By James Donlon
In June I joined three of my TFP Student Action colleagues for a two-month trip to Europe where the French TFP kindly hosted us.
TFP Student Action volunteers admire medieval monuments in Belgium.
First, however, we traveled to Ireland for a one-week caravan in defense of the unborn. For seven days, under the leadership of Rory O’Hanlon and Alexander McKay, we distributed fifteen thousand leaflets encouraging people to pray a Rosary novena to prevent the legalization of abortion in Ireland. The tour took us to Dublin, Navan, Drogheda and other cities.
The Irish reaction was encouraging. One man in Dublin, for example, was overjoyed: “I want to let you boys know that we are all in support of you here in Dublin!” After finishing the caravan, we traveled to Howth Point, situated on the coast, about ten miles outside of Dublin. On the end of the peninsula we watched the lighthouse signal as the moon rose over the sea while the calm rustle of waves engulfed the rocks two-hundred feet below.
The preserved medieval city of Bruges in Belgium was another stop we cherished with its cobblestone city center and gothic-style town hall. Throughout the trip, the monuments of Catholic culture stood out. Even though many things have changed, and are changing for the worse, the remnants that still exist of Christendom are worth venerating.
TFP Student Conference in Poland
From July 27–31, the TFPs of Europe held their annual university student conference at the Niepolomice Castle in Poland. The theme of this year’s conference focused on the newly released work, Return to Order, by John Horvat II, vice-president of the American TFP.
The conference was blessed with the presence of the International Pilgrim Virgin Statue of Our Lady of Fatima, which miraculously wept tears in New Orleans in 1972. The statue presided over the meetings and there was an around-the-clock prayer vigil.
Students were surprised to find how Return to Order, although written for the United States, applies to the Western World as a whole.
In his lecture, Mr. Horvat described how "frenetic intemperance" is a universal moral problem that is causing a worldwide economic crisis. The solution must be, therefore, universal as well; Europe must rediscover its Catholic roots, especially Faith, virtue and honor.
During the study circles, participants discussed ways to apply the solutions presented in Return to Order in their own countries.
Other TFP members also gave talks. From Germany, Mathias von Gersdorff spoke about a successful campaign his organization lead against openly satanic music. Participants from countries such as France, Croatia, Estonia, and Lithuania reported on their efforts to oppose the homosexual agenda in their respective countries.
We also toured the new mailing center of the Polish TFP where the magazine Polonia Christiana is printed and mailed to hundreds of thousands of Polish households.
The event concluded with an authentic four-course Polish meal. During the banquet, we were treated to live music, courtesy of some of the students themselves. After many conversations and speeches, Dr. Caio Xavier da Silveira, president of the French TFP, distributed mementos to each participant, featuring the image of Our Lady of Czestochowa.