Tradition of Changing Young Lives
Mr. Joseph Triolo passed away since the publication of this article. Christendom College is forever grateful for his sacrifices and generosity.Eternal rest grant unto him O Lord and let perpetual light shine upon him. May his soul and the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.
For 40 years, the Christendom liberal arts education has formed and changed lives for the better. With the help of generous benefactors, like Joseph and Katherine Triolo of Illinois, that vision will continue on into the future. For the Triolos, their hope is that the new Christ the King Chapel will help inspire more students to attend and more benefactors to generously give. The rose window, which symbolizes the marriage between the Faith and the liberal arts, is their gift towards making the college’s future possible. The window will honor Our Lady Seat of Wisdom, nested in the center and surrounded by angelic personifications of the seven traditional liberal arts. The beautiful imagery’s placement will be intentional, showing the marriage between the Catholic Faith and Christendom’s education.
The Triolos first discovered Christendom through an advertisement, which declared the college’s freedom from federal aid. Inspired by the ad and the college’s vibrant Catholicism, the Triolos decided to contribute to the construction of the new Christ the King Chapel. Why the Rose Window in particular? Because they see a Christendom education as essential to the future of today’s youth.
“I believe a liberal arts education provides students with a well-rounded education, one that allows the students more choices, not only in the classroom but in life as well,” says Joseph.
Joseph is a World War II Navy veteran with an eighteen-year career that spanned service on 14 ships. He joined the Navy in 1937 at age 17, and was present at the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, and he remembers seeing the Japanese pilots in the cockpits of their low-flying planes. When the U.S. entered World War II, his ship, the Tangier, was ordered to set up bases for patrol planes in Fiji, Noumea, and New Hebrides; while he was there, the Battle of the Coral Sea took place and the Tangier aided in rescuing survivors of the battle. Joseph was also stationed in the Solomon Islands and Okinawa, Japan, where he experienced Kamikaze attacks and the aftermath of the bombing of Nagasaki.
Joseph continued to serve in the Navy until after the Korean War. After leaving the Navy, he finished his education and be-came a teacher for thirty years at North Chicago High School, and later a counselor. Joseph and Katherine’s gift to Christendom carries forward this proud tradition of changing young lives.