The 2021 National Conference of the American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property (TFP) concluded on Sunday, October 31. The weekend event’s title, “Amid a World of Uncertainty, Our Program Must Be: Chastisement, Victory, and the Reign of Mary,” provided the theme for the presentations. All of the participants and supporters returned to their homes, fortified for the struggle ahead.
The world of 2021 has changed significantly since the last event in 2019. The COVID crisis and lockdowns intervened in the lives of everyone, causing great strife and canceling the 2020 conference. Other changes involved the political upheaval in the White House and Congress. In 2019, the general public was still largely unaware of something called Critical Race Theory.
Despite the turmoil of the last two years, TFP members and supporters can place these events in context, thanks to Professor Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira’s epochal work Revolution and Counter-Revolution. With this perspective, TFP members and supporters gathered in Spring Grove, Pennsylvania.
It would be easy to focus and complain about these dramatic changes. However, this conference was not a place to moan or recite litanies of despair. Past and present crises are only prologues to greater challenges ahead. French TFP writer Jose Antonio Ureta provided a necessary context for the Church’s current turmoil in his presentation, “Crisis in the Church: An Update.” Ironically, Mr. Ureta’s talk was mute testimony of one crisis since his presentation was via video due to continuing COVID restrictions in Europe.
In the face of the present world crisis, concerned Catholics need to prepare for the future—a future made imminent by mankind’s deepening rejection of God and natural law. American TFP Vice President John Horvat and TFP member Rex Teodosio framed these challenges into their talks, “Preparation for the Chastisement: The Future Belongs to Those Who Improvise and Dare” and “The Chastisement, the Grand-Retour, and The Reign of Mary in Private Revelations.” The challenges and trials will be severe. Thus, members of the Church Militant must prepare for and embrace their unique God-given roles.
Conference attendees were encouraged by TFP actions to awaken the world to the nature of the Revolution. America Needs Fatima director Robert Ritchie explained “How TFP Supporters Are Fighting for Our Lady’s Triumph,” which focused on the many TFP campaigns. These campaigns have two things in common—devotion to the Church and the need to awaken the public to the many acts and trends that so offend God.
Michael Gorre’s presentation wove the American TFP’s efforts into the global tapestry of the worldwide TFP movement over the past four years. He did this through a superb videotape titled “TFP Reports from the Battlefield.” It provided valuable insights into the activities of European and South American sister TFP organizations as well as efforts in the United States. American supporters drew much encouragement by seeing their efforts echoed by like-minded laborers in other vineyards.
However, the unifying theme was confidence in Our Lord, Our Lady and Holy Mother Church. This confidence should inspire all Catholics and was conveyed by American TFP member Norman Fulkerson in his talk titled “Be of Good Cheer; I Have Overcome the World.” He reminded his listeners that despite the attacks and slanders of adversaries, the battle against Satan is already won.
In a video presentation, Italian TFP President Jules Loredo highlighted the supernatural assistance available to all Catholics. He explained, “How the Angels Will Fight With Us During the Chastisement.” His inspiring address highlighted the intimacy that each person has with a guardian angel, who is both the perfection of that person’s qualities and a special messenger with the Almighty. The conclusion showed how the faithful warrior should not fail with such help so close at hand.
The last presentations brought home the sense of final victory. Michael Whitcraft, head of the TFP’s Southern California office, spoke of “The Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary in the Mind of Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira.” The TFP Washington Bureau’s James Bascom applied the lessons of a revival of the Faith in World War II-era France to the present times. His presentation, “The Grace of the Grand Return: What It Is and Why We Need It,” was an excellent reminder of the need to work with God’s Grace when looking for solutions.
Finally, Prince Bertrand of Orleans-Braganza recorded a video message that was played during the final banquet reminding participants of the 450-year anniversary of the Battle of Lepanto and how it applies to today.
The solemn High Mass at Conewago Chapel was a high point of the conference. Conewago Chapel—also known as the Basilica of the Sacred Heart—is an especially appropriate location for celebrating the special closing Mass. Founded in 1730, the current Church building was constructed from 1785-87. Richly decorated with murals and stained glass depicting great Catholic saints of times past, it is a stone and mortar symbol of the whole Church—both the Church Militant and Triumphant. It has weathered many storms over the years—and so will today’s faithful if they are vigilant, diligent and confident.