Masonic Service Assoc. Recognizes Three Brothers from Lafayette Lodge

On October 14, 2018, the Masonic Service Association awarded RW Kenneth Nielsen, RW Michael Holt, and WB Raymond Siecinski with Certificates of Appreciation for their dedication and support for the NJ Veterans Memorial Home at Menlo Park.

October 14, 2018 at 9:04 am | Announcements

Master’s Message – October 2018

In The Beginning

The first three words of the Bible. The first three words after we form a Lodge during a degree. What about Freemasonry? Where did it start? When? Who? This amazing fraternity has no defined beginning. We hand out cards that indicate hundreds and thousands of years of tradition, legend, and mystery. Our “modern” history traces back to the formation of the Grand Lodge of England in 1717. Even the Grand Lodge was the formation of preexisting lodges. Our appendant bodies all hail from Freemasonry and Blue Lodges. The craft, however, has no definitive origin or when the “In The Beginning” actually was.

A Carl Claudy writing, “From Whence We Came”, explores this compelling topic. Claudy compares the origin of Freemasonry with the water in the Mississippi River or even more profoundly with the origin of human development. These concepts are extrapolated to the Mississippi’s origin being the North American continent. Claudy point out that 4000 years ago the Chinese used the square as a symbol of morality, altars are found throughout human history all over the globe and other human similarities. All these connections suggest that Freemasonry comes from human history all over the globe.

Our analytical minds tell us there has to be an origin. Humans have conducted scientific studies for centuries to determine the answer to “In the Beginning”. Is the widely accepted theory of the “big bang” plausible? It is only theory with no hard evidence or proof to determine its accuracy. Humans have developed in parallel paths, separated by thousands of miles, with similar ends. Is it plausible that there is more than one “In the Beginning” for humans? That debate would take more than a few para- graphs to explore further.

These ideas and theories will be studied and writ- ten about for years to come and the answers will always lead to more questions. We know our masonic dates when we were initiated, passed and raised in our Blue (or Mother) Lodge. However, were we not first prepared to be a mason in our heart? On what date did we our heart first deter- mine that? Perhaps our minds can accept that the exact origin of the craft is not important. We can learn from our known history and teachings. Whence we came is not as important as what we are. We are all Masons and Brothers.

John C. Richards,
Worshipful Master

October 1, 2018 at 7:52 am | Masonic Light

Master’s Message – September 2018

Marquis de Lafayette

Our Lodge’s namesake, Marquis de Lafayette, was from an aristocratic family from France. Following family tradition, he became a member of the military as a teenager. In 1777, married with children, Lafayette headed to America to offer his services to this nation’s rebellion against England. This was several years before France entered the war on our behalf. In July of that year, the American Congress commissioned Lafayette as a Master General. Shortly thereafter, he was invited to join the staff of George Washington (a brother Freemason). After suffering a wound in battle and leading some successful attacks, Lafayette returned to France in 1779.

While Lafayette was in France at this time for some unknown business, he met with Benjamin Franklin (also a brother freemason). It has been speculated that this business was to convince France that England could be defeated in North America with France’s military assistance. On his return to America in 1780, Lafayette reconnected with George Washington in Morristown, New Jersey. He commanded troops from New Jersey and New York down through Virginia. Troops led by Lafayette, Washington, and Alexander Hamilton (also a brother freemason) and the French navy converged on Yorktown, Virginia in 1781 defeating the British in the last major battle of the Revolution. He returned to France by the end of 1781.

Marquis de Lafayette became active with the French Revolution. He coauthored the Declaration of Rights of Man and of the Citizen which became part of France’s constitution. During the French revolution he used his position of prominence at- tempting to maintain order. In time, extreme radicals of the revolution targeted him out for arrest. He fled to Austria and where he was imprisoned for 5 years. Napoleon Bonaparte secured his release and his return to France.
In 1824, Lafayette returned to America to tour all 25 “states.” His tour of the states included, state houses, several lodges and grand lodges. During this year, Lafayette reportedly stopped in Rahway and the Lodge formed later that year commemorated the event by naming the lodge after him. Lafayette was the first of three foreign military officers from the revolutionary war to be awarded honorary United States citizenship.
Marquis de Lafayette is believed to have joined the craft in France. Some legends have also claimed that he became an American mason in a military Lodge, possibly in Morristown. Although his Masonic origin is not known for sure, he was known to share a strong Masonic bond with George Washington and other military leaders. Local legend has it that one of the stops during the Lafayette tour of the States was St. John’s Lodge in Newark, NJ. To allow for better viewing of Lafayette, a special chair was constructed in the East to elevate the Marquis de Lafayette above the others on the platform. At this event, he was nearly 24 inches above the others seated in the East. This special chair still exists in the East of St. John’s Lodge #1 in Mountain Lakes, NJ.

Marquis de Lafayette is buried in Picpus cemetery in Paris France with an American flag flying continuously above his grave.

John C. Richards,
Worshipful Master

September 11, 2018 at 8:42 am | Masonic Light

Master’s Message – July/August 2018

Making Good Men Better

When asked what Freemasons do, the answer often is we make good men better. The words do not mean much at first glance. After some contemplation, it is discovered that our way of life is to improve the area around us. We come to realize that we are bigger than our own self. By making men better we are improving the internal, not the external, qualities of the man. A person whose life con- version exemplifies masonic values is Mahatma Gandhi. From his humble beginnings through his accomplished life, Gandhi’s internal transformation from himself to others (perhaps extreme at times) is lesson in improving one’s surroundings.

Mahatma Gandhi was not a freemason but his story is one of true internal transformation. He started out in life as a shy average student from a small village with no special talents. He was married at 13, traveled to London at 19 to attend law school. His return to India was by many accounts a failure and after a few years, he followed an opportunity to South Africa.

He spent over 20 years in South Africa, as a successful lawyer. He was financially sound leading a comfortable life, but as an Indian. The prejudice and injustice he witnessed and experienced first hand triggered a passion within him and sparked his transformation. His philosophical beliefs directed him away from violence. He developed forms of nonviolent protests that were designed to wear down governments. Nonviolent protests leading to mass arrests, general strikes leading to financial hardships, and the passive acceptance of unwarranted physical abuse leading to social and moral conflicts all lead to changes in some of the unfair laws in South Africa toward Indians. He brought this experience back to India and worked tirelessly for the remainder of his life on improving India.

As history has shown, Gandhi’s methods were successful and copied by others. He strove to battle with an opponent’s conscience. He gave up all his possessions and raised himself to truth and humility. This minimalist life style increased his influence because his motivation was ideas and ideals; not material possessions. His mission was to improve the lives of those around him and his goal was a free and united India. His methods, teachings, and advice were heard around the world. Gandhi was assassinated over 70 years ago. His dreams were not completed but his spirit was never broken.

My brothers, freemasonry was founded on the principals of morality, brotherly love, and charity with truth as its center. Our missions as masons is to make good men better. We do this by elevating ourselves and teaching our newest members about being part of something bigger than an individual. Improve others by improving ourselves. We chose our members based on their internal Qualities.

John C. Richards,
Worshipful Master

August 29, 2018 at 7:00 am | Masonic Light

Cupcakes for a Cure at The Valerie Fund Walk – June 9, 2018

On June 9, 2018, members of Lafayette Lodge participated in The Valerie Fund Walk at Verona Park.

The Valerie Fund’s Mission: To provide individualized care to children at medical centers close to home, because we believe the most effective way to heal the children in our care is to treat them emotionally, socially, and developmentally, as well as medically.

Team Cupcakes for a Cure

The Valerie Fund Website

June 11, 2018 at 8:05 am | Lafayette Events

Next Page »