April 27th - Stated Meeting
May 2nd - Education Fete - Cancelled
Note it will be held on Stated meeting night
May 18th- Stated Meeting
THE LODGE OF PERFECTION
Have you heard the saying ”we are spiritual beings having a human experience”? C.S. Lewis wrote ”You don’t HAVE a soul. You ARE a soul, You HAVE a body” Our body is material and temporal Ancients believed that all souls had pre-existence before our body’s birth and will survive our body’s death. The soul descended from its higher spiritual home in the heavens to fall prisoner inside the temporal, animal body. The Book of Genesis teaches of the fall of man, who after eating of the Tree of Knowledge, of Good and Evil, must labor and till the soils and woman must endure pain in childbirth.
How do I live in Spirit?
Masonry teaches us to seek the light. We seek the Lost Word. How do we find it? Our beautiful ritual provides layer upon layer of spiritual guidance from the 1st through the 32nd degrees. Those of us fortunate enough to have been a candidate, on a degree team or an observer at our recent reunion were taught much of the deep and secret meanings of our Masonic symbols, which provide as continual guidance and instruction. Albert Pike wrote in Morals and Dogma ”the Compass, as the Symbol of the Heavens, represents the spiritual portion of the double nature of Humanity...and the Square, as the Symbol of the Earth, its material, sensual, and baser portion”. In his seminal work Wegstaff’s Standard Masonry, Deman S. Wegstaff wrote “There is one sign which has never changed its meaning anywhere in the civilized world, the Compass and the Square, a sign of the union of the body and soul. The Ancients also used symbols to teach these same mysteries. Egyptians were convinced that when the person dies, the eternal soul within departs from the body. They used the Ankh to symbolize the ”god within” or ”soul within” the body. The Chinese Yin/Yang is a symbol of the Trinity- the sacred Three with the two opposites forming a third- the whole. This reunion or reconciliation of opposites forms the central meaning behind this ancient symbol of China. As Lau Tsu wrote, “He who follows the Tao is one with the Tao, and the Tao will never pass away”.
The sacred number Three, so prominent in our first Three Masonic Degrees and advanced further in our Scottish Rite Degrees, can thus be traced all the way back to ancient times. Through the ages, Three has been a powerful and central symbol. Jeremiah How in The Freemason’s Manual, Oxford University, 1881 wrote ”in Freemasonry, the number Three is the most important and we find it pervading our whole ritual”. It also pervades art, architecture and literature in the Western World. Masons have used Three as a prominent component all of their earthly work and placed in in plain sight for all humankind.
Mozart, a Viennese Mason initiated in 1784, used Three extensively in his famous Masonic opera, The Magic Flute, with its Three ladies, Three boys, Three priests, Three slaves and Three sets of chords in E flat.
Gothic Cathedrals across Europe, federal buildings and capital landmarks across the Unites States, post offices, courthouses, state capitals and more, display the pattern of Three-in-one doorways. At the Rockefeller Center stand figures atop doors of opposites. The male on the right and the female on the left flank ”god” in the center, which also incredibly holds a Compass. This Triptych Three-door entrance system is the focal point of the facade. Twin towers, as with the Twin Pillars are a pair of opposites and denote the visible universe with its light and dark, hot and cold, masculine and feminine, sun and moon, good and evil. These doors flank the ”god” in the third central door, often holding the Compass. We also see a rose window, in the shape of a circle, symbolizing eternity and the soul within. Light beams through flowers and radiates from the center of the rose widow as all life radiates outward from our soul. The late Joseph Campbell wrote extensively on this meaning. You will find another example at the old Radio City Music Hall building, just as you will at the ancient Temple of Karnak in Egypt.
Why this meaning? Why has it been transmitted through the ages? Is this part of Freemasonry’s Lost Secret? To us earthly travelers, the ”god” in the center is the real YOU- the eternal, inner YOU. This is the spiritual that never, never, never dies.
Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote ”A man is a god in ruins”. The ancient Platonists believed that in their preexistent state, in which all souls had sinned and lost their wings, no longer could they ascend, so they sunk into their earthly bodies as a punishment. Yet there is a pathway redemption and ascension.
So my Brothers, ours is to build our house in the heavens. Our earthly work in seeking the Light defines our pathway. As Masons, and Scottish Rite Masons in particular, our ritual instructs and omnipresent symbols guide us. Let us work to ready ourselves to meet the kind messenger at the end of our earthly journey.
Dennis Mahoney, 32°
Venerable Master, Burlingame Lodge of Perfection
The first ever Orient of California, Orient-wide Reunion (June 29-July 1, 2018) hosted by the Valley of Oakland was a huge success!. Candidates completed their degrees during this historic 3-day event. I am happy to announce that we have seven new Masters of the Royal Secret this year, namely -
Ronaldo G. Antonio
Edgar R. ”Jett” Carrasco
Patrick R. Esteban
Alonzo G. Flores
Kevin J. Martinez
Reynato T. Villafuerte Β
To all of our new Scottish Rite brethren, congratulations on becoming a 32°, Master of the Royal Secret!
This September we celebrate our annual Feast of Tishri. The Scottish Rite Feast of Tishri is derived from the Jewish festival of Sukkoth which is chiefly a harvest festival that celebrates the bountiful gifts the Lord has given to Israel. It is also a serious reminder of when God brought their ancestors out of bondage from Egypt and to the promised land. As the children of Israel were led through the wilderness, God decreed the celebration of a seven-day feast to occur in the seventh month of the Jewish liturgical calendar, the month called Tishri, during which they lived in”sukkoth” (temporary shelters or booths). He decreed that this feast be celebrated annually to forever remind the Israelites that He had rescued them from Egypt. Feast of Tishri is thus a symbol of freedom.
The Lord further commanded the Israelites saying ”On the first day, you will take for yourselves the fruit of the citron tree, the branches of the palm, the boughs of myrtle trees, and the willows of the brook, and you shall rejoice before your Lord your God for seven days.β In observing this command, they gathered citron, palm, myrtle and willow, binding them together and rejoicing to the Lord waving them in all directions with earnest prayer and thanksgiving. The significance of these four species of plants has long been discussed by the wise and is well summarized by Rabbi Julius Nodel, 32°, in a Feast of Tishri address to the St. Louis Scottish Rite Bodies many years ago. He said:
“Among the symbols of Succoth are four species of plants -Β the citron, the branch of the palm tree, the myrtle leaves, and the willow leaves
The citron plant produces both fruit and fragrance - The palm produces fruit but no fragrance - The myrtle produces fragrance but no fruit - The willow produces neither fruit nor fragrance
This teaches us that there are also four kinds of people.
There are those that have knowledge and good deeds - they correspond to the citron. There are those who live a life of good deeds, but have no knowledge - they are like the palm. There are those who have knowledge, but perform no good deeds - they are like the myrtle. There are those who have neither knowledge nor good deeds - they are like the willow.
Yet, on Succoth, all of these different species of plants are placed together and bound as one, thus teaching us that though there are different kinds of people on Earth, with their own interests and desires, accomplishments and failures, they must still be bound together in one universal brotherhood”.
As Masons, we should strive to attain the character of the Citron- to possess knowledge while performing good works.
Some 450 years after its origin, the Feast of Tishri was utilized in dedicating the newly completed King Solomon’s Temple, and this association led to its adoption by Scottish Rite Masonry to symbolize our dedication to brotherly love and human accord in a peaceful world. This adaptation is evidenced in lessons taught by the Third Degree lecture (Blue Lodge), wherein we learn that David, King of Israel, was denied the privilege of building the Temple of God due to the “many wars and much bloodshed” associated with his reign. On King David’s death, his son Solomon ascended the throne and brought peace and tranquility in the world through wisdom and righteousness- God thus chose him to perform ”so great and glorious an undertaking” as that denied David. And so it was that through Solomon that the construction of the Temple was made, seemingly guided by the hand of God- for indeed it was. Association of the Feast of Tishri with the dedication of the Temple of Solomon led to its other name “the Feast of the Tabernacle”.
To marshal the meaning of The Feast of Tishri is to summarize the principles, ideals and purposes of Scottish Rite Masonry, all being consistent with the dictates of the God.
Proud to be a Scottish Rite Mason, I remain.
The Latest News from the San Francisco and Burlingame Childhood Language Center
Gina Mazzetti Speech
Jim asked me to speak tonight about my experience with Scottish Rite and how I was essentially helped through attending the language center. This answer comes very easy to me, unlike a lot of things.
I can’t tell you all the specific lessons that I learned but I can tell you who I’ve become since starting my journey out with Scottish Rite.
At the age of 7, I was diagnosed with two very fancy terms that I had no idea what they meant, ”dyslexia” and ”auditory processing disorder”. Being told as a young child that I might be held back a year because I can’t pass the first grade was not the easiest thing to hear. Being called ”stupid”, ”slow”, “difficult to deal with” from students, sports coaches, and teachers wasn’t so encouraging either.
There was one unique community I was involved with where I felt embraced, accepted, and most importantly not scared. That was Scottish Rite. I recall being excited to learn, to challenge myself, and to be around people who understood and genuinely accepted me. A feeling I had not experienced nor were familiar with before.
Scottish rite normalized my experience for me. I learned I wasn’t the only one who struggled with communication, that there were other people who had issues with reading comprehension, and that I wasn’t the only one who had to work on their writing. Scottish Rite met me where I was at instead of expecting me to quickly catch up. Scottish Rite provided comfort to my family, letting them know that everything would be okay and that they would provide me the help to succeed. That means everything to a child and continues to mean the world to me.
All of this inspired me to help others with the learning issues they faced to the point that I wrote a book about my experience and self-published it. The book went much more beyond the difficulty with learning, as I devoted each and every page to the emotional component that not enough people consider when it comes to disabilities. What is unique about my book, ”A Shout-Out for Dyslexics: The Emotional Side” is that it’s an easy read! It makes reading a pleasure.
With this exciting accomplishment, I have been invited to speak with schools, hospitals, and organizations. I then earned my certification in coaching, produced a television special on dyslexia with Cheryl Jennings on ABC-7 news, and found myself embracing academics, through earning my Bachelors in Communication Studies from San Francisco State University. For my latest adventure, I am now in the middle of earning my Master of Arts degree in Counseling Psychology to become a Licensed Marriage and Family therapist.
This doesn’t mean that I don’t still struggle, trust me I do, but I’m okay now because Scottish Rite taught me how to be resilient, how to bounce back, and most importantly how to change people’s lives by being that one person who can normalize their experience, set everything aside to be with someone, and believe in someone.
I am happy to say that I am now doing work that I LIVE for! I work for Community Gatepath, a non-profit organization. I am an Employment Specialist, where I work with adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities to help them communicate, take initiative, take the bus to their jobs, find jobs, write resumes, interview, and help them excel and thrive in their jobs. Yesterday I was at Safeway pushing and collecting carts with one of my clients, another day I might be at Trader Joe’s helping a client bag groceries for customers, and on Monday I’m scheduled to meet with an employer and my client for his annual performance review. Everyday may be different but my purpose remains the same - I want to give the help that I got. If I can end my day helping someone be more independent, reassuring families that I have their loved one’s back, then it’s been a good day.
In March I had the honor of standing alongside my client, Annett, as she received the Neal Poppin award from actor Patrick Dempsey, who spoke about the importance of inclusion and community at the Power of Possibilities event. Annett has been with the agency for 21 years and was recognized for her determination, character, and achievement of her personal and professional goals. As we know, when someone is faced with a disability, it can take a village of support for them to succeed. Annett didn’t know what to do when her mom passed away, as her mom was such a big part of her life and help when it came to performing everyday tasks. I pulled a Scottish Rite by letting her know I was there for her, gave her my individual attention, helped her through her grief, and now she is independently working in the community plus she’s really happy. That to me is why I am here.
So, to go back to Jim’s question. This is how Scottish Rite helped me. They helped me to see that I can impact people in the way they truly positively impacted me. Had it not been for Scottish Rite, I can’t say I’d be this ”success story”. Scottish Rite put time and effort in me when I was young and it has continued to pay off as I grow personally and professionally. Scottish Rite taught me that it is okay to ask questions and to never shy away from a chance to learn or to speak about my experience. Thank you all for listening!
Thank you all for supporting our Fashion Show! If you couldn’t attend, you missed another incredible event!
Please read the article below about the 2018 National RiteCare Conference.
I yield the remainder of my allocation to Gina Mazzetti, a graduate of our CLC. This is the speech she gave at our scholarship night a few months back. This is what your donations support, and without them, we wouldn’t be able to make such a difference in kids lives.
Chris D. Smith, 32° KCCH
Chairman, SFBRCCLC Board of Directors
2018 National RiteCare Conference
By Jim Cartwright, Chris Smith
I was fortunate to attend, and honored to be one of the presenters, at this summer’s biannual National RiteCare conference in Los Angeles from August 8-10. It was organized by Kristin Hoffman, who is the director of RiteCare Operations and the central contact in our network of center directors. People traveled from all over the country to attend the conference and presenters there represented Scottish Rite RiteCare Speech and Language Centers from many different states, including Missouri, Texas, Kansas, Nebraska, and Oregon. Directors from four of the centers in California presented as well.
Dr. John Samples, the director of our Santa Rosa center provided the keynote address entitled, Overlooked but Similar Pathways for Collaboration. Collaboration was one of the central themes of the conference. It was a wonderful opportunity to meet and exchange ideas with several clinicians working at Scottish Rite RiteCare centers, both during formal presentations as well as informally during meals.
Dr. Judy Montgomery, former president of both our state(CSHA) and national(ASHA) speech and language organizations, as well as part of her team from the RiteCare Center at Chapman University (Laura Garcia-Maxey and Kimberly Tan), started off the speech and language track of the conference. They gave an excellent presentation on speech and language assessments for children from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. The entire conference was structured around three distinct tracts: Speech and Language, Literacy, and Executive Management. I spent my time at the speech, language, and literacy presentations. It was a pleasure to attend the conference with our board chairman Dr. Chris Smith, whose focus was the executive track (see final paragraph).
Pam Norton, the director of the Oakland Center, presented on both articulation therapy and the fast forward program. My presentation was entitled Integrating Creative Writing with Speech and Language Therapy. In addition to the actual writing classes at our center, a particular focus of mine as a speech pathologist is on integrating creativity with clinical intervention, and publishing individual student made books that focus on their speech and language goals.
The Knights of Saint Andrews from the LA community were very helpful with assisting with the logistics of the conference, and I had the opportunity to have dinner with two of them who were also very informative regarding the history of the Masons. I’m grateful that I was able to attend this year’s conference. It was an excellent opportunity for clinicians and members of the Masonic community to come together, both formally and informally, and to get to know each other better. There much to learn, and a lot of fun to be had as well. Many bridges were built, and I hope to attend and speak at more of these conferences in the future.
I now turn this essay over to our board chairman, Chris Smith¦
The Executive Management track was very interesting as well. There were speakers from our Orient, other Orients and the Supreme Council covering topics from CLC operation models to patient safety and everything in between. Here are a few highlights from the many presentations:
1. The story of RiteCare began with the Valley of Denver in 1952
2. There are (give or take) 170 CLCs in the Southern Jurisdiction
3. CLC operating models range from what ours is (i.e. our own building, clinic and Director) to completely outsourced (i.e. wholly operated within a university with the Board of Directors managing the contract/MOUs)
4. The Northern Jurisdiction of the Scottish Rite runs Dyslexia centers childrensdyslexiacenters.org
5. RiteCare of Utah raised $50k in May - speech awareness month
6. In California, our CLCs treat approximately 2500 kids/year
The bottom line is that there was a lot of great information shared which we can use to improve our CLC! Stay Tuned!!!
Want to know how you can support Scottish Rite Childhood Learning and Language Center? Click here!
Want to learn more about it, click read more below.
From the General Secretary
It’s that time of year when the dues notice are sent out. Please pay as soon as you can so our treasure can pay our per capita.
When you receive your dues notice you can send me a check or pay on line.
To pay on line:
Go to Scottish Rite of Freemasonry
Click on -pay your dues
This is an easy way to pay ( saves paper and stamps)
If you have any problems with dues please call me and we can solve any situation.
Monday, September 24th -
Stated & Feast of Tishri
6:00 Short Stated Meeting
6:30 Feast of Tishri
Monday, October 29th
6:00 Stated Meeting
Speaker: Jeff Wilkins, Jr.
Grand Warden Recomendee
Monday, November 19th