The Rite Word - Articles

The Rite Word is an official publication of the Valley of San Jose, Orient of California of the A.A.S.R. of Freemasonry, published monthly except July and August, at the San Jose Scottish Rite Center, 2455 Masonic Drive, San Jose, CA 95125.  Phone # 408-978-7483

From the Venerable Master (January 2020)

posted Jan 3, 2020, 2:03 PM by San Jose Scottish Rite

Welcome to January, and to 2020.  I hope that this holiday season has brought you joy and warmth, and that the coming year brings you happiness, health, and prosperity. 

Our Scottish Rite year is coming to a close this month, and a new one commences.  I hope you enjoyed this Scottish Rite year, and I hope you keep coming back, to enjoy the fellowship that thrives in the Valley of San Jose.  We are looking forward to an exciting year of fellowship, learning, and fun.  We hope for a large class of new members at combined reunion for Northern California, coming up in June.  Remember that this is YOUR Scottish Rite.  Be an active part, and increase the usefulness of our bodies.

Our annual installation of officers will take place on our stated meeting night, Tuesday, January 14.  I hope you will be present, to congratulate the outgoing officers and welcome the new leaders of the bodies. This will be a fun event, so we hope you will be there.

It has been a pleasure and honor to serve as your Venerable Master for the past two years.  I wish all the best to the new officers, as they embark on the journey of 2020.

Happy New Year!


From the Wise Master (January 2020)

posted Jan 3, 2020, 2:01 PM by San Jose Scottish Rite

As this year comes to an end, it has been my honor and privilege to serve you as your Wise Master. I sincerely thank my Rose Croix officers Bro. Laurentiu Murgu 32⁰, Bro. Art Pasquinelli 32⁰, Hon. Martin Maxey 32⁰ KCCH and Bro. Timothy Lynch 32⁰ for their dedication to our craft, leadership and support to our Valley. I am also grateful to Bro. Art Pasquinelli 32⁰ for covering for me many times, acting as your Wise Master during my absences. Some of you may know that I have been living in Northern California, Redding area last 3 years. It has been a challenge to manage my travels down to the bay area and my everchanging work schedule. Thank to all my officers for stepping up and watching after our Chapter of Rose Croix. I wish all incoming officers congratulations and wish them a successful year for our Valley of San Jose.

Brother Edwin Markham was an American poet. He was born on April 23rd, 1852 in Oregon City, Oregon. Markham was a member of Acacia Lodge No. 92 of Coloma, California. Markham’s poem, called “Outwitted”:

He drew a circle that shut me out—
Heretic, rebel, a thing to flout.
But Love and I had the wit to win:
We drew a circle that took him in!

Another meaningful poem by brother Markham called “Brotherhood”:

THE crest and crowning of all good,
Life's final star, is brotherhood;
For it will bring again to Earth
Her long-lost Poesy and Mirth;
Will send new light on every face,
A kingly power upon the race.
And till it come, we men are slaves,
And travel downward to the dust of graves.
Come, clear the way, then, clear the way;
Blind creeds and kings have had their day;
Break the dead branches from the path;
Out Hope is in the aftermath--
Our hope is in heroic men
Star-led to build the world again.
Make way for brotherhood--make way for Man!


From the Commander of Kadosh (January 2020)

posted Jan 3, 2020, 1:59 PM by San Jose Scottish Rite

Visit the Past, don’t live there

In the masonic fraternity we often like to bring out the famous figures that have graced our lodges. George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Franklin D. Roosevelt are just some of the names that often get knocked around when these conversations come about.

It is inevitable that all of the brothers who are standing around start nodding their heads. Almost saying “Yes, Yes, quite right.”

The problem is this makes us the quarterback from our high school days. The guy who threw that amazing touchdown pass in the final seconds of the big game. We all know him or someone like him. Wherever he goes he is telling everyone that story.

The problem is he is now in his 50’s and still talks about the big moment because he hasn’t done anything since that big moment. He has sat back and let the world pass by convinced that everyone will always be impressed by that “incredible pass”. Turns out, they aren’t.

Like that former high school quarterback we use great figures in the past to hold on to our glory. Unlike that former high school quarterback we don’t realize that there are others, some very recent, who have brought credit to the fraternity. Notice I used the word “credit” instead of glory.

These famous men who have done great and glorious things have brought glory to themselves and credit to the fraternity. Their presence in our lodge rooms should only be a footnote, an example, of what the masonic fraternity is capable of.

Within the walls of our lodges these men have learned the valuable lessons that are taught in our order. Would they have been the same great men without the masonic fraternity? That is hard to say. Personally I doubt it. Who we are is a combination of the sum of all our experiences.  Men have come to the fraternity and honed their leadership skills. They have learned to speak in public. They have walked and talked with men from different places in life and hopefully learned from them.

It is this combination of events, along with so many more than I can offer, that has helped not only make people like George Washington, Ben Franklin and FDR the men they are. It has also helped make men who have been titans of industry and it has helped make leaders out of men in their community, all of them worthy to stand on the same level as those who roll off the tongue when people mention famous masons

The men who have come before us and have done great things, both inside and out of the fraternity, should be an inspiration to us as members of the masonic fraternity. They should inspire us to do our own great deeds so that we may inspire those who come after us, to do great things as well.

“This is why we are great as an organization”. We should be saying “I am going to do something great to bring the same credit to the fraternity as those men did”.

Please join me to practice the concept of “visit the past, don’t live there”. Who knows maybe one day your legacy will be in our history.


From the Master of Kadosh (January 2020)

posted Jan 3, 2020, 1:57 PM by San Jose Scottish Rite

It has been a great year as Master of Kadosh and I would like to thank the Members and Officers for making it such.  I definitely received more out of Scottish Rite and our members and families than I have put into it.  I strongly encourage those who have not been to San Jose Scottish Rite recently to come.  Scottish Rite is evolving. The building has gone through a reconstruction/remodeling.  A new conference room, lounge, and dining room have been built down stairs. The floors, walls, TV, pool table, exercise equipment are available even on non-meeting times for our members to use and enjoy. You might even see Ken working out.

We just had our fall reunion and brought in many members.  Their enthusiasm was powerful and refreshing.  The reunion was a big success.  Welcome new members. You will receive more out of Scottish Rite the more you participate.   See you at our next our events.


From the Chief Knight (January 2020)

posted Jan 3, 2020, 1:54 PM by San Jose Scottish Rite

How did the Knights of Saint Andrew start?

The origins of the Order date back to the period of 1220-1232 AD, when a Confraternity was established in the City of Acre, of the then Crusader Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem (occupying the same territory as the modern state of Israel) to protect pilgrims and merchants. 

This Confraternity, consisting of burgesses and knights of largely French heritage, met in the City’s Castle and chose the Holy Apostle, St. Andrew, as their Patron. They constituted themselves as a Crusading Order of Knights with the object of resisting tyranny and protecting public safety.


During the turmoil of the Sixth Crusade, these worthies of the Order defended the poor, the sick and the weak from adversaries. In the best tradition of the Military and Religious Orders of the time, they founded their lives on prayer, charity, service and protection.

About this time, possession of Acre was being contested by the Holy Roman Emperor, Frederick II operating from his base in Sicily. Through his marriage to Yolande, daughter of John of Brienne, a leading Crusader, the Emperor had become embroiled in the affairs of the Crusader states. The Emperor sent a fleet of ships against Acre in 1227, whereupon the Knights and Officers of St. Andrew of Jerusalem appealed to Pope Gregory IX, who excommunicated the Emperor for this action.

During the subsequent negotiations with the Muslims by the Emperor Frederick, the Knights of St. Andrew remained aloof. Though some progress for the Crusaders appeared at first to have seen made, their adherence to treaty commitments made at that time eventually enabled an army of Turks in pay of the Sultan of Egypt, to crush the remaining Crusader enclaves by about 1244.

It was at about this juncture that the existing historical records of the Knights of St. Andrew were lost. It is speculated that the records may have been transported to the Byzantium in hope of safekeeping, only to be lost yet again when the city fell to the Turks in 1453.

The modern KSA has become a group that exists throughout many Valleys nationwide.  It started in the Valley of Guthrie, Oklahoma, and was meant to provide a social and service setting for the newest Scottish Rite Masons.

The KSA in the Des Moines Valley was established by the Personal Representative to the SGIG, William Knoll 33° and the Valley Advisory Conference with the first knighting occurring on February 11, 2009.  Since its inception, the Des Moines KSA has continued to evolve and grow, with a new knighting ceremony introduced at the June 13, 2012 knighting.


From the Chief Knight:

I would also like to thank all of the 2019 KSA Officers that served alongside me this year. It was truly an honor and a privilege. I would also like to congratulate the newly elected 2020 KSA Officers. The incoming officers are: Chief Knight – Sir Knight Kaleo Gagne, First Knight – Sir Knight Mike Lammer, Knight of the Watch – Past Chief Knight Sir Knight Naresh Rampershad, Secretary – Angelo Encarnacion, Monk Knight – Past Chief Knight Sir Knight TJ Jackson, Sentinel – Past Chief Knight Sir Knight Jason Barnett


KSA Events of the Future: KSA Stated Meeting on January 12th, at noon in the SJSR Conference Room. We will be having a Potluck to celebrate the outgoing officers as well as the incoming 2020 KSA Officers. If you are interested in joining the Knights of St Andrew Chapter, please talk to any member of the Chapter or you can reach out to our Chapter’s Secretary, Angelo Encarnacion at email:


From the Venerable Master (December 2019)

posted Dec 1, 2019, 11:20 AM by San Jose Scottish Rite

From the Venerable Master:

  The holidays are upon us.  For most people, the holidays are a time of joy and celebration.  For many, however, this can be a time of stress, of concern, and even loneliness.  We often tend to overindulge at this time of year.  We eat too much, perhaps drink too much.  We even shop too much.  These can increase our stress levels, and make us prone to illness, and physical exhaustion.

You have to remember to take care of yourself.  Take some time to decompress, relax, and give yourself some space to breathe.  But at the same time, we need to think about others.  Keep an eye out for your Brothers, friends, family, and even strangers, who appear to be in need, are overly worried, or might otherwise be in distress.  You know that when someone is hurting, sometimes a smile is all it takes, or a handshake and a word of greeting, to make things a little better.  Be a resource for them.  Be an ear to hear their stories, a shoulder to lean on, and a pair arms to hug them.  Perhaps the need is more profound, and you may need to give more of your time or resources.  Be careful not to give too much of yourself, else you find yourself in distress.  But be there for those in need – be it a physical, mental, or spiritual need. 

This is a time, too, to remember our Masonic charities, to the extent you can.  Our Scottish Rite has many ways to show your charity.  Donate for the benefit of our Language Disorder Clinic, or help us in rebuilding our Temple.  And of course, there are so many worthwhile causes throughout the family of Freemasonry.  None of us can fully support them all, but do what you can. 

Remember that our annual installation of officers will be at our January stated meeting, on January 14.  Please be there to support the incoming corps of officers. 

As this Scottish Rite year comes to an end, the incoming presiding officers of the bodies will be looking to host more interesting and fun events next year.  We would like your input, in order to create and execute events that our members would like to see.  Please let know if you’d like us to put something special on for you.

I look forward to seeing you around throughout the coming months.


From the Wise Master (December 2019)

posted Dec 1, 2019, 11:18 AM by San Jose Scottish Rite

I often remind myself; it is not the Lodge but it is the brethren who believe that each man has a responsibility to help make the world a better place while being devoted to his family, faith, country, and fraternity make Freemasonry. We believe in the importance of religion; men of all faiths and religious beliefs are members of the organization. Freemasonry celebrates ethnic diversity and welcomes men of all racial backgrounds.

Brother Joseph Rudyard Kipling was born at Bombay, India on December 30th, 1865. He was the son of Brother John Lockwood Kipling. Brother Rudyard Kipling writes: "In 1885 I was made a Freemason by dispensation (Lodge Hope and Perseverance 782 E.C.) being under age, because the Lodge hoped for a good Secretary. They did not get him, but I helped, and got the Father to advise, on decorating the bare walls of the Masonic Hall with hangings, after the prescription of Solomons Temple. Here I met Muslims, Sikhs, members of the Araya and Bramo Samaj, and a Jew Tyler, who was priest and butcher to his little community in the City. So yet another world opened to me which I needed."

"Here I met Muslims, Sikhs, members of the Araya and Bramo Samaj, and a Jew Tyler, who was ripest and butcher to his little community in the City.

There was Rundle, Station Master, and Beazeley of the Rail
And 'Ackmann, Commissariat, and Donkin of the Tail
And Blake, Conductor Sergeant (our Master twice-was 'e)
With 'im that kep' the Europe shop —old Framjee Eduljee.
Outside: Sergeant? Sir! Salute! Salaam!
Inside: Brother! and it didn't do no 'arm.
We met upon the Level and we parted on the Square
And I was Junior Deacon in my Mother Lodge out there.
We's Bola Natt, Accountant, and Saul, the Aden Jew.

And Din Mahommed, draughtsman of the Survey Office, too.

There was Babu Chuckerbutty, and Amir Singh, the Sikh
And Castro, from the fitting sheds —the Roman Catholick
We 'adn't good regalia, and our Lodge was old and bare
But we knew the Ancient Landmarks, and we kep' them to a hair
And looking on it backwards, it often strikes me thus,
There ain't such things as infidels —except perhaps it's us.
For monthly, after Labour, we'd all sit down and smoke
We dursen't give no banquits, lest a Brother's caste be broke
And man and man got talkin', religion and the rest
And every man comparin' the God he knew the best.
So man an' man got talkin' and not a Brother stirred
Till mornin' waked the parrots and that dam brain fever bird
We'd say 'twas mighty curious, and we'd all ride home to bed
With Mohammed, God, and Shiva changing pickets in our 'ed.
Full oft, on Gov'ment service, this roving foot hath pressed
And borne fraternal greetings to Lodges East and West
Accordin' as commanded, from Kohat to Singapore
But I wish that I might see them in my Mother Lodge once more."

From the Commander of Kadosh (December 2019)

posted Dec 1, 2019, 11:15 AM by San Jose Scottish Rite

The excursion to the Western Railway Museum on Saturday, November 2nd 2019  was a treat. We were on board a train the was driven by our own Illustrious, Richard Fisher – seen on very left of the picture next to the Alcatraz train. We had in attendance 26 adults and 3 children. 


On our train ride we learned about the history of the railway line, the residents of the surrounding area prominent buildings, etc from volunteer Ted, our very informed narrator.  For those who were there the story about the church stuck with me.


After the train ride Richard Fisher gave a 30 minutes tour of Barn 3 housing historic electric rail cars from the 1890s to the late 1980s on six tracks. 

The trip ended with the cheerful group having a late lunch/early dinner at Black Bear Diner.  Everyone had a wonderful time we all returned to our respected place of abode without any incident.


I would like to take this opportunity to thanks each and every one you attend and contributed to make our trip a success.  Remember that without your individual participation these outing something are not as successful and expected. 


As a nonprofit public benefit educational institution, the Western Railway Museum relies on charitable contributions to preserve, restore, and operate our collection of authentic, historic electric railway artifacts. Donations also support our educational programs that serve 1000 students and educators each year, as well as buy materials needed to conserve, catalogue, and manage the tens-of-thousands of historic photographs, documents, books, maps, and histories in the F.M. Smith Memorial Library and Archives. To learn more about it, please visit the link below: .


From the Master of Kadosh (December 2019)

posted Dec 1, 2019, 11:14 AM by San Jose Scottish Rite

In November we had our Fall Reunion. At our Spring reunion we did not confer the last two degrees in the Consistory.

The Consistory Degrees are very different from all the preceding degrees. They attempt to illustrate the creation of the ideal balance between the spiritual and the temporal.

31st degree - Inspector Inquisitor: This degree teaches prayerful self-examination. The mistakes today should not be committed tomorrow. Simply, the daily look at ones self to learn to live with the future. No apron is worn in the Supreme Tribunal, but in inferior bodies, a white sheep-skin apron with a silver Teutonic cross may be worn. The jewel is a silver Teutonic cross. The jewel may be suspended from a white collar, with a gold triangle with a "31" inside it. But in inferior bodies it may be suspended from a golden chain, the links of which form the eight fundamental degrees of Masonry: The 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 14th, 16th, 18th, and 30th. 

32nd degree - Master of the Royal Secret: The lessons of this degree are that "genuine brotherhood requires mutual regard, opinion, esteem and charity". We always look for the good in all, make allowances for other's short comings. We trust the Supreme Architect to lead us to friendship, morality and brotherly love. The apron is white, lined in black, with a double-headed eagle and a plan of the Camp of the Princes. The jewel is a golden Teutonic cross, with a double-headed white and black eagle in the center. 

This last September in Oakland The Court of Honour was held. It consisted of.

Knight Commander of the Court of Honour: At the biennial session of the Supreme Council certain Masters of the Royal Secret, having held that degree for at least forty-six months prior to the session, are chosen to receive the Rank and Decoration of Knights Commander of the Court of Honour. These are chosen from the ranks of the Consistory for special service to Masonry, or to mankind, by the Deputy or Sovereign Grand Inspector General.

The Knight Commander of the Court of Honour may be recognized by the red cap they are entitled to wear.

Thirty-Third Degree (33°), Inspector General Honorary: The Thirty-third Degree is conferred by the Supreme Council upon members of the Rite in recognition of outstanding work in the Rite or in public life. The 33° cannot be asked for and if asked for must be refused. At its bi­ennial session the Supreme Council elects members of the Rite to receive the Degree. These 33° Masons are Inspectors General honorary and honorary members of the Supreme Council. The active members of the Supreme Council are chosen from among them. They my be recognizes by the white cap they are entitled to wear. 

Grand Cross of the Court of Honour: This is the highest individual honor that The Supreme Council bestows. It is voted very rarely to Thirty-third Degree Masons only for the most exceptional and extraordinary services. The Grand Cross cap is white with a blue band. On the front is a replica of the Grand Cross jewel, which is composed of a Teutonic Cross, with an embroidered crimson rose with green leaves at its center.



From the Venerable Master (November 2019)

posted Nov 2, 2019, 2:01 PM by San Jose Scottish Rite

Our reunion is coming up quickly.  We have one last opportunity to get petitions in and voted on.  Let’s make this a big class.  This year, we are honoring Illustrious Royce Ford, and this reunion class is named for him.  Let’s really do this one right.


The reunion will take place over one weekend, November 22-24.  We begin Friday, November 22 with a dinner and the 4th Degree.  We will conclude on Sunday, November 24 with a luncheon and capping ceremony for our new members.


Please attend this reunion, enjoy the degrees and the fellowship, and make it memorable for our candidates.  At Scottish Rite, all of our activities and member-driven, meaning they function best when our members are present and participating.  We want to see you there.


The year is drawing rapidly to a close, and very soon we will be installing a new corps of officers.  These new leaders will be looking for input on activities.  If there is something you would like to see us do, please let them know so that they can make plans.  We rely on participation and input and we need your help.


I look forward to seeing you at our next stated meeting on November 12.


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