Since faith is one, it must be professed in all its purity and integrity". Pope Francis/Pope Benedict
email:torontocatholicwitness@rogers.com

Monday, 7 September 2015

Linda Gibbons: My visit with Linda in jail at the Vanier Centre for Women

On Sunday afternoon,  September 6th, I drove the half-hour drive to Milton to visit Linda Gibbons who is being held at the Vanier Centre for Women. When I go to Vanier, I always pray the Rosary in the car, and today was no exception. As I moved onto the Lakeshore Blvd I could hear and see a Spitfire flying gracefully overhead (the Canadian International Air Show is held in Toronto each Labour Day long weekend). 

I was struck with the thought: those men who risked and gave their lives in those planes 75 years ago would have never dreamt that the society they were protecting would gradually, nearly imperceptibly, be transformed into a soft-fascist State whose bitter fruit is a dictatorship of moral relativism and a society of death. A society where babies can be butchered: literally as they are being born. A society that is now in the final preparations of killing the elderly and disabled ("legally", that is). And all of this is happening with a great conspiracy of silence. 

To visit a prisoner, you register and deposit all belongings in a locker. I take a Rosary in with me. Usually, there are few people visiting; prisoners are the forgotten ones in a system that has turned the penal system into a multi-billion dollar business. 

After going through a metal detector, I waited for Linda in a brightly lit booth; one of four. Glass separates you and you use a phone to communicate. Just before 2:45 Linda entered wearing prison-issued green clothing and sneakers. She was beaming! We greeted each other joyfully through the glass. Linda looked healthy and happy. I conveyed to her all the love and prayers that is coming in from all over the world: especially from Mary Burnie, Mary Wagner and the Carmelites of the Convent of St. Joseph, here in Canada; to Fr. Piotr Baltarowicz and friends from Poland (who visited Mary and Linda this past Spring; concelebrating Mass with Bishop Emeritus Matthew Ustrzyzki and two other priests). Linda asked me to thank them all from her heart and she sends all of them her prayers and love. I told her that many, many people are praying for her, and she is deeply grateful for this outpouring of prayer and love. 

Linda is in lockdown over the holiday weekend; yet, she is enjoying this, as she has time to rest and read the Sacred Scriptures. Since her arrival, at about 7 p.m., Thursday, Linda has managed to read the entirety of Deuteronomy and she is half way through the Book of Numbers.  Linda was delighted that her Bible was "waiting" for her when she returned to Vanier. Knowing it was in Range "B", she requested to be placed there; thankfully, she was.

She wished all readers to know of her strong words just prior to her arrest, when she broke her silence. Linda's recollection is this: Just as she was being arrested Linda addressed the Sheriff with these words: 

"As Sheriff"? (here, Linda paused... and she placed great emphasis on this pause. She told me it was a question to the authorities for an answer)

..."you arrest me,  but allow these murders to take place inside"? With no response from the Sheriff, Linda concluded: "You have blood on your hands".

We also talked about the moral state that this poor country of Canada has become. I recalled to Linda the words of the police to me when I tried to convince and dissuade them from charging her; that they had to obey the law irrespective of moral realities and consequences. Yet these same, sad arguments were the used in Nazi Germany. We both agreed that, fundamentally, we live in a fascistic State. 

But I shall end on a joyful note. After praying together, we were then shortly cut off and continued communicating with raised voices through the glass. We crossed ourselves as we stood up. She waited to be escorted from her booth and I waited until she left. I placed my hand on my heart and she on hers. We smiled and waved. Then, the guard came, and with a final wave, Linda stepped out and walked into the depths of the prison. I left, returning to Toronto. 

But I shall not conclude this on a sad note, but rather on the eternal note that Christ is our victory! And He gives us His Mother as our solace and as our Mother. Let us turn to Her! 


On this Vigil of the Birthday of the Blessed Virgin Mary, please join in offering a Rosary for Linda and her intentions. 

A"Rosary Bouquet for Linda Gibbons" has been created and you may visit here to join. By selecting "like" you have pledged a Rosary. Thank-you and may God bless you. 

2 comments:

Lawrence and Susan Fox said...

Thank you Barona. This was the most cheering piece I've read in a long time. I am so happy for Linda. God bless her. God bless you. Great great piece. As I tweet this stuff on Twitter, I get a lot of angry comments against the Canadian government. Americans are outraged. Susan Fox www.christsfaithfulwitness.com

Toronto Lutheran said...

We support Linda, a fellow Protestant, and her long, brave witness for the unborn. As a Biblical church, we are pro-life. Christ the Saviour Lutheran Church Toronto, Pastor Tom Steers, 647-762-8067. From the Bible we know that we are saved by God's grace alone, through faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone.