Grand Commander's Message: A Celebration of Us

Photo of Grand Commander Ronald A. Seale, 33°

May-June 2012

A number of positive points, aptly called “strategies,” arose from the Scottish Rite’s strategic planning process. Here are several to which we have tried to remain faithful in our program planning.

  • We should strive to present a positive public image of Freemasonry in our communities.
  • We should support and expand our RiteCare® and other philanthropic activities.
  • We should engage in sound financial planning and management to insure the stability of our Fraternity.

All worthwhile goals and deserving of our attention.

But the devil is in the details, so they say. Is there a way we can come together across the land and celebrate our membership in the worldwide fraternity we know as the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite? Can we draw attention to and support our speech and language philanthropies whereby over 50,000, children are assisted annually in their struggle to overcome communication and language barriers? And at the same time, can we raise a dollar or two for the many Scottish Rite charitable foundations in our states as well as for the upkeep of our magnificent House of the Temple in our Nation’s Capital? Now that doesn’t seem like a bad idea!

One such way to accomplish all three goals in one fun-filled evening is through a special event occurring on May 19 called “Celebration of the Craft of Scottish Rite Freemasonry.” Let me tell you a little about it.

It’s like a telethon of former days when a charity or organization would present an extended television entertainment show—some for as long as 24 hours—to draw attention to their organization and to raise funds for their activities. In these days of rapidly advancing technology, the same thing can be done on the Internet through the World Wide Web, and folks can watch on a large screen in a group or in the privacy of their homes on their personal computer (provided they have an Internet connection). Unbelievably, with the advent of “smart phones,” someone could watch the whole show in the palm of their hand!
Our event will take place on May 19 from 6:00 PM to midnight EDT and will be coming to you from the House of the Temple in Washington, D.C., our magnificent headquarters and home of the Mother Supreme Council of the World. It never fails to impress me that our forebearers in the Craft established our presence in the Nation’s Capital just blocks from the White House and Congress, planting our flag and essentially saying, “Here we stand!” Each year we receive, on behalf of all Scottish Rite Freemasons, thousands of visitors from around the world. Every night the Temple’s exterior remains awash with light, a continuing symbol of the best in Freemasonry. Magnificent it is, but guess what? Our edifice approaches its 100th year and needs maintenance and renovation.

The same story is true in many of our states. Many of our buildings are in need of repair. So, too, our efforts to fund our charitable work for RiteCare®, scholarships, and the like on the local level could always use a boost. The funds raised through our Celebration of the Craft web event will be divided with our partners—fifty percent to maintain the House of the Temple and fifty percent to stay home to assist with local efforts. Not a bad arrangement!

But beyond fund-raising, the Celebration of the Craft is meant to be just that—a celebration! We have Scottish Rite Masons around the country from all walks of life doing all sorts of interesting things. Through the medium of the Internet, this is our chance to come together as one and to meet each other. And through such wonders as Facebook, Twitter, email, text messaging, and even the telephone, we will have the chance to communicate with each other. We have some first rate entertainment planned and some notable folks scheduled to appear whom you never may have known to be your Scottish Rite brothers. The only thing missing is your commitment to tune in.

I hope you will mark the event on your calendar and plan to participate. You can help us by publicizing the event in your Lodge, Valley, Temple, and elsewhere. We would love to have Valley-hosted events during the program. And remember this is not for Masons alone. When we webcast our Supreme Council session last year we had over 7,000 viewers tuned in and over 20,000, subsequent hits. So we have a great potential. Let’s make May 19 a historic event for our Southern Jurisdiction.

Hope to see you ( and to be seen by you) then!