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 (November, 2018)

posted Nov 8, 2018, 5:44 PM by San Jose Scottish Rite

Do you enjoy your Scottish Rite experience?  This is not a rhetorical question.  I really want to know.  Do you enjoy your Scottish Rite experience?  If your answer is “yes”, then, great.  You obviously attend regularly, and I look forward to seeing you very soon.  If your answer is “no”, then I want to know why.  Is there something we can do differently?  If there something we are not doing that perhaps we can do?  Let me know, and together, let us work on improving your experience. 

If your answer to the questions is, “I don’t know”, then that tells me that for whatever reason, you are not present at our meetings and activities.  Please come by, participate with us, and hopefully, you will find something in the comradeship, the philosophy, or the degree work, that interests you.

If you do enjoy being a member of our Scottish Rite, please share that experience with others.  Talk to the brothers in your lodge about Scottish Rite Masonry.  I’m sure you know a few members who would enjoy what we have to offer.  There is a petition in this issue of the Rite Word.  Our Fall Reunion will be take place in November.  We will vote on candidates at our November Stated Meeting, so there is still time to talk to your Masonic brethren, and encourage them to fill out an application.  Let’s shoot for a large class for this reunion.

See you at the Scottish Rite.

 

From the Wise Master (November, 2018)

posted Nov 8, 2018, 5:42 PM by San Jose Scottish Rite

One of the best examples and expression of the strong ties among the Brothers of our Fraternity is the tradition of the Chain of Union. Each month after our Blue Lodge instructional meeting, and lodge is closed, the Master invites the brethren to join him and the wardens around the altar to form a Chain of Union and memorialize our ties with our Brothers past, present and future. What a beautiful and moving moment.

During this ceremony the Master asks us to join our hearts as we join our hands in the Chain. We are reminded that this beautiful symbol binds us in time and in space and that it comes to us from the past and leads us toward the future. It binds us with our Masters who formed it yesterday and with our Masters of tomorrow so that through it Freemasons of all rites and origin may unite.

He goes on to ask that we enrich this Chain with our common commitment to virtue and to raise our minds and hearts to our craft’s ideal and strive to bring all men closer together through Fraternity. All those gathered in the Temple are asked to assure their resolve is as unbreakable as the Brotherly affection forming the Mystic Chain and to promise to work without rest in building Tne Temple of Peace.

I ask each who read this article if you can agree that this ceremony exemplifies at least a part of the best of what we have to offer ourselves and each other as Freemasons?  I think so and am moved to be better as the Chain is broken until we shall with one accord agree to form this mighty symbol once more.

I Look forward to seeing you at the November Stated Meeting and Dinner. We will be honoring our military that evening and will have guests from the senior and junior ROTC programs in our jurisdiction. Please take this opportunity to show your thanks for their service to our great country.

 

From the Commander of Kadosh ( November, 2018)

posted Nov 8, 2018, 5:39 PM by San Jose Scottish Rite

Greetings,


This month of November we have much to be grateful for. Thomas Paine said, "Those who expect to reap the blessing of freedom must undergo the fatigue of supporting it". Many among us have born that burden to maintain peace. Veterans Day, was originally  set as Armistice Day to honor the end of WWI in 1918. Legislation that was passed in 1938 that "dedicated to the cause of world peace and to here after celebrated and known as 'Armistice Day'. After WWII and the Korean War the 83rd congress, after being urged by the veterans service organization amended the act of 1938. The amendment struck out the word "Armistice"  and inserted the word "Veteran". For this we thank you for your voluntary service of our great nation. In 2010 brother Ed Harris wrote an article for Scottish Rite Supreme on aid and assistance.  Ill Bro. Harris stated "Many deserving Veterans who are eligible may be unaware of this valuable pension". The article gives direction to receive assistance for government aid for Veteran programs.


There is an interesting historical date on the 5th of November, and this is known as Bonfire Night. In 1605, the King passed laws against the Catholics, and this was not taken lightly. Guy Fawkes and a group of plotters attempted to blow up the House of Parliament in London in retaliation. There were 36 barrels of gunpowder smuggled into a house rented next to the House of Parliament. Physicists explain that blast would have covered a 500 meter radius. In response to this act a bonfire was ordered by King James to celebrate his survival. 

 

Safe travels while many are off to spend time with family this Thanksgiving.

 

From the Master of Kadosh (November, 2018)

posted Nov 8, 2018, 5:37 PM by San Jose Scottish Rite

Fraternal greetings!  We had a wonderful Octoberfest style dinner at the October meeting, and I encourage those of you who haven’t attended a Scottish Rite stated meeting and Dinner to please consider doing so.  We always love to see our Scottish Rite Brothers, their significant others, and Friends at our events!  Please also consider inviting any Master Masons who haven’t been through the Scottish Rite to attend the November Dinner, along with their application for the November Reunion.

As I write this article, we have just passed through October the 13th.  October the 13th is a special time of year which marks the persecution of the Knights Templar by Pope Clement V and Philip “The Fair” IV, King of France.  This is a time of year where we are reminded of our mission as Scottish Rite Freemason’s of our responsibility of fighting despotism and injustice wherever it might exist, as well as our time of solemn morning for all the Great Masters who have been persecuted for their cause of Freedom, Love, and Justice in the past.

Additionally, this year commemorates the 900th year anniversary of the establishment of the Knights Templar as an organization in 1118AD.  After the official disbanding of the Knights Templar on October 13, 1307, 711 years ago, the Knights Templar organization changed into an underground organization which is argued to still exist to this day.  Charged with the mission of protecting ancient knowledge, holy relics, and other items from antiquity possibly including the Arc of the Covenant.  

 

Wishing you all well on your journey to uphold the values of the Scottish Rite!

 

From the Chief Knight (November, 2018)

posted Nov 8, 2018, 5:34 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.

 

KSA Events of the Future: November 11th, at noon KSA Stated Meeting in the SJSR Library followed by election of new officers.   As we are approaching the end of the calendar year, please plan to attend and participate in our elections, and planning for 2019 and further.


Naresh Rampershad 

From the Venerable Master (October 2018)

posted Oct 11, 2018, 11:59 AM by San Jose Scottish Rite

Brethren

The Lodge of Perfection recently hosted a great day in San Francisco.  We took a trip over to Alcatraz and toured the prison.  This was followed by a great lunch on Fisherman’s Wharf, and then some of the more adventurous took a ride on the Rocket Boat.  The weather was gorgeous and we had a wonderful day of fellowship.  Look for a photo of our group later in this newsletter.

 

Brethren, I want to adopt a somber tone for a moment.  We all know that this past couple of years has been a time of change.  It has been a time of turmoil for some, and new successes for others.  It has been a time of division and tumult.  In many ways, it appears that our nation is more divided than it has been in over a century.  You may have found yourself in sharp opposition to your brothers on a number of issues.

 

I ask you, my brethren, to remember that Masonry has room for all beliefs and all opinions.  I have, unfortunately, seen too many instances this past year or so, on social media and in person, where one brother has made disparaging remarks, and even worse, about those whose opinions differ from his.  Brothers have made generalized statements about large swaths of our population – which include their brothers.  I believe that this type of behavior is beneath us as Masons.  I ask that whatever the situation, you remember your many obligations throughout your Masonic life.  Remember the lessons we are taught, that Masonry unites men of every country, sect, and opinion.  This does not mean that you should relinquish your own opinions or passions, but that you respect the opinions of others, and not let a difference separate you from your brothers.  And never suffer your passions or your prejudices to the masters of your judgement. 

 

All of us have it within ourselves to be better people.  It should be a lifelong process of self-improvement.  The goal, as a Scottish Rite Mason is to become better, and then work to improve our craft, to strengthen our fraternity, to bring more Masons into the fold, to shed more light in Masonry, and to increase the fellowship for all concerned.  We should, each one us, strive to be remembered as someone who made a difference – but not for self-aggrandizement.  Do it to improve the craft, and to inspire others to do the same.  What will your legacy be?  What will you leave for the craft, and for those brothers who come after you?

 

I look forward to seeing you at our next Scottish Rite meeting and dinner.

 

From the Wise Master (October 2018)

posted Oct 11, 2018, 11:47 AM by San Jose Scottish Rite

I want to introduce you to the Masonic Restoration Foundation (MRF). If you are already familiar with the MRF this can serve as a refresher/update as to this educational organization.

From their Statement of Purposes, we learn that since 2001, the MRF has been looking into the many issues facing Masonry in North America to identify successful current and historical practices and offering realistic solutions aimed at improving the experience of Masonic labor. They strive to understand modern perceptions of Masonry and to understand what newer Masons seek in the Lodge experience. The MRF fully understands that many men who are joining the craft today have generally done a lot of reading and web research to formulate an opinion of the fraternity.

So, many of these new Brothers come into Masonry knowing more than many of us who have been members for some time. Our younger Brothers seem to perceive Freemasonry as a path or venue for seeking truth, self-improvement, philosophical development and the discovery of one’s inner potential.

To learn more about the MRF organization, mission and goals I direct you to their website at www. masonicrestorationfoundation.org. On the website, you can learn of the membership of the Board of Directors present and past. You will see many names you recognize and Brothers you have sat in Lodge with during your travels.  Most Worshipful John Cooper and Very Worshipful Allan Casalou have served on the board and Worshipful John Zacharakis (Master of Academia Lodge No. 851 in Oakland) is a current board member.

Worshipful Brother Andrew Hammer, the current MRF president has written;

 “If Lodge meetings and functions are no different than any other social function one would normally have in life, save the symbols and jargon, then in time brothers will have forgotten what Masonry truly is,  and abandoned what makes it the treasure it has been for centuries to the best of men in all stations in life. It will become just like everything else, conforming to everything else, and nothing more. The very thing that makes the Craft special will have been sacrificed to what is easy and comfortable, and the quarries then become filled with idlers who want the benefits of being called craftsmen, without actually doing or knowing how to do any work.”

This observation is worthy of our further consideration.  I hope I have piqued your interest in the MRF and the great work it has and is doing. In August, the MRF held it’s 9th Annual Symposium. Many timely topics and panels covered a wide range of issues important to Masons. Soon, I am sure you will be able to find reference on their web as to where you can get more information on the light presented at the symposium.

 

 

From the Commander of Kadosh (October 2018)

posted Oct 11, 2018, 11:44 AM by San Jose Scottish Rite

Greetings Brothers, Family, and Friends,
   

Charity, this a pillar of who we are. Through various philanthropies, and Masonic groups, millions of dollars are donated around the globe to help better so many lives. There is a another charity that we should practice, and this is a Charity of investing time into our brothers. A friend recently put it as "Helping good men become better, the ultimate fraternal charity". If we read all of 1 Corinthians Chapter 13 we are given clear speach on the values that Charity holds, and does not hold.

Verses 4-8 & 13 " 4 Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,5 Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;6 Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;7 Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.8 Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.13 And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity" KJV.

When we give of ourselves, this is the ultimate charity. Benjamin Franklin wrote "Masonic labor is purely a labor of love. He who seeks to draw Masonic wages in gold and silver will be disappointed. The wages of a Mason are the dealings with one another; sympathy begets sympathy, kindness begets kindness, helpfulness begets helpfulness, and these are the wages of a Mason".  When we invest in ourselves we invest in a bolder brighter future for all. We need not the months coming to remind us to be Charitable to our brothers, it is something we do day to day. Have a safe, and happy halloween.

 

From the Master of Kadosh (October 2018)

posted Oct 11, 2018, 11:42 AM by San Jose Scottish Rite

Fraternal greetings!  Fall is upon us and I hope everyone had a great Summer!  Enjoy your pumpkin lattes, ghosts, and goblins!  As the leaves change color we are reminded of the ever-changing cyclical nature of life.  It should remind us that “this too will pass”, “we are not of the world, but in it”, and our essential being is not rooted in the temporary nature of life but in the eternal, formless, and timeless perfectness of the Grand Architect of the Universe.

This month we are celebrating the Feast of Tishri.  The origin of the Feast of Tishri, also called the Feast of the Tabernacle, is described in the Old Testament where it states that the Lord spoke unto Moses saying when “ye [shall] have gathered in the fruit of the land, ye shall keep a feast unto the LORD seven days:… [and] Ye shall dwell in booths seven days…. That your generations may know that I made of Israel to dwell in booths, when I brought them out of the land of Egypt” (Leviticus 23:39,42-43).  Additionally, after 450 years of the celebration of the exodus out of Egypt, the Feast of Tishri was celebrated for the completion and dedication of King Solomon’s Temple (2 Chronicles 7:8-10).

The Fest of Tishri is also related to the Fourteenth degree, where the symbolic descriptions of King Solomon’s temple’s position, design, construction, furnishings, and decorations represent special meaning to Scottish Rite Freemasons in building their spiritual temple.  As King Solomon was a king of peace and wisdom, by observing the Feast of Tishri we reaffirm our commitment to ensuring brotherly love, peace, truth, justice, and concord to all people in the world through the establishment and dedication of our spiritual temple.

Thus, the Feast of Tishri is one of the most significant Scottish Rite festivals, as it symbolizes Freedom from oppression, as was the case in the exodus of the Jews out of Egypt, and Peace and Wisdom through it’s connection with King Solomon and the building of the Temple.

We hope you, your friends, and family will join us at the Feast of Tishri!

 

From the Chief Knight (October 2018)

posted Oct 11, 2018, 11:40 AM by San Jose Scottish Rite

Knights of St Andrew Welcomes  New Members:

Bro.  Danile Webb

Bro.  Jerome Alipio and

Bro.  Mike Lammer       

                               

What is the purpose of a Squire Program? Does it work?

Traditionally, Squires served Knights and learned the skills of Knighthood in the process. Many KSA Chapters have adopted a custom of bringing new member into the Chapter as a Squire. This gives the initiate an opportunity to see all of the aspects of the Chapter work while serving the requisite hours of labor in behalf of the Valley. Assigning a Squire to a specific Knight seems to work best. The Knight answers the Squire's questions about the Order making a better informed and better equipped candidate for elevation to Knighthood.

 

That being said, we are looking for volunteers to be Greeters at our Scottish Rite gatherings.  This really puts makes us stand out especially to our visitors who are attending for the first time or for dinners, and other functions.

Recent KSA Chapter Activities:

Sept 1st – 2nd Scottish Highland Gathering and Games, Pleasanton, CA was well attended we have Knights for the following Valleys:  San Jose, Oakland, San Francisco, Stockton and  Sacramento.  http://www.thescottishgames.com/

 KSA Events of the Future:

1.October 28th, at noon KSA Stated Meeting in the SJSR Library, followed by sword tactics.

2. November 11th, at noon KSA Stated Meeting in the SJSR Library followed by election of new officers.   As we are steadfastly approaching the end of the calendar year, please plan to attend and participate in the planning for 2019 and further.

 Naresh Rampershad

1-10 of 869