The older I get the more aware I become of the blessings I have failed to count. One of these blessings is having been raised in a time when the name you gave to something had a certain degree of depth and meaning.
I grew up on a long, steep street called Watchung Avenue. The street was named Watchung because the Indians who once settled in the area referred to the mountains there as “Wach Unks” which meant “high hills.” In our town, back in the olden days, when you named a street something, if you looked hard enough you could find some meaning behind the name.
After getting married, we lived on a street in another town. Our home was one of many quickly built to make fast cash. The street we lived on was called Yellowstone Lane. There was not one yellow stone on it. The entire area was like that. There was an Appletree Lane with no apple trees and a Blueberry Path with no blueberries to be seen, let alone picked and eaten. The street named Snowdrift Lane was flat as a board and no more likely to experience a snowdrift than any other street around.
These things may seem to be of no great importance. But when it comes to colleges, parents want to know that if a college calls itself “Catholic,” then this is what it truly is. This is because sending a student off to colleges claiming to be Catholic, but having no Catholic backbone, might only confuse the student and eventually lead to their spiritual injury or even spiritual death. In the midst of such confusion, which is now rampant at many Catholic colleges in this country, it is refreshing to note that some Catholic colleges, openly loyal to the teachings of the Catholic Church, seem to be thriving. One such college is Christendom College in Virginia.
It’s almost impossible not to be emboldened by the faculty and students at Christendom College. Strong in faith, the students graduate with seemingly unshakeable roots. This is no accident. Christendom students are required to take particular core courses designed to help them distinguish truth from error. As its web-site explains:
Christendom College’s exploration of truth begins with a systematic exposition of Catholic doctrine in the freshman year, followed by courses in Sacred Scripture, moral theology and apologetics, enabling the student both to defend the faith and to apply it to his own life…
An indispensable element in any sound education is learning to distinguish truth from error or distortion, and then to communicate truth accurately, effectively and convincingly to others…
The fidelity of Christendom College to the Magisterium of the Catholic Church makes it a light that shines only brighter in this present darkness. And it is precisely this fidelity that lies at the root of the faithfulness and confidence of its graduates. These graduates understand how to decipher truth and thus are unconfused. Christendom College demonstrates that when one truly lives the Catholic faith, this faith helps one to live better, holier, more peaceful and joyful lives.
In Christendom’s most recent newslsetter, it announced the honoring, at its upcoming graduation weekend, of Father Frank Pavone with its Pro Deo et Patria Medal for Distinguished Service to God and Country. Father Pavone has worked tirelessly to defend the unborn, and is the National Director of Priests for Life. He lives his Catholic calling in such a heroic fashion that when one gets discouraged by the abortion evils that are swallowing our country, just thinking of his dedication is enough to keep you going. And that’s why it makes sense to honor him.
Christendom College has squelched confusion about graduation speakers by speaking out in truth, and stating that:
In recent years, a number of Catholic colleges and universities have gotten into hot water with their constituents and the local hierarchy for the people they invited to either deliver the commencement address or receive an award from the institution. Most recently, The University of Notre Dame is receiving a lot of attention for its decision to invite President Barack Obama to be its commencement speaker and to award him with an honorary doctorate. The uproar comes from the fact that President Obama’s policies regarding the sanctity of human life go against the Catholic Church’s teachings on these matters, particularly in respect to embryonic stem cell research and abortion.
“Notre Dame, the university named after ‘Our Lady,’ is honoring one of the world’s most pro-abortion leaders on May 17 while Christendom College will be honoring one of the world’s most pro-life leaders on May 16. I wonder which one Our Lady is happy with?” questions Tom McFadden… (Director of Admissions and Public Relations)
”Commencement ceremonies across the country are meant to be times of celebration for the various institutions, and a time to honor individuals from whom we want our graduates to learn and grow as young Catholics entering today’s increasingly secularized society,” says Christendom College President Dr. Timothy O’Donnell. “To think that, as a Catholic college, we could invite someone who promotes policies and values that are contrary to basic human truths that can be known by the natural light of reason and are contrary to the fundamental right to life would be a violation of the noble mission of Catholic higher education.” (http://www.christendom.edu/news/2009/03-30-graduation.shtml)
For their faithfulness, kudos should go to Christendom College.