Veritas Ensis Noster.
OR COLLEGE? December 16, 2013- Vol. 11, No. 3
In This Issue...
Rambler: Pronunciation: \ram-blər\ Function: noun Date: c. 2002 1. A student organization determined to present truth and withhold nothing, discussing a variety of subjects such as administration, morality, literature, politics, and faith.
An Independent Student Journal Christendom College
Veritas Ensis Noster
EDITOR-IN-CHIEF K.T. Brizek
News & Opinion
BUSINESS MANAGEMENT William Scrivener
DIGNITY FOR SALE
LAYOUT EDITOR Marilyn Charba
DRONES IN PAKISTAN
NEWS & POLITICS EDITOR Joe Brizek
Arts & Culture
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY EDITOR Sean Shanahan FAITH & REASON EDITOR Lauren Enk ARTS & CULTURE EDITOR Austin Leavitt POETRY & PROSE EDITOR Maddy Murphy FACULTY ADVISOR Dr. Patrick Keats MEDIA COORDINATOR Cecilia Flagg COPY EDITOR Margaret Santschi
by K.T. Brizek
by Zach Smith
by Austin Leavitt
Feature 8 DAYCARE, REFORM SCHOOL OR
HOW TO BECOME AN AMATEUR CAR MECHANIC by Steve Treacy
Prose & Poetry 14 DIVINE SKETCHBOOK by Amy Marter
The Last Word 15 THE LAST WORD ON FINALS by The Editorial Staff
by Gabriella Federico
Faith & Reason 10 SWISS GUARDS by Maria Bonvissuto
DAYCARE, REFORM SCHOOL OR COLLEGE?
Veritas Ensis Noster.
12 LOVE UNLIMITED: INSPIRATION FROM BLESSED FREDERIC OZANAM by Peter Deucher DAYCARE, REFORM SCHOOL OR COLLEGE? November 3, 2013- Vol. 11, No. 2
Our Mission Statement
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7 WHAT’S IN A MEME?
CONTRIBUTORS K.T. Brizek, Zach Smith, Austin Leavitt, Gabriekka Federico, Peter Deucher, Maria Bonvisutto, Sean Shanahan and Amy Marter.
The Rambler and its staff are dedicated to training the next generation of Catholic journalists and intellectuals. We prize the liberal arts education received from Christendom College and write about the news, arts, culture, faith, and reason from this gained perspective. We believe we will play an essential part in a renaissance of new leaders, journalists, and communicators for the 21st century.
Science & Technology
To Contact The Rambler:
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As the semester draws to a close, we resurface from the disoriented haze of finals into the real world. And lo and behold, it’s Christmas. Strange to think that Christmas is right around the corner, when we haven’t thought about Santa and good cheer since formal, which already feels like aeons ago. And though the next week seems to stretch interminably before us, soon we’ll be saying goodbye. Yet, so many thing can happen in such a brief time. A short 7 months ago, I accepted the position of editor-in-chief. I had no idea what the position would entail, or how much labor it would require or how challenging it would be. I didn’t even know if I would be capable of running a journal. I only knew that I was ecstatic. Now, having four issues and dozens of hours of writing, editing, printing, reprinting, folding, stapling and hair-pulling under my belt I know that somehow the Rambler has survived the past 7 months. In all honesty, I still have no idea what the position entails. I’m not even entirely certain what I’ve done for the past 7 months. What I do know is that, after pouring so much of myself into the Rambler, it’s hard to say goodbye. But since I’ll be going to Rome next semester I must. The Rambler and I have grown very close after all our time together so I was meticulous when choosing my replacement. I’m very happy to announce that Lauren Enk will being taking my position as editor-in-chief during my time in Rome. I’m confident that she will deftly and capably guide the journal through another successful, and always exciting, semester. Lastly, I would like to thank you, the readers, for making all the labor that goes into the Rambler worthwhile. Without you, there would be no purpose to all the effort that goes into each and every issue. I hope that we have and will always live up to your expectations. We certainly aspire to do so. I hope you all have a peaceful Christmas and a relaxing break. God bless,
A six issue subscription to The Rambler may be obtained through a donation of $25 or more. All contributions go to support The Rambler.
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News & Opinion
DIGNITY By K. T. Brizek ‘15
News is coming in and it appears that the rapture has happened. Sadly, the only Christendom student to have ascended into heaven is senior Joe Duca. Jordan Mann, who witnessed Duca vanish, reportedly glanced heavenward moments after the event, calmly asking, “Really?” Sources have verified that the only trace Duca left behind was a pile of neatly folded clothes. Dr. McGuire, one of Duca’s professers, remains skeptical.
On December 11th, Time Magazine announced their choice for “Person of the Year” is Pope Francis. The annual award is chosen by Time’s editorial staff. The main criterion for selection is impact on the world and the news over the past year. Francis was cited as helping to alter the perception people have of the Church.
On Thursday, December 12th, an Amtrak train ran into a car in rural Virginia. The driver of the car had attempted to drive around a crossing bar. The car’s driver was injured, but her injuries are not life-threatening. However, her car was destroyed. The train did not derail and none of its passengers were injured in the crash.
President Obama made headlines recently when he took a ‘selfie’ during Nelson Mandela’s memorial service. He took the picture with Denmark’s prime minister, Helle Thorning-Schmit, and Britain’s David Cameron. Many people have reacted negatively to this breach of etiquette.
On Thursday, December 5th, former South African president Nelson Mandela died at the age of 95. A key figure in his nation’s struggle against rational oppression, Mandela spent twenty-seven years in prison due to his political actions. In recent years he had suffered from various illnesses.
Recently, the Chester-Belloc Debate Society held its elections. The results are in, and Andrew Clark will be continuing his run as chairman next semester. Jack Coyle will continue in the role as prefect. Last, but not least, Peter Zinman is in as the new secretary.
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In the fall of 2013, a new Obamacare advertising campaign was launched in Colorado. The ads use the Got Milk? tradition and they try to use humor to sell the product. And what they’re trying to sell is something that everyone needs: health insurance. The campaign targets young people, specifically college-aged, and tailors ads so that they appeal to the intended audience. Naturally, this means nearly all of the ads vend Obama’s national health insurance with alcohol and sex. The ads feature brightly colored images of young men and women, performing their favorite activities: doing keg stands and shots. Another ad pictures a girl who is so ecstatic to jump in bed with the guy she just met that she barely has time to grab her birth control pills. Luckily for her those pills were free, since she has Obamacare. The advertisement is complete with a footnote warning ‘Susie’ that her health care-provided birth control won’t keep her from suffering the unpleasant side effects of her profligate sexual activity. Besides pregnancy, that is. Immediately after the publication of the campaign there was an outlash of angry responses. Republican politicians accused the Colorado state government of using tax dollars for the offensive advertisements. Planned Parenthood blamed radical pro-lifers, saying the ads were conservative propaganda trying to undermine the national health care initiative. There has been little to no confrontation with Colorado Consumer Health Initiative and ProgressNow Colorado Education, the two organizations which are actually responsible for the ads. But most importantly, there has been virtually no response from the group which suffered the affront on its integrity from the campaign: young people. The campaign made a statement about young men and women: drunkenness and casual sex are second nature to them. There are no moral qualms or personal feelings which restrain them from behaving like the hormone-driven animals they are. From shot skis to one-night stands, everything is fair game in the hookup culture. The issue here is not that the ads seek to normalize derelict behavior. The problem is that women in particular, but young people across the board, are being presented in a light which demeans them. When this issue was brought up in an interview with Amy Runyon-Harms, the executive director of ProgressNow Colorado, she was nonplussed. “People get upset when you portray women as
independent,” she said. The idea that women declare their independence through sexual promiscuity lingers from the sexual revolution of the ‘60s. For most young women, it’s getting a little stale. The ads also belittle health care, which they are supposedly trying to promote. By making light of a serious issue, the ads undermine their purpose. If the goal is to reach young people and convince them of the importance of having a health insurance policy, then associating health care with immature pastimes certainly won’t help.The insult levelled at the intelligence of millenials is certainly gaining publicity. But if ProgressNow wants young adults to be responsible and enroll in health care, then it should approach them as adults instead of irresponsible, alcoholic, sexual deviants. Young men and women who are actually responsible and mature will be disgusted by the implication of the ads. They seem like a joke. Contrary to what reality TV show hosts may say, people do not appreciate being ridiculed. For the guys and girls who do identify with the ads, the campaign is no more effective. They’ll laugh at the clever platform and go right back to their keg stands. But why are young men and women across the nation silent when they have been insulted? Why haven’t they defended their personal and moral decency against such a flagrant attack? The virtue of American youth has been splashed across the internet as an object of derision, but the victims stand idly by and do nothing. And it’s because the media has portrayed young people as a mindless, drunken crowd, moshing spastically at a club, for decades. This image of juvenile negligence and recklessness pervades every form of media, from the internet to film to novels. And the image is a haunting one, which hangs ominously like a dark cloud, ready to envelop the thousands of children who become young adults every year, as they enter college and high school. Society’s expectations for them are fantastically low, and yet it somehow still finds the right to criticize kids who stoop to find par. It is psychologically proven that humans adapt to act how they are treated. If you treat someone like they are worthless they’ll think they’re worthless. They will live their whole lives as if they were worthless. If society wants young people to step up and be responsible, it must start treating them as trustworthy adults. And if young people want to be respected, they have to start treating themselves as people worthy of respect. 5 | five
News & Opinion
It's a BIRD,
Arts & Culture
It's a plane,
By Zach Smith ‘14 Everyone loves a good conspiracy. Once, paranoia was considered to be a rare condition. Now it’s a pastime. Conspiracy theories are everywhere, whether they are found flooding internet message boards, books, movies, or the walls of somebody’s basement. While the idea of Michael Jackson living on a beach in Tahiti remains in the realm of the overwhelmingly far-fetched, other modern-day conspiracies bear far more pertinence and require actual investigation – such as the idea of drone attacks eventually occurring on U.S. soil. Recent news reports may make it seem that Americans are only weeks, if not days, away from finding themselves the victims of a U.S. Government-sanctioned Predator Drone strike on their very homes, but such an idea still remains a fiction – at least for the foreseeable near future. This may be a diverting dinner-time conversation in the United States, but in the country of Pakistan such a thing is not a topic of debate – it is an everpresent reality. In its efforts to remove the threat of the al-Qaeda terrorist group in the years since 9/11, the United States has increasingly relied on the unmanned Predator Drone to act as judge, jury, and executioner all at once in its wartime efforts, focusing particularly on popular alQaeda hideaways in Pakistan’s more mountainous regions. According to the New America Foundation, 2,361 militants alone have been killed by drone strikes in Pakistan since 2009 – not to mention the hundreds of civilian deaths that have occurred as well. It’s true that civilian casualties come about as a result of every war, but that does not mean that such losses can be simply glossed over as a result. The Pakastani government certainly doesn’t think so, with the Pakastani High Court declaring these attacks illegal, for they “kill innocent civilians and cause collateral damage.” In the past few months Pakistan’s Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharif, went a step further in the Pakastani indictment of U.S. drone strikes in the region, claiming that “the use of drones is not only a continual violation of our territorial integrity but also detrimental to our resolve and efforts at eliminating terrorism from our country.” Many Americans may look at that statement and think to themselves, “but, aren’t we helping the Pakastanis to actually eliminate the terrorists?” Defeating the continued threat of terrorism in the world may be a just end to pursue. But just means must be used as well, if a nation is to retain any moral authority in the matter. The points made by the Pakastani government on the subject of drone attacks cannot be ignored, for their remarks raise a question;iIs the United States acting immorally in its use of drone strikes? Evolving from the fifth century all the way into the
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Geneva Conventions, the principles of Just War theory provide the necessary moral clarity needed here, existing as an international standard for all nations to strive for in their dealings with other nations. While many of its key principles are already known by many – that war can only come about as a last resort and some of its more nuanced principles require restating. Of these, the principle that a war can only be waged after it has been justly declared against a nation or a state is of particular importance, considering that the grave actions in question are occurring in Pakistan – a country that the United States is clearly not at war with. A terrorist organization, such as al-Qaeda, obviously is not a nation or a state traditionally speaking. If the drone attacks in Pakistan are to be evaluated, then this initial problem has to be answered as well: how can war be justly made against al-Qaeda? History provides the answers. From the 1990s into the 2000s, al-Qaeda has struck the United States in the gravest ways imaginable numerous times, doing so only after declaring war against the United States not once, but twice. In declaring war on America, al-Qaeda assumed a right traditionally only reserved to nations or states, making itself a target of defensive war as a result. While making war on these “faceless cowards” might be just, doing so in a sovereign country where war has not been declared bears far less moral certainty. An act as grave as war cannot be brought into another country that has not had war declared against it by a third party simply because they are “hotly pursuing” legitimate war targets. Utilizing the doctrine of “hot pursuit”, typically reserved for actions made at sea, in such a way can only be seen as unjust on land, for it may provoke even larger conflicts in a region, and even more collateral damage, as a result. Pakistan has every right, both morally and legally, to be upset at the continued attacks by U.S. drones in their country, for such actions have no justification in either the Geneva Conventions or Just War theory. Hence, the use of drones by the United States to remove the threat of al-Qaeda in Pakistan is an illegal, and unjust, response to the threat at hand, due to war only being declared on al-Qaeda – not on Pakistan as well. Means, such as missile attacks, are strictly reserved to acts of warfare, and thus cannot be used, according to Just War theory, unless war is declared on the nation they are being used in as well. In its pursuit of defeating al-Qaeda, America has compromised morality. Such a truth has to be acknowledged if not only the just waging of war is to be returned to the public consciousness, but also if the United States is to regain her moral authority in the world again as well.
What’s in a meme? By Austin Leavitt ‘14
Unless you have lived under a rock for the past few years, you have probably encountered the internet phenomena known as memes. Good Guy Greg, Socially Awkward Penguin, and Grumpy Cat. They are plastered all over the internet, appearing in your Facebook NewsFeed, on your Twitter, all over YouTube and probably even finding their way into your email inbox. In the memes most popular form, the idea is simple. Take some photoshopped image, or even a stick figure that someone made in Paint and thinks makes him the next Salvador Dali, and give it some sarcastic or over the top message. The hyper-connected nature of the internet then causes it to go viral, infecting every inbox or corner of the internet it finds itself in like a contagious illness, before incubating in our seemingly always bored minds and crippling the intelligence of modern culture. All that is required for memes to achieve everlasting elite status on the interwebz is a population of immature teenagers who, when not playing Xbox, waste countless hours on the internet ROFLing over the latest Lolcatz to get a hold of them. They are a sign of the dumbing down of American culture. Historians thousands of years now will look back and think that our civilization worshipped kittens and Keanu Reeves as deities and spoke some early, undeveloped version of English that looked something like “omg rly? Lol idc cuz im gonna pwn u”. Okay, most memes are actually pretty funny. But how did these little pieces of humor find their way out of the depths of the internet of their inception? Memes have, technically, existed for centuries; in a broader and much more boring sense, meme refers to any idea, item or symbol that spreads from person to person within a culture. The popular “Kilroy was here” graffiti that appeared all over the entire Allied world during WWII is an example of a pop cultural phenomenon that spread rapidly without anyone knowing exactly where it came from. The dawning of the Internet has just given pop culture a much simpler and convenient medium with which to share them with one another, and these days, memes take on the form of videos, images, websites, phrases, the immensely popular but much derided #hashtag, and even misspelled
words. They represent the way in which people communicate in our age. What exactly makes them so catchy? Is it their simplicity? The typical meme consists of nothing more a funny image and a short setup followed by a punchline, yet they manage to pack a large punch into a very small package. Some are hilarious. Who doesn’t find the unfortunate exploits of Bad Luck Brian entertaining? Admit it - we all love to laugh at others misfortunes. The Harlem Shake? That’s a video meme many people have participated in. Many memes can also chalk their popularity up to the fact that they are so easy to relate to for just about anyone. You don’t have to be young or “hip” or nerdy or very Internet savvy to find them amusing. Who hasn’t philosophized along with Philosoraptor as he attempts to get to the bottom of life’s deepest metaphysical problems and paradoxes, such as “Is the color orange named after the fruit, or the fruit named after the color?” Many of us can also appreciate the cynical wisdom of the Lazy College Senior and his slothful motto of “Due Tomorrow? Do Tomorrow”. You might even use one without knowing it – many have retorted “Aint nobody got time for that!”. Sometimes witty, sometimes creative and always ridiculous memes provide amusement, instant gratification and a ton of lolz. Memes can be pretty absurd. Some are only funny because they are so ridiculous. But we appreciate their epic fail, because that is what makes them so good. In fact, one of the best parts of memes is their self-awareness. Creators of memes realize how silly they are, often using them to make light of themselves or other popular memes. It seems like one of the most prevalent purposes of internet memes is actually to mock current trends in popular culture, on the internet or everyday life. Think Condescending Wonka. At the end of the day, memes are little more than lolzworthy entertainment. But there is something about them that speaks volumes to our popular culture today and how we share entertainment. Anybody can make a meme or funny video and share it online, making it an easy way to go viral. That 6 second Vine you made while waiting in line might make you a celebrity overnight.
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OR COLLEGE? By Gabriela Federico, ‘16 Instaurare omnia in Christo is the sacred motto of all those Greek word “katholikos”, which means “universal.” This quality of at Christendom pursuing life, liberty, happiness, and truth through universality implies that our faith reaches to the farthest corners of the rose-colored glasses of Catholicism. Our eminent founder, the world, from the remote edges enshrouded in the darkness of Warren Carroll, established Christendom as an institution of higher invincible ignorance, to the first world centers of information and Catholic education. He envisioned the neophyte, assiduous intellec- technology that are blind to how thirsty they are for an authentic tuals who would firmly establish their upright moral characters and understanding of human nature. well-educated minds through Christendom’s rigorous curriculum. As a Catholic college, our calling is exactly what is stated These intellectuals would then go out and rejuvenate a world made in our motto. We are meant to take the rich, beautiful fruits of our stale by the privation of authentic truth, goodness, and beauty. education and share them with the modern world that is starving Warren Carroll desired that these intellectuals do justice to their for what we take for granted. And yet, what do we do? We do not vocation as Christendom students fortified by classical education even give these gifts a passing glance. Our rose-colored glasses are and Christian zeal—in short, that they go out and restore all things darkened by our own indifference. Christendom, which was once a in Christ. lush liberal arts realm abounding in intellectual milk and honey, has What does that quaint little motto mean, anyway? When been rendered barren, dry, and weary by its students. understood in its fullest sense, one realizes our motto isn’t a motto How has this happened? Perhaps it is because Christenat all. Instaurare omnia in Christo is a lifestyle—an arduous one we dom seems less like an institution for young adults interested in are called setting the world We think that if we live superficial lives, we will never have to that is with a pasto come face-to-face with our fear of failure or our deeply aflame fraught sion for Truth, and rooted laziness. So we lower our standards and expectawith permore like a day care secution, for those of us who tions of perfection. prejudice, are at once too old injustice, and contempt. A way of living that is so counter-cultural, for mommy and daddy’s tender, loving care, yet too green for the so revolutionary, that those who misunderstand what this lifestyle harshness of “the real world”. encompasses merely shake their heads at Christendom is an extended comfort us, mutter “fanatics” under their breaths, zone. We want friends, we want fellowand proceed to ignore us. ship, we want to find our spouse. We None of the prejudice would want to live for Shore Stop’s selection matter, however, if not for one thing: in of the finest spirits, for SAC’s fantastic recent times, the generations of Christenevents, for countless hours of ping pong domites are easily ignored. Why? Because and shooting pool. We fool around on instead of actualizing Dr. Carroll’s dream our cell phones and computers during of a powerhouse of passionate Catholic class, instead of contributing. We satisfy intellectualism, Christendom has become ourselves with barely scraping by on Bs an insular cult characterized by a pervasive and Cs, instead of channeling all our apathy directed towards everything this energies into achieving the highest grades school is supposed to represent—acawe can. We acknowledge the cruel realidemia, ministry, and a faith worth dying ties of things like abortion, or thousands for. There are enough nerds out there who of our soldiers dying overseas, yet we are know that “Catholic” comes from the content remaining untouched due to the 8| Eight
safety filter of our computer screens. We do not involve ourselves in any forms of outreach or ministry, because we prioritize our excuses. Is there any wonder why we live in such a degenerate world? Edmund Burke hit the proverbial nail on the head by saying, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” We find gratification in being completely absorbed in our significant other, or in living lives of artistic or intellectual mediocrity, where we exist on the surface because we are too afraid of
I propose that next semester we start afresh and return to zeal—in our academics, in our ministry, in our relationships. Why don’t we build an authentic community, where people encourage each other in virtue? Why don’t we genuinely try to live out the true Christendom student’s vocation, instead of setting up a false pretense to hide behind? Why don’t we take advantage of the brilliance of our amazing professors? Why aren’t we striving for excellence and love? Dickens said that no space of regret can make amends for one’s life opportunity misused. Why are we letting our
If we are a campus so full of talent, why do we complain that there is nothing to do?
probing deeper into what we are capable of. We think that if we live superficial lives, we will never have to come face-to-face with our fear of failure or our deeply rooted laziness. So we lower our standards and expectations of perfection. We are numb to how great we are capable of being. And for some incomprehensible reason, we have learned to be okay with it. We have lost sight of how amazing we are! Look around you. Do you see all the mind-blowing talent? Christendom is a campus full of witty people, musical people, artsy people, creative people, caring people, and people with profound, beautiful thoughts on how to live out the Gospel. There are so many opportunities for us to engage our talents and produce something beautiful. We can strengthen our community by starting an a capella choir, or a Dead Poets Society, or any number of exciting, student initiated coalitions. If we are a campus so full of talent, why do we complain that there is nothing to do? No opportunity? That nothing is ever enough? Why do we want to be spoon-fed everything, like children, instead of taking initiative, like adults? Why is the only student-initiated activity drinking in the woods? Are we a reform school or an institution of higher education? Have we forgotten that we set an example for the world for how Catholics are supposed to be? We are compelled by our faith to exude the Gospel from every fiber of our being. As Mother Teresa said, we are to be living expressions of God’s kindness—in our face, eyes, and smile. That kindness needs to start here. As a community of Christians, we need to build each other up, care for each other, encourage each other, proclaim the Gospel to each other. There is definitely a call for ministry here on our campus! We are intricately connected to one another as brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus, and we have an example to set not only for the world, but for our classmates.
opportunities here deteriorate into a dust of ordinariness that coats our hearts in disinterestedness? I believe it is because we are afraid to acknowledge how falsely we are living our lives. We claim to be “breathing Catholic air”, which implies that we exhale charity, and yet, we would rather suffocate on our own selfishness because charity calls us out of our comfort zone. Charity compels us to live and preach the Gospel, to proclaim it to all the nations desperate for its message. Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI said Christians are not made for comfort. If we students prefer comfort over being authentic Christians, why are we here? Why do we bother? So here’s to next semester. May we rediscover our mission not only as Christians, but as Christendom Christians, who choose to restore all things in Christ. Cheers.
Faith & Reason
Faith & Reason
Swiss Guards by
Maria Bonvissutto, ‘15
Their red, yellow and blue-striped uniforms are unmistakable throughout the world. They guard one of the world’s most prominent figures, the Holy Pontiff himself. The words “Swiss Guard” are synonymous with integrity, courage and honor. But how much does the average person know about these legendary security figures? Dig a little deeper than the plumed helmet and bold uniform, and you find a group of young men fascinating in both their history and the part they play within the Vatican today. The Swiss Guards come from an old and prestigious background. They had their beginnings as Swiss mercenary soldiers in the 13th and 14th centuries. Thousands of men from different cantons in the Swiss Confederation would leave their country every summer, hire themselves out to rulers who had need of their services, and return to their homeland in the winter. Renowned for their great skill, courage and loyalty, these independent fighters were in high demand throughout all of Europe, particularly in France and Spain. Before becoming official protectors of the Pope, the Swiss “Confederates” (as they were sometimes called) had been hired out on several different occasions during the late 15th century by Popes in need of assistance, including Alexander VI. However, it was not until 1506 at the request of Pope Julius II that the Apostolic Swiss Guard was formed. On January 22nd, of that year, one hundred and fifty Swiss soldiers, led by Captain Kasparvon Silenen, of Canton Uri, marched into the Vatican and received the Pope’s blessing. The Swiss Guards became a permanent fixture at the Vatican. It wasn’t long before the newly formed regiment proved its mettle. In 1527, Charles V invaded Rome. Despite being greatly outnumbered, the Swiss Guards staunchly defended the gates of the Vatican and Pope Clement VII against the invaders. Their brave stand allowed the Pope to escape in the nick of time, but at a high price. Only forty-two of the original one hundred and eighty-nine
Swiss Guards survived the attack. The others were slaughtered while fighting in front of the altar of St. Peter’s. To this day, the bravery of these staunch soldiers during the Sack of Rome is remembered by the Swiss Guards. One of the most memorable aspects of the Swiss Guards is their vivid uniforms. In the first years of their service, the Guards did not have a specific set of clothes to wear. Their garments were most likely paid for by the Pope, and they would have had either the papal keys or the white cross of Switzerland embroidered onto their clothes. As time went on, the standard Swiss Guard’s uniform included a doublet, knee-high socks, and differently colored stripes which indicated which Swiss Canton the guard was from. The guards carried halberds and broadswords as weapons. During the Renaissance, all uniforms came to include blue, red and yellow stripes, the colors of the Medici family. A special helmet with a plume, called the morion, was also developed at this time. The plume’s color would indicate a soldiers’ rank. These elements are still part of the Swiss Guards’ famous ‘Gala Uniform,’ that they are so well known for to this day. Now, however, the Guards will often wear a simple all-blue uniform for routine work. Ever wonder if you have what it takes to become a Swiss Guard? Don’t get your hopes up too much, because the requirements to attain this prestigious post are stiff and specific. All potential candidates must be male, Roman Catholic, between the ages of nineteen and thirty, and citizens of Switzerland. Furthermore, they must have irreproachable reputations and have attended military school in Switzerland. They need either a high school diploma or a professional degree, and cannot be married. And finally, they must be at least 174 centimeters tall! (That’s about 5’8.’’) Those fortunate enough to be chosen as guards start their job at a time-honored and beautiful ceremony, the Swearing-In of
New Recruits. This special event takes place each year on May 6th, the anniversary of the Sack of Rome. Standing in the St. Damaso Courtyard in Vatican City, surrounded by family, friends and the entire Swiss Guard in full regalia, the new recruits take a solemn oath to serve the Pope and defend him. As one might imagine, once a young man becomes a Swiss Guard, there’s plenty to keep him busy. Today, there are currently about one hundred and ten Swiss Guards serving the Pope under the command of Colonel Daniel Rudolf Anrig. According to the official Swiss Guard website, the four main duties of a guard are: 1. To accompany the Holy Father on his travels; 2. To protect the College of Cardinals during papal transitions; 3. To guard the entrances to the Vatican City; 4. To perform other security and honorary services. Whether it’s keeping order during a public event or guarding the Pope’s private apartment, the Swiss Guards are always on hand to
secure the safety of our Holy Father. When they’re not on guard, these men have a multitude of other tasks to attend to, including inspections, briefings, marches, and training sessions. The guards also manage to have some fun. They keep themselves occupied in their spare time (what little of it there is) with music and sports. The guards have their own band, which plays at special events such as the Swearing-In Ceremony. Soccer is a popular pastime, and the Swiss Guards have an official team called FC Guardia which often plays games against other staff teams, such as the Vatican Museum guards. The Swiss Guards also enjoy wholesome meals prepared by a group of five Albertine Sisters. These remarkable men are certainly more than decorative figures at the Vatican City. Backed by a long, illustrious and proud history, they provide an invaluable service to the Vicar of Christ. Certainly, they are guards that any king would be glad to employ.
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Faith & Reason
Science & Technology
Popular portrait of Antoine Frédéric Ozanam Image collection of the Vincentian Studies Institute.
By Peter Deucher. ‘15
Nineteenth century France was a bloody mess. Enlighten- fundamental reason and ment thinkers and starving workers joined forces to tear down the stabilizing principle, also established monarchy, which, to the detriment of clerics and lay goes above and beyond Catholics nationwide, was all too frequently associated with the justice. There is no limit Catholic Church. One man in particular, Frederic Ozanam, fought to charity because it does against this anti-religious current at the Sorbonne in Paris. Ozanot depend on nam’s academic efforts to stem the tide of rationalism and revolution the particular rights, dues or were significant. However, it is his blend of study and charitable privileges that arise between outreach that we as students should note most of all and strive to persons. It is a mode of relation emulate. In Frederic Ozanam we find a truly inspirational view of charWhen our faith is shown to be livable, it suddenly becomes more beity out of which sprang The Society of St. Vincent de Paul and from which lievable, both to ourselves and to those who initially took us to be the following reflections are drawn. either lunatics or hypocrites. To begin, consider this comment from Ozanam on the two fundamental ways in which we as ship that is by definition infinite. humans can relate to one another positively: “The order of society is Because charity knows no bounds, it is also the most liberating kind based on two virtues: justice and charity. However, justice presupof relationship. Its undefined and unlimited nature leaves room for poses a lot of love already, for one needs to love a man a great deal each individual to determine for himself how much he will love, in order to respect his rights, which limit our rights, and his liberty, thus providing those who seek it with an inexhaustible outlet for which hampers our liberty.” them to exercise their freedom. Similarly, charity engages man’s Charity is the very basis of society. We cannot even begin creativity, imagination and individual personality by permitting to act in a proper way towards each other in the absence of charhim to decide for himself how to express his love for other people. ity. All our interactions fall into disorder without love to bind them There is no one way to go about living charitably just as there is no together. Justice itself fails without charity, for who could honestly line drawn by charity on how much we can love. Both the external maintain that respect for a person’s rights can exist without respect quality and the internal quantity of our charity are left largely up to for the person himself? Charity gives us that respect for others us, making charity conducive rather than restrictive to our freedom. which is necessary to treat them justly. Hence in all our dealings, Finally, Ozanam saw charity as a means whereby faith could be we should make charity our first concern and justice its natural strengthened, deepened and solidified. “Our faith is weak,” says extension. Charity produces in us a dependable disposition to give Ozanam, “ because we cannot see God. But we can see the poor, others their due. If Javert in Les Miserable had focused on relating and we can put our finger into their wounds, and see the marks to Jean Val Jean through charity and not simply through justice, he of the crown of thorns.” Although Ozanam is referring here to a would actually have been able to be truly just in all his actions. charity that alleviates suffering, his essential point remains true even when no terrible pain or need is involved. Even the acts of charity There is no one way to go about living charitably we bestow on those who are without some urgent want serve, by their tangibility, to strengthen our faith in the supernatural. When just as there is no line drawn by charity on how our faith is shown to be livable, it suddenly becomes more believable, both to ourselves and to those who initially took us to be much we can love. either lunatics or hypocrites. In the same passage, Ozanam continues, “Justice has its limits It is amazing, but it is true, what charity can do. Among whereas charity knows none.” This cuts to heart of the matter, into the many things that can be said of it, these three come to mind. the essential difference between justice and charity and by extenCharity is the dependable motor behind the cogs of true justice, the sion into what charity truly is. Justice gives to another what is his fertilizer that nourishes the growth of our own personal freedom due, and nothing more. It renders to Caesar and then shuts down and creativity, and the smiling face of faith expressing what cannot because nothing else is demanded. Charity, although it is justice’s be seen or felt. 12| Twelve
How to Become an Amateur Car Mechanic! By Steve Treacy, ‘15 Cars are amazing machines; they’re even better when they YouTube fails to provide you with the answer you seek, then visiting work. When they don’t work, they are downright awful. We’ve all a car forum is your next best option. Car forum memberships are been there. One sunny day, you and your “squeeze” go to take a usually free and the people on them are more then ready to help ride in your “beater” car. It doesn’t matter where you are going. you. Be warned though; do not try the patience of the people on You could be driving to Skyline Drive, Tropical Smoothie, or the the car forums. Do your research before you post your questions or Exxon Gas Station to get better Wi-Fi. Unfortunately for you and answers, listen to the forum posters advice, and DO NOT contrayour pride, your car won’t start, or else it starts and it sounds like dict their advice. Many of them are master mechanics and could a bunch of crazy apes having a fight in the kitchen. Either way it turn a lawnmower into a racecar. Once you have completed your stinks. To make matresearch, then it is time ters worse, you have If everything about the tools above sounded like Greek to you, to dive into the fun no money to pay an stuff. don’t worry. Just ask one of the friendly employees at your auto parts Step four, buy the actual mechanic to fix the problem with store to help you out. The employee will most likely understand that appropriate parts and your car. What do to fix your car. you were deprived as a child and will answer all of your questions. tools you do? Well, here Never buy car meare a few steps to save chanic’s tools unless your pride, girlfriend you have too. As the number one, and girlfriend number two. years go by and you tackle different kinds of (Sorry ladies, girlfriend number one is problems with your car, you will slowly acquire the car). all the tools necessary to fix any mechanical Step one, drive to your local issues you may encounter in the future. The auto parts store and purchase a “Haynes” only tools you will need to set you upon the book.” Haynes books are printed for path to become a motor head, is a standard every make, model, and year of car on socket set with ¼ and 3/8 ratchets and sockets. the planet. For all those non-motor A few spanner wrenches are nice to have too. heads out there, the “make” is the car Pro-tip, try to find out if your car uses metric brand, i.e. Honda. The “model” is the or English measurements. This way you‘ll only specific type of car, that a car company have to buy a single set of sockets and spanmakes, i.e. Civic. If you have no clue ner wrenches to fit the desired measurement what “year” stands for then you shouldn’t standard. If everything about the tools above be driving a car at all. If a Haynes book sounded like Greek to you, don’t worry. Just does not exist for your car, then you are ask one of the friendly employees at your auto out of luck. parts store to help you out. The employee will Step two, using the Haynes book, familiarize yourself with most likely understand that you were deprived as a child and will the general workings of your car. Be able to identify the drive belts, answer all of your questions. As for the general use of your newly radiator, alternator, spark plugs, spark plug wires, air filter, fuel filter, bought tools, … you’ll figure that out once you finally decide to get oil filter, and a few other parts. There are many other parts that your hands dirty. could have been listed above, but the average “handyman” mechanic Once you have spent all of your free time working on only deals with what motor heads called the “basics”. your car, busted a few knuckles, dirtied up your mom’s door knobs, Step three, if you have a problem with your car, identify watched way too much YouTube, pestered forum posters and auto what that problem is and find the remedy for it in the Haynes book. part store employees, you will have gained enough knowledge and Remedies for car troubles can be anything from changing out a part, experience to make sure your “baby” stays on the road. Not only to cleaning a part, or just simply adding fluid to one of the many will you feel accomplished and slightly smarter than the rest of reservoirs under your hood. If the problem happens to be bad drive your friends, but you can finally ride off into the sunset, with your belts and the instructions in Haynes book weren’t clear enough for “honey” by your side, in a car that you’ve entirely fixed up yourself. you, then visit the online fountain of all knowledge, YouTube. If
Love Unlimited: Inspiration from Blessed Frederic Ozanam
Poetry & Prose
The Last Word
DIVINE SKECHBOOK By Amy Marter, ‘16
The Last Word on Finals
It’s rugby season! Let’s go for another undefeated year, Crusaders!
Life is not fair at all sometimes Tis like a story told When trials and obstacles besiege the good Spun and woven into gold. There is a divine sketchbook Of which we only get a glance Every now and yet again Of the divine magnificence Of the full and brilliant picture To be painted of our lives. Often all we see Are broken, scattered l Each one has a role to play Though we know not how nor why Or what the unveiled portrait will revealed When exhibited by the Artist on high But in the end it shall be fair Each shall have played his part To contribute to the picture To the Master’s work of art. And some have only small roles Some take the center stage Some are meant to be rejected But their role might change on the next page So in this drama, in this painting, In this story of your life Never forget your dignity And all will turn out right Just keep on trusting, listening Don’t be afraid to step beyond your fear Though it seems dark and cloudy now Your future will shine through quite clear
Another opportunity for presenting our opinions on campus occurrences. Agree? Disagree? Have an opinion of your own? Let us know!
St. Cecilia’s Night proved that we have some really diverse & amazing musical talent here at Christendom!
The new coffee shop downtown, “Happy Creek Coffee,” is amazing!
The water fountains seem to be going on strike. No water fountains on main floor gym or student center. Stay away from the fountain on the right side in the commons, the fountains upstairs in the gym, and on mid-floor in the library!
The Editorial Staff
Is it really the most wonderful time of the year? The ubiquitous Christmas music seems to tell us that it is, as we hurdle into mid-December. Yet with finals now upon us, many may be tempted to think otherwise. That said, I’ve always held that finals week is, in fact, the best time of year. Think about it. There are no classes. Outside of Sunday Mass, dress code has been boiled down to the point where, so long as you aren’t dressed like Tarzan or a homeless person, you’re basically good to go. If you’re an underclassman, weekday curfew has been pushed back to 1am until next semester. Most extra-curriculars are winding-down. Our only obligation now is to study and, in most cases, we’ll have more than enough time to do so. Sure, there will be a handful of all-nighters here and a healthy smattering of emotional breakdowns there, but for the most part, things are pretty good. In any event, it will all be over soon. Good luck and may the grades be ever in your favor.
The weather has been unable to make up its mind for a couple weeks now, so make sure you take your vitamin C to avoid getting sick!
Published on Dec 18, 2013
The Rambler is the independent student journal of Christendom College, dedicated to training the next generation of Catholic journalists and...