Spring Break. The words conjure up images of hedonistic college students traveling to far-off, exotic places in search of selfish pleasure. For these students, the modern world is only to be embraced and enjoyed, never mind opposed. The idea of a cultural revolution that defies Christian morality, is far from their minds. After all, if it feels good, just do it, right?
Contrary to the myth, many students oppose the cultural revolution which they see destroying mankind. Abortion, same-sex “marriage,” euthanasia, and rampant immorality are evils that must be combated. What is the solution to the crisis of modern man?
That is exactly the question that the TFP Student Action Spring Break Weekend sought to answer. Held on March 11-12, university students from across the nation came to learn about this cultural revolution, its origins, goals, and methods, and its only authentic alternative, Christian civilization.
Held at the American TFP’s beautiful headquarters located in rural Pennsylvania, the retreat-like weekend was appropriately titled “Why We Fight, Why We Will Win.” The intention was to give the students formation and direction in opposing the crisis of modern man, as understood by Professor Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira.
The days began, of course, with prayer. After rising and showers, the Apostles Creed was sung in Gregorian chant, followed by breakfast.
Mr. Norman Fulkerson’s talk, “The Age of Chivalry: What Went Wrong?” was given in two parts. Mr. Fulkerson first made a point-by-point analysis of the Middle Ages and the founding of Christendom. Far from being the “Dark Ages,” the High Middle Ages, while not perfect, was nevertheless the only era in history when all facets of society were oriented toward giving glory to God. Medieval man took to heart the line from the Gospel, “Seek ye therefore first the kingdom of God, and his justice, and all these things shall be added unto you.”
The second part of Mr. Fulkerson’s talk dealt with the decline of Christian civilization beginning with the Renaissance. The explosion of pride and sensuality led to a radical hatred for all forms of inequality and all moral law. Mr. Fulkerson traced this Revolution in society from the Protestant Revolution to the French Revolution, and finally to the Communist Revolution.
After laying this much needed groundwork, Mr. Mario Navarro da Costa and Mr. Luiz Solimeo gave a talk on the manifestations of this Revolution as it affects the Catholic Church. There is no doubt that the Church has been attacked both from without and from within, to the point that Pope Paul VI declared that “the smoke of Satan has entered the temple of God.” However, in spite of the storms that afflict the Church, there is the promise of Our Divine Savior, when He made Saint Peter the first Pope, “Thou art Peter, and upon this Rock, I will build My Church, and the gates of Hell will not prevail against Her.”
Student Action members got very practical, in their presentation on how the Revolution uses culture and fashion to shape the mentality of youth. They used the examples of films, architecture, and fashions to show that philosophical errors must find their support in the culture. The raw philosophy of existentialism, for example, would be impalpable if explained to the man on the street. However, its main tenets have been accepted by the common man after being bombarded with them in so many films.
On Sunday, the participants attended Mass at the Cathedral Chapel of St. Lawrence in nearby Harrisburg, Penn. After lunch, Mr. Michael Whitcraft gave a talk on Fatima, and why Our Lady’s message applies especially to the world today.
The conference ended with talks given by Mr. John Horvat and Mr. Luiz Fragelli. Mr. Horvat’s talk, “Restoring Christian Civilization,” explained that a new Christendom will not come about by passing laws or memorizing the catechism. The mentality of modern man must change. He must move away from the agitated, intemperate, revolutionary mentality of the modern world. He showed how in the final analysis, there are two winds of history: The winds of the passions of man, and the winds of the breath of grace of the Holy Spirit.
Mr. Luiz Fragelli’s talk, “The Crusade of the XXI Century,” was a convocation to action. Everyone, no matter his state in life, must do what he can to oppose this Revolution and not stop until the victory promised by Our Lady at Fatima.
The weekend ended with a closing banquet, skits, and a band presentation by the TFP Holy Choirs of Angels band.