Volume LVNovember 2008Number 4

Stephen Gardner
R.W. Grand Master


In the last month, we have come to mourn the passing of two of our beloved brethren, Right Worshipful Past Grand Master John L. McCain and Right Worshipful Past Grand Warden Thomas H. Burgess. We will dearly miss Brothers McCain and Burgess. Let us hope and pray that we can continue their mission of love for our great fraternity. Please keep their families in your hearts and prayers as we mourn their passing.

The first ten months of this year have seen a steady flow of activity across this Jurisdiction.

As our Blue Lodge Officers enter the month of November, they are approaching their service in 2009 as part of the most ritualistically qualified class of Blue Lodge Officers in recent memory. The gift they are giving to this fraternity is the result of their commitment, hard work and dedication. This was accomplished by virtue of the efforts of many brethren, both students and instructors, working to prepare their fraternity for a stronger future. To each brother who was part of this magnificent achievement, thank you. This Master Mason and your brethren congratulate and thank you for what you are doing for our beloved fraternity.

Every lodge in our Jurisdiction has the opportunity to participate in the Call 'Em All program. You can read about this program on page 11 of this edition. For those lodges participating in the Call 'Em All program, communications to their membership have clearly improved. Even our lodge Worshipful Masters and Secretaries who consider themselves technically challenged have remarked how easy this tool is to use. If you have not received a call via this new tool, perhaps your lodge does not have your phone number. Contact your Worshipful Master or Secretary to make sure you are included in the most current communication tool added to their tool box.

Because of your sustained generosity, as of the end of September, over $105,000 has been contributed by Pennsylvania Masons and friends of the fraternity to the Change for the Troops calling card program. The simple act of picking up the phone to say hello is something that all of us take for granted. This is not so for our troops in harm's way. Pennsylvania Masons are now making that call home from the desert a bit easier. Those sons, daughters, family members, friends and neighbors who are serving in Afghanistan and Iraq are seeing that Pennsylvania Masons continue to thank them for their service and sacrifice. Every Blue Lodge in Pennsylvania has contributed. The leadership of Chapter, Council, Commandery and Scottish Rite is also encouraging their respective bodies to be regular contributors for our troops. My request here is simple: continue your kind generosity. Let us, as Pennsylvania Masons, keep telling these heroes, "thank you."

By the time this edition of The Pennsylvania Freemason magazine arrives in your home, the exterior restoration effort on our Grand Lodge building will be just about complete. This is being accomplished on schedule and within budget. J.J. DeLuca, the general contractor overseeing this project, has brought together the craftsmen of this generation to restore what the artisans and craftsmen gave to us over 135 years ago. No other Masonic building in the world can match what is yours in Philadelphia. You owe it to yourself to visit your Grand Lodge and to see the restored elegance of this building. The building is genuinely magnificent. Join your brethren on Dec. 6, 2008, at the Quarterly Communication and see for yourself. You will truly be impressed.

Sincerely & fraternally,
R.W. Grand Master

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