggest inﬂuence on my vocation... I fell in love with this Mass, and everything that I had learned about our wonderful Catholic Faith ‘made sense’ to me through observing these ancient liturgical traditions.”
Zac and Sadie Inman with their children.
From left to right, Fr. John Killackey, Fr. Gerard Saguto, and Fr. Zachary Akers, all Christendom alumni who have become priests in the Fraternity of St. Peter.
Greg and Anna Polley with their children.
Alexandria IN CHRIST
Former Chaplain Brings Christendom to St. Rita’s Over the years, Christendom’s chaplaincy
has striven to celebrate the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass as sacredly as possible, presenting students with the Mass in all its beauty and grandeur. This has impacted many students’ lives for the better, helping them fall more deeply in love with the Mass and its rituals. It has impacted others as well—in particular Fr. Daniel Gee. As a priest of the Diocese of Arlington, Fr. Gee was assigned to Christendom as chaplain in 2008 after serving as a missionary in the Dominican Republic for five years. When he arrived, he had little knowledge of the rich traditions in the celebration of the Roman Rite. When he left two years later to become pastor of St. Rita’s Catholic Church in Alexandria, Virginia, he was a different priest—one deeply enamored with the liturgy and ready to make St. Rita’s one of the most vibrant parishes in the diocese. After attending one of Fr. Gee’s ad orientem Masses, one would have little reason to believe that he was ever anything but steeped in the traditions of the Church. “I really hadn’t seen liturgy like that until I went to Christendom, so it really changed the way I saw things,” recalls Fr. Gee. As one of four children and the son of a rear admiral, Fr. Gee studied for the priesthood at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary, after which he served as a parochial vicar at two parishes in the Diocese of Arlington before being assigned to the Dominican Republic. There, he was more concerned about staying alive while driving his moped
through the dense woods of that third-world country to serve his parishioners than he was about using incense or which type of vestment he should wear at Mass. When he was assigned to Christendom as head chaplain five years later in 2008, Fr. Gee did not know exactly what to expect. He knew that the liturgies on campus were celebrated with great pomp and circumstance, and that Masses were often said in Latin—neither of which he had had any experience with. At that time, two other priests were serving as associate chaplains on campus: Fr. Seamus O’Kielty, a retired Irish priest, and Fr. William Fitzgerald, O.Praem, a Norbertine. Together, they exposed Fr. Gee to the beauties of the Roman Rite, with Fr. William even teaching Fr. Gee how to celebrate the Extraordinary Form of the Mass. Soon enough, Fr. Gee’s understanding of the Mass and sacred traditions deepened. He began to organize processions on campus to accompany solemnities, learned the beauty of Gregorian chant, increased the number of confession opportunities, discovered the beauty of Divine Mercy Sunday, and even enjoyed wearing a biretta and cassock. By fully absorbing and embracing everything taught to him by Fr. O’Kielty and Fr. Fitzgerald, Fr. Gee both helped the college community grow in love of the liturgy and the Faith, but also helped himself find a new way of looking at the priesthood.
Alumni David Klosterman, Mary Kate Vander Woude, and Jennie Dhanagom all work at St. Rita’s Parish School.
Fr. Gee learned and accomplished much in just two short years at Christendom, before being reassigned as pastor at St. Rita’s in Alexandria in 2010. When he arrived, St. Rita’s was a growing parish, following a foundation laid by former parish priests Fr Denis Donahue ’89 and Fr. Paul Scalia. Fr. Gee arrived armed with everything he learned at Christendom, ready to make the parish and its accompanying school as vibrant as the campus he had just left. Slowly but surely, he worked to improve the Sunday liturgies at St. Rita’s, replacing hymns with Mass propers for the Entrance, Offertory, and Communion Antiphons. He switched to celebrating Mass ad orientem as well, and eventually restored kneeling as an option at the parish’s altar rail. The Extraordinary Form Mass that he first learned at Christendom continued at St. Rita’s and the parish began to become a hub of liturgical expression for many. From the moment Fr. Gee arrived at St. Rita’s, he sought to make the parish and its accompanying school one of the best in the diocese, helping to open a preschool, beginning Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, and making the transition to a classical curriculum. To help him with all of this, Fr. Gee invited Christendom alumni to join him in rebuilding St. Rita’s parish by taking on influential positions in the school and in the parish. There
Left: Since leaving Christendom, Fr. Gee has worked tirelessly to take what he has learned at Christendom about the liturgy and education to St. Rita’s parish and school. Right: Former Christendom chaplains: Fr. Seamus O’Kielty (†2018), Fr. William Fitzgerald, O.Praem, and Fr. Daniel Gee.
are currently eight alumni now working at St. Rita’s, with six in the school—Melissa Manaker, Jennie Dhanagom, Megan Rolla, Mary Kate Vander Woude, Dori Rutherford, and David Klosterman—and one, Klarissa Blank, serving as the Director of Religious Education for the parish. Additionally, former Christendom math professor and alumnus, Fr. Vincent Bork, serves at St. Rita’s as parochial vicar. According to Fr. Gee, these alumni came to St. Rita’s because “they enjoy the number of confessions and the liturgy, much of which was cultivated in the years I was out [at Christendom].” For Klarissa Blank, however, it is even more than that—it was the opportunity to help continue Christendom’s mission to “restore all things in Christ” in what is now one of the most vibrant parishes in the diocese. “I think the most noticeable impact our Christendom alumni have had is in our school,” says Blank. “Through my involvement with our sacrament preparation, I have been blessed to see firsthand the fruits of our alumni and all of our schoolteachers’ efforts in forming the children of St. Rita in our Catholic Faith. This formation cannot help but carry over to our broader parish community, strengthening the deep devotion found here.”
To attend Mass at St. Rita’s now is to see the hard work of Fr. Gee and his Christendom alumni staff and teachers paying off. The pews are filled with growing families experiencing the beauties of the Catholic liturgy in the Mass and learning about the traditions of the Faith in the classroom. “From teaching classes in the school and religious education program, to assisting with home projects, to celebrating the sacraments, Fr. Gee is a part of the daily lives of our parishioners. All that goes to show that our parish and school are certainly thriving, with many young families attending Mass here, and a large and vibrant Hispanic community making St. Rita’s their home,” says Blank. Christendom exists to help form lay people so they can go out and restore the culture. The college’s vibrantly Catholic education and social life impact more than just the students, however, as evidenced by Fr. Gee’s story. Now, an entire parish is reaping the benefits of his two years in Front Royal, Virginia, changing the lives of families, and improving an entire parish.
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CLASSMATES YO U R PA P E R & I N K A L U M N I S O C I A L N E T WO R K
1980s Gloria (née Falcao) Dodd ’87 and her husband, Ennis, renewed their wedding vows at the Wedding Church at Cana on their Holy Land pilgrimage (September 24-October 2, 2019) to Israel and Jordan. They enjoyed visiting the major shrines, sailing on the Sea of Galilee, and even visiting Petra, which the guide claimed was Biblical as being on the route of the Three Kings on the way to Bethlehem. 1 John Corrigan ’89 completed a Ph.D. in 2016 at the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile. In December 2019, an updated version of his dissertation was published in book form by Roman/Littlefield and
Lexington: The Problem of the Idea of Culture in John Paul II: Exposing the Disruptive Agency of the Philosophy of Karol Wojtyla. 2
1990s Rick ’90 and Maria (née Miller) ’95 Ellis welcomed their 8th child on the Eve of Pentecost, May 30. Lauren Catherine joins her two brothers and five sisters. 3 Jason and Kate (née Palladino) Harris ’97 were married in a very tiny nuptial Mass in Philadelphia (St. Bridget) on April 24, 2020. Crista (née Palladino) Humphreys ’01 was her matron of honor. They are hoping to have formal pics and a reception when permitted to do so in Pennsylvania. 4
Mike ’00 and Colby (née Anderson) Storck ’99 welcomed their eighth child, Mary Anastasia, on June 15. She joins older siblings: Isabel, Catherine, Joseph, Zita, Rose, Anthony, and Dominic. Isabel will begin college at TAC in Massachusetts this fall. 5
2000s Guy Amisano, Jr. ’02 and his wife, Katherine, welcomed their third child, Joseph Michael Amisano, to the world on June 8, 2020. He joins Guy IV and Grace. 6 Nick ’03 and Elizabeth (née Almeter) Wingate ’02 and their 11 children (Maggie, Lucy, Rosie, Thomas, Isidore, Eliza, Suzzie, Bon-
nie, Henry, Jimmy and Norma Jean) live in Waynesboro, Georgia. 7 Rev. Hezekias and Lynda (née Antunes) Carnazzo ’04 had a baby on January 30: Rosalia Maria Carnazzo, their 7th child and 2nd girl. 8 Mike and Bunny (née Martell ’04) Cerny welcomed baby number 9 on Nov. 19, 2019. Mary Catherine Rose, who goes by Mary Kate, was born at home weighing 9 lbs. 2 oz. 9 Bryan Hadro ’04 and wife, Caitlin, are excited to announce the birth of their second baby, Rosemary Joan, who arrived on June 9. 10 Denny ’07 and Lindsay (née Stuyt) Pregent ’10 welcomed Leo Marian Pregent to the world on February 16, 2020. Denny was promoted to senior regional director
and oversees development and operations of senior living communities throughout Virginia. Lindsay is currently homeschooling and running their household on five acres of woods in Powhatan, Virginia. Their other children are Dennis IV, 9; Penelope, 7; and Titus Rex, 3. 11 Zac ’08 and Sadie (née Bratt) ’13 Inman welcomed their third child, Zebedee Joseph, on May 26. Zoey, 3, and Jack, 1, love “New Baby” to pieces. 12 Megan (née Von Ehr) Woyak ’08 and her family moved from Texas to Virginia in 2019. They welcomed a new baby, Marguerite Marie Francesca, on March 5, 2020, and they closed on a house in Fredericksburg in mid-July. 13 Rev. Robert Schmid ’08 has been appointed as administrator of St. Charles Borromeo in Ahoskie, North Carolina. Please pray for him as he takes up this new assignment. Dan Gutschke ’08 and Theresa Schmitt were engaged in December 2019 and plan to be married at the Christendom chapel on December 20, 2020. 14 Brigid Therese Anderson arrived with a snow storm on April 17, weigh-
ing 9 lbs. 6 oz., being the fifth child of Matt and Elizabeth (née Fraser) Anderson ’09. She received a hearty welcome from older siblings Alan, Lucy, William, and Margaret. Matt has become an expert on backyard chickens and gardening, and continues teaching theology at Lumen Christi Catholic High School, while Liz enjoys homeschooling, and writing when there’s time for that jazz. 15
2010-15 Fr. John Mark Solitario, O.P. ’11 has been assigned by his provincial and appointed by the local bishop to assist as parochial vicar at St. Gertrude Parish in Cincinnati, Ohio. He’d love to know if you’re local or happen to be visiting northeast Cincy: firstname.lastname@example.org. Charles D. Fraune ’11 (M.A.) is a founding teacher at Christ the King Catholic High School in the Diocese of Charlotte, North Carolina. He is also the author of a popular spiritual warfare book, Slaying Dragons: What Exorcists See & What We Should Know, which is currently being translated into Spanish and Portuguese. 16
Angela (née Swagler) Greenwalt ’12, after clerking for the Honorable Judge Nielsen in the 13th Judicial Circuit, accepted a position with the 12th Judicial Circuit’s State Attorney’s Office as a criminal prosecutor. 17 Chris ’12 and Liz (née Sartor) ’12 Foeckler are (apparently) carrying on the Foeckler tradition, and have added to their collection of little boys—Benedict Eric Joseph Foeckler was born on May 20, at 9 lbs. and 21.5 inches long. He is adored by his big brothers (Francis, Christopher Jr., and Luke) who love to snuggle him and shower him with kisses. Chris will be starting his eighth year teaching at Chelsea Academy this fall and continues to coach the Christendom men’s soccer team, while Liz teaches private music lessons (foecklerstudios.com) and directs the Christendom Players theatrical productions. 18 Brian ’14 and Lucy (née Briggs) ’15 McCrum welcomed their third child, Colman Patrick McCrum, on April 27, 2020. Brian advanced to Petty Officer 2nd Class in the Coast Guard on June 1 and is stationed back at the Honor Guard in Alexandria, Virginia after three years in
Cleveland, Ohio, as a Public Affairs Specialist for the Coast Guard Great Lakes region. 19 15
Fr. Peter McShurley ’14 was ordained on June 6, 2020, at the Cathedral of St. Thomas More in Arlington. 20 Margaux Killackey ’15 is pursuing an M.A. in liberal arts at St. John’s College in Annapolis, Maryland. Sr. M. Grace Augustine (née Christina Heisler) ’15 made her final profession with the Carmelites of the Divine Heart of Jesus on July 2, 2020, in St. Louis. Katie Brizek ’15 is working on an M.A. in theology at the Dominican House of Studies in Washington, DC, where she is also the manager of special projects and advancement for the Thomistic Institute. In July, Margaux Killackey ’15, Maria Bonvissuto ’15, and Katie Brizek ’15 celebrated four years of the Scholastica Option: a house of Christendom alumnae in DC, dedi-
cated to sharing a life spent pondering whatever is true, noble, pure, lovely, and honorable as they wend their way to sanctity. Monica Burke ’17 also celebrates two years as a Scholastican this summer. Previous Scholasticans include Melody Wood ’15 and Sister Marie Bernadette of the Father (née Bernadette Sartor) ’15.
2016-19 Sister Philomena (née Anna Rogers) ’16 is a junior professed Sister in the Norbertine convent in Wilmington, California, and renewed her temporary vows this summer. Adam Arehart ’16 (M.A.) recently released a debut poetry collection called Clay Vessels. The narrative poetry is about family
and marriage. Visit the new releases section of www.wipfandstock.com for more information. 21 William ’16 and Xóchitl (née Ortega) ’17 Tomlinson received their first son, John Victor O’Brien Tomlinson, on February 25, 2020. 22 Jacob ’16 and Stacie (née Wimmer) ’17 Hiserman welcomed their first child, Gregory Ambrose, on May 18, 2020. 23 David Keatley ’17 recently graduated with honors from the International Theological Institute in Trumau, Austria, earning his M.A. in sacred theology. He will be attending the Catholic University of America this coming fall and will be studying for a Licentiate in Canon Law. Timothy ’17 and Felicity (née Fedoryka) Egan ’17 were married in Front Royal on June 6, 2020. 24 Peter Tapsak ’17 accepted a new job as a program assistant at the alumni-founded Institute for Catholic Culture (ICC) located in Front Royal, Virginia, in June 2020. Elizabeth Raabe ’17 is currently serving as a combat medic with the 82nd Airborne Division. She recently completed her first deployment in Iraq.
John Paul Heisler ’17 was ordained a transitional deacon for the Diocese of Arlington on June 13 along with Joe Townsend ’11 and Jonathan Fioramonti ’14. 25 Catherine Olbrych ’18 is currently pursuing a three-month observership, the final stage of her aspirancy year, seeking entrance to the Carmel of St. Therese of Lisieux in Loretto, Pennsylvania. Please continue to pray for her discernment. Joe Wilson ’18 has completed his M.A. in history from Baylor University in Waco, Texas. His research is in English Reformation history, specifically the connection between the church of Mary I and the Catholic Reformation. He will continue studying at Baylor in pursuit of his doctorate. Molly Spiering ’18 officially entered the Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth as a postulant on June 28, 2020. For the next year or so, she will reside in Dallas before hopefully moving to the Chicago-area novitiate. The congregation is an active-contemplative order, founded by Bl. Frances Siedliska, whose charism is grounded in imitating the simple life of the Holy Family at Nazareth and whose
mission is ministry to the family. Please pray for her and her fellow postulants. 2nd Lt. Jerome Norton, USMC ’19 and 2nd Lt. Timothy Marra, USMC ’19 graduated from The Basic School at Quantico, Virginia, in June and entered the Infantry Officer Course in July. 26 Jane (née Adams) Maschue ’18 graduated in May 2020 (via Zoom) with her master’s degree in medieval studies from Catholic University. Jane has been accepted into the Ph.D. program in history at Catholic University, where she will be continuing her studies in the fall. Jane is very grateful to her husband, Luke, and son, Jude, for helping her through the last two years of graduate work. She looks forward to her next graduation to be held, God willing, in person. 27 Theresa Raabe ’19 is currently attending the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center in California to earn an A.A. in Russian as part of her training to become an Army Human Intelligence Collector. Julia Ciskanik ’19 and Felice Litterio ’19 are engaged and are planning a November 2020 wedding. 28 Eileen Williamson ’19 and Matthew Hill ’20 were engaged on Janu-
ary 1, 2020, the Solemnity of Mary, Holy Mother of God. They enjoyed a fruitful engagement and plan to be married on September 5, 2020, in Fredericksburg, Virginia. 29 Gemma (née Youngman) ’19 and Ian ’20 Sheedy welcomed their first child, Michael Ian Sheedy, over 2 1/2 months early on July 15. 30
2020+ Caleb Thomas Heﬀern ’20 and Jillian Elizabeth Jenkins ’21 were married on July 25, 2020. 31 Emma Klein ’20 is now a postulant at the Carmelite Monastery of Rochester, Pittsford, New York. Please continue to pray for her discernment. Isabella Reilly ’20 has accepted a full-time position as the alumni and gift planning assistant at Christendom College as of July 1, 2020. James Scrivener ’20 and Chiara Fusco ’21 got engaged on June 13, 2020. 32 Michael and Anna (née Solitario) Urankar ’20 were married on May 16, 2020, at St. John the Baptist Church in Front Royal. 33 Seamus Coyne ’20 began his postulancy in June 2020 with the
Benedictines of St. Andrew Abbey in Cleveland, Ohio. 34 Rachael Butek ’20 has landed her dream job teaching English to 6th and 7th graders at her parish school, St. Paul’s Catholic School in Bloomer, Wisconsin. Annie Sullivan ’20 has accepted a full-time position as the donor stewardship coordinator at Christendom College as of July 7, 2020. Regina Ellis ’22 and Matthew Erikson were engaged on July 2, 2020. 35 Jacob and Sarah (née Papp) ’20 Chase were married on May 2, 2020, in St. Mary’s County, Maryland. Sarah was recently hired as a research assistant at Gryphon Scientific in Takoma Park, Maryland, to work on the CBRN (Chemical Biological Radiological Nuclear) division of FEMA. 36
Based on concerns from a growing number of alumni and given the unpredictable COVID-19 situation, Homecoming 2020 is POSTPONED. We apologize for this postponement and appreciate your understanding. Stay tuned for updates on virtual events in the fall of 2020 and the spring of 2021. Updates will be sent via email, shared on Facebook, and posted to the alumni portal (christendomalumni.com). C H R I S T E N D O M
C O L L E G E
O C TO B E R 1 - 3 , CELEBRATING REUNIONS FOR THE CLASSES OF 1980-81, 1990-91, 2000-01 AND 2010-11. FALL 2020
Omnia in Christo
Taken from the college’s motto “Instaurare Omnia in Christo,” this section features an essay or excerpt from a recent paper or talk by one of Christendom’s distinguished faculty.
St. Pau l , “ Word S ower ” BY DR. ANDREW BEER
In Acts 17, when St. Paul
visits Athens, every day he converses with whomever he meets in the marketplace. These include local Epicurean and Stoic philosophers, some of whom remark of St. Paul, “What is it, that this word sower would say?” while others comment, “He seemeth to be a setter forth of new gods,” because he preached to them Jesus and the resurrection (Acts 17.16–18). “Word sower” is the DouayRheims translation of the Latin Vulgate’s seminiverbius, itself a calque of the Greek spermológos. Spermológos is a special kind of word called a hapax legomenon, something “spoken only once.” The word spermológos appears only here in the entire Bible. At first glance, “word sower” seems a precise translation of spermológos, by means of the Latin seminiverbius. The translation treats the first part of spermológos as deriving from the Greek word for “seed” sperma, which in turn derives from the verb that means “to sow,” speirein. The second part of spermológos is simply the Greek word for “word,” as in “In the beginning was the Word” (ho logos, John 1.1). A spermológos is thus one who “sows” (speirein) “words” (logoi), or rather one who sows the Word, as in the Word of God. So understood, the word spermológos, or the phrase “word sower,” has obvious resonance with the Parable of the Sower, which illustrates the possible responses to the preaching of the Gospel, the sowing of God’s Word. Such “Word sowing” is exactly what St. Paul has undertaken in Athens. He is a Word sower in the sense of a preacher of the Gospel, a proclaimer of God’s Word. “Word sower,” however, differs greatly from the translations found in other modern Bibles. In German, for example, one finds, Lotterbube (“babbler”), Schwätzer (“chatterbox”), and, more prolixly but amusingly, dieser sonderbare Vogel mit seinen aufgepickten Weisheiten (“this strange bird with his picked-up wisdom”). French Bibles offer pie bavarde (“chatty magpie”) 40
and discoureur (“babbler”); English Bibles give babbler, parasite, gutter-sparrow of a man, parrot, scavenger, vagabond, busybody, ignorant show-oﬀ, and dithering seed picker. How can one word give rise to so many translations? And which of them best renders the meaning of the original Greek? The answer is not an easy or simple one. Modern lexica of Biblical and Classical Greek demonstrate the common use of spermológos as a cutting insult. Remember, it was Athenian pagan philosophers who gave St. Paul this nickname, and their intention was not to praise or flatter but to ridicule him. For, in the first place, a spermológos was the kind of bird that would gather seeds sown in a cultivated field. This etymology of the word explains its derivation from sperma (“seed”) and the verb legein, which can mean “speak,” but also “collect,” “gather,” or “pick up.” Accordingly, the meaning of spermológos is not “word sower” but “seed picker.” Spermológos, in fact, became the common name for the rook. Even now, the original Greek name is reflected in the rook’s scientific name, corvus frugilegus, which means “fruitpicking crow.” From the identification with the rook, spermológos was then metaphorically used as an insult in the sense of “picking up scraps, gossiping.” As a substantive, it came to mean, “one who picks up and retells scraps of knowledge, an idle babbler, gossip.” It was used “in pejorative imagery of persons whose communication lacks sophistication and seems to pick up scraps of information here and there.” So used, its meaning is “scavenger” or “scrapmonger,” which fits
the context of Acts 17. To the local Athenian philosophers, St. Paul appears as a “seedpicking” bird, a kind of intellectual parasite who gathers the scraps of learning cast aside by genuine philosophers. Spermológos, it seems, has about the same force as our word “trash digger.” That is what St. Paul is to the Athenian philosophers, an “intellectual trash digger.” Well, then does “word sower” simply miss the mark? To answer that question, we should consider St. Augustine’s Sermon 150, preached on this very text. St. Augustine is aware of the word’s pejorative meaning. He begins by observing that when St. Paul spoke to the Athenians, “he was called a ‘word sower’ [verborum seminatorem] by those who mocked his preaching of the truth.” But he then continues: Such indeed is the name he was given by scorners, but it isn’t a name to be rejected by believers. For he was in truth a sower of words [seminator verborum], but also a reaper of good works [messor morum]. And we, too, despite our great smallness, by no means worthy of comparison with his excellence, sow the words of God in the field of God, which is your heart, and we look forward to a rich harvest from your good works. What began as an insult in the mouths of Paul’s supercilious critics becomes for St. Augustine a fitting title for any Christian preacher. Imagining himself speaking to Paul’s critics, Augustine retorts: quod fuit convicium tuum, oﬃcium est meum, “what you said in derogation, is my own solemn obligation.” And thus was begun the tradition of honoring St. Paul the trash digger as St. Paul, Word Sower. A graduate of the University of Virginia, Andrew Beer, Ph.D., is associate professor of classical and early Christian studies.
3RD ANNUAL GIVING DAY EXCEEDS EXPECTATIONS Despite the emergence of COVID-19 and its impact on social life and economic stability, Giving Day 2020 was a resounding success thanks to the generosity of hundreds of alumni and parents coming together to support the Carroll Fund. In particular, the number of monthly donors jumped significantly, increasing the longterm stability of the college and allowing it to remain free from federal funds. Additionally, the inaugural effort to launch virtual programming on Giving Day was very popular and well received.
OF VIRTUAL EVENTS FEATURING 10 DIFFERENT PROGRAMS VIEWED BY HUNDREDS OF ALUMNI ALL AROUND THE COUNTRY
715 DONORS PARTICIPATED MONTHLY 309 NEW DONORS TENS OF THOUSANDS OF
ADDITIONAL GIFTS OVER THE NEXT 12 MONTHS
Overall Alumni Giving Rate: 26.72% US News and World Report Alumni Giving Rate: 36.39%
SAVE THE DATE: Giving Day 2021 will be on April 13.
From your entire Christendom College family, thank you for giving students the financial support they need to pursue their education in all that is true, good, and beautiful. Together, we are forming the next generation of young Catholic leaders without taking a dime of federal funding.
ZERO FEDERAL FUNDING CAMPAIGN
Nonprofit U.S. POSTAGE PAID Huntington, IN Permit # 832
134 Christendom Drive, Front Royal, VA 22630
YOU CAN HELP RESTORE ALL THINGS IN CHRIST
Your life and legacy can make a significant difference in the lives of faithful young Catholics for generations to come. Through an estate gift to Christendom in your will or through a beneficiary designation of certain assets, you can receive the following benefits: • • • •
complete revocability up until your passing no upfront commitment of cash or other assets potential tax savings for you and your family ability to designate your gift to any area of operations at Christendom
Make sure that your assets are used to support the Christian renovation of the temporal order at Christendom College.
Interested in building a more hopeful future through a legacy gift to Christendom College? Contact: John F. Ciskanik Office of Gift Planning email@example.com 434.907.3063
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