From the Venerable Master (January 2024)
I would like to to express my deepest gratitude for the privilege of serving as the Venerable Master of the Lodge of Perfection within the San Jose Scottish Rite Valley.
It has been an honor to lead and contribute to the esteemed traditions of our Valley. The support and camaraderie I have experienced during my tenure have been truly remarkable. I am grateful for the trust you and the members of our Valley have placed in me. The journey has been enriching, and I am thankful for the opportunity to work alongside such dedicated and inspiring individuals.
As I reflect on my time as Venerable Master, I am filled with a sense of pride for what we have accomplished together. The bonds forged and the lessons learned will undoubtedly stay with me throughout my Masonic journey.
Thank you once again for entrusting me with this responsibility. I am committed to continuing my service to the San Jose Scottish Rite Valley.
Freemasonry's Enduring Legacy: A Brief Exploration of Its Principles and Vitality
Freemasonry, with its rich history and enduring existence, has defied the test of time. Contrary to misconceptions, it thrives not as a secret society but as a private one, founded on brotherly love, relief, and truth. While it possesses modes of recognition and secret rituals, its constitutions, charges, and regulations are open for public inspection. Freemasonry has endured persecution, including condemnations from the popes and opposition from kings and emperors, yet it remains steadfast. Its longevity can be attributed to its commitment to teaching the moral law and maintaining principles that transcend political intrigues.
The essence of Freemasonry lies in its universal language and its alignment with the moral and philosophical aspects of a shared belief in the existence of a Supreme Ruler and the immortality of the soul. It distinguishes itself by avoiding political entanglements, ensuring its endurance even amidst the rise and fall of empires and revolutions in thought. Its timeless principles, ceremonial practices, and unaltered esoteric teachings contribute to its lasting influence.
At the core of Freemasonry are its Landmarks, which are described as indestructible. These enduring characteristics have been maintained for generations, never succumbing to change. The fraternity's principles, esoteric teachings, ceremonial practices, and traditions have stood the test of time, with the devotion of its members as fervent today as at its inception.
Freemasonry's historical resilience becomes apparent when considering the challenges faced by societies over the ages. The Craft has endured societal transformations, political upheavals, and changes in governance while steadfastly adhering to its principles. The Craftsmen, even in the face of adversity, met in caves and on mountain tops, preserving the teachings they held dear. Their unwavering faith in God and commitment to duty guided them, ensuring the survival of Freemasonry through the ages.
The strength of Freemasonry, rooted in its history and principles, is evident in the unwavering courage of its members. Their faith in the indestructible organization, inherited from the past, served as a guiding light. Freemasons, despite being few in number at times, drew strength from their history, making their association potent and resilient.
Freemasonry's heritage is a legacy of courage, faith, and devotion to principles that have stood the test of time. The obligation to adhere to these principles remains a solemn commitment for members. As Freemasons, they are entrusted with preserving and upholding the glorious inheritance passed down through generations.
In conclusion, the enduring existence of Freemasonry can be attributed to its commitment to timeless principles, avoidance of political entanglements, and a universal language that transcends societal changes. Its Landmarks, described as indestructible, serve as the foundation upon which the fraternity has thrived for generations. Freemasonry's legacy is one of unwavering devotion to duty, faith in God, and an abiding commitment to principles that define true Freemasonry.
San Jose Lodge of Perfection Naresh Rampershad, 32° 2023 Venerable Master
From the Wise Master
Here we are with the start of a new year. I’ve had the privilege of leading the Knights Rose Croix for the better part of two years now and it has been a great experience. Reflecting on that and Ill. Ken’s questions to our Valley on how we can do better has been my recent focus. Specifically, how can we better reach out to our members and potential members? How can we bring more members in and bring back some of the members we have? How can we make our events more tangible, enticing, or compelling to have people come and participate?
I don’t have the answers <yet> although I expect we will all be doing some homework in the coming year to find some solutions together. Many of our blue lodges have been asking similar questions and many have started coming back to life post-pandemic. Many have started focusing more on the social pieces of our fraternity and building those bonds which results in better lodge strength. Some have started looking at the current membership more closely to understand what they may find interesting which has required some changes to their historic norm. Even our Grand Lodge has seen the need to take different approaches in order to retain and attract members to participate in more activities. In the end, the rising tide raises all ships and I look forward to working on these questions with the next set of officers and leaders in our Valley.
Congratulations again to our newly elected and appointed officers!
San Jose Chapter of Rose Croix Timothy M. Lynch II, 32° 2023 Wise Master
From the Commander of Kadosh (January 2024)
As the new year is upon us, new officers have been elected and soon will be installed.
I wish to take this time to thank my core of officers and the valley for supporting me during my term.
I ask that you support them as you did me and my officers.
It is a time for renewal and new starts.
Our fraternity teaches us that we must strive continuously to improve and to learn. We have had a great year, and as we look back we have 14 new members to assist in growing our valley.
Next year we will have a state-wide reunion with it starting in San Jose.
I encourage all of you to attend and support the degree teams as they do their work for the good of the valley.
With effort and cooperation on our part, and the assistance of the G.A.O.T.U., we can choose to open our eyes to that light, the light of Brotherly love. Brotherly Love is being positive and expecting the best life has to offer. Brotherly Love is knowing that, although our human frailties will result in disagreement, where there is hope and understanding there can also be peace and harmony for all of us to work together towards a common goal.
This is my last article and with it, I bid you a hearty farewell until next time brethren.
San Jose Council of Kadosh David M. Kampschafer, 32° 2024 Commander of Kadosh
From the Master of Kadosh (January 2024)
I sit here looking at my screen and writing my last Rite Word article. January will see me finishing the journey of having been Master of all four of the San Jose Scottish Rite’s Bodies. This completes a journey started in the 1980s.
I encourage everyone to read the Master’s articles in our Rite Word. The consistent quality of these articles is amazing especially if you read the publications from other Valleys we have in our library and compare their articles to ours.
It is said Scottish Rite is the College of Freemasonry. Between the Master’s articles and the monthly contributions of Ill. Brother Dan Dornbos, 33rd Degree, there is a wealth of knowledge both philosophical and historic in those writings. Our web site has an archive of past issues. I encourage you to wander into those back issues, maybe starting in 2018, and read what those past masters wrote.
In my wanderings on line I have found a number of interesting and educational sites. One in particular is
The Small Town Texas Mason's E-Magazine. Not all the issues are still available but some in 2011 and 2012 are. Interesting reading. Here is one of my favorites: IMAGINING THE GRAND LODGE ABOVE
“Over the centuries, many well known men have belonged to our Craft. For a few moments, allow your imagination to run wild and consider what may take place at the Installation of “The Celestial Lodge”, known as the Grand Lodge Above. Gathered in the lodge refectory are Brothers Henry Ford, Ransom Olds, Walter Chrysler, and Andre Citroen. The only Mason absent today is Hart Massey with his tractor. Greeting members in the entrance hall are Brother Cliff Arquette of Charley Weaver fame and Brother Ed Wynn. In the boardroom, a group of senior Masons are gathered including Brothers Walt Disney, Chet Huntley, Wendell Corey, Van Johnson, Robert Cummings, John Steinbeck, Fred MacMurray and John Cameron Swayze. King Gillette, razor in hand, passes the lodge caretaker who is having a minor problem with his vacuum cleaner, which is quickly cleared up with the help of its inventor, Brother Hoover. At the other end of the hallway Brothers Emmett Kelly, Clyde Beatty, and all seven of the Ringling Brothers are discussing the Shrine Circus.”
I guess we can add, looking into the lounge, Brothers Winston Churchill and Mark Twain comparing the relative merits of their cigars.
I close by thanking all the Brethren who have advised, aided and assisted me in this journey, over the years, through the Chairs.
San Jose Consistory Richard M. Fisher, III, 33° 2024 Venerable Master of Kadosh
From the Chief Knight (January 2024)
Greetings and happy 2024. As we kicked off the year in the middle of installation season, the KSA continued flag presentations and provided an 8 man Arch of Steel for Golden Rule Lodge 479, crossing swords for the newly installed officers and their families during the evening’s ceremonies.
We have already started receiving requests to pro- vide these kinds of presentations at other events this year. We’re looking forward to continued work at this year’s reunions, as well as looking forward to another great time at the 158th Highland Gathering and Games.
If there are any members that are interested in get- ting more involved in our valley and having a little more fun, here’s another opportunity. For more information, just ask one of the Sir Knights, or join us at a meeting. We normally meet 3rd Sundays at Noon. No kilt required.
Big thanks to the chapter for giving me the opportunity to serve as Chief Knight this year, and a bigger thank you to those that agreed to serve as officers.
San Jose Knights of St. Andrew Timothy M. Lynch II, 32° 2024 Chief Knight, KSA