Thursday, May 21, 2009

Remembrance and Renewal

The St Paul Valley of the Scottish Rite conducted their ceremony of Remembrance and Renewal last night, and it is a truly moving and inspirational event. There was an especially moving tribute to Ill. Daniel Levenduski, S.G.I.G. Emeritus, who died in December.

The photo shows, front row, left to right, Tad Treanor, Wise Master; Jerry Oliver, S.G.I.G., Peg Oliver, Mary Levenduski and her daughter, Christine. Back row: Patty McCarthy, and her first husband, Tom.

I did not know well the Brothers who were remembered as having transferred their membership to that house not made with hands, but I do know some things about each one of them:

Each one of these men believed in God. He may have addressed his Creator as Jesus, Allah, Yahweh, God, the Great Spirit or the Grand Architect of the Universe. But there is no doubt of his faith in a Supreme Being.

Each one of these men was of good moral character, and he had two other men put their reputation on the line when they signed his petition for the degrees and vouched for his moral fiber.

We know that these men followed through on what they proposed. They not only completed the three degrees of a Blue Lodge, but went on to fulfill the obligations of 29 more degrees of Scottish Rite Masonry.

We know that they sought after Truth. All Masons, and more especially Scottish Rite Masons, seek to plumb the depths of Masonic Light – a quest that is never-ending. It was a mystery, but they sought to understand it.

We know that they were loyal. From the time they were raised as Master Masons until they were summoned from this earth by their Creator, they maintained their membership and fellowship with the Grand Lodge of Minnesota and the Southern Jurisdiction of the Scottish Rite.

We know that they brought different gifts to their fraternity. Some brought leadership and vision. Others brought Masonic scholarship. Still others brought talents to repair, maintain and improve the physical plants of their lodges. Some were organized and became the secretary or the treasurer of their lodge. Some were blessed with a good memory and the ability to recall and recite our ritual with passion, infusing new meaning into old words for the edification of the candidate and the sideliner as well.

How will our Brothers remember us when we answer the summons of the Great Architect?