The weekend of June 15-17 will long be remembered in the Kingston area. It was a weekend of firsts – Joe Borowski’s first Charismatic Conference, the Conference’s first pro-life guest speaker, and Kingston’s first opportunity to hear Mr. Borowski in person.
The “Let them Live” Fathers’ Day Vigil on Sunday, June 17, was the finale of a weekend of prayer, pro-life activity and awareness.
The Kingston Archdiocesan Charismatic Conference invited Mr. Borowski to be the guest speaker at their tenth annual conference.
A press conference on Friday resulted in significant radio comments, and a Hot-line radio show in the afternoon was most definitely a “hot” show as, one after the other, the local pro-abortion leaders vied not too successfully to outnumber the pro-life callers. Mr. Borowski was eagerly welcomed by the host and had the opportunity to spar verbally with opponents. In his warm and confident manner, he presented convincing arguments on behalf of the unborn.
Mr. Borowski was a platform guest throughout the Charismatic Conference which began on Friday evening. By the end of the weekend, he declared to the press that he was delighted with the response of the 500 participants whose “enthusiasm was something to behold.”
Mr. Borowski spoke on Saturday afternoon to a large, attentive audience, outlining his background and his involvement in the pro-life movement. He spoke of the court case, and of some of the testimony which was given by Drs. LeJeune, Liley and Nathanson. The audience responded with obvious love for Mr. Borowski, enthusiasm in the cause of the unborn and a spontaneous standing ovation for the man who has given so much of himself for the innocent victims of abortion. The Hymn, “Be Not Afraid,” was dedicated to and sung for Mr. Borowski.
A small number (16-18) of pro-abortionists picketed at Grant Hall before the event, handing out leaflets and singing anti-religious chants. Two or three registered to come inside and seemed totally bewildered by the warm atmosphere and the prayerful hymns which were being sung. A little girl, who was sitting beside them, offered her hymn sheet to them and this seemed to be almost more than they could handle.
Campaign Life had been invited to have a display table at the conference book room throughout the weekend. A large number of Interims were distributed along with pro-life literature. “Precious Feet” pins were in great demand. We also welcomed the opportunity to talk to supporters from all the parishes in the diocese, encouraging them to come to the Fathers’ Day Vigil on Sunday.
Archbishop Spence, of Kingston was the principal celebrant at the closing Mass of the conference on Sunday afternoon. He was also a platform guest at Mr. Borowski’s general session on Saturday. Mr. Borowski participated in the readings. Significantly, the Gospel for this Sunday told how “God so loved the world that He sent His only Son to save us,” and this was also the chosen theme of the conference.
At the end of Mass, a young mother who had recently lost her unborn child read a beautiful poem, which she had written. This set the tone for the subsequent vigil at the Hospital. The demonstration, approximately 500 people, left Grant Hall at 4 p.m., led by Mr. Borowski and Father Karl Clemens, organizer of the conference.
We proceeded to the Kingston General Hospital, which was two blocks away. Placards declaring “Let Them Live,” and “Thou Shalt Not Kill” (and many others) were carried proudly by the participants.
The vigil ended after the 5 p.m. return to Grant Hall. However, the people stayed for a while longer, talking in small groups, and it was apparent that they were reluctant to have Mr. Borowski leave.
Mary Ellen Douglas is president of Vita, a large pro-life group on Kingston.