“Viva Cristo Rey!” (“Long Live Christ the King!”) was the motto for this year’s Call to Chivalry Summer Camp for boys held at the Feliciana Retreat Center in Norwood, Louisiana from June 29 – July 9. The camp was co-sponsored by The American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property (TFP) and St. Louis de Montfort Academy.
This year’s camp motto was immortalized by militant Mexican Catholics, called Cristeros, who fought to defend the Faith during the Mexican Revolution of the 1920s. Facing martyrdom, the Cristeros, such as Fr. Miguel Pro and Luis Segura Vilchi, would proclaim their Faith instants before death by shouting “Viva Cristo Rey!”
To learn more about these amazing Catholics, over forty boys, ages 12-18, traveled from all over the South and as far away as Scotland and Ireland to attend. Camp activities included horseback riding, canoeing, archery, falconry, and paintball.
More important than the games, the camp offered intellectual and religious formation on topics such as: the history of the Mexican martyrs and Cristeros, Christ the King, the meaning of life, the Ten Commandments, persecution of Catholics in America, the medieval order and the Revolutionary process that has been decimating the remnants of Christian civilization for centuries.
“This year’s meetings were fantastic!” said camp attendee Kenneth Murphy. “I really enjoyed learning about history and defending the Faith from a Catholic perspective.”
On July 4, camp participants were fortunate to watch Baton Rouge’s thirty minute firework display from on board the destroyer U.S.S. Kidd, permanently moored in the Mississippi River. “I have watched Baton Rouge’s fireworks display every year since I can remember,” said camp participant Philip LaBauve. “But watching the fireworks on board the Kidd was a totally new experience.”
July 6 was “Cristero Day.” The camp was decorated with Mexican ponchos, spurs and sombreros. After normal daytime activities, which included horseback riding, archery and swimming, the boys feasted on Mexican food.
After dinner there was a play depicting a Cristero martyr and making an application for today.
The camp ended in hallmark TFP style with medieval games and a medieval banquet in the camp’s outdoor pavilion. Several of the boy’s parents worked together to provide a Cajun banquet fit for a king that included five different types of meat, potato salad, beans and jambalaya. Parents joined their sons in the dinner presided over by Msgr. Berggreen of St. Agnes Parish in Baton Rouge.
After dinner awards were announced, souvenirs given and slides of the 2004 summer camp projected.
As the evening finished, the boys left tired, well-fed and ready to defend the Faith in today’s hostile culture following the example of the Cristeros.