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August 14, 2020

“Many writers and thinkers have tried to define Freemasonry but it really defeats definition. It is too complex, too profound in conception, to easily expressed in words. Perhaps the simplest and best definition of all is the phrase ‘the brotherhood of man under the fatherhood of God.’

Our Masonic forefathers had an understanding of human needs and human aspirations. They may never have dreamed of the mindless computer which governs our lives, or the fission of matter which threatens our lives, but they understood human nature and what motivates the spirit of man. Thus from a simple process of using stone and mortar for building they progressed to the most important of life’s functions, the building of character.” 

 — Louis L. Williams

EDICT 2020-03


Whereas, these are difficult, uncertain and unprecedented times, pertaining to the COVID-19 Pandemic, and 

Whereas, lodges that hold a stated meeting are unlikely to have a quorum, and

Whereas, the average age and health of the majority of Brethren is considered to be the “highest at-risk” group per the Center for Disease Control, and 

Whereas, the apprehension witnessed of Brethren and Candidates to attend Lodge, and

Whereas, the HOML, General Regulations, VI, Sect.5, page 32, states that the applicant, once elected to receive degrees has one year to present himself for initiation for the Entered Apprentice Degree and one year to present himself for examination for the Fellowcraft Degree, and the same procedure shall be applicable for the advancement of the Fellowcraft Degree, and 

NOW THERFORE, I issue the following Edict on this 14th day of August, 2020:

Effective immediately, the “365-day countdown” (year) in between degrees will be extended to coincide with the last day of the next Annual Grand Communication.  


Reminders:
  • Face coverings are highly recommended for any social distancing that is not six feet or more.
  • Special Communications involving the public's attendance remain prohibited.
  • Buffet style meals are discouraged and a server is recommended for all meals.  The designated server should wear gloves and a mask for food and beverage service.
  • Lodges should have hand sanitizer available at all times.
  • When possible, temperature checks should be done before each meeting.
  • Most importantly, all Louisiana Masons are strongly encouraged NOT to attend Lodge if they have any signs of illness or do not feel comfortable, at the present time, with attending. Masons must self-screen for any signs or symptoms of COVID-19 before attending any Lodge meeting. Those individuals considered to be "at-risk", including those who are 65 or older, and especially those with chronic lung disease; moderate to severe asthma; chronic heart disease; severe obesity; diabetes; chronic kidney disease undergoing dialysis; liver disease; weakened immune system or other risk factors are encouraged not to attend Lodge. You are the sole decision-maker as to whether you should attend Lodge.

 

DISTRICT LODGE DIRECTIVE

August 14, 2020

Due to Phase II guidelines issued by Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards, a 50-person limit is in place to maintain social distancing.  After review, we have determined that several of the District Lodges could meet and stay within these guidelines.

Therefore, I am issuing the following directive to allow our District Lodges to resume meeting, with restrictions as follows:

•    District Lodge Meetings should only have the following attendees (not to exceed 50 attendees):

1.    Three (3) Principle Officers of each Lodge in the District
2.    District Deputy Grand Master of that District
3.    District Grand Lecturer of that District
4.    District Lodge Officers of that District

•   Meals will be allowed with the following guidelines:  Buffet style service is discouraged and a designated server(s) is recommended. Servers will use gloves and masks for food and beverage service.  

•    Strict social distancing rules, as established in Governor Edwards' “Open Safely”, will be followed, including the following:

1.    All Masons will maintain social distancing.
2.    Masons are strongly urged, but are not required, to wear face masks.
3.    Lodges are encouraged to have hand sanitizer available in the Lodge building.
4.    Temperature checks are highly recommended before each meeting.
5.    Most importantly, all Louisiana Masons are strongly encouraged NOT to attend District Lodges if they have any signs of illness or do not feel comfortable, at the present time, with attending. Masons must self‐screen for any signs or symptoms of COVID‐19 before attending any Lodge meeting. Those individuals considered to be “at‐risk”, including those who are 65 or older, and especially those with chronic lung disease; moderate to severe asthma; chronic heart disease; severe obesity; diabetes; chronic kidney disease undergoing dialysis; liver disease; 

A Message from the Deputy Grand Master




R∴ W∴ Terry Fowler, Deputy Grand Master

 
Several years ago, as I was leaving my office one morning to go to the district court, a young lawyer called out to me as she trotted up and asked me what did the square and compass on my license plate signify. I told her that it meant that I am a Mason, and by having it on my license plate, it meant that I was proud to be a Mason. Then I explained to her briefly, the philosophy of the fraternity. She had been a recipient of the Honesty and Integrity Award at her high school and wanted to know more about us.

As I send this message, our craft, as well as the nation, is in a struggle with Covid-19. I have complete faith that we will prevail and defeat this pandemic because we as Americans and Masons tend to win in our struggles. In the meantime, it is necessary and proper that we socially distance ourselves, mask as necessary and stay safe, not only for ourselves but for those we care about.

During times like these, I try to reflect on a “life lesson” that I have learned from my friends and family. These life lessons help to focus and sometimes overcome the challenges that occur in life. One of my several mentors was a school teacher and football coach who I grew close to as a student. We have remained friends for over fifty years. It seems like Coach was always present during my various trials and tribulations of life. Friends like that are invaluable, and Coach Williams is certainly invaluable.

One Sunday afternoon, I received a telephone call that Ms. Betty, the wife of Coach, had suffered a heart attack or similar cardiovascular problem while they were attending Sunday School. I immediately went to be with my friend and mentor to be there with him during his time of grief and struggle. After arriving at St. Patrick Hospital in Lake Charles, I was told by the information desk where I could find Ms. Betty and as quickly as I could, I went to be with them. Coach saw me approaching and he started to walk toward me. At this time Coach was 80 plus years old and he and Betty had been married at least 60 years. As I approached Coach, I could see tears in his eyes, but I also detected that he had a slight smile on his face. I knew instantly Ms. Betty was going to be okay. Coach hugged me for a moment then told me Ms. Betty was safe. The doctors were optimistic and Ms. Betty had arrived at the hospital in time. He then gave me yet another “life lesson”, as he has done from time to time, for over fifty years.

Coach said, “Terry, everyone needs three important things in life”. I was puzzled but waited patiently for his explanation. Coach then said, “everyone needs to be wanted, to be loved, and to be needed”. This is so true. I would add one other element, and that is to be appreciated.

So, my brethren, I want to let you know and I urge you to remember, that you are needed, you are wanted, you are loved, and also, you are appreciated. We are truly a band of brothers; we care not only for one another but also for the families of our brethren. I am proud to be a Freemason and the philosophy of our way of life.
May God bless, comfort, and protect you during these trying times.

Fraternally,

R∴ W∴ Terrell D. Fowler

Deputy Grand Master

 

Dr. S. Brent Morris: The High Degrees in the USA, 1730-1830
Wednesday, August 19, 2020 
• 7 p.m. (PDT)

Degrees beyond the Craft have played an integral role in American Freemasonry since the early 18th century. Learn about the timeline of events and degrees that gave rise to the progressive Masonic Orders in America in this illuminating lecture from one of the country’s leading Masonic experts, presented in partnership with Quatuor Coronati, the premier lodge of Masonic research.

S. Brent Morris is a prolific Masonic researcher and writer. He was the founder of the Scottish Rite Research Society in 1991, editor of Heredom’s first 14 volumes, and is the managing editor of the Scottish Rite Journal of the Supreme Council 33°, Southern Jurisdiction, USA.

He retired as a mathematician from the US federal government with 25 years’ service, having also taught at Duke, Johns Hopkins, and George Washington Universities and given invited lectures at over 100 universities.

He was initiated in Highland Park (now Louis G. Priester) Lodge, No. 1150 in Dallas, Texas in 1971. In 1979 and 2000 he served as master of Patmos Lodge, No. 70, Ellicott City, Maryland, and in 1980 was the grand director of ceremonies of the Grand Lodge of Maryland. He is high priest (first principal) of Zeredathah Royal Arch Chapter, No. 35, in Laurel, Maryland, and a member of many other Masonic orders.

Register

Ben Williams: Freemasonry in the Territory of Colorado:
Masons, Miners, and the Rush to Statehood

Wednesday, August 26, 2020 
• 7 p.m. (PDT)

Learn about Freemasonry in the Centennial State, an overview of the role of Freemasonry in the Kansas Territory gold country, and the emergence of the statehood of Colorado in this lecture on Masonry in the West, presented in partnership with Quatuor Coronati, the premier lodge of Masonic research.

Ben Williams is a highly decorated Colorado Mason. In 2015, he was named Mason of the Year in the state; and served as grand orator in 2018. He is a past master of Norwood Lodge No. 111 and Telluride Lodge No. 56. He has served in numerous leadership capacities within both the Scottish Rite and York Rite, and in 2017 served as the grand commander for the Grand Commandery of the Knights Templar of Colorado. 

Register

Mark Tabbert: American Freemasonry:
Three Centuries of Building Communities 

Wednesday, September 9, 2020 
• 7 p.m. (PDT)

Explore how generations of American have been exposed to the tenets of Freemasonry, practiced them in private and in public, and why people today continue to join this centuries-old fraternity. This lecture is presented in partnership with Quatuor Coronati, the premier lodge of Masonic research.

Mark A. Tabbert is the director of collections at the George Washington Masonic National Memorial in Alexandria, Virginia, and the former curator of Masonic and Fraternal Collections at the National Heritage Museum in Lexington, Massachusetts. His work has appeared in The Northern Light, Heredom, and American Studies.

Register

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