Masters Message April 2022
On yonder book, that oath I took / and will I break it? Never.
When I was standing West of the Altar as a newly-raised Master Mason, R∴W∴ Ken Phillips’ majestic recitation of the Canadian Charge permanently etched these words onto my heart. Standing in front of a Lodge of Master Masons, facing the Worshipful Master in the East, and listening to R∴W∴ Ken’s Charge, I stood taller. I felt elevated. I felt ennobled.
I felt truly raised.
All of these feelings and memories came rushing back as I sat in the East at our Special Communication on Saturday, March 19, listening once again to R∴W∴ Ken deliver these magnificent and life-changing words. I watched with pride as Saint Johns’ seven newest Master Masons were themselves raised to the Sublime Degree.
In that moment, I remembered my first travels around the jurisdiction, nervous and excited to visit new lodges and to meet new men that I knew to be brothers. I remembered the joy of hearing new voices deliver familiar words differently, and coming to understand and appreciate what makes each lodge in our Grand Jurisdiction unique and special.
I realized then that our candidates – standing tall for the first time as just and upright Master Masons – were at that very moment having the words of the Canadian Charge permanently etched onto their hearts, and that they would now get to experience these “firsts” for themselves.
Having delivered the final ritual words of the final degree of my year in the East, I looked back at our newly-raised Master Masons and felt a twinge of envy for the journey they were about to begin. I’m only human, after all.
I am incredibly proud of every one of my line officers for their impeccable work in exemplifying the Master Mason degree, including our special “guest stars” M∴W∴ Dennis Pothier, R∴W∴ Ronald Reed, and Bro. John Gauthier. I am particularly awed by R∴W∴Ed Kdonian, who wowed us all by stepping into the West to do the Senior Warden’s ritual – lectures and all! – with almost no prior preparation.
The Degrees of Masonry may be completed, but our work continues! Please join us on Wednesday, April 20th for Right Worshipful District Deputy Grand Master Rick Baccus’ Official Visitation to Saint Johns Lodge #1 Providence, traditionally the final stop for a District Deputy before his election to the Grand Council. Our program for the evening will be a presentation by the author and journalist Colin Woodard, who will be talking about his groundbreaking book American Nations.
As with previous programs, this presentation is semi-public and open to spouses and partners. Given that it is RW:. Baccus’ last visitation as a DDGM, we are expecting a very packed house. Reservations for you and your guest are a must, and are due no later than Sunday,April 17!
Be safe and be well, my brothers.
W∴ Joshua A. Irizarry