On a small, grassy hill just inside the Catholic cemetery in Gananoque, stands a granite memorial unlike any of its kind in this final resting spot for hundreds.
It is not the burial spot for some well-known member of this resort community on the St. Lawrence River. It isn’t a memorial for Canada’s war dead. It is mute testimony to the daily, almost ritualistic killing of the most defenceless of all, the unborn.
This memorial for the unborn is the work of the Gananoque Knights of Columbus, Council 4177. Grand Knight Leon Gavin says work began about a year ago, a five-member committee working closely with the local cemetery board and the church.
Gavin says his mind was made up “to have it this year,” and on a late August day, Archbishop Francis Spence of the Kingston archdiocese officiated at dedication ceremonies. The event was attended by about 40 members of St. John’s Catholic Church and half a dozen priests.
Deputy Grand Knight Len Charboneau says the idea started in the United States. A similar monument is in St. Mary’s Cemetery in Kingston. “We hope to get the message across,” Charboneau says.
Financing and actual work was done by the Knights of Columbus. A local monument business donated the lettering.
Engraved on the stone, the Virgin Mary holding the Child Jesus with the inscription, “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do.”
Ontario Knights of Columbus have been active dedicating monuments to the unborn throughout the province. Pro-life work is one of the top priorities for the international fraternal organization.
Knights of Columbus Council 1394 of St. Catharines recently joined forces with the city’s Right to Life society to unveil a “Rachel Mourning” monument to unborn children.
The Rachel Mourning ceremony took place at Our Lady of Fatima Mausoleum in Fonthill. Bishop John O’Mara of the St. Catharines diocese officiated at the Fonthill ceremony.