High Priest’s Address | Jan 2012

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Greetings Friends & Companions,

Welcome to 2012. For me it means a new job, working as a District Executive for the Boy Scouts in the Mahican district. For the Chapter it means a new Past Master, and a new candidate waiting. And for everyone it means the chance for a new beginning. New Year’s resolutions often get a lot of attention, and catch a lot of flak. You see online and in the papers, stories inquiring as to what people’s New Year’s resolutions are but with the qualifier that far more often than not they fail and the criticism that after all New Year’s Day is “just another day” and if you “really wanted it” you wouldn’t wait until the New Year to start. But as Masons I feel that we have a unique insight into the power of symbols, and can clearly see why they should not be so quickly discounted. The New Year is a line in the sand, recognized by the world as a new beginning, and people can’t help but be aware of that distinction. It may just be another day but that focus, that emphasis on the world starting anew can be immeasurably powerful when trying to make a change in your life. Symbols help us mark our lives, and allow us to justify what otherwise may be considered too difficult or best to be saved for later. I personally recommend everyone to use the opportunity that the New Year gives us and when they hear Brother Robert Burn’s famous poem, Auld Lang Syne know that they now have another to chance to make a change, and improve themselves in this New Year of 2012.

A genuine Past Master of Ann Arbor-Fraternity No. 262, F&AM, Robert Blackburn will be taking a moment to sit in the East once again as he receives his Past Master Degree with the optional allegorical section. As discounted as the degree often is we can never too often be reminded of the fact that at any time in life we may be called to lead and we have to be ever ready for such an opportunity and responsibility. The degree which was previously postponed is now set for January 16th with a small meal starting at 6:30pm, us opening at 7:00pm, and the degree starting no later than 7:30pm. In addition to Brother Blackburn’s degree we will also be discussing the dates for a new candidate, and a plan to set aside some time to organize some of our materials now that we should have everything back in our possession. I would also like to apologize to everyone who has ordered shirts so far. The embroiderer has been unavailable to make any new shirts, but should be back on schedule soon. In other Royal Arch news there is a Michigan Grand Chapter Royal Arch Masons Education Seminar on Saturday, January 28th at the Best Western Hospitality Hotel in Grand Rapids at 8:30pm. This year’s seminar will focus on “Vision” and will involve interesting presentations, discussions, group participation, and hopefully you will leave with something useful. Once again I hope to see anyone who can make it out for our Past Master degree on the 16th, and hope you all have a wonderful start to your New Year. 

Dominus Vobiscum,

Brandon Mullins, HP 

High Priest's Address | Jan 2011

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Greetings Friends & Companions,

The New Year is a time traditionally thought of as an opportunity for new beginnings, new resolutions, and a fresh start. Such opportunities should never be taken lightly, and I hope you all take advantage of the season allowing it to fill you with invigoration anew.  But when thinking about new beginnings my mind cannot help but be drawn to thoughts of our fraternity’s own beginnings. This is of course a subject of heated debate within circles of members and nonmembers alike. With theories that range from the cathedral builders of the Middle Ages, to the Knights Templar to the builders of King Solomon’s Temple as our ritual would suggest, there are many theories with merit and I would not be surprised if all contained a bit of truth. But I in no way expect to learn the complete truth of our origins while still contained within my mortal shell, so until that fateful day comes I choose to look upon the subject of Masonic origins with a different perspective. How old are the ideas that our fraternity holds so dear? Where do our teachings come from? Equally debated questions, and equally lost in the pages of history, but I find that such research leads us to places we may not have previously considered, and gives us knowledge otherwise unseen. Take a look at the following…

“To accomplish anything whatsoever one must have standards. None have yet accomplished anything without them. The gentlemen fulfilling their duties as generals and councilors have their standards. Even the artisans performing their tasks also have their standards. The artisans make square objects according to the square, circular objects according to the compasses; they draw straight lines with the carpenter’s line and find the perpendicular by a pendulum. All artisans, whether skilled or unskilled, employ these five standards. Only the skilled workers are accurate. Though the unskilled laborers have not attained accuracy, yet they do better by following these standards than otherwise. Thus all artisans follow the standards in their work.” 

 Sounds familiar, doesn’t it? Well you may be surprised by the source. This teaching is attributed to a man called Mozi. Not a medieval stonemason, not a Knight Templar, nor Jewish architect, but a Chinese philosopher, born in 470 BC. He was raised as working class artisan but worked his way up bringing his world view, of labor and ingenuity with him. He is also famously known for speaking on the symbolic value of white cloth, another philosophy we as Masons are certainly familiar with. Am I here to claim that Masonic teachings have their roots in the Mohist schools of ancient China? Hardly. But I feel it is important to note that Freemasonry has a shared heritage with the philosophy of the ancient world and while we may never know our true, historic origins I am certain we can consider ourselves in good company.  

Speaking of company I hope to see you all in Chapter this month, and in fact I request it most seriously. We are most certainly meeting for January, and during this meeting we will be talking at length about our degrees in Belleville. Between now and then, also expect me to be contacting many of your trying to nail down your role for the Mark Master Mason degree in February, and this does not just include members of my own Chapter but other Chapters as well. Capitular Masonry has not graced the lodge room of the Belleville Masonic Temple in several decades and I hope to make this event exceptional, so I’m going to need all the help I can get. So think about your possible role and contact me as soon as you can. I thank you all for reading and wish you a happy New Year. 

Dominus Vobiscum,

Brandon Mullins, HP

From the Crypt | Jan 2011

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Greetings Companions and Friends,

Wishing all a very Happy New Year. The very best of everything in the coming year of 2011. It is easy for each of you to insure that your year will be even better than you had thought or hoped for.

Step forward … Ask for a petition and join the York Rite. It will be a step that you will never regret.

The Council is waiting for those Chapter members whom have not yet expanded their horizons. Although you could go to an All Degree Day for the Council and receive the 3 Degrees of the Cryptic Rite, we would prefer to do them locally. That’s one of the great things about the York Rite, besides the fact that you will be taking an active part in the degrees being put on by your Companions from your own Lodge and the surrounding Lodges.

 It’s a great experience and the lessons will only strengthen you and all of your future endeavors.

I am writing this letter for Thrice Illustrious Master George Lucero as his lovely lady Amanda’s Grandmother passed away and he has been spending time out of town.

This is a very difficult time for anyone to lose a member of their family and we are sad to report that Fred & Janet Schneider of Ypsilanti just lost their daughter Karen after a 3 year valiant battle with cancer.

Asking that you keep these families and any others that you may know of in distress in your continued thoughts and prayers. It is a difficult enough without it being at this supposed holiday and festive time of the year.

May all of the new officers of the Lodges have very prosperous, rewarding and enjoyable years. May your hard work pay off for the benefit of your Lodge, the Community and Masonry.

God Bless and keep each of you in the palm of his hand.

Keep a smile on your face, a chuckle in your voice and love in your heart.

Paul C. Howell, PTIM

Commander's Comments | Jan 2011

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Knights Templar Eye Foundation, Inc.

The Knights Templar Eye Foundation, Inc. is a charitable foundation dedicated to helping those who face loss of sight due top the need for surgical treatment and to provide funds for research in during diseases of the eye. (Just this past spring the foundation gave a research grant of $35,000 to a doctor at the Kellogg Eye Center.)

Since its founding in 1956, the Foundation has handled over 82,000 cases, representing more than $102 million. Research grants totaling over $9.6 million have been made to researchers working in the field of pediatric ophthalmology or development biology.

Who We Help!

The Knights Templar Eye Foundation, Inc. provides assistance to U.S. citizens who face loss of sight due to the need for surgical treatment without regard to race, color, creed, age, sex or national origin provided they are unable to pay or receive adequate assistance from current government agencies or similar sources. This includes the correction of strabismus (cross-eyes) in children up to the age of 16 years.

How We Help!

Qualified persons are provided with the cost of treatment, surgery, and hospitalization in a place of their own choosing and by physicians of their own< choice.

The Knights Templar Eye Foundation, Inc. is also a co-sponsor of the EyeCare American Seniors EyeCare Program, a public service of the American Academy of Ophthalmology.

Knights Templar Eye Foundation, Inc.

1000 East State Parkway, Suite 1

Schaumburg, IL 60173


Contributions are tax deductible under Section 501© 3 of the Internal Revenue Code.