Unification News For January 1996
The 1995 Canadian Speech: A Great Inspiration
by Hope Igarashi - Newark, NJ
On Dec. 7, 1995, True Father gave his final worldwide speaking tour speech in Toronto, Canada. Some of us thought that after True Father's long, nonstop tour, he might be a bit tired; but, on the contrary, Father was like a heavenly tornado which swept many of us off our feet! He spoke exuberantly with conviction and a great flowing power which penetrated us as he proclaimed "The True Family & I." Father challenged and inspired us to have deeper faith and religious dedication in building world peace through true families. I was very thankful to Rev. Do Hee Park, who encouraged me to attend the program despite my busy schedule. Many of us experienced the feeling of being reborn! Peter Kim did an excellent job as translator, as he got Father's message across to everyone. He was a dynamic object to our True Father. The VIPs and guests in the audience were obviously excited, interrupting several times with applause.
Many of the VIPs were professors and ministers who had attended ICUS, media and ICC conferences over the last 15 years. This was Father's first speaking event in Canada, and many were there to welcome Father warmly to Canada with respect and honors.
Dr. Peter B.T. Bilaniuk was dressed in his priestly attire as he warmly introduced Father to present the keynote speech. Dr. Bilaniuk, who is archpriest at the Ukrainian Catholic Church in Toronto, professor of religious studies at St. Michael's College and the University of Toronto, and president of the Coalition for Religious Freedom and Justice, speaks 12 languages, has written several books and holds four Ph.D.'s. He introduced Father with great grace and respect. Dr. Bilaniuk mentioned that, since he teaches religious studies, he has had many opportunities to study the great saints and men of faith from the past, such as St. Francis of Assisi, Martin Luther and others. He said it was very rare to have a great man like Rev. Moon of such depth and spirit, who is alive today and living among men. Dr. Bilaniuk could barely contain himself as he introduced Father with such reverence. After Father's speech, Dr. Bilaniuk personally honored Father with the highest medal he himself had received in his own lifetime, pinning it on Father. This was in addition to many other gifts, awards, medals, flowers and proclamations bestowed on our True Father. Spirits were so high, as if the VIPs could not give Father enough. Overwhelmed, I turned to Kathy Sato, sitting next to me, and said, "What's next, a crown?" Lo and behold, we heard someone announcing a "crown" being given to Rev. Moon by a Native Canadian tribe-a beautiful, white-feathered chief's headband. When Father put it on and looked up at the audience, he looked like a Native Canadian tribal chieftain!
True Father brought Mother out on stage, and everyone cheered with a standing ovation. The event ended in tears of joy, gratitude and renewal!
It was obvious that Rev. Joong Hyun Pak, the North American regional director, FFWP chairman Frank Famularo (who did an excellent job as MC), leaders and members prepared the whole event (including the hotel, local speakers, excellent classical entertainers-with only two weeks' notice) with deep prayer, wisdom and joy! Father seriously encouraged everyone to keep the speech of "The True Family & I" in our homes, and said that by reading it often we will bring good influence into our homes and families. Father proclaimed and invited all to participate in the 3.6-million couple Blessing in November 1997 at Washington, D.C. Again I was amazed by our True Parents' example of their love for God and their vision and practical guidance to create God's kingdom on earth and in heaven.
What is amazing to me is True Father's humility. The following day I had the honor to attend a conference with Father at East Garden. As excited and overwhelmed as I was by the whole experience of the night before with all Father's glory in his final speech in Canada, I was amazed that Father never breathed a word about it. I saw truly how great Father is. He offers everything up to the glory of God, his Heavenly Father.
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