In this issue of California Freemason, we’re exploring Masonry in Latin America. This has a very special meaning for me. When I served in the U.S. Army in the Republic of Panama, I belonged to Gatun Lodge, in the District Grand Lodge of the Panama Canal. While I was stationed there, I met and become friends with many Panamanian Masons, including the members of Logia Luz y Progresso № 63, under the Grand Lodge of Panama. The ritual worked in that lodge was the same as ours, but in Spanish. Meaning that, even with the limited Spanish I spoke, I was able to follow along relatively easily.
What transcended language, however, was the shared experience of performing the ritual together. That’s an experience I want to encourage for our members. We have an opportunity to reach out to communities that have been historically underrepresented in our organization and share with them all that makes Masonry great. In doing so, I see us advancing our vision of a world in harmony.
We already know how Freemasonry can meaningfully improve people’s lives. I see that at the Masonic Center for Youth and Families. Counselors there recently partnered with the Pomona Unified School District to provide mental health services to children and teens who have suffered extreme trauma and separation from their families during their journey from countries in Latin America to the United States. It’s a fine example of providing relief to those truly in need, and one I’m incredibly proud of.
I wish you all the joys of the summer season and good health. May the Supreme Architect of the Universe watch over you, your families, and our beloved craft.
Sincerely and fraternally,
Grand Master of Masons in California
More from this issue:
In just the past decade, Argentina has seen a burst of Masonic activity: From only 2,200 Freemasons in 2008 to more than 10,000 today.
For members of California’s two official Spanish-speaking Masonic lodges, the sense of brotherhood is twice as strong.