Tradition, Family, and Property Regional Conference – Lafayette, Lousiana

March 31, 2015

By Antonio Fragelli

• “Return to Order: Understanding the Post-Modern World and Creating a Catholic Culture.”
• “The Importance of America’s Attraction for Heroism and the Sublime.”
• “Beyond the Bunker – Fighting Conservative Isolationism.”

TFP Lafayette ConferenceThese were the three topics that gathered close to 100 people at the TFP Regional Conference in Lafayette, Louisiana this past March.

Similar conferences were held in Kansas City, Kansas; Hazleton, Pennsylvania; Los Angeles and Sacramento, California; and Honolulu, Hawai’i.

Down for a visit from Pennsylvania, I was glad to be part of the TFP-Louisiana Regional Conference in the heart of “Acadiana.” The conference was an all-day event, with top-rate talks on pertinent topics.

The day began at 9:00 a.m. with arrivals, coffee and conversation before the first meeting. Two talks were followed by a coffee break in between. Lunch was served in the backyard, under a large white tent, under three majestic live oak trees, a characteristic sight in the South.

TFP-Louisiana president, Mr. Thomas Drake, introduced the guest speakers: Mr. John Horvat II, Mr. Norman Fulkerson and Mr. Michael Chad Shibler. Their talks were followed by uncommon interest and lots of questions on how to return to an ordered society, and a civilization that once existed inspired by Christ and His Church.

The difficulty was keeping breaks short and lunch under an hour. I find Louisianans less industrial/pragmatic and more social/congenial. Besides warmer weather and alligators, there is a human glow manifested in lively conversation and personal interaction. I enjoy visiting the Bayou State.

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At the end of the day, Mr. Drake invited everyone back to the tent for a closing snack. But this was no ordinary chocolate-chip-cookies-and-soda snack. This snack featured several cheeses, artfully arranged with green and red grapes, with a variety of crackers and, above all, an excellent array of well-chosen wines, all served on china and in glass goblets.

RTO book signing

Personally, I love chocolate chip cookies and the occasional soda. But cheese and wine served on linen under a beautiful tent generate a different atmosphere conducive to something loftier, something deeper that affects both mood and conversation.

At the Louisiana Regional Conference, we listened to talks about returning to order, about the heroic and sublime in the Christian Civilization, about strength in interaction rather than isolation. But I dare say that the most convincing aspect of the day was the way in which the organizers put into practice what was preached.

At the Louisiana Regional Conference, I experienced the famed Southern charm, an excellence in hospitality that confirmed what was said. The slower pace, the human warmth, and the quality and presentation of the breaks was one concrete step toward returning to order, returning to Christian Civilization.

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Friends who attend such talks often ask, “…but how can we return to the type of ‘order’ you are talking about?”

The day in Lafayette provided a clue: invest in the quality and presentation of what is served. Actually, there is a movement all over America to return to such culinary quality and level of hospitality.

Life is about people. And people should be animated by a spirit within, sensitive to all aspects of Good, Truth and Beauty, both in the spiritual realm, and in the concrete world.

Without stressing the budget, and with a little effort, we can boost the quality of edibles and presentation. Then watch something amazing happen: people stay. And when they leave, they leave happy; they leave inspired. They say, “I’ve got to try this!”

And the torch of Christian Civilization is passed on.

As seen on Crusade Magazine

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