As society crumbles, how should young Catholic men respond? Should they bury their heads in the sand like ostriches or fight for a return to order like crusaders?
Looking for answers and solutions, dozens of young men from across the nation attended TFP Student Action’s conference over the New Year’s weekend. The three-day event took place at The American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family, and Property (TFP) headquarters in Spring Grove, Pennsylvania.
Exploring Return to Order Solutions
The leitmotif of the conference was Exploring Return-to-Order Solutions in a Crumbling World, and several outstanding lectures highlighted the theme.
Mr. John Horvat II, vice president of the American TFP and author of Return to Order, explained how Catholics need to be bold and daring. The solution to the present crises calls for nothing less than a complete restoration of Christendom.
Mr. Norman Fulkerson, the author of An American Knight, presented the need to engage the culture and encourage leaders on all levels of society to step forward. True leaders or representative characters are those who perceive “the ideals, principles, and qualities that are desired and admired by a community or nation,” and translate them into “concrete programs of
life and culture.”1
Other lectures included:
- The Vital Role of the Sublime to Fight the Revolution
- The Spirit of Chivalry and TFP Student Action Campaigns
- TFP Reports from the Battlefield, and
- Leveling the Playing Field: An Appeal to the Angels
“I loved the topics of how you have to study and identify the tactics of Satan and the Revolution,” said one participant, “because as knights of Mary and warriors of Christ, we have to know these things to defeat them more effectively.”
Ceremonial Speaks to the Soul
The weekend included prayer and ceremony. One such ceremony was the TFP’s unique changing of the guard, a spectacle with music, pomp, and precision that symbolizes the TFP’s love of militant Catholicism and the perennial principles of tradition, family, and property.
“I really like the seriousness of the ceremony,” said Joseph from Wisconsin. “Not only is there reverence and solemnness but also a special type of unity and conformity.”
Praying in the New Year
As the world “rang in” 2023, the TFP Student Action conference “prayed in” the New Year. In other words, conference participants ended 2022 singing the Confiteor, asking forgiveness for their faults during the year. They sang the Magnificat to Our Lady at midnight, asking her for special graces in 2023.
After solemn prayer, everyone enjoyed booming fireworks, a hearty snack, good champagne, and even better conversation as they wished each other a “blessed New Year.” Christmas carols and Catholic convivium lingered long into the night.
Putting Words into Action
A conference highlight was the public street campaign when lofty principles were translated into concrete action. After exploring solutions to the current crisis in the lectures, these young men – almost 60 strong – held a pro-life campaign in Hanover, Pennsylvania. At a busy street corner, the TFP pipe and drum corps played as volunteers shouted slogans:
- “Margret Sanger and Roe v. Wade are both six feet beneath the grave!”
- “Purity is the answer, not abortion!”
Public support was high, and only a few pro-abortion advocates made vulgar gestures. One pro-life driver was so touched that he brought water for everyone.
An angry pro-abortion motorcyclist tried to burn out in front of the TFP banner, but his stunt failed, and he crashed on the pavement. But TFP members helped him get off the road safely.
“Being out there on the street was my favorite,” said Jack from New York. “I was [holding] the
standard, hearing the cheers and the boos, and being out in the battle. As those in the TFP like to
say, sometimes it’s good to feel the breath of the devil on your face to really know that you are fighting the fight.”
“A Priceless Experience”
Every TFP Student Action conference aims to inspire, give hope, and provide the tools to fight for moral values. The lively camaraderie, thought-provoking talks, and love for Christian Civilization, common to those at the event, made the weekend memorable.
“It was a priceless experience,” said Marcel from Rhode Island. “I am going to take back [home] a new dedication to Catholicism. When I came here I was feeling a little bit indifferent in my faith,” he said.
“It was very inspiring,” stated Jack from New York. “I think it gave everyone a lot of hope. The discipline of seeing God and Our Lady in all things that we do and doing all things in the name of God and the name of Our Lady is something that I will definitely be taking with me.”
Enter the Breach!
The world is plummeting into chaos. A nuclear World War III looms on the horizon. LGBT tyranny cancels anyone who opposes its lies. Public Satanism is on the rise. And the crisis in the Church is apparent with the Vatican’s crackdown on tradition and the push for “synodality.” In short, society is crumbling.
However, the young men who attended the conference left with a better understanding of what God is calling them to do.
Just as the crusaders of old, Catholic men today must cry “Deus vult” and enter the breach! Indeed, the One True Faith and the remnants of Christian Civilization are worth fighting for.
1 John Horvat, Return to Order (York: York Press,2013), 200.