by Vincent Gorre
During a time of confusion, uncertainty and danger, wouldn’t it be nice to find a place of refuge, where there is an ambiance of calm, affability, beauty, security, wisdom, inspiration and even spiritual comfort? Such a place was found at the 2014 TFP National Conference in Spring Grove, PA on October 25th and 26th. The tranquil and friendly atmosphere at the TFP headquarters during the two-day annual event was the perfect setting to discuss this year’s theme, “How to Prepare for the Coming Cultural Clash.” The conference also observed the 100th anniversary of the death of Pope Saint Pius X, who fought against the heresy of modernism.
As always, when members and supporters of the American TFP gather for its annual National Conference, the occasion is replete with activities that are aimed at nourishing one’s mind, body and spirit: enlightening and inspiring talks; enjoyable meals set in style; meeting up with old friends; a rosary procession; all of it capped by a Solemn High Mass.
This year’s speakers dealt with key topics that addressed the present sad state of affairs in the world. The well-rounded talks were all given by American TFP members, whose breadth of knowledge captivated the participants.
As with every TFP National Conference, informative talks were given by American TFP members, whose breadth of knowledge captivated the participants.
After being welcomed by conference coordinator Michael Drake, the first speaker, Gustavo Solimeo, author and scholar, discussed “Resisting the Moral Revolution Inside the Church.” His talk touched on the recent controversy surrounding the Vatican Synod on the Family, defining the differing positions of Synod participants and clarifying the true teachings of the Church regarding homosexuality and marriage.
American TFP vice-president and author John Horvat II spoke on “The Way of the Cross Society.” Using a chapter out of his renowned book Return to Order, Mr. Horvat developed the intriguing idea of a society embracing the “cross” as opposed to a society that is “anti-cross.” Such a society would have well-being, would rise to excellence and would be united to God. Members of an “anti-cross” society, however, would have lives without meaning, empty and shallow.
“The Growing Homosexualist Persecution” was the subject of Mr. Luis Solimeo’s talk. Also a gifted author and scholar, Mr. Solimeo dug deeper into the disordered human behavior that is continually assaulting the integrity and stability of the Church's moral teaching. However, he explained that the clarity and inflexibility of natural law, scripture, the popes, saints and Doctors of the Church make it virtually impossible for any change to occur in the Church’s traditionalteaching.
Mr. Norman Fulkerson, author of An American Knight, spoke passionately on “The Importance of America’s Attraction for Heroism.” Citing both civilian and military examples of heroism, Mr. Fulkerson declared that as much as heroism reflects an aspect of God’s grandeur, it also reveals the “legend” in a man, which is God’s plan for him.
HRIH Prince Bertrand of Orleans Braganza, a life-long Brazilian TFP member, and direct descendant of numerous saintly nobles gave the closing remarks, ending a weekend full of many graces.
On the second day of the conference TFP member Michael Whitcraft, who heads the American TFP Center in Southern California and Hawaii Outreach, delivered a scathing review of Thomas Picketty’s 696-page book, Capital in the Twenty First Century. In his talk, “Taxes and the War on Inequality,” he successfully made the link between the left’s egalitarian agenda with taxation on a global scale. He then defended the right to private property and its vital importance to a robust and hierarchical organic Christian society.
TFP member James Bascom, an up and coming conference speaker, spoke on “Common Core and the Destruction of Education.” He outlined in detail Common Core’s origins and destructive effects on our schoolchildren, a matter of grave concern to all the parents in the room. “Beyond the Bunker Mentality” was delivered by TFP member Michael Chad Shibler, who captivated his audience with real-life stories to illustrate his points.
Citing Our Lord Jesus Christ as the supreme model, Mr. Shibler encouraged his audience not to flee but to confront the crisis with faith and confidence and thus change the course of history. Rex Teodosio, a traveling Fatima custodian was tasked with presenting “TFP in Action,” an account of the American TFP and America Needs Fatima’s activities thus far, using a 10-minute video to showcase its organization, reach and accomplishments. He also spoke in detail about the latest campaign to protest the satanic ”black mass” recently held in Oklahoma City.
A TFP national conference would not be complete without the Solemn High Mass. This year, it was celebrated at the first church in North America dedicated to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, the Basilica of the Sacred Heart in Hanover, Pennsylvania. TFP members in their ceremonial habits served and sang in the choir to add to the solemnity and grandeur of the Mass with the presence of a Pilgrim Statue of Our Lady of Fatima.
After Mass, the traditional Medieval Banquet back at TFP headquarters was graced by members of the sacred clergy and HRIH Prince Bertrand of Orleans Braganza, a life-long Brazilian TFP member, and direct descendant of numerous saintly nobles. His closing remarks ended a weekend full of nourishment of mind, body and spirit, the TFP way.