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

"Celebrating the Craft" - An Event for all Brothers and Families

posted May 10, 2016, 10:54 PM by San Jose Scottish Rite   [ updated May 10, 2016, 10:58 PM ]

If you haven't already done so, put May 21 on your calendar -- and put a red circle around it! That is the day of the Annual "Celebrating the Craft" Webcast from the House of the Temple. This 6 hours telethon is now in its 4th year and keeps getting more popular. And this year, San Jose Scottish Rite will be part of the party! We will be showing the whole 6 hours on a large screen in our downstairs conference room, complete with comfortable chairs, munchies, and drinks -- maybe even hot dogs & burgers. The event runs from 3 pm - 9 pm, and will include numerous musical and variety acts, never before filmed rooms and areas of the House of the Temple, interviews with celebrities and much more. Come for an hour or the whole event. Bring the family, enjoy time with your Brothers, and support our famed and glorious Temple!

Read more about the Annual "Celebrating the Craft" on the Scottish Rite Website

From the Venerable Master (April, 2016)

posted Apr 1, 2016, 1:30 PM by San Jose Scottish Rite   [ updated May 26, 2017, 2:25 PM ]

I hope everyone had an enjoyable Easter. Easter is a time of reflection and celebration. We reflect on those dear to us and remember
the impact on our lives. Maundy Thursday is celebrated as the day the of the Last Supper. We use this as a day of remembrance in Scottish Rite. It is the only time the Chapter of Rose Croix is actually closed.
As promised, the Masters of the respective lines have met with the Personal Representative and have set our expectations for the upcoming year. We will continue to focus on enriching the member experience. This includes many social and educational opportunities to enhance your relation-ships and improve your knowledge in Scottish Rite Masonry.
I will be meeting with the officers for the Lodge of Perfection to ensure we are all in sync with the expectations for this year and solicit their input on events that can be scheduled this year. If you have any events that you would like to have, please let one of the many officers know.

Tom Bergevin
Venerable Master

2016 Reunion in June. Will YOU be There??!!

posted Apr 1, 2016, 1:28 PM by San Jose Scottish Rite   [ updated Apr 1, 2016, 1:29 PM ]

As most of you are probably aware by now, we will be having just ONE Reunion in 2016. The dates are: June 17-18, 25 and 29: The schedule is as follows:
  • Jun 17: 4th—7th Degrees
  • Jun 18: 8th—18th Degrees
  • Jun 25:19th—30th Degrees
  • June 29: 31st—32nd Degrees
Since this will probably be our LAST Reunion in this building, we want to make sure that it is one to be long remembered! We are planning to confer THIRTEEEN of the Degrees, and our Degree Teams are already hard at work on their Ritual. BUT!! - What is a Reunion without Candidates? And—what is a “Re-YOU-nion” without Brothers there to support the Candidates and participate in & relive their own Reunions? Each of you know of at least one deserving Master Mason who would greatly enjoy and benefit from our Degrees—the same as YOU DID!! Talk to them about Scottish Rite Masonry, give them a petition (there’s one on the back page!) and offer to be their top line signer. Then come and sit with them as they experience the lore, drama, lessons and truths of our Degrees. Let’s make this the BIGGEST CLASS we’ve ever had in this building. Only YOU can make it happen. Go - spread the word throughout the land. And - they will come…….. 

From the Wise Master (May, 2016)

posted Apr 1, 2016, 1:16 PM by San Jose Scottish Rite   [ updated Apr 1, 2016, 1:17 PM ]

Greetings, and hope you all are well. I would like to thank all who attended the Maunday Thursday Service of Remembrance and Renewal this past March. I would like to give a special thanks to Ill. Richard Fisher, and Angela Athans for their tireless efforts in making the evening run so smooth. Another thank you is needed for the cast, and the job well done by all. 
With Easter having just past, this means Passover is not far out. Passover is from the 15th through the 22nd of Nissan (a month on the Hebrew calendar). We all know the story, and it will not all fit into this months article. If you wand a rich history lesson, Ill. Doornbos has a wealth of knowledge on this topic. This month is an opportune time to reflect on this subject, the allegory, and impact it had.
All of the bodies at the Scottish Rite have phenomenal functions they are planning, and I implore you to attend them for they are nothing but good times with good friends. The first of the two that the Chapter Rose Croix will be holding, will be attending a college football game (pending we can get proper pricing). We will announce the dates when we solidify them. 
I hope to see you all at the next Stated Meeting.

Brandon Duenas, Wise Master

Master Craftsman Program (April, 2016)

posted Apr 1, 2016, 1:12 PM by San Jose Scottish Rite   [ updated Apr 1, 2016, 1:12 PM ]

We will try once again to get the Master Craftsman Study Group going.  We are going to be going though the Master Craftsman Philosophy with Morals and Dogma.  This is actually the 3rd installment of the program, but you can work on it along with the group regardless of having completed the others.  This group is open to any Master Mason as Morals and Dogma is a publicly available book.  So, if you know someone at your lodge that may be interested — have them come down.

We will meet on the Third Tuesday of the Month at 7 pm. 

Please contact Gregg Hall if you are interested and he will give you all the details

From the Master of Kadosh (April, 2016)

posted Apr 1, 2016, 1:07 PM by San Jose Scottish Rite   [ updated Apr 1, 2016, 1:07 PM ]

To Be, or not to Be, that is the question…

Greetings, Brethren.  April is the month many around the world will celebrate the birthday of the world's greatest dramatist, William Shakespeare.  Though no birth records exist, church records indicate that a William Shakespeare was baptized at Holy Trinity Church in Stratford-upon-Avon on April 26, 1564. From this, it is believed he was born on or near April 23, 1564, and this is the date scholars acknowledge as William Shakespeare's birthday.

Known throughout the world, the works of William Shakespeare have been performed in countless hamlets, villages, cities and metropolises for more than 400 years.  And yet, the personal history of William Shakespeare is somewhat a mystery. Written records give little indication of the way in which Shakespeare’s professional life molded his artistry. All that can be deduced is that over the course of 20 years, Shakespeare wrote plays that capture the complete range of human emotion and conflict.

As Victor Hugo remarked, it is "in Shakespeare  the birds sing, the bushes are clothed with green, hearts love, souls suffer, the cloud wanders, it is hot, it is cold, night falls, time passes, forests and multitudes speak, the vast eternal dream hovers over all. Sap and blood, all forms of the multiple reality, actions and ideas, man and humanity, the living and the life, solitudes, cities, religions, diamonds and pearls, dung-hills and charnelhouses, the ebb and flow of beings, the steps of comers and goers, all, all are on Shakespeare and in Shakespeare."

Another fascinating and enigmatic figure of Shakespeare's time was the philosopher, essayist, statesman and scientific methodologist, Sir Francis Bacon.  During his life, Bacon championed the new empiricism resulting from the achievements of early modern science.  He opposed alleged knowledge based on appeals to authority, and on the barrenness of scholasticism.  He thought that what was needed was a new attitude and methodology based on strictly scientific practices.  The goal of acquiring knowledge is the good of mankind:  "Knowledge is power (Scientia es Potentia)," as he stated.  The social order that should result from applied science is portrayed in his New Atlantis (1627).  The method of induction to be employed is worked out in detail in his Novum Organum (1620).  This new logic was to replace that of Aristotle's syllogism, as well as induction by simple enumeration of instances.  Neither of these older logics can produce knowledge of actual natural laws.  Bacon thought that we must intervene in nature, manipulate it by means of experimental control leading to the invention of new technology.  

Much of Bacon's work was written and published under his numerous pseudonyms.  One primary reason for this is that he was born the son of the Queen and heir to the throne, and was compelled to secrecy on the subject, but was trying to record for posterity the true history of his life and times.  The recording of this history thus had to be done cryptically, and in a variety of publications and styles that kept the real authorship concealed, lest suspicions be aroused.  Secondly, the danger of public opinion and opinion in high places, which was marked by ignorance, intolerance, superstition, and religious dogma and fervor, was very real, and could lead to dreadful persecutions and death.  Thirdly, censorship was tightly controlled.  Fourthly, it was considered a "discredit for a gentleman to seem learned or to show himself amorous of any good art in Elizabeth's court."

Lastly, and probably the most important reason Bacon chose to veil his works so elaborately and consistently is that he set out to be, and was, an ethical and spiritual teacher, a sublime philosopher, a scientist in the field of human consciousness and endeavor, and very much a reformer of the world's state of ignorance and vice, and of malpractice and repressive regimes.  By any viewpoint he was a revolutionary-not one that wielded a sword and forced his will upon others, but one that used the pen as an art and led people on to better things by means of inspiring entertainment and a treasure trail, in liaison with the natural curiosity and love of pleasure that most people have.  Any reformer as fundamental as was Bacon, living at that time, would soon have gone to the stake or scaffold if he had not been as discreet as Bacon.  But, playing the game as God plays it, and becoming "as little children (Mathew 18:3)," wonders can be performed.  This is the key which Bacon never tired of turning.  

"For so he (King Solomon) saith expressly, The Glory of God is to conceal a thing, but the Glory of a King is to find it out.  As if according to that innocent and affectionate play of children, the Divine Majesty took delight to hide his greater Honor, then to be God's play-fellows in that game, especially considering the great command they have of wits and means, whereby the investigation of all things may be perfected." Of the Advancement of Learning (1640)

For of the knowledges which contemplate the works of Nature, the Holy Philosopher hath said expressly; that the glory of God is to conceal a thing, but the glory of a king is to find it out:  as if the Divine Nature, according to the innocent and sweet play of children, which hide themselves to the end they may be found; took delight to hide his works, to the end they might be found out; and of his indulgence and goodness to mankind, had chosen the Soul of man to be his Play-fellow in this game." Of the Advancement of Learning  (1640)

Whereas of the sciences which regard nature the Holy Philosopher declares that 'it is the glory of God to conceal a thing, but it is the glory of the king to find it out.'  Even as thought the Divine Nature took pleasure in the innocent and kindly sport of children playing hide and seek, and vouched-safe of his kindness and goodness to admit the human spirit for his play fellow in that game." Of the Advancement of Learning (1640)

"He (God) cannot be seen of any mortal creature but is notwithstanding known by his works." Novum Organum (1620)

So, who was Sir Francis Bacon?       

J.R. McGovert, Master of Kadosh

From the Commander, Council of Kadosh (April, 2016)

posted Apr 1, 2016, 1:00 PM by San Jose Scottish Rite   [ updated Apr 1, 2016, 1:00 PM ]

“The info found in this article is taken from the SCOTTISH RITE RITUAL MONITOR and GUIDE”
The San Jose Council of Kadosh is the Body responsible for the 19th through the 30th Scottish Rite Degrees, know as the “Philosophical and Chivalric Degrees.” The information found below is a summary of the 21st Degree — know as the “Argument.”
Whosoever has been wronged by the great, or oppressed by the powerful; whosoever has been unjustly accused, or had his household outraged; whosoever has fallen into the hands of corrupt judges; whosoever hath suffered by bribery or extortion; let him come freely forward and prefer his complaint, and right shall be done him by the Grand Chapter of Prussian Knights, from whose judgement there is no appeal; coming from the North and the South, the East and the West, to hear the complaints of the oppressed, judge the guilty and teach men how to be free.
As Knight and Mason, it is our bounden duty to shield and protect the innocent, as it is to assist the distressed; and that, while rendering justice, we remember our vows, believing all guiltless until convicted; and yet, while it is the obligation that formally makes a Mason, a violation of that vow by an overt guilty or willful act dissolves the knot of our alliance, and, without the form of trial, we cease to be of the Brotherhood.
Whatever be our rank, if we willfully err, we have no claim upon a Brother or the Order, either in sustaining us in that error—whatever may be its advantages—or in relieving us from its consequences.
ALL MEMBERS: The Council of Kadosh will sponsor a visit to the San Jose Giants Baseball Team—a day or evening at the baseball park located on Senter Rd and Alma Ave in San Jose. Late Spring or early Summer, after the rains stop, will be the best time to attend. Contact me, Roger Bibb, if  you are interested in attending a SJ Giants Game.

Roger Bibb, Commander
San Jose Council of Kadosh

From the Secretary’s Table…. (April, 2016)

posted Apr 1, 2016, 12:57 PM by San Jose Scottish Rite   [ updated Apr 1, 2016, 12:58 PM ]

My Brothers,

I hope you all had a wonderful and Blessed Easter with your Loved Ones. Thanks to all of you who came to our Maundy Thursday Service. It was the largest attendance we have had in years, and the Ceremony of Remembrance and Renewal was very beautifully done.

Thanks to all who have sent in your Dues. Those monies we use to pay our bills and fund our programs all year. If you haven’t sent yours in yet, please do so now. If you are having any problems, please let me know.

We are having a very special dinner after our April Stated Meeting. CALL NOW and make reservations. And also make reservations now for our NOI on June 21. This presentation is NOT to be missed! See above.

Our 2016 Reunion is only a few weeks away. Go invite a worthy Brother to partake in our mysteries. 

Lastly, as we move into Springtime, go out and view all that our God hath wrought: the beauties of the earth and the birds of the skies. Rejoice in the wonders of creation and the Love He pours down upon us.

Fraternally,  HANK VLCEK, General Secretary

From the Venerable Master (March, 2016)

posted Apr 1, 2016, 12:34 PM by San Jose Scottish Rite   [ updated Apr 1, 2016, 12:35 PM ]

My Brothers,

I must say I was a bit nervous sitting in the East for the San Jose Scottish Rite for the first time.  Hopefully, I didn't make too many mistakes.  I have another eleven tries to get it right.  I    received some goods bits of advice afterward that I'll be sure to take to heart.

The Masters of the Lodges have not been able to get together yet to discuss our plans for 2016.  The intent is to keep the social activities going as we did last year.  Each lodge will host a couple of events. Let us know if there is something in particular you'd like to do.  I keep hearing that the murder mystery dinner was a blast and might be worth trying again this year.

It was great seeing the turn out for dinner in February.  We had quite a number of sweethearts to honor that evening.  The theme for March is Saint Patrick, of course.  I did a little bit of reading on who he was and his relationship to Freemasonry.  He's not all about green beer and driving the snakes from Ireland.  Be sure to read the article from our Master of Kadosh, JR McGovert.  

Finally, dinner reservations are a must to ensure the proper amount of food is prepared.  I'd hate to come up short and have folks miss out.

Tom Bergevin
Venerable Master

Important Request and Announcement

posted Apr 1, 2016, 12:31 PM by San Jose Scottish Rite   [ updated Apr 1, 2016, 12:32 PM ]


We earnestly need and request the help of all of you! We have had a policy for a long time that reservations for the Stated Meeting Dinner must be in at least 24 hours before the dinner. Unfortunately, several Brothers have continued to call in the day of the meeting, or, worse yet, have showed up that night and wanted to have dinner without having made a reservation. This causes us great problems in not having enough tables set up, and the caterer not having prepared enough food. This must stop. Effective today, the cut off for Stated Meeting Dinner reservations is NOON on the Monday before the Stated Meeting. NO EXCEPTIONS! Stated Meetings are ALWAYS the 2nd Tuesday of the month, as you are all aware. You know by then if you will be attending or not. Please have the courtesy to call  or email the office in advance and make your reservation. This includes those of you who purchased an Annual Card. Your help in this will insure that our dinners are full of peace and fellowship, and not confusion. Thank You!

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