“Youth was made not for pleasure, but for heroism,” wrote Paul Claudel.
Seeking a life of virtue and heroism, dozens of young men attended the annual Call to Chivalry Camp in Pennsylvania sponsored by the American TFP. This year the historic theme highlighted during the camp focused on the Catholic history of Poland, with its shrines, saints, and crusaders.
Bringing History to Life
The talks and presentations were received with great interest. For example, camp participants were surprised to learn that the date of the terrorist attack against America on September 11, 2001, was not random but deliberate in its timing because the Turkish forces invading Austria in 1683 sustained a humiliating defeat at the Siege of Vienna on September 11. At that time, Vienna did not fall to the crescent thanks to King Jan Sobieski and his brave Polish hussars who rescued Europe and defeated the invaders. Although outnumbered, the Catholic knights repulsed the Turks at the gates of Vienna, winning a stunning victory for Christian Civilization. Even the origin of cappuccino coffee and the delicious croissant is related to this decisive victory.
Additional talks were given about the Siege of Jasna Gora, the miracles of Our Lady of Czestochowa, Saint Maximillian Kolbe, devotion to Mary, the Brown Scapular, the medieval order, the winged hussars, the scourge of communism, the need to defend the treasures of our Catholic Faith, Catholic culture, and TFP Student Action campaigns for moral values on college campuses.
Other activities abounded. Archery, a treasure hunt, chess, ping-pong, swordplay, laser tag, capture the flag, volleyball, campfire stories and a variety of field sports filled the schedule.
Given the unrest and confusion sweeping through our beloved nation, camp participants joined the TFP campaign now underway to blanket every state capital with prayer.
Public Prayer for America
With rosaries in hand, the boys held a rosary rally to restore One Nation Under God in Harrisburg on June 12, 2020. They prayed the rosary for America on the steps outside the State Capitol building and displayed banners and signs.
Pedestrians were happy to see and hear the-- and find out that it wasn't another ugly, violent protest but rather a peaceful appeal to God for graces at this time of unrest and revolution. A man who was walking his dog paused to take in the sight and said: “I’m glad to finally see a group of people who are not protesting. It’s good to see something positive today. Do you have a local chapter? I’d like to join [your group].”
The strains of God Bless America rang out loudly, echoing down State Street. The bagpipes and drums resounded as well, making the rally difficult to miss. “Thank you! That was beautiful. It sounded great,” said a lady who was seated on a bench near St. Patrick’s Cathedral.
Looking at the façade of the capitol gave rise for concern and another reason to pray. Two immoral flags draped from the balustrades: a rainbow flag and a transgender flag. By flying such flags and supporting the anti-family agenda that they represent, the state betrays its mission to serve the common good. The display of these flags harms the moral fabric of our nation.
Luke, 13, said the rosary rally for America was his favorite part of the Call to Chivalry camp: “I was able to campaign against socialism with brave young men at my side,” he said. “We need to resist the lies of Satan.”
Daniel, another camp participant, also chalked up the rosary rally as his favorite activity, “because it shows that even in the worst of times, Our Blessed Mother will prevail,” he said.
Camp participant, Anthony, was enthusiastic about the opportunity to pray for the restoration of order in America. “It felt good fighting for truth,” he exclaimed.
Although the streets appeared to be peaceful, a bearded individual dressed in black and carrying a skateboard expressed his disgust with the public expression of Faith. As he walked by, he ran his hand over his throat in a cutting fashion.
Most pedestrians, however, expressed joy with the patriotic prayer crusade. Several people spent extended periods watching and filming the event with their phones. Others honked in approval from their cars. In general, most people agree: America needs prayers. America needs order. And America needs God more than ever.
Medieval Games and Banquet
The last day of the camp culminated with the Medieval Games and a grueling obstacle course. Bedecked with fluttering flags, pennants, and banners, the game field was a beautiful sight where two teams competed, testing their chivalrous skill and mettle.
No Call to Chivalry Camp is complete without a delicious Medieval Banquet, which was prepared by a team of TFP volunteers. After the main course, the arrival of a castle cake resembling the fortified Shrine of Jasna Gora entered the hall to enthusiastic applause. Finally, each camp participant received a memento – a beautiful statue of Our Lady of Divine Grace.
A new generation of young men is stepping forward. They reject the chaos and immoral culture of the world and yearn to serve a noble cause. That cause is the peace of Christ in the reign of Christ.
In centuries past, the brave winged Hussar fought for God and country with lance and sword. Filled with devotion to Mary, the Hussars charged into battle. Their
lofty motto revealed their final goal, Heaven: “Life on earth free from
vice; after life, paradise!” Today, although the modern knight is no longer on horseback in gleaming armor, the Catholic spirit of chivalry remains the same.
At Call to Chivalry camp, a new generation embraced the challenge the follow the footsteps of the Crusader saints and pledged to continue the spiritual crusade to defend moral values and restore and preserve America, One Nation Under God.