The Traditional Catholic Family Weekend
Another Great Success

Tess Mullins

Editor’s Note: Many thanks to 16-year-old Tess Mullins for her excellent report on an event taking place semi-annually in Rossville, Kansas.  Miss Mullins graciously agreed to cover the event for The Remnant after having traveled with The Remnant Tours to France for the 2007 Pilgrimage to Chartres.  I’m confident her account  will inspire hope in older readers and, please God, encourage younger readers to consider organizing similar events in their own hometowns. Congratulations to the Vander Putten Family for yet another shining example of authentic Catholic action.  MJM

( In these times of increasing alienation from society, opportunities for traditional Catholic young adults to gather for wholesome recreation and camaraderie can be rather meager. I suspect this is more the case in large cities where traditional Catholic families are spread out over large distances and where hectic schedules and traffic congestion are very real impediments.  I suppose the point could be made that even in rural communities families also can live many miles away from each other.  But recreation should be an integral part of the organic life of a Catholic community, no matter what the situation.  However, there is a community in Kansas which appears to have overcome this challenge. I was invited to attend one of their main gatherings, which I eagerly (and gratefully) accepted.

The Third Annual Traditional Catholic Family Weekend, held in Rossville, Kansas on July 13th through the 15th, was organized by Mr. and Mrs. Vincent Vander Putten and family. Here is how Mrs. Vander Putten describes the event:

 “The purpose of the Traditional Catholic Family Weekend is so that we can meet like-minded people and enjoy a weekend of fun-filled activities, along with some learning and spiritual activities.  This weekend attracts people, especially young people, from many different states, so that our circle of friends becomes larger.  Here we may form life-long friendships that will change the little worlds where we live.  There is strength in numbers, and maybe we can take home something from this weekend to help with our lives and touch those around us.”

Although most of the 240 attendants were from Kansas, there were around 40 to 50 who traveled from other states, including Minnesota, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Arizona.  The recreational activities included a square dance, a concert, volleyball, soccer, and various other games.  The learning took place by way of conferences, and the spiritual activities included the Rosary and daily Mass. 

The weekend commenced on Friday with a very pleasant evening of square dancing.  According to Belinda Quirey, an authority on historical dance, communal dancing had always been central to everyone’s life until the time of the French Revolution, which ushered in a huge shift of consciousness away from our relationship with God to the importance of the individual.  Well, there were no individualists in Kansas that night, just a happy herd of hoofers shuffling about their flutterwheels and do-si-dos.  Participants were made to feel welcome to make mistakes (within limits), and sometimes the mistakes made the dance a lot more fun.

On Saturday separate conferences were held for boys and girls on the importance of purity and the traditional teaching on courtship.  Another topic of discussion was the meaning and importance of being a traditional Catholic youth in today’s society which, among other things means that our whole lives should be encompassed by traditional values.  This is true, for this is what defines us.  It should be obvious by our appearance and actions that we are traditional Catholics, that we are part of that heroic army that fights for the preservation of the good, the true, and the beautiful.  There truly is strength in numbers, and it also brings with it a sense of comfort and confirmation of purpose.

After the conferences, we prayed the Holy Rosary together.  Then there was a rousing, vessel-bursting game of volleyball, and socializing at the Rossville Hall.  In the evening we attended a concert given by Anthony DeLallo, a name well-known among Catholic music lovers.  He performed delightfully up-beat songs from his albums, A Wee Bit of Ireland, and An Irish Journey

And of course, Sunday morning we assisted at the highlight of any traditional Catholic event, the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.  The Low Mass was offered at 7:00, and the High Mass was offered at 10:00, followed by brunch at Froggy’s Restaurant (best milkshakes ever), and an afternoon of volleyball and soccer as well as some low-key inside games back at the Hall.

As the weekend drew to a close, it was hard to say goodbye to all these good people who helped to make the event such a memorable experience.  Here I noticed many of the same aspects which pleased me so much on the Chartres Pilgrimage:  the Faith permeated every activity, nothing was offensive to God, modesty ruled the day, and life was lived as it should be lived, sharing our exuberance at being fully alive and Catholic in God’s beautiful world.

The next Traditional Catholic Family Weekend will be held on the weekend following Christmas – December 28th through the 30th.  Similar events are scheduled however the dance will be formal and Anthony DeLallo will be performing songs from his Christmas album.  All events are free (donations appreciated) and open to all ages.  For more information contact Theresa VanderPutten at (785) 584-6248, 8222 NW Am Road, Rossville, Kansas, 66533.