N ORTHER N
AUGUST 2020 VOL. 51 | NO. 3
When the Bubble Burst
The Power of the Grand Almoner’s Fund
Inside this issue… p
More of a Good Thing
What’s in a Portrait?
The Sporting Life
A MAGAZINE OF 32˚ SCOTTISH RITE FREEMASONRY
Scottish Rite, NMJ Presents
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THE NORTHERN LIGHT
4 Leadership Report
More of a Good Thing
6 From the Editor’s Desk
The Greatest of These
23 Southern Jurisdiction Scottish Rite Journal 24 When the Bubble Burst The Power of the Grand Almoner’s Fund
Youth Advisor Award Created
8 Staffing Update
Inside this issue…
Welcome to Our New Hires at Scottish Rite, NMJ!
CULTURE 10 What’s in a Portrait? 14 New Content on Van Gorden
Williams Library & Archives Digital Collections Website
Master of the Brazen Serpent
16 6th Degree
20 7th Degree
On the cover
Provost and Judge
C CHARITIES 26 Grand Almoner’s Fund
Through the Years 28 The Sporting Life 30 The Children’s Dyslexia Centers’ Innovative Response to COVID-19 34 Reopening the Rochester Center
Brother Paul Ferreira was one of the first Scottish Rite Masons to receive help from the new Grand Almoner’s Fund. The charitable work of the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction is arguably the envy of the Masonic world. This issue of The Northern Light is dedicated to those charities and the good they do in the world. Cover Photo: Mat Robinson/Enduring Images Photography
M MEMBERSHIP 36 Innovation
Pittsburgh Hosts Virtual Class 38 Around the Jurisdiction 41 New Jewel Announced
M MASONRY 42 Getting to Know You
Q&A with the New Executive Director
44 Photo Journal
FL/AZ Reunions 46 D-Day Hero Receives Memorial
More of a Good Thing
by David A. Glattly, 33˚, Sovereign Grand Commander
We need more Freemasons in the world. As I watched the evening news over the last number of months, I know I share with my Brothers apprehension and concern about the recent events unfolding on the streets of our nation. But I also know there is a counterpoint to these anxious times. While we do not all think alike or hold fast to the same views, Freemasons are unwavering in our acceptance and respect for one another.
Imagine if many of the men we see on the evening news understood and lived the Brotherly Love that Masonry teaches. There would be far less hate and violence and much more understanding and sharing of cultures. Brotherly Love does not merely equate to words but reflects a true desire to understand your fellow man—to treat him as an equal human being with similar goals of living a life fulfilled.
If there were more Freemasons, I have no doubt the world around us would be a better place. That leads me to wonder what the world would be like if there were more of us. More men, legions of us, who adhere to the values of Masonry— values we carry deep in our hearts, try to uphold every day, and share with other good men in our Craft. If there were more Freemasons, I have no doubt the world around us would be a better place. Forty-five years ago, I first knocked on the inner door of my lodge. I learned then that I first became a Mason in my heart. Through the Entered Apprentice degree, I was brought to light in my new Masonic world. The journey through subsequent degrees taught me that Masonry stands for Brotherly Love, Relief, and Truth. These are the values we internalize. This is what becomes part of our very souls. As a Mason, this is the life we live.
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Yes, we need more Freemasons in the world. Joining the Scottish Rite advanced the Masonic teachings in my life exponentially. My heart opened to more Masonic enlightenment. I became part of a culture of camaraderie with men of similar brotherly attitudes and feelings. That was deeply fulfilling. Scottish Rite became my Masonic spiritual home— the place where I chose to deeply connect and involve my family, too. Just envision a world where more men across the globe lived up to our core values. Reverence for God and respect for all religious beliefs would be energized anew. Justice for all regardless of race, color, or creed would be a way of life. Integrity would lead us to a life of clear conscience and that of role models
Just envision a world where more men across the globe lived up to our core values.
I am moved to see how many citizens across our great land have stepped forward to offer relief to those struggling during our current health crisis. Many of our lodges and Masonic organizations have stepped up as well to provide food, supplies, and service to our Masonic families, first line health care workers, and the general public. It is a privilege to bear witness to Masonry in action.
Together, we stay true to our values and live a life of which we can be proud. Together, we uphold teachings of Freemasonry and Scottish Rite. And yes, we can never have enough Freemasons in the world. Fraternally,
Our Supreme Council Grand Almoner’s Fund continues to support our brethren, their families, and Masonic widows in need. During these trying times, the call has been great, and we have responded. Your generosity is why we can help in this time of trouble, and I extend my deepest gratitude to you. In the end, there is hope. Around the world, men continue to join our great fraternity every week of every year—men who answer the call of the traveling man.
to our fellow man. Toleration of the full mixture of people in our world, regardless of beliefs and lifestyles, would be the peaceful norm. Service to Humanity would thrive, creating a better life for all. Devotion to Country and love of the flag would surely flourish. Yes, we need more Freemasons in the world.
N O RT HERN LI G HT
FROM THE EDITOR’S DESK
The Greatest of These
A magazine of 32˚ Scottish Rite Freemasonry
by PJ Roup, 33˚, Editor, Active for Pennsylvania
are generous by nature. That shouldn’t come as a surprise when we consider that the three great tenets of our Craft are Brotherly Love, Relief, and Truth. I have often wondered if those were in that order because of their importance or because they formed the most pleasant sounding turn of phrase. I mean, Relief, Truth, and Brotherly Love doesn’t slip off the tongue nearly as well, does it?
The case can certainly be made that they are in order of rank: Brotherly Love brings us together; Relief is the glue that bonds us; Truth, then, is our common goal, the pursuit of which is only achievable when we function as a cohesive unit. One of the ways we, as Scottish Rite Masons, come together is through our vision statement: We will strive to be a fraternity that fulfills our Masonic obligation to care for its members. It is when we live into that vision that charity comes to the fore. The Grand Almoner’s Fund has eased the paths of so many and brought hope to what seemed to be a hopeless situation. The White Flower Society is there to bring comfort and assistance to our widows. The Helping Hand Initiative, an extension of the Grand Almoner’s Fund that started as a response to the Coronavirus crisis, has already raised over $133,000 to
T H E
August 2020 Vol. 51 No. 3 EXECUTIVE EDITOR Linda Patch
assist those affected by the pandemic. Throughout this issue, you will see how Masons have stepped up, and in one case (see Back from the Brink, p. 34) how the work of our Children’s Dyslexia Centers inspired others to step up as well.
“If you have two shirts in your closet, one belongs to you and the other to the man with no shirt.” —St. Ambrose of Milan
Charity can take forms other than financial giving as well. Throughout the Coronavirus crisis, Masons have assisted their at-risk brothers, neighbors, and friends by doing their grocery shopping, running errands, and making emergency home repairs. They have also helped first responders and healthcare workers on the front lines who are working ceaselessly to keep us safe. What we have done matters. In 1 Corinthians 13:13, Paul writes “And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.” I hope you are proud of the good we have done during this time of crisis. I hope, too, that you are inspired to continue that good work once the world gets back to normal. There will always be need. There will always be strife. And there will always be Scottish Rite Masons there to help.
EDITOR PJ Roup, 33° CREATIVE DIRECTOR Rodney E. Boyce, 33° CONTENT MANAGER Joann Williams-Hoxha DESIGN CONTRIBUTOR Matt Blaisdell, 32° COMMUNICATIONS COMMITTEE Thomas R. Labagh, 33°, Chairman Richard V. Travis, 33° Donald R. Heldman, 33° Donald G. Duquette, 33° PJ Roup, 33° Linda Patch SUPREME COUNCIL, 33° Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite, Northern Masonic Jurisdiction, U.S.A. SOVEREIGN GRAND COMMANDER David A. Glattly, 33° THE NORTHERN LIGHT (ISSN 1088-4416) is published quarterly in February, May, August, and November by the Supreme Council, 33°, Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite, Northern Masonic Jurisdiction, U.S.A., as the official publication. Printed in U.S.A. Periodicals postage paid at Boston, MA, and at additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER Send address changes to The Northern Light PO Box 519, Lexington, MA 02420-0519 MAILING ADDRESS PO Box 519, Lexington, MA 02420-0519 EDITORIAL OFFICE 33 Marrett Road (Route 2A), Lexington, MA 02421 Ph: 781-862-4410 email: firstname.lastname@example.org WEBSITE: www.ScottishRiteNMJ.org
@scottishritenmj @TNLMagazine Copyright ©2020 by Trustees of the Supreme Council of the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry for the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction, U.S.A.
Illustrious Brother Ogg served for many years as a DeMolay advisor including ten years as the Executive Officer for DeMolay in Rhode Island.
Youth Advisor Award Created “Just what is a ‘yout’?” Most of us smile when we remember the bemused judge asking that question of the novice lawyer in the iconic 90s movie My Cousin Vinny. The answer in the movie was simple. The answer in real life is anything but.
can say a lot of things about “youths,” and given the opportunity, we often will. Of all the things that could be said, one thing is absolutely certain: They will decide the future course of human events. Think about that. You can take into account the greatest words ever spoken, the greatest things ever invented, the greatest ideas of the world’s greatest thinkers, and none of that will matter unless today’s youth carry them into the future. Terrific. We are in a lot of trouble! Or, are we? Well, the world is still here, and a lot of water has passed over the dam. What is it that prevents the terrible events depicted in William Golding’s novel, Lord of the Flies, from taking over the world? I believe that the answer is simple: It is the positive effect that the guidance of an adult can have on a young person’s life. Dad Frank Sherman Land knew that when he founded the Order of DeMolay. Others have followed suit,
forming youth service organizations for young women. These organizations have had and will continue to have a positive impact on our young men and women. We all know that some Chapters are very successful while others struggle.
Being a youth advisor is not the most glamorous position around, but in my view, it is the most important. Is there a factor that causes this disparity? The generally accepted reason is this: Good advisors make good Chapters. The same can be said of Assemblies, Bethels, and Triangles. When you have good people on the Advisory team, the local organization will prosper. Well, that’s easy. Let’s just put the good people to work as advisors and all
by Robert F. Ogg Jr., 33,̊ Active Member
will be well. Yes, it would be, except that everyone is after those people. Lodges, Temples, and every organization in between are searching for those who are dedicated, organized, and willing to do the hard work. Being a youth advisor is not the most glamorous position around, but in my view, it is the most important. As I have already stated, the youth are the shapers of the future. What could matter more? In recognition of this essential role, Supreme Council is embarking on a program to give credit where credit is due. Beginning in 2021, every Valley will name a Youth Advisor of the Year. There will be similar awards at both the state and Supreme Council levels (chosen from the Valley and State winners respectively). At the oddyear General Session of the Supreme Council, the two people selected as the odd year and even year Supreme Council Youth Advisors of the Year will be honored in person. Any advisor of a Triangle, Assembly, Bethel, or Chapter may be considered for this award. Would you like to be honored by the Sovereign Grand Commander at General Session 2021 for your service to our youth? Well, roll up your sleeves and get to work. It just may happen!
Welcome to Our New Hires at Scottish Rite,
Jeff Kitsmiller Jr.
Brother Jeff Kitsmiller Jr., 32˚, was brought on April 1 as Director of Information Systems. Jeff oversees our member management system as well as software engineering and licensing. Prior to taking on his current role, Jeff was a web development consultant for 12 years, director of product development for XML Team Solutions, and a founding partner for an information technology firm. Jeff completed his Bachelor of Arts in Communications at the University of Missouri–St. Louis.
Brother Brennan Parken serves as our Associate Director of Membership where his primary focus is to keep up the positive momentum built around the member experience. Brennan formerly served as field representative for Oklahoma DeMolay, overseeing membership growth for one of the largest jurisdictions in DeMolay International. He has a Bachelor’s of Business Administration in Management Information Systems and Nonprofit Management from the University of Oklahoma.
Effective April 1, Brother Mason Sellars was brought on as the Executive Assistant to Sovereign Grand Commander Glattly. Mason may seem familiar as he was a summer intern for our Charities Department last year! Mason formerly served as International Congress Secretary for DeMolay and is currently studying business.
Director of Information Systems
Associate Director of Membership
Executive Assistant to SGC
The Northern Light
by Joann Williams-Hoxha, Content Manager
Brother Marcus Abbott, 32˚, joined Supreme Council staff as Executive Producer and Set Design Manager in the Support Services department this year, extending our Scottish Rite video degree offerings. Marcus’ long association with the Scottish Rite began at the 1998 Supreme Council Annual Session. In 2000 he became the Session Designer and Production Manager, and in 2019 the Executive Producer and Production Designer. Marcus has been working in professional theatre, film, and music for over 40 years, designing sets and lighting across the U.S., including being Production Designer for the Heart of America Shakespeare Festival in Kansas City, Missouri since its inception in 1992.
Jocelyn K. Wallace, hired at the beginning of 2020, serves as Grant Writer and Coordinator for our Scottish Rite Charities department. She has been working extensively with local Children’s Dyslexia Centers to increase their grants capacity. Jocelyn comes to us with multiple years of experience at nonprofits, most recently working as a grant writer for The Language Conservatory, securing large grants supporting the preservation of indigenous languages. Jocelyn earned her bachelor’s degree in nonprofit management from Indiana University Bloomington.
Executive Producer and Set Design Manager
Grant Writer and Scottish Rite Charities Coordinator
Director of Charities
Bro. Walter F. Wheeler, 33°, effective July 1, 2020, serves as the new Director of Charities replacing Michael C. Russell, 32° who has been promoted to Executive Director. Walt will oversee the daily operations of the Charities Department, continue and implement new fundraising programs, and work with all teams on fundraising, planned giving, and overall development. Brother Wheeler is a Past Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Michigan, an Active member of our Supreme Council, and Deputy for the State of Michigan. In addition to his volunteer Masonic responsibilities, Walt has served as the Executive Director for the Michigan Masonic Charitable Foundation for the past 10 years.
What’s in a Portrait?
by Hilary Anderson Stelling, Director of Collections and Exhibitions, Scottish Rite
A portrait is someone’s likeness captured in paint, ink, or in a photograph, but it is also much more. Portraits serve many purposes: they function as personal and family mementos, document accomplishments, or show the owner’s admiration of a celebrated figure. They help us remember past lives. The portraits in the collection of the Scottish Rite Masonic Museum and Library tell the story of the many people who participated in and shaped Masonic and fraternal organizations in the United States for over 200 years. Artist Joseph Davis specialized in images that combined profile portraits with the kind of information found on family records. Here he depicts a husband, wife, and their young son. While Mehitable Wentworth holds her new baby, her husband Andrew grasps objects associated with Freemasonry in his hands—a membership certificate or chart, a square and compasses. The tools may have held a double meaning for Andrew—census records list his occupation as “Mason.”
Famous Masons In the past, many people valued portraits of important and recognizable figures. Nineteenth-century printmakers and publishers capitalized on their fame of some leaders, like George Washington and Benjamin Franklin, and created images portraying these revered figures in their roles as Freemasons to appeal to Masonic Andrew, Daniel, and Mehitable Wentworth, 1833. Joseph H. Davis, Berwick, Maine. Special Acquisitions Fund, 90.32. Photograph by David Bohl.
consumers. Brethren could purchase affordable prints of these subjects to display in their homes. These images were also part of the décor of many Masonic buildings where portraits of well-known Freemasons reminded members and visitors of these admired heroes’ connection with the fraternity. Starting in the 1860s, prints of Washington as a Freemason were particularly popular. This colorful version also featured small portraits of two other well-known Masons, the Marquis de Lafayette and Andrew Jackson. Washington as a Freemason, 1870. Strobridge and Co., Cincinnati, Ohio. Special Acquisitions Fund, 78.74.18.
Signs and Symbols Men have long taken pride in their association with Freemasonry. In the 1800s and 1900s, some Masons commissioned portraits of themselves and, in them, chose to be presented as members of the fraternity, wearing jewelry or regalia that identified them as Freemasons—along with their best and most fashionable clothing. Some of these portraits marked personal achievements such as serving as a lodge officer, while others included more subtle indications that the subject belonged to a fraternal group. The subject of this portrait wears a Royal Arch sash and apron. The color and metallic highlights added to the image draw attention to subject’s regalia. Man in Royal Arch Regalia, 1850-1860. Museum Purchase with the assistance of the Kane Lodge Foundation, 2010.010. Photograph by David Bohl.
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Masonic Museum & Library
Jewels of Office In Masonic and fraternal organizations, officers wear different badges that indicate their roles, such as lodge Master or Secretary. These jewels take the shape of a symbol important to the organization, such as the square, the emblem of the lodge Master and a symbol of virtue in Freemasonry, or are formed out of emblems that reflect the work of a particular office. A lodge Secretary, for example, wears a badge in the shape of crossed pensâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;implements related to the role he fills. Along with his street clothes, the subject of this portrait wears a Senior Wardenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s jewel in the shape of a level suspended from his neck. In a Masonic lodge, the Senior Warden is the second-highest ranking officer after the lodge Master. His badge of office, the level, symbolizes equality among lodge brethren.
Senior Warden, 1840-1860. Museum Purchase, 2001.070.1. Photograph by David Bohl.
C WHAT’S IN A PORTRAIT? continued
Jewelry, such as small pins and badges worn as part of everyday dress, offered a clue that the subject of a portrait belonged to a fraternity. Paintings and photographs of Freemasons in their regalia—the jewels, aprons, collars, sashes, hats, and other special clothing that they wore to meetings—conveyed more information, especially to fellow members. These items tell the viewer that the subject of a portrait prized belonging to a fraternity. Particular aspects of regalia and badges also communicated to others what group the subject participated in or what office he held. In presenting himself as a Freemason, a portrait’s subject proclaimed his affiliation with the group as a valued part of his selfidentity. He also guaranteed that he Caesar R. Blake, Imperial Potentate, 1919-1931. Carolina Studio, Charlotte, North Carolina, Museum Purchase, 99.044.1.
would be remembered as such for as long as the portrait endured. A clerk with Norfolk and Southern Railway, Caesar R. Blake a member of the Ancient Egyptian Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, Prince Hall Affiliated (A.E.A.O.N.M.S.). Also known as the Prince Hall Shriners, founders established this group in Chicago in 1893. Blake belonged to Rameses Temple No. 51 in Charlotte and served as Imperial Potentate of the A.E.A.O.N.M.S., from 1919 until his death in 1931. In this portrait, he wears a fez and jewels associated with that office. Family Portraits In the early 1800s, an increasing number of artists and folk painters plied their trade in American cities and towns. Those who could afford it could choose to have their family member’s portraits painted to preserve a faithful likeness and a moment in time. Although a painter captured a subject’s likeness
with his skill, he did not work alone. The subjects of the work often helped shape the final product, deciding how to present themselves in the portrait. In the mid-1800s, the advent of photography brought portraiture to the masses and the tradition of sitters helping craft their own presentation continued. The subjects of these portraits decided what to wear, what to hold in their hands, and how to pose for the photographer to convey information about themselves and what they valued. In many cases, the subject chose to be depicted in his Masonic apron or wearing a fraternal pin in the context of a family portrait, showing how his membership formed part of his identity. This pair of cased tintypes shows a woman with a baby and a man wearing a sash and a Masonic apron. Together, these images depict a family. To make a good impression, the subjects of these portraits wore their most fashionable clothing. After the portraits were taken, Family Portrait, ca. 1860. Special Acquisitions Fund, 88.42.19a-b. Photograph by David Bohl.
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When the Scottish Rite Masonic Museum & Library is again open for visitors, come see these portraits and more in the gallery exhibition “What’s in a Portrait?” In the meantime, we invite you to explore some of the images and objects in the exhibition in an online version, which you can see at: SRMMLOnlineExhibitions.omeka.net. If you have questions about making a donation to the museum collection or would like to let us know what you think about our online exhibitions, please drop a line to email@example.com.
the photographer highlighted the woman’s brooch and the decoration on the man’s sash and apron with gold paint. Photographic group portraits often documented special events such as an important meeting, a rare gathering, a new lodge, a celebratory excursion, or the election of new officers. With photography, this kind of portrait could be taken with relative ease and manageable expense. Photographic portraits became increasingly common into the 1900s and offer the modern viewer the chance to learn about the people and groups depicted in them. We can better understand these images when we ask the question, “What does this portrait tell us?” A new lodge room or the election of a new group of officers at a Masonic or fraternal lodge sometimes prompted the creation of a
photograph to celebrate and document the event. In 1861, for example, members of Altemont Lodge No. 26 in Peterborough, New Hampshire, agreed to use lodge funds to pay for a “Miniature Frame” to be made and hung in their lodge room. This frame of miniature portraits would include “every Master Mason in regular standing in town”—be they a member of Altemont Lodge or not. Masons in the area were “...invited to deposit their ambrotypes with those of the Brothers of the Lodge.” Members of Altemont Lodge paid for their own photographs displayed within the special frame that the lodge had made. The frame cost the lodge seven dollars. Some of the men pictured here had their portraits taken by George H. Scripture, a Peterborough photographer and area Mason.
Dressed for a summer excursion, the women and men in this image—a souvenir photo postcard—hold pennants created to commemorate the event.
Members of Altemont Lodge, Peterborough, New Hampshire, 1861. Museum Purchase, 2001.063. Photograph by David Bohl.
King Oscar Lodge No. 855 Chicago, Illinois, 1916 Outing. Ansco Company, Binghamton, New York. Museum Purchase, A96/066/0880.
New Content on Van Gorden-Williams Library & Archives Digital Collections Website
he Van Gorden-Williams Library & Archives recently added new material to its digital collections website. You can now explore hundreds of digitized documents plus an online exhibition on the site.
Jacob Norton Papers
Masons today know that their Brothers likely have opinions about Freemasonry, sometimes ones that are in sharp contrast with their own ideas. This phenomenon is nothing new. Reading letters written by Masons over a century ago makes this clear. Bostonian Jacob Norton (1814-1897) was one such writer, and he corresponded with dozens of wellknown nineteenth-century Masons who expressed their opinions to him in hundreds of letters. Norton, of Polish ancestry and Jewish faith, was born in Middlesex, England. He was raised a Master Mason in London’s Joppa Lodge in 1839. In 1844, after immigrating to Boston, Massachusetts, Norton joined St. Andrew’s Lodge. He remained a member of St. Andrew’s for almost eight years until his petition to the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts for the revision of its ritual and removal of overt Christian allusions was denied in June 1852. The Grand Lodge committee members who rejected this petition also recommended that he and his fellow petitioners withdraw from St. Andrew’s. Norton subsequently resigned from St. Andrew’s Lodge.
Increasingly discontent with American Freemasonry, he wrote critical articles about the institution until his death. Norton did not remove himself from Freemasonry altogether. He continued to attend the meetings of Joppa Lodge when his business as a furrier took him to London. He also corresponded with many prominent Masons through 1897.
Online Exhibition— Illustrated Patriotic Envelopes of the American Civil War Historians view the American Civil War through a variety of lenses. Patriotic envelopes published during war present some of the bold rhetoric and
The Jacob Norton Papers collection of over 700 letters consists of Norton’s incoming correspondence from well-known nineteenth-century Freemasons such as Rob Morris (1818-1888) and Enoch Terry Carson (1822-1899). The Scottish Rite Masonic Museum & Library recently added a small selection of these letters to its Van Gorden-Williams Library & Archives Digital Collections website. The letters in the Jacob Norton Papers collection offer us a chance to see what some prominent Masons thought about Freemasonry and give us the opportunity to see their thought process as they tackle thorny topics such as religion and race as they relate to Freemasonry.
“Union” American Flag, 1861-1865, designed and engraved by Franklin Hedge (born ca. 1830), Boston, Massachusetts. Scottish Rite Masonic Museum & Library, Gift of William Caleb Loring, 33°, A85/012/0733.
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by Jeffrey Croteau, Director of the Van Gorden-Williams Library and Archives
political passions of the American Civil War, both by those in support of the Union cause as well those sympathetic to the Confederacy. A new online exhibition, “Illustrated Patriotic Envelopes of the American Civil War,” is also now available on the Van GordenWilliams Library & Archives Digital
Collections website. The objects in the exhibition are from a collection of over 1,000 illustrated patriotic envelopes of the American Civil War that were donated to the museum by William Caleb Loring, 33° (1925-2011).
The Van Gorden-Williams Library & Archives is located in Lexington, Massachusetts, at the Scottish Rite Masonic Museum & Library, and is open to the public.
To browse the letters or see the exhibit, visit srmml.org and click on the Library & Archives Digital Collections button. any questions about ? Have these offerings or something else? Drop us a line at library@ srmml.org or give us a call at 781-457-4109.
Faith Times Trouble 6 T H
D E G R E E
MASTER OF THE BRAZEN SERPENT
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by Charles R. Arnold Jr. , 32°, HGA Valley of Lower Delaware
I took up the challenge I perceived from the optional Scene One within the sixth degree to consider the conditions of our world—specifically during April of this year. Our lives had been dramatically changed in just a few short weeks. I found it even more important to consider our responses to those changes, just as it was important for those wandering in the desert in the sixth degree to consider their response to their changing conditions.
United States is at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, and there is a worldwide economic upheaval caused by social distancing. We can closely identify with the reading of the words, “What happens in any country…may affect the happiness and peace of the entire world.” The COVID-19 virus started in one part of the world and by human to human contact has now touched most parts of the globe. This virus reminds us of just how small and interconnected our world is today. While space, the numbers, and conditions were different for the Israelites traveling for years in the desert than those of our world today, both seem to give a sense that “[w]e are all in this together.”
and suffering all around. The most important comparison I saw was the people coming to the realization that faith in God’s prescribed method for healing is important. It requires faith to obediently follow the prescription for healing—even through science. It does not matter whether the prescription was placing a brazen serpent on a pole or complying with social distancing, looking up reverently, or obediently receiving a doctor’s care to find healing.
There are multiple similarities between the conditions of the Israelites and the conditions we find ourselves in today. The following are the comparisons I recognized: the perceived condition of a plague; the isolation from the rest of the world; the questioning of which way to go; the limited resources on hand; the concerns over the supply line for food and other resources; the questioning of authority; the death
From my perspective, both are prescriptions provided by God and conveyed to others through the wisdom God has given to man. This brought into my vision the clear need for the core value of Reverence for God as found in the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite. Without a reverence for God, I believe one lacks a solid foundation from which to measure truth. One could then choose not to follow any
This virus reminds us of just how small and interconnected our world is today.
suggestion of a prescription that could provide healing and jump on any bandwagon of unproven ideas. Without that foundation, how would anyone choose which idea is right or which would provide healing? Just as pointed out in optional Scene One, “…people everywhere are restless and discontented.” Today, they are restless and discontented with being quarantined due to the COVID-19 virus. Brothers, friends, and even extended family are unable to socialize. Many are unable to work, and few families have been left untouched from being struck by this disease in some way. There seems to be an appeal to faith by many leaders seeking answers in science to bring help and healing from this overwhelming virus. Many are finding themselves in a position where they must admit that without “the guidance of God’s wisdom, love, and power” they would not be able to find an answer to address this current worldwide pandemic. The words, “we are all in this together” are echoing all around the world, but there is no group better equipped to set the example of being in something together than ScottishRiteNMJ.org
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MASTER OF THE BRAZEN SERPENT continued
those who are within the Masonic Brotherhood. The world is counting on us, even if they do not realize it, to set the examples by following, “…the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and strength, the
spirit of knowledge and of the love of the Lord.” This “…drama of the human spirit, caught between its own discouragement and fear, and the will and purpose of
Almighty God” is not only found in this sixth degree but I believe is where many around the globe seem to find themselves today. People are faced with difficult choices: being at work and being at home (or even working from home); the economy and safety; paying the bills and having enough money to buy food; remaining in quarantine or risking exposure by going outside.
The world is counting on us, even if they do not realize it… People are afraid, uncertain, grasping for help from wherever they believe they can get it. Some today are willing to exit their quarantine early to return to the enslavement of their everyday work rather than remaining safe in their current surroundings. This is not unlike those written about in the sixth degree who desired to return to the slavery in Egypt in exchange for peace, for the certainty of their hard work, for food and drink. Many were willing to trust the government of Egypt, as those currently are willing to trust the government of the United States over their faith in God. The world today is in one of those desert stretches referred to in the sixth degree. People are struggling with just how much they will comply with the requirements of their “new normal” and social distancing. Will they meet for the worship of their God? Where will faith be found today in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic? How does reverence for God answer the question, “What are you looking up at with faith?”
The Northern Light
TO COM YO IN UR G S VA OO LL N EY
For Showtimes, visit ScottishRiteNMJ.org/Degree-Dates
PROVOST AND 7 T H
D E G R E E
The Diary of Second Master Mason
The Northern Light
E D U C AT I O N
by Nicholas Graff, 33˚, MSA, Active for Illinois
I cannot express how disappointed I am. Disappointed—and angry, too! The stones for our section of the Temple were prepared as planned, checked and re-checked. Rocks cut, shaped, smoothed, and squared, cut to specification. We were sure that the work we produced was of the finest quality—all according to plan. Our work group even had more time than expected to be sure everything was in order while we waited for inspection. I finally had a moment to rest my aching back while we waited…and waited.
overseer finally arrived to inspect the work. What I expected to be an easy inspection resulting in praise for fine workmanship was quite the contrary. The work was found wanting—worse yet, not found at all. Our work was halted. I was shocked to learn that Amos could not find the most important piece of his work. He is always meticulous. The best of the best! There is no greater Master Mason than Amos. Amos! My co-workers and I trusted and respected him so much. He is the leader of our work group. He is the one we expected to set the example and lead the way for us, not only for a great accomplishment but for a sense of pride in contributing the highest quality workmanship to the most important project of all time—erecting the Temple, the House of God. We may always be nameless
(known only as First Master Mason or Second Master Mason), but that is as it should be: nameless, in order to give all glory to the Grand Architect of the Universe. But Amos earned his name as a skilled craftsman. He is the one who could coach and mentor us when we needed it. He is the one to whom the most difficult work is given, because he is the one with the greatest skill. But in this instance, he let us down. He was careless with his work, and it hurt all of us.
The work was found wanting—worse yet, not found at all. I was even more shocked to learn later that Jeroboam shaped the keystone. After all, the keystone demands the greatest skill to produce the stone of greatest structural importance. There is simply no room for error.
Disproportionate angles and sides will disrupt the pleasant appearance of the structure. If the stone is cut at the wrong angle, the load is not distributed evenly. The building will not stand. Jeroboam is not known to possess the skill needed to cut the keystone. It made no sense. How could Amos be so careless and Jeroboam be so precise? To top it all off, the whole work group paid the penalty when the work was shut down—no work, no pay. What do I tell my family? How could this happen? So disappointing. Now that the whole story can be told, I am still disappointed, but it is disappointment with Jeroboam. Everything is turned on its head. I expected more from Jeroboam. We knew that he lacked the skill of Amos. We knew he had difficulty keeping up with the rest of us in getting things done on time and with good workmanship. He was lacking. But to claim the work of another Master Mason as his own is not only shocking, it is unforgiveable. It cannot go unpunished. We had our suspicions about Jeroboam, even though Amos would not believe the worst about his childhood friend. Amos had to be convinced to take his case to the Judges. He felt Jeroboam would never betray their friendship and trust. He would never lie about his work. Even when standing before the court, Amos was hesitant to push the case against Jeroboam.
E D U C AT I O N
PROVOST AND JUDGE continued
I am thankful that the newest Provost and Judge interceded to find the truth. Such an upside-down situation simply did not seem right to him, and he found the answer with clear thinking and a bit of searching. When he opened the jeweled box of records, he uncovered the truth, and Jeroboam’s true character was revealed.
I am left with many questions. I am also thankful that Jeroboam confessed his jealousy and envy. For us, it will ease the memory of his betrayal. For him, it will be a source of humiliation forever.
I’m not sure we should take Jeroboam back into our company. We cannot trust him. We cannot rely on his integrity ever again. Isn’t justice our due?
another. Justice is the standard which keeps us all within due bounds and is the foundation of society. Is Justice served by the decisions of the Judge? Of Amos? What do you think?
I thought it would be interesting to take a look at this degree through the eyes of one of the characters whose life was affected by the actions of
What do your Brother Master Masons think? Witness the 7th Degree, Provost and Judge, and decide for yourself how you would exercise the core values of Justice and Integrity.
But I am still uncertain how the story ends, or rather, continues. I am left with many questions: Why did Amos take Jeroboam back into our work group? Was he being just? Was he guided by principle? Fairness? Was it the right thing to do? How will Jeroboam make restitution for our lost wages and perhaps even our lost reputations?
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Speech-Language Therapy Delivered via Telepractice
n March 13, 2020, like so many other businesses, schools, and organizations, the doors of the Hilgenberg Scottish Rite Childhood Speech and Language Center in Baltimore, Maryland, were temporarily closed in an effort to decrease the spread of COVID-19. For our Speech-Language Pathologists (SLPs), the days that followed were spent diligently researching telepractice platforms, materials, and procedures in order to determine the best way to continue safely and effectively connecting with our clients during the pandemic. Now, two months into this remote model of service delivery, we’re thrilled to report that with the abundant support of the Scottish Rite
Masons, our clients are continuing to learn and thrive! The goal of all Scottish Rite Children Language Programs is to help children communicate. Therapy services are routinely adjusted to fit each child’s needs, and adjusting for COVID-19 is just another adjustment, albeit a pretty big one. In the end we want the children who come to us to thrive and better communicate with all around them. No matter what speech/language goals we are targeting in therapy, telepractice sessions offer routine, connection, and guidance to our clients as they learn to process and adapt during this uncertain time. The Scottish Rite Masons quickly and generously provided our SLPs with
An online meeting of the telepractice team of Speech-Language Pathologists at Hilgenberg Scottish Rite Childhood Speech and Language Center, Baltimore. Clockwise from upper left: Chrissy Wandishin, Sara Semesky, Brittany O’Neill, Hayley Boyle. Photo courtesy of Hilgenberg Clinic.
laptops, iPads, and funding for digital materials in an effort to keep our clients engaged and productive. • —Sara F. Semesky, MS Ed, CCC-SLP
hen Carson Covey talks, people listen. And it’s not because he uses an iPad to talk, even though that may be the initial reason. You soon forget about that and begin listening to what he is saying. Carson is twenty, has cerebral palsy, and began speech therapy at Children’s Hospital Colorado when he was five. After several years of specialized therapy where he learned how to use a device to talk and express himself, he became a mentor to other children. In 2020 he is beginning his college education at Metro State University in Denver. In early 2020 the Scottish Rite Foundation of Colorado selected Carson as
its RiteCare Ambassador. In 2005, when he was five years old, Carson began his journey at his first Talking with Technology Camp (TWT), a five-day overnight camp held by Children’s Hospital Colorado and financially supported by the Scottish Rite Foundation of Colorado. He recently presented for 15 minutes to about 120 members and wives at Denver Consistory and told us about his college plans “to continue to pursue my passion for helping those with special needs.” Carson said that his iPad enables him “to express myself during happy times and not so happy times.” • —Vernon B. Ingraham, 33°, GC, Exec. Secretary, S.R. Foundation of Colorado
Left to right: Caroline Woeber, SLP, Talking with Technology Camp Director; Dr. Kristin Uhler, Kelley Family/Schlessman Family Scottish Rite Mason’s Chair in Childhood Language Disorders; Robert Gregory, 33°, SR Foundation Trustee; Karl Hinkle, 33°, SRF Trustee and Deputy in Colorado; Teresa Major, Carson’s mom; Richard Frohlick, 33°, SRF Trustee; Carson Covey; Vernon Ingraham, 33°, GC, SRF Exec. Sec.; Thomas Magnuson, 33°, SRF Trustee; Stephen Munsinger, 33°, SGIG Emeritus, SRF Trustee. Photo courtesy of Denver Consistory
When theBubble Burst
The son of Portuguese immigrants, Paul learned the value of the American dream very early on. His parents always told him that with hard work and fortitude, he and his siblings could achieve anything they set their minds to.
The Power Grand Almoner’s Fund by Joann Williams-Hoxha, Content Manager
If there were one word to describe Brother Paul M. Ferreira, 33°, MSA, it is proud: proud of where he came from, proud of the life he created for himself, proud of his family, and proud of his fraternity. So, it was with a heavy heart when, in the midst of The Great Recession of 2010, he had to swallow some of that pride and ask family and friends for help to make ends meet.
Paul’s father, Manuel Jesus Ferreira
“Back in the early 1950s, my father knew the path to citizenship could be availed by enlisting in the service. So, in 1954, he did just that. He joined the U.S. Navy at the age of 18 with just 20 Escudos in his pocket,” Paul said. Escudos were Portuguese currency, and 20 of them would have been equivalent to approximately 11 cents today. Fast forward more than 40 years, and Paul now had a family of his own—a loving spouse and three children that he was raising with the same values his parents had instilled in him. With a career as an established real estate agent and appraiser, Paul was at the top of his game—until the housing bubble of 2008 rocked his industry to its very core.
“We had never seen anything like it. In this business, you expect downturns and cycles, and you prepare for those by setting aside protection mechanisms and rainy-day funds. But this cycle was different. It was hitting us hard with unabated breath. First, we lost my head of the household income by more than 75%. Then, I lost my investment income as it became the stop gap to the heavy bleeding. My only investment property was led into foreclosure. With all resources being exhausted and no opportunity for unemployment funds, I was lost and hurting,” Paul said.
Suddenly my home— my primary place of normalcy— was slipping away… Paul continued to put one foot in front of the other, seeking out new opportunities and mustering a smile for his family and Masonic Brothers, all while financial pressures continued to mount. Notices began to arrive from lien holders warning of missed payments. Then, warnings of potential foreclosure. Then, a sheriff’s sale notice.
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F E AT U R E
“Here I was, the inheritor of a heritage of working hard and fighting for what is good and right and the American dream. Now suddenly my home— my primary place of normalcy—was slipping away,” said Paul. Brother Ferreira eventually had to ask family members for help to make ends meet. Unfortunately, most of his family was experiencing similar hardships due to economic uncertainty. The only place that remained a constant comfort was his Masonic home, where he served as Grand Marshal for the Grand Lodge of New Jersey. Still, he tried his best to keep his financial struggles a secret from his Masonic family. “I could hide my feelings of inadequacy amongst my family but not my brethren. They sensed it; they were there for me,” Paul explained. One Brother who sensed it was Sovereign Grand
Brothers Charles Secallus, 33° (left) Mohamad Yatim, 33°, and Paul
Commander David A. Glattly who at the time served as Deputy for New Jersey. “Paul Ferreira is one of the finest Masons I know. When I sensed he was in trouble, I knew I just had to force the truth out of him, so that we could assist him,” said Commander Glattly. “Like most Brother Masons in trouble, it’s that pride that prevents them from asking for help. Masons are much more comfortable assisting others, rather than asking for help themselves.”
Masons are much more comfortable assisting others, rather than asking for help themselves. Ill. Brother Glattly reassured Paul and told him about a new form of financial assistance that Sovereign Grand Commander John William McNaughton, 33°, was putting into effect—the Grand Almoner’s Fund for Scottish Rite Brothers facing hardship. Dave asked Paul if he had a specific amount in mind that would help him get back on his feet. Humbled, Paul told him any amount would help. Dave, still sensing that weight on Paul’s shoulders, asked him how far behind he was on his mortgage and other bills. Stammering a
bit, Paul told him a more specific amount. Without hesitation, Dave told him a check from the Grand Almoner’s Fund would be arriving, and to let him know immediately if needed anything else. “I was brought to tears as I made the left turn on the International Drive and Route 46. Literally! I remember the exact spot and the exact time of day it was,” said Paul. “I had a feeling of euphoria with an overwhelming sense of security all at the same time. I felt a warm embrace of a Brother who knew. My lifeline extended to me by (at the time) our Deputy himself,” he said. Now, even in the midst of a global pandemic, things are going well for the Ferreira family. Paul is back on track as a real estate agent, appraiser, and entrepreneur. He also serves as Executive Secretary for the Valley of Northern New Jersey, a role Paul said Brother Glattly told him he would
be perfect for. The Ferreira family journey has now come full circle—from being the first recipients of the Grand Almoner’s Fund to now being Gold-Level donors of the Scottish Rite, NMJ, Commander’s Circle. Paul also serves on the committee for the Valley of Northern New Jersey’s relief fund, helping other Brothers with financial aid when they are struggling. He says the Grand Almoner’s Fund served as a catalyst for many Grand Lodges to set up relief funds at a local level to help those in need.
I felt a warm embrace of a Brother who knew. As with his situation, he says it’s often the friend of a Brother in need who makes that initial phone call on their behalf for financial help. Perhaps one of the greatest hallmarks of the Grand Almoner’s Fund, Paul says, is that the assistance is confidential— designed to ensure a Brother’s pride doesn’t get in the way of asking for help.
THANK YOU! Paul and his wife, Semra
C GRAND ALMONER’S FUND
Through the Years
by Bridget Steele, Manager of Research and Grants
Olive Branch In 2011, the Almoner’s Fund contributed money to help repair Caledonia Lodge #47 of Olive Branch, IL, after it suffered severe flood damage. Said then Worshipful Master Dennis Brown, “I can’t thank you enough for your gift. One day I hope to reach out my hand and pull you from the raging waters as you have done for us.”
Wyatt In the midst of his battle with cancer, Brother Frank Wyatt learned that his insurance would not cover some promising new treatments. Just days after receiving the request for assistance, the Almoner’s Fund responded with a check to
completely cover the treatment cost. Brother Wyatt shared, “Without the help of my Masonic Brothers, I might not still be fighting the good fight. I am grateful for their relief and support through this difficult challenge.”
Above: Brother Darrin D. Catts, 32°, Mrs. Wyatt, Brother Frank Wyatt, 32°, and Ill. Brother David A. Auchey, 33°, presenting the Almoner’s check to Brother Wyatt.
Sandy Hurricane Sandy struck the East Coast in Fall 2012 without warning, leaving homes and entire neighborhoods completely destroyed. The Scottish Rite rapidly responded with financial support through the Almoner’s Fund, committing $2 million to Brothers in New
Jersey and New York to help them rebuild. Commander David A. Glattly, 33°, then Deputy of New Jersey, helped lead the relief efforts. Above right: Ill. Brother Glattly, 33°, delivers financial assistance to a Brother affected by Superstorm Sandy.
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Expanding Our Efforts
2018, Commander David A. Glattly announced an expansion of the Grand Almoner’s Fund with the establishment of the DeMolay Congress Almoner’s Fund. An initial gift of $20,000 from the Supreme Council kicked off the program which is designed to provide young men in DeMolay relief and assistance when they are facing hardships or times of crisis.
When David Kavanaugh was killed in a car accident leaving behind a pregnant wife and three young children, the Grand Almoner’s Fund stepped in. April not only lost the love of her life and husband of 11 years, but also the income that this young family depended on for survival. Right after the tragedy April said, “For now, my children and I depend on the generosity of others to make ends meet. If it was not for the Scottish Rite, I would not be able to pay the mortgage, or feed my four children… I knew that Masons help each other during hard times, but what you have done is beyond anything I could ever imagine.”
Brother John Bridegroom’s daughter Phoenix was diagnosed with leukemia when she was five years old and has courageously battled her disease through traditional treatments, a bone marrow transplant, and experimental therapy. Support from the Almoner’s Fund in 2015 helped the family focus on Phoenix’s treatment and recovery. “This gift, so beyond anything my family could have imagined, has eased our incredible burden markedly,” Brother Bridegroom said.
Above: The Kavanaugh Family. David, April, Aiden, Alexander, and Angelina.
Last year, First Lady Monica Glattly launched the White Flower Society as a way to strengthen the bonds of support formed among the women who come together through Freemasonry. Money donated to the White Flower Society through the Grand Almoner’s Fund is designated exclusively for Masonic widows in need.
Above: Tammy, Phoenix, Diva, and John Bridegroom
Louisiana The American Red Cross called the massive flooding that struck Louisiana in 2016 “the worst natural disaster in the United States since Hurricane Sandy.” The Almoner’s Fund responded by issuing $100,000 in debit cards to assist Brothers and their families with urgent needs. Here’s just one of the dozens of thank you letters received from these grateful Masons.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Almoner’s Fund launched the Helping Hand Initiative this Spring to help Brothers financially impacted by the effects of the Coronavirus. The goal of the campaign was to successfully raise $100,000 to lend a helping hand to those Brothers in need. Members across the Jurisdiction heeded the call, surpassing this goal in less than two months.
by Darien Koons, Development Coordinator
EACH YEAR, the Leon M. Abbott Scholarship Fund is able to help hundreds of eager students pursue their dream of higher education. The courses of study that they choose and the career paths that they ultimately pursue vary greatly. Some go on to become lawyers. Others become doctors, teachers, accountants, engineers, or any number of different things.
each case, the individuals helped by the Abbott Scholarship program are using their education to improve themselves and create opportunities to enrich their future. One Abbott Scholar who has been able to leverage his education into an awesome career is Matthew Hoffman.
Matt first became involved with the Masonic family when, in his youth, he joined his local DeMolay chapter. Like many of us, he was exposed to the fraternity by a close friend. “I had known him since kindergarten, we played baseball together,” Hoffman said. “And he came up to me and told me about this cool organization that he was a part of.”
Coming up through DeMolay, Matt was very involved. He held various offices in his local DeMolay chapter and with New Jersey DeMolay eventually culminating in serving as State Master Councilor of New Jersey DeMolay in 2017-2018. As he approached the end of his DeMolay career, Matt turned his eye to college. From a very young age, he had been enthusiastic about sports. Listening to broadcasters call play-byplay, Matt had a vision of becoming a sportscaster. “Growing up, I always wanted to do sports broadcasting,” he said, “but I realized two things: one, I really didn’t have the voice for broadcasting and two, unless you make
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Named for Leon M. Abbott, Sovereign Grand Commander from 1921 to 1932, the Abbott Scholarship Program provides financial support for the continuing undergraduate and graduate education of Scottish Rite Masons, young men and women from Scottish Rite families, and Masonic-related youth groups.
Matt went on to further his education through the School of Sport, Tourism, and Hospitality Management at Temple University. The program at Temple allowed him to explore the world of sports and the business components that make it run. He received hands-on experience working as an intern with Temple Athletics and the Philadelphia 76ers.
it big on national television, there aren’t a lot of opportunities for you.”
I GET TO WORK IN SPORTS, GO TO AN NBA ARENA EVERY DAY… THAT’S MY JOB. Instead, he began to look at other options for careers in the world of sports. Having been introduced to the business world in high school marketing, he knew he had an interest in the field, but it wasn’t until he began to look at college programs that he found sports management as an option.
At the end of his academic career, Matt walked away with hundreds of hours of industry experience, valuable connections, and a job in sales with the ownership group for the New Jersey Devils and Philadelphia 76ers. It was a dream come true. “I grew up loving sports and was always interested in the behind the scenes of everything as well as the business side of it. I get to work in sports, go to an NBA arena every day…that’s my job, so it’s really cool.” Today, Matt has moved on to a new job as a senior sales associate with the Washington Wizards. As part of his job, he is able to meet with businesses throughout DC, sharing with them the value that the NBA gameday experience can create for their employees and clients. His aspirations are to one day lead the business
operations of a franchise as a team president. When asked what the Abbott Scholarship did for him, Matt was quick to acknowledge the incredible impact that his Masonic mentors had on his life and the value of the assistance provided by the Leon M. Abbott Scholarship program.
FINDING THE MASONIC FAMILY BY LUCK AND HAVING THEM BE THERE FOR ME… IT MADE A DIFFERENCE. “I got the Abbott Scholarship toward the end of my college career, and it was incredibly helpful,” he noted. “In today’s day and age when college debt is what it is, that scholarship meant that I didn’t have to take out nearly as much in loans. Especially for someone like myself who didn’t come from a Masonic background, finding the Masonic family by luck and having them be there for me…it made a difference.”
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RISING TO THE CHALLENGE
The Children’s Dyslexia Centers’ Innovative Response to COVID-19 Noah begins a lesson with his tutor Martha by immediately getting
to work. The next hour he tackles pronunciation, blending and decoding, and then spelling and reading. When he gets stuck spelling a word, Martha offers guidance to help him find the answer on his own. “What’s the base of the word?” she asks him. “And then, is there a suffix? So then can you spell out the whole word?” The lesson ends with Noah reading from the book he’s been working his way through with Martha, The Wild Robot. What’s remarkable about Noah’s lesson is that he and Martha aren’t in the same room or even in the same state. He’s just one of the hundreds of Children’s Dyslexia Center students whose one-on-one-tutoring lessons are being done virtually on Zoom.
a few months ago, the organization was scrambling to find a way to continue serving children when the COVID-19 pandemic forced Centers to close their doors. For Cathie Arnold, Director for the Children’s Dyslexia Center of Cincinnati, the initial closure felt surreal. “We ended up shutting down having no idea we wouldn’t be coming back. We just walked out. All of our supplies, our materials, everything was there,” she said. Director of Operations Brother David Sharkis said, like many of us, COVID-19 took him by surprise. “The first week was really uncomfortable,” he said. “We were just reacting to what different states were doing. That’s when we made
by Bridget Steele, Manager of Research and Grants
a conscious decision to be more proactive, take control of the situation, and put together a plan that would allow us to sustain the organization regardless of where COVID-19 took us.”
The first week was really uncomfortable. A major hurdle they faced was maintaining the Centers’ high-quality dyslexia remediation services when stay at home orders prevented faceto-face tutoring sessions. Clinical Director Carin Illig and Associate Clinical Director Cindy Allen-Fuss worked tirelessly to come up with a solution. Ms. Illig and Ms. AllenFuss evaluated several online meeting platforms before settling on Zoom as the best solution. Then, leadership had to train Directors and staff to use the platform and to deliver virtual lessons. “I actually ran through practice lessons with my daughter to try to figure out the best way to teach different components of the program. Then, I made videos and shared them with the Directors. It was a lot of brainstorming,” Ms. Allen-Fuss said. Center Directors had to put in incredibly long hours to implement the new program. Cincinnati Director
C INNOVATIVE RESPONSE TO COVID-19 continued
Below: Screen captures of a student and a teacher working together virtually via Zoom
Cathie Arnold called the days leading up to the first week of virtual tutoring exhausting. “The Sunday before we went live, I met with every tutor, one on one for an hour. I started at 10 a.m. that Sunday and finished late in the evening. I wanted to go through the process of presenting the lesson slides with each practitioner individually so everyone felt prepared to get through that first lesson. Because of their hard work, we were able to begin online lessons the next day.” By April 6, 2020, all of the Centers were up and running again, with 457 tutors teaching 822 students remotely, offering as many as 1,600 lessons a
week before moving into the summer months and a reduced schedule. Brother Sharkis has been able to witness some of the sessions and has been amazed at how well the lessons have gone. “The animation and the excitement I’m seeing—it’s not just the kids, but the tutors as well. They are happy to see each other, they are happy to work together, and these kids are working really hard.” Originally, the hope was that students would maintain their current progress levels and not regress. Instead, Center Directors have seen continued growth with many of their students, and some are unexpectedly enjoying the online
format. Ms. Arnold believes that the move to electronic lessons was an easy transition for students already comfortable with technology.
Some are unexpectedly enjoying the online format! “It’s what they know. It’s the digital world that they live in that’s paralyzing to the tutors, but the students run with it, especially the older ones who navigate the keyboard well.” Just as encouraging, the response from parents has been overwhelmingly positive.
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If you’d like to support the Children’s Dyslexia Centers in their work to provide free and affordable tutoring to children and families in need, you can donate your time as a volunteer tutor or provide monetary assistance. Learn more at childrensdyslexiacenters.org.
There are concerns that COVID-19 will have a long-term impact on CDC fundraising, but the situation has brought with it some unplanned advantages. Brother Sharkis said that individual Centers have really come together as one team. “The virtual face-to-face communication that Zoom has provided has led to unprecedented communication among Center Directors. I have Center Directors on a daily basis now sharing information, sharing tools, sharing tips,” he said. Brother Sharkis remains optimistic about the future: “I am confident that the Children’s Dyslexia Centers, Inc. is going to come out of this a
much stronger, technically adept organization. From the bottom of my heart, I thank all of our donors— particularly the Valleys and our
Scottish Rite Brothers whose efforts and generosity have made this possible. You are making a difference in the lives of these kids. Thank you.”
Virtual Staff Meeting
C REOPENING THE ROCHESTER CENTER
Back from the Brink
by Jocelyn K. Wallace, Grant Writer and Scot tish Rite Charities Coordinator
hen years of financial hardship forced the leaders to close the Children’s Dyslexia Center of Rochester, New York, in March of 2017, parents and staff members were at a complete loss. For Ann Kaczka, Director of the Center, the decision to close seemed incomprehensible. “It just didn’t feel real. It was a very numbing experience,” she said.
a final push to save the Center, Brother Robert F. Ogg, 33°, then Director of Operations, and Center Director Kaczka called for a meeting with over a dozen parents of alumni. Brother Ogg explained that for the Center to remain open they would need to establish a board that night. They immediately set about assigning officers and developing a new fundraising plan. What they lacked in initial experience, they made up for in enthusiasm as they set into motion several new fundraising initiatives— the first being a bourbon tasting at a local distillery. “We decided to start out a little bit small,” Chairwoman Brenda Goodfriend said of the event. “It was pretty successful. We actually had too many people in the building. They had to put some people outside and into their warehouse area for the tours, so they wouldn’t break code violations.” Around the time the board was forming, parents Thomas “Tom” and Missy Gangemi were desperately searching for a program that could help their daughter who had been recently diagnosed with dyslexia. After hearing of the Rochester Center, they were eager to enroll as soon as possible. Unfortunately, after meeting with Center Director Kaczka, those hopes were quickly dashed.
“She said they were actually closing due to a lack of funding and that they weren’t accepting any other applications. I guess this was something she had been saying routinely, and that was just kind of… you know…that was the end of that,” Mr. Gangemi said. Though the Center had a new board and plan for fundraising, none of that would have been enough to cover the cost of the Center’s rent which at the time was nearly $36,000 per year. When Mr. Gangemi learned of this from a tutor, he knew he could help, since he works in real estate. “So, I called [the Center] and said, ‘Hey, if you’re in need of space, I can give you something.’” After looking into about a half dozen potential sites, Mr. Gangemi eventually found a home in a residential area just outside Rochester that, with some renovations, would match the Center’s needs perfectly. He asked Kaczka and Chairwoman Goodfriend to meet him there to get their thoughts. “He said ‘If you like it, I’ll buy it!’” Goodfriend said. A number of renovations had to be completed before the Center could move, including taking out the kitchen, installing new dry wall, putting in wheelchair accessible bathrooms and ramps, new parking,
and much more. When renovations were finished in late August, there was only one more major hurdle: they would have to acquire a zoning permit. First on the docket before the local zoning board, Mr. Gangemi and members of the Rochester board made their case. Chairwoman Goodfriend, who was at the meeting, said, “Tom was very nervous about it because he had purchased the building and made all the improvements on it, and now he
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“Hey, if you’re in need of space, I can give you something.” —Thomas Gangemi
needed to get the permit for us to utilize it. He had a lot riding on it, as well as us.” Their nervousness grew with each passing question. It seemed that the members of the zoning board were still reluctant to grant the permit. That changed when one member asked how the Center could afford to provide its services for free. Mr. Gangemi explained that by offering the house for free, the Center would be able to continue serving and changing the lives of children for free
almost indefinitely, despite having nearly closed. When he was finished, those in attendance stood and began applauding. “It was just kind of a perfect, feel good moment,” said Goodfriend. They received the permit. Today, the Children’s Dyslexia Center of Rochester is alive and well with 22 children and six trainees currently enrolled in the 2020-2021 academic year. And, although the recent COVID-19 outbreak has forced lessons online and impacted
fundraising, it is seen as just one more obstacle for a Center that has come back from the brink. Of his hopes for the new building and the future of the Rochester Center, Mr. Gangemi emphasized the need to inform and train more educators in Orton-Gillingham based teaching methods. In these ways, he says that more children like his daughter will have the opportunity to reach their full potential.
Pittsburgh Hosts Virtual Class The Valley of Pittsburgh made Masonic history by inducting 31 new members in the first ever virtual Scottish Rite reunion. The event, held on Saturday, May 16, was also viewed by more than 100 current Scottish Rite members from as far north as British Columbia and as far south as Florida.
by David W. Morgans, 33˚, Secretary, Valley of Pittsburgh
Because of the social distancing measures that were in place, the format of the reunion had to be adapted. The entire event was prerecorded and then broadcast on a secure link which was provided only to the candidates and members who requested access. The morning began with a welcome from Ill. PJ Roup, Active for Pennsylvania, who obligated the class. Each of the four presiding officers spoke about some facet of the Scottish Rite experience and introduced the degree which followed his talk. The class also heard from Kiley Sexton, TPM, Uniontown Lodge of Perfection, as well as Ill. William D. Johnston and Ill. William G. Johnston from the Director’s Staff.
Director’s live screen capture during virtual broadcast
The entire event was prerecorded and then broadcast on a secure link.
Samuel C. Williamson, Commander in Chief, said that the idea came together rather quickly. “A few of our officers had some casual conversations about how to keep our current candidates in the loop after we cancelled the normal Spring Reunion,” he said, “and the question was asked, ‘Why not a virtual class?’” After receiving permission from the Sovereign Grand Commander, Ill. David A. Glattly, they jumped right into planning it. “My only direction was that they not do the 32nd Degree. That should be saved for a time when we can all meet again in person,” Commander Glattly said.
The degrees conferred included the 4th Degree, Builder; Pittsburgh’s own modern 8th Degree, Solomon Ascending; the 17th Degree, Knight of the East and West; and the 31st Degree, My Brother’s Keeper. The reunion closed at 11:15 a.m. when the brethren in attendance were invited to an informal Zoom “Afterglow” where they could greet each other and talk about what they had just experienced. “We saw that in spite of, and maybe even because of, the quarantine, men wanted to continue their Masonic journeys,” Roup said. “This was far from the typical Scottish Rite class, but we are living in times where everything is far from typical, so we had to adapt. I couldn’t be more pleased with the results.”
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Around the Jurisdiction Not only did Commander Glattly (see next page, bottom right) and Supreme Council staff receive care packages with masks, gloves, and safety guidelines, Massachusetts Consistory also donated care kits to all their Brothers and thousands of dollars worth of PPE to a Masonic residential community in Massachusetts.
Congrats to Caeden Conklin, JROTC Award Recipient for 2020.
PA A resident of a Masonic Village in Sewickley, PA waves to George Washington as they both don their masks for a new normal when social distancing isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t possible.
PA Brother David Stein, owner of Hidden Still Spirits, partnered with local businesses to produce an alcohol based sanitizer spray and hand sanitizer to donate to assisted living facilities, the health care community, and first responders in central PA.
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When Brother Don Wood of the Valley of Moline learned that local healthcare organizations were in need of PPE, he quickly got to work making face shields with his 3-D printer to donate to the Masonic Home of Iowa.
Tami Tegler, Administrator at the Masonic Home in Bettendowf, Iowa, shows off her 3-D printed face shield, courtesy of the Valley of Moline.
The frames, Brother Wood says, take about 50 minutes to print.
OH On Memorial Day, the Valley of Dayton and Lima Oh Lodge No. 205 held a free bbq dinner to help feed community members impacted by the pandemic. Brothers served up more than 330 meals to those in need.
MA Commander Glattly receives his care package from Massachusetts Consistory.
Around the Jurisdiction Scottish Rite Masons from the Valley of Bridgeport, Connecticut, help fellow Brothers donate food and toiletries to people in need.
Scottish Rite, NMJ Presents ROTC Americanism Awards. Pictured from left to right are: Joseph Stabb, Ph.D., 32° - ROTC Faculty Advisor at SUNY Oswego; Ill. Garry Visconti, 33° MSA, Past Commander-In-Chief, Central City Bodies, A.A.S.R., Valley of Syracuse, NY: Cadet Joseph Farr, Class of 2021, SUNY Oswego; Cadet Zoe Garrison, Class of 2021, SUNY Oswego: D.B. Lawrence W. Egnaczyk, 32° MSA, Commander-In-Chief, Central City Bodies, A.A.S.R., Valley of Syracuse, NY.
CT Donald Shilts of the Valley of Fort Wayne recently told us how much he enjoys being a volunteer for the Brother to Brother calling program for his Valley, where he calls brethren to wish them a Happy Birthday. It’s just one small way he says he can give back to our great fraternity.
NY Brother Shilts’ granddaughter, Lauren, just graduated high school and earned her CNA, and is a proud recipient of a $4,500 scholarship for her freshman and sophomore years from the Valley of Fort Wayne. She currently works at a health care facility that provides help to children and adults with disabilities and will be attending St. Elizabeth School of Nursing in Lafayette, Indiana. Congratulations to Lauren on a job well done!
Brother Barry Duquette poses for a selfie before delivering groceries to shut-in Masons in Central Vermont.
If you would like to have your Valley featured in Around the Jurisdiction, be sure to submit photographs and descriptions to firstname.lastname@example.org. The Northern Light
New Jewel Announced T
by George T. Taylor IV, 32˚, Director of Membership and Valley Relations
As a way for members to keep track raveling men. That’s who of their progress, the Scottish Rite we are. That’s what we Degree Passport was developed. As do. Since the early 2000s, members see each of the 29 degrees the Supreme Council has in the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction, they receive a passport stamp. recognized that in order to get Realizing quickly this would be a very the full Member Experience, popular program, two levels were we need to encourage our created: a white passport, which you members to expand past the receive when you are initiated in the boundaries of their home 4th Degree, and a gold passport when you have witnessed all degrees at Valleys, and even their home least once. Since this program was state, to meet other Scottish started, there have been over 239 gold Rite Freemasons and see passports distributed. Some members more great degree work. Gold Passpo are even working on their second or rt
third gold passports. Outside Back Cove
We have often been asked if there would be another “level” to signify multiple completions. You asked, we listened. This year, the Supreme Council decided that because this is such a popular member engagement program, there should be a recognition, so a commemorative jewel was cast.
Remember, you can check out your degree progress when you log into the Member Center. For a listing of upcoming degrees around the jurisdiction, visit ScottishRiteNMJ.org/ PO Box 761 degree-dates. Mount Pleasant, PA 15666-0 724.925.0224
Members who complete their gold passport (signifying they have seen all 29 degrees twice) are now eligible to receive this jewel. Distribution of these jewels has started throughout the jurisdiction at reunions and awards nights. Remember that our degrees witnessed at any Thursday Night at the Rite or upcoming Virtual Reunions are eligible for passport credit. How complete is your passport? Where will your travels take you next? Outside Front Co
ISSUED BY SUPREME C OUNCIL, 33 °
M GETTING TO KNOW YOU
Q&A with the New Executive Director The Northern Light recently sat down with Michael Russell to see how he’s settling into his new role as Executive Director of Scottish Rite, NMJ. We learned his work style, what he hopes to achieve over the next few years, as well as a few of his favorite things. Q The Northern Light
Tell me a bit about your experience prior to your time here at Supreme Council? How have your past roles prepared you for your new role as Executive Director of Supreme Council as well as your former role as VP of Charities? A Michael Russell, 32˚
My education started at Northwest Missouri State University, where I majored in Speech Communication and minored in Criminal Justice. I also met my wife, Megan, at Northwest, which is one of the most impactful and amazing relationships of my life. A few years after graduation, I continued on to complete my Master’s in business administration at the Jack Welch Management Institute at Strayer University.
While working towards my bachelor’s, I interned at Tau Kappa Epsilon, Inc., and shortly after graduation was offered a full-time position on the Membership team working Expansion. Working in day-to-day membership trained my thought process to always be member driven. Many memories and nearly six years of incredible measurable success, led by my mentor Kevin Mayeux, I was offered a position at a trade association, the Institute of Internal Auditors, in Orlando working in Chapter Relations. Two years there helped me truly fall in love with all non-profit work, not just fraternal. My wife and I wanted to, at some point, move back to Kansas City, my hometown, and settle a bit. At this time, I had been a Freemason
by Joann Williams-Hoxha, Content Manager
for about four years, and a Brother sent me a message about a job with DeMolay, and as they say, the rest is history. I have spent 12 years working in both trade and fraternal non-profit associations. I couldn’t be happier with the trajectory one internship has had on my life. Q
Following up your role as Vice President of Charities, how do you plan to expand on your work in your new role as Executive Director? A
The employees and volunteers on our teams make a tremendous difference in our ability to work together for a common goal. That’s something that I’ve always felt particularly good about—working together and making sure that everybody feels like their opinion is heard. I’ve always been a good project manager and I feel like sometimes we have some projects that maybe need a little assistance in making sure that those checklists get followed up on.
The age demographic you work with are mostly men aged 55 and above. As a younger man in your 30s, do you ever have conflicting opinions with older generations in the workplace? If so, how do you advance new ideas? A
You’re going to make some people angry when you make changes to certain things, but what you want to do is make sure that you’re changing it for the right reasons. Masons, and all people really, are more willing to change if they understand the reasoning and logic behind the decision. Again, that’s where transparency and communication play a role for Masons to be more confident about change. Q
What can members expect from Scottish Rite, NMJ over the next few years? A
Continued communication. As an example, our Thursday Night at the Rite events were the brainchild of us brainstorming how to continue to connect with
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our members virtually in the midst of a pandemic. The entire trajectory for our membership recruitment and retention programs has shifted as well. And we need to continue to be sure we’re being good stewards over members’ money and giving them every tool they need to be successful. Q
What has been your proudest moment thus far being a part of the Scottish Rite, NMJ? A
Seeing the three leaders of Scottish Rite Northern and Southern Jurisdiction and Shriners International up on stage to present BeAFreemason.org to the world. Watching that plan come to fruition, really, out of a napkin drawing two and a half years ago, was incredible. Q
Finally, what does being a 32° Scottish Rite Mason mean to you? A It means we can do more than just talk about our obligations as Brothers in the Craft; it means we can live our values. It all comes down to our
vision statement: “We will strive to be a fraternity that fulfills our Masonic obligation to care for our members.” I have seen how we can change men’s lives through the Grand Almoner’s Fund; there is nothing like it in Freemasonry and I wouldn’t change what we do for the world. Q & A RAPID FIRE
Favorite food? Fajitas Favorite movie? Back to the Future Book that has had the most impact on you? Winning by Jack Welch Favorite type of music? Acoustic Hits Favorite Band? Styx Favorite Color? Orange Favorite Actress? Meryl Streep Favorite Baseball Team? The Kansas City Royals Favorite Scottish Rite degree? 26th Degree, Friend and Brother Eternal
Michael C. Russell, 32˚, Executive Director
M PHOTO JOURNAL
FL /AZ Reunions In
February of this year, Commander Glattly, Lady Monica, and other members of the team had the chance to visit our traveling men and their families in Arizona and Florida. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a great way to help our snowbirds remain connected to the Scottish Rite even when their lives take them south. Keep an eye out in upcoming issues and on the website for the dates of the Commanderâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 2021 visits. There will be instructions to register for one of the many luncheons.
The Northern Light
D-Day Hero Receives Memorial August 14, 1945,
marks the 75-year anniversary of the official end of WWII. Scottish Rite, NMJ remembers those who served, and we honor the legacies those heroes left behind. Here is one example.
Leonard “Bud” Lomell
This year, The Grand Lodge of New Jersey introduced a commemorative memorial to honor Bud Lomell, D-Day hero and Tompkins Medal recipient. Note the grappling hook on the monument used by the Rangers on June 6, 1944. Bud Lomell was featured in Tom Brokaw’s book, The Greatest Generation. The Northern Masonic Jurisdiction thanks Bud and all who have served so that we may live free.
eonard “Bud” Lomell was part of the 2nd Ranger Batallion whose D-Day mission was to scale the cliffs at Pointe du Hoc, France and disable the cannons that were raining fire upon the landing troops. Despite being hit in the side by enemy fire, Bud and his Company managed to complete their objective. For his actions during the war, he received the Distinguished Service Cross, Silver Star, Bronze Star, and Purple Heart.
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Fall Membership Campaign
This fall, we are celebrating Scottish Rite Legacies. Whether you are a fourth generation or a first generation Scottish Rite Mason, it is time to build your legacy! Tell us your story, and see how we are celebrating at ScottishRiteNMJ.org/Legacy
August 1 - December 31, 2020 Pin and Jewel may be altered slightly from what is displayed.
The Northern Light P.O. Box 519 Lexington, MA 02420-0519
Named for one of the fraternityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s greatest builders, the George A. Newbury Cornerstone Society was created to recognize those who have made an investment in the life-changing work of Scottish Rite Charities through planned giving.
Create a Lasting Legacy! When you donate to Scottish Rite Charities, you impact the lives of others. By making a planned gift to one of our charitable endeavors, you are sustaining this live-changing work while also providing financial and tax benefits for you and your family. If you are interested in learning more about planned giving, or if you have already included Scottish Rite Charities in your financial/estate plans, please contact us at Cornerstone@SRNMJ.org or visit our website.