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November 13, 2020

Grand Master Adjusts Boundaries
Between 4th and 5th Masonic Districts


Grand Master Jimmie Steen has announced district boundary realignments affecting the 4th and 5th Masonic Districts. Harrisonburg Lodge No. 110 (Harrisonburg, LA), and Key Stone Lodge No. 213 (Sicily Island, LA), in Sicily Island, both of which were previously part of the 4th Masonic District, are now in the 5th Masonic District. These changes were announced on November 12, 2020. These changes are pursuant to Article VII, Section 11 of the Constitution of the Grand Lodge of Louisiana, and took immediate effect. 
 

THE SECRET INGREDIENT

JOHN DICKIE, AUTHOR OF THE NEW BOOK "THE CRAFT: HOW THE FREEMASONS MADE THE MODERN WORLD," EXPLAINS WHY A FEW WELL-KEPT SECRETS HAVE BEEN A KEY TO MASONRY’S LASTING APPEAL.

By Ian A. Stewart
Originally Published in The California Freemason
PHOTO CREDIT: KEYSTONE-FRANCE/GAMMA-KEYSTONE VIA GETTY IMAGES

Freemasonry’s secrecy is like a well,” writes John Dickie. “The men who built it know how deep it is. The rest of us can only peer over the wall that surrounds it and wonder. While we gaze downwards at the water, speculating on what might lurk below, the black surface reflects back our anxieties.”

For his new book The Craft: How Freemasons Made the Modern World, Dickie spent years combing through Masonic records to stitch together a history of Europe and North America in which Masonry (and its offshoots) have played key roles in shaping modern attitudes, morality, and even nations. Throughout it all, the mystery surrounding Masonry was a key to its appeal. We spoke with Dickie to understand why that secrecy continues to fascinate people today.
 
John Dickie (photo by Mikael Buck
 
California Freemason: You write that Freemasonry’s secrecy has always been a double-edged sword. What do you mean by that?

John Dickie: Secrecy was historically a powerful recruiting tool and served to bind people together, but it also generated suspicion and paranoia from the beginning. People saw in it whatever they were most afraid of.

CFM: Historically, how did secrecy bind members together?

JD: The radical thing about Freemasonry was that it allowed people of different faiths to join, to the extent of having, fairly early on, a Catholic grand master. The way that was accomplished, I think, is by putting secrecy in the place of any kind of specifically theological religious bind between people. Secrecy gave the rituals an aura of sacredness.

CFM: How is it that the meanings behind Masonic secrets can be both benign and also powerful?

JD: The content of these Masonic secrets can feel underwhelming, but secrecy—by which I mean everything wrapped around those secrets—can be very powerful. I see three reasons: First is the magic of ritual and of giving yourself up to enchantment with others. The second is our strong desire to see something in those secrets, perhaps more than is actually there. The third is the fact of being misunderstood, which gives a special aura to the fellowship and shared wisdom.

CFM: How did you interpret the culture around Masonic secrecy today?

JD: The moral teachings behind all the symbolism can seem rather run-of-the-mill—be a good person, try to be well-informed, embrace religious tolerance. But that’s not to say they’re trite. I’ve seen how moved people are when they describe how important Masonry is to them and their sense of personal growth and fellowship. I take that very, very seriously.


 
 

Upcoming Masonic Web Presentations



Dr. John L. Cooper: St. John the Evangelist in Freemasonry
Sunday, December 27, 2020 / 9 pm CST


St. John the Evangelist is one of the two most prominent patrons saints of the Craft. Join Dr. John L. Cooper as he explores the story, symbolism, and enduring relevance of this figure. 



John L. Cooper III is a past grand master and grand secretary of the Grand Lodge of California. He has also served as senior councilor of the Southern California DeMolay Association and is an honorary member of the International Supreme Council. Much of his Masonic career has involved researching and writing on the history and symbolism of Freemasonry.
Register Here
Below is a selection from The Grand Lodge
of Minnesota's Weekly Webinar Series.

Click the topic to register, attendees are limited to 100 per session.
 
     
11/18/2020 /  7:00 PM     Build a Better Beehive; Stewards     WB Shawn Carrick & WB Brad Phelps
11/25/2020 /  7:00 PM **Holiday Break**  
12/2/2020 /  7:00 PM     Build a Better Beehive; Chaplain      WB Jerry Oliver & WB Brad Phelps
12/9/2020 /  7:00 PM     Build a Better Beehive; Deacons     WB Foster Solem & WB Shannon Krecklau
12/16/2020 /  7:00 PM     Build a Better Beehive; LEO     WB Andy Niemyer & Bro. Hans Neisz
12/23/2020 /  7:00 PM *Holiday Break**  
12/30/2020 /  7:00 PM     Build a Better Beehive; Secretary     RWB Keith Reierson & WB Justin Thompson     
 

Does your lodge need financial aid from
the Grand Lodge Hurricane Relief Fund?


If you are a member of a  lodge in need of assistance,
you may request funds directly to the Grand Lodge.


Completed applications for Lodge Relief from
Hurricanes Laura or Zeta may be mailed to :


The Grand Lodge of Louisiana, F. &A.M.
Attn: Masonic Relief
5746 Masonic Drive
Alexandria, LA  71301        

You may also email the completed application to kim@la-mason.com or mary@la-mason.com.
 
If you would like to donate to aid lodges through the Grand Lodge, you may send donations to the address above. For Checks: Tax-deductible donations can be made through the Masonic Library/Museum Foundation
(501 (c)3 / Fed. I.D. #27.1366610) -. Please include "Hurricane Relief" in Memo section. 
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