Master's Messages - 2018
- Fraternity and the White Apron September 28, 2018
It is my intention in this article to stress the importance of the Masonic foundations upon which we are built. Obviously, as a man who has chosen the ways of religion as his career and has taken an oath to preach God’s word and care for God’s less fortunate, it has been easy for me to see the similarities between the bodies of the Masonic family and religion. Not just one religion but all those who profess a single deity.
Even as it is in religion, we find in Masonry a kingdom of faith and hope and prayer. Yet, even as in religion, we find it can be defamed by bigotry and sectarian feuds. Many have not chosen the Masonic altar because they have been deceived by others who have not chosen to or have not wanted to believe or have an understanding of Masonry.Continue reading →
- Corn, Wine and Oil August 30, 2018
Corn, wine and oil are the Masonic elements of consecration. The adoption of these symbols is supported by the highest antiquity. Corn, wine and oil were the most important productions of Eastern countries; they constituted the wealth of the people, and were esteemed as the supports of life and the means of refreshment.Continue reading →
- “That I might travel to foreign countries, work and receive Master’s wages…” May 31, 2018
Operative Masons received their Master’s wages in coin. Speculative Masons content themselves with intangible wages and occasionally have a hard time explaining to new initiates what those wages are. There can be two types of wages paid in Masonry. First are the rights a Mason receives as a result of his initiation and the payment of dues.
The first right an initiate is conscious of is passing the Tyler and entering his Lodge as opposed to being conducted into his Lodge through the West gate. He also has the right, albeit with restrictions, to visit other Lodges. Many think of the opportunity to be welcomed and find friends whereas they otherwise would be alone, are wages of substantial character. The opportunities to see and hear beautiful Masonic ceremonies, to take from them again and again are wages not to be lightly received. For him with open ears and an inquiring mind, the degrees lead to a new world as familiarity with the ritual evolves into reading an endless stream of literature about Masonry.Continue reading →
- What Is Your “Work? April 25, 2018
Greetings from the East!
First and foremost, I want to give recognition to two deserving Brothers in our Lodge who have been installed as Grand Chaplains under MW Roger B. Quintana, Grand Master of the State of NJ:
Congratulations to RW Nic Compitello and RW Dan Xavier. We could not be more proud of you!
What Is Your “Work?
One of my favorite definitions of Masonry is something akin to “Men of every background, race, and religion, coming together to do the work of the Lodge.” That is from memory of course and not exact, but you get the idea. The phrase “doing the work of the Lodge” has always stuck in my mind. To me, the “work of the Lodge” is all encompassing. It could mean initiating a candidate, and it could mean replacing a light bulb. It could mean giving the 3rd Degree Lecture, and it could mean checking on a Brother who has not been to Lodge in a while. The “work of the Lodge” is as multi-faceted as the Lodge itself and requires the complete range of talents and skills possessed by our diverse set of Brothers. My question to you my Brother is: what is your “work?”
Our Brothers enjoy Masonry in many different ways and who am I to say what those ways should be. But I often wonder if they are getting as much out of Masonry as they could be? Likewise, I wonder if our Lodge is getting as much out of them as it could be. I firmly believe that our personal growth in Masonry comes from our participation in Masonry. Since participation, by definition, requires joining with other people, your participation leads not only to your personal growth but to the personal growth of all other participants. Changing a light bulb is easy but changing a light bulb with other men? Not so much. With all the different techniques and strong opinions that you will encounter, it will be a miracle if you ever get it done. But, with a little listening, a little reason, a little compromise, and most importantly, a purpose for working together, you will get that light bulb changed and become a better person in the process.
We all have particular strengths and skills that we can contribute to our Lodge. This could mean something that we are good at or it may mean something that we are willing to try and to do our best at. What contribution to our Lodge will you make? What will be the thing that makes you grow? What will be your work? I hope you will find it. I hope that you will make the difference for this Lodge that makes the difference for you. For somewhere, my Brother, there is a lecture that needs to be given, a pantry that needs to be cleaned, a Brother that needs to be called, and a light bulb that needs to be changed.
John PerriContinue reading →
- Greetings from the East! March 2, 2018
To become a Mason in the ancient world, you had to go through three different stages of education: Entered Apprentice, Fellowcraft and then Master Mason. Becoming a Mason afforded the individual significant advantages not easily acquired in the ancient world. Becoming a Master Mason meant the opportunity to gain wealth and status as a common man that was all but impossible without that education.
Our ancient Brethren recognized that the knowledge that was afforded to an Entered Apprentice, Fellowcraft and Master Mason was so valuable that it needed to be guarded. To protect that knowledge, they wove into their process not just lessons of skill, but also lessons of morality to insure that only men of good character would hold their precious secrets.Continue reading →
- Greetings from the East! January 25, 2018
The goal of Masonry is to take good men and make them better. This sounds like a “bumper sticker” but it is true.
The fraternity of Freemasonry, when actively pursued, does produce better men. With an investment of time to learn the foundations of Freemasonry from learned Brothers, to meet and be with other like-minded men, to actively support worthy causes within our communities and to reflect on our obligations will in most every instance result in a man who is more attuned to those around him… his spouse, his children, his neighbor.
Such improvement is not achieved simply by receiving the degrees and paying dues. The value of Masonry is realized through continued and regular interaction of Masons, who true to their obligations, challenge and support each other to realize the potential in one another. To those Brothers and Past Masters who have challenged and taught me either directly or indirectly to meet my responsibilities to the Craft, I thank you.
Your example by action and willingness to judge with candor has helped to mold the man and Mason I am today.
Our challenge is to continue to promote our Fraternity through our daily interactions with those around us. We must continue to grow as men worthy of emulation.
Worshipful BrotherContinue reading →
- Greetings from the East! December 26, 2017
It is truly an honor for me to have been elected as your Worshipful Master for 2018, and I pledge to do my very best to carry on the great tradition of leadership that has been so faithfully maintained by all of the great men who have had this privilege before me. I am humbled to be able to count myself among the esteemed Masters of this Lodge and I am looking forward to an outstanding year!
I would like to express my gratitude to all of the Brothers who have served so faithfully as Officers during 2017, and who will be serving as Lodge Officers this year. It is wonderful to have such a dedicated group of Brothers, who all have such passion for the craft, and such commitment to helping our Lodge be the best that we can be.
We have much to do and I look forward to the continued support of not only the brothers who have always been there when needed, but more importantly seeing the newer members get involved and learn what it is that attracts us to this fraternity and the voyage we have embarked upon.
I will be seeking this year to continue to have Masonic Education be one of our primary areas of concentration, so that we may have many opportunities to learn and reflect upon the lessons that Masonry teaches us in our pursuit of becoming better men.
In closing, I hope everyone has had a safe and happy holiday season; a Merry Christmas, Happy Chanukah, and Happy New Year’s, and I look forward to seeing all of you, and serving all of you in 2018!
Fraternally,Continue reading →