Christendom’s new missions

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Due to unprecedented demand, Christendom College in Front Royal is expanding its mission trip program to include summer in-service. Previously, students could serve only during spring break. This year, students can commit to two months in Alaska, Chile, Patterson, N.J., and the Bronx, N.Y.

"We've grown big enough and popular enough that we're able to take this new initiative now," said Zachary Smith, public relations specialist.

This spring, 30 percent of the student body will participate in mission trips - a record for the school. Students fundraise for the trips themselves. During the trips, they typically assist charities and religious organizations with duties such as catechesis and teaching proper hygiene.

Julie Cipriano, assistant coordinator of Christendom's mission trip programs, said she hopes these mission trips will allow students "to see Christ and human dignity in everyone." While the communities they encounter may not be "blessed materially," she wants students to realize that they are "wealthy in community, faith and culture."

"There are many ways to be rich," she said, "and I want the students to understand that in their hearts."

Stoddard can be reached at cstoddard@catholicherald.com.

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2015