It was a full weekend – full of activities, camaraderie and blessings. The National Conference of The American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property (TFP) united nearly 275 supporters, friends and members who gathered on October 29-31 in Spring Grove, Penn. to discuss the theme “Exploring Solutions to the Crisis of Leadership: Courage and Hope for the Militant Catholic.”
There were so many activities. The event began with a pizza dinner on Friday night baked in a wood-fired pizza oven. There were informative talks that inspired the participants. A Saturday evening candlelight rosary procession with a life-sized statue of Our Lady of Hope – Macarena enchanted all. There was Holy Mass, confessions and devotions.
There was even a visit of Henry V who delivered a rousing speech about a battle before the feast of Saint Crispin. A medieval-style banquet in a large decorated tent was the fitting end of the program. Indeed, it was hard to keep track of all that was said and done.
Rallies and Book Launchings
There was much to celebrate at this conference which was one of the largest in recent history. Most of the participants had been part of the 5,963 Public Square Rosary Rallies held nationwide on October 16, 2010. There were also many new friends and supporters who became familiar with the TFP and its programs. Especially noteworthy were delegations from Scotland and Hawaii.
The Conference program also included the launching of The Christian Institution of the Family: A Dynamic Force to Regenerate Society, written and promoted by the TFP in the United Kingdom. Mr. Richard Lyon presented a brief summary and application of how to use the book to defend the family.
The newly published book Plinio: A Man for Our Times written by TFP supporter Andrea Phillips was distributed to all of the Conference participants. This biography of Prof. Plinio gives an easy-to-understand summary of the life and works of the founder of the Brazilian TFP and inspirer of all the other TFPs around the world.
Prince Bertrand of Orleans-Braganza delivered the keynote address at the Sunday Medieval Banquet, speaking of his own relationship with Prof. Corrêa de Oliveira and an evaluation of his great victories.
Leadership, a Timely Theme
All the talks were based from the perspective of the book Revolution and Counter-revolution by Prof. Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira, founder of the Brazilian TFP.
American TFP Vice-President John Horvat delivered the talk, “Exploring Solutions to the Crisis in Leadership” that discussed the nature of the solutions that must be pursued from the point of view of Catholic social teaching on organic society. Mr. Michael Whitcraft spoke about social hierarchy and Divine Providence. Mr. Mario Navarro da Costa presented a talk entitled “In the Evening of This Life, We Will be Judged According to Our Love” which centered on commentaries of Prof. Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira on this subject.
Mr. Norman Fulkerson delivered a talk titled “The Ordering Principle: Sovereignty and Vital Flux,” which developed the idea as to the origins of true leadership. Luiz Solimeo, senior researcher for the American TFP, presented a talk on temperance and prudence as necessary virtues. Mr. Nelson Fragelli used the example of Saint Nuno Alvares Pereira as an example of leadership for today’s society. Dr. Joseph Thomas dealt with the subject of character strengths and virtues from the perspective of military leadership.
Conviviality and Blessings
However, while the talks were the important centerpiece to the Conference, many were also drawn by the chance to get together with others of similar mind and heart. Our Lady’s blessings upon the event were quite evident by a great conviviality in which there never seemed to be enough time to converse. Even those who were attending for the first time felt part of a great family of souls united together in a great crusade for a Christian civilization.
All the activities were held at the TFP center in Spring Grove, Penn. where the brisk yet refreshing weather and autumn foliage provided an excellent backdrop for the event. The decoration, flowers and medieval-style tent added a festive and joyful tone to the conference. There was time for coffee breaks, discussions or even tours of the property and its buildings. Students from the TFP-staffed Saint Louis de Montfort Academy were politely helping out everywhere making sure things ran smoothly.
Christ the King
The final Mass on the feast of Christ the King was held on the grounds of the TFP center. There was a magnificent Latin Mass sung by the TFP members wearing their ceremonial habit. The music included numerous hymns in honor of Christ the King as well as the Papal Hymn with organ, timpani and trumpet. Father Jonathan Romanoski, FSSP celebrated the Mass and delivered a rousing sermon.
The weekend ended inside the large medieval-style tent where all sat down together for the final dinner. Prince Bertrand gave the final address speaking on the Catholic leadership of Prof. Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira. He exhorted participants to continue their efforts confiding in the promise of victory at Fatima. The final farewell lingered long into the night as all gave thanks to Christ the King and the Blessed Mother for a weekend full of blessings.