The End of the Beginning


Friends, dear fellow alumni, we have reached an auspicious milestone.

Yesterday in Nokesville, VA, roughly half-way between the college’s very first home of Triangle and the longtime Front Royal base of operations, the family of Mark Rohlena, ’00, hosted our final Grill’n & Chill’n event.

Did I say final?

It all depends on how you look at it, I suppose…

Over two months ago Karla, the kids, and I embarked on one of the biggest undertakings of our life together.  This journey would see us travel from sea to shining sea – literally – while crossing in and out of the lives of Christendom’s most precious treasures, our alumni; not to mention five time zones!

I am reminded of St. Lawrence the deacon.  You remember him?  Brought before Valerian and ordered to produce the riches of the Church he famously returned with a tiny bit of snark and a whole lot of people.  “These,” he said, “are the treasures of the Church.  Of course, he said it in Latin.

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I like to think he would be pleased.

And you are the glistening jewels of the legacy of Dr. Warren H. Carroll.

I had plans throughout this magnificent voyage to write a final piece tying together every aspect of where we went, what we did, and who we saw.  But when we arrived home and I started looking through all the pictures that idea morphed into something else.  Why not tell it with pictures?

I invite you now to watch the video I’ve linked below.  Take in all the incredible people who’s generosity made this whole thing possible.  Say a prayer of thanksgiving for them.  Chances are you interacted with them at least once in your lifetime.

Christendom alumni,this was only the beginning.

People asked us along the way if we would be doing this again next summer.  Let me tell you that I am not opposed.  My bank account might have another opinion.  Good thing ledger books can’t speak.

What we do hope is that these events, indeed this whole tour, will inspire all of you to walk with us to the next step.

After 40 years, our alma mater has finally organized an Alumni Council to serve your needs.  Yes, there are other endeavors coming to fruition like the alumni portal.  We’ve heard your suggestions and are working to make them a reality.

But these get-togethers are what it’s all about.  In several cities people had already organized future events for their regional groups.  By the way, if you’re in Denver next March be sure to check out their St. Patrick’s Day event!

This is what developed organically (and without GMO’s) over the course of our summer.  It looks like the next step is to start forming regional chapters with officers and all that jazz.

If you are willing to be a part of taking this to the next step or have already begun that process with us please contact Karla at karlak@gmail.com or Vince Criste at vince.criste@christendom.edu and let’s get that ball rolling!  Or we might just be reaching out to you…

Once again, thank you from the bottom of my heart for allowing my children and us to experience the summer of a lifetime.  We will all have quite the story to tell in answer to the old question “What did you do on your summer vacation?”

God bless you all!


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