Wednesday, July 24, 2019

150th Anniversary of the Kappa Sigma Fraternity

This year marks 150th year since the Kappa Sigma fraternity was founded at the University of Virginia. Officially, the Kappa Sigma fraternity was founded on December 10, 1869, in the room William Grigsby McCormick, one of the five founders commonly called "The Five Friends & Brothers". The other Five Friends & Brothers are George Miles Arnold, Frank Courtney Nicodemus, John Covert Boyd, and Edmund Law Rogers

Alongside the Founders of our Fraternity, the Golden Hearted Virginian is probably one of the most famous men within Kappa Sigma. Stephen Alonzo Jackson, the Golden Hearted Virginian, was not only the first Worthy Grand Master, but was also the writer of our Constitution and architect of our Ritual. During his speech at the 2nd Grand Conclave in 1878, Brother Jackson talked about the expansion of this Brotherhood, and the following words are still recited by all Pledges and Brothers today: 
Why not, my Brothers, since we of today live and cherish the principles of the Kappa Sigma Fraternity, throw such a halo around those principles that they may be handed down as a precious heirloom to ages yet unborn? Why not put our apples of gold in pictures of silver? May we not rest contentedly until the Star and Crescent is the pride of every college and university in the land!
I think Brother Jackson would be proud as Kappa Sigma currently has more than 200,000 living members, including over 20,000 undergraduates, and 320 chapters and colonies located throughout the United States and Canada.

Today in Charlottesville, VA, undergrads and alumni from all over have assembled to celebrate the Sesquicentennial anniversary as well as hold the 72nd Biennial Grand Conclave.

I was initiated into Kappa Sigma on October 28, 2006, into the Kappa Rho Chapter at Boise State University. I had quite the journey while in college: living in the Chapter House and serving the Chapter as House Manager, Grand Treasurer, and Grand Procurator.

Sunday, July 21, 2019

Rocky Mountain Conferences

Yesterday and today I attended the Rocky Mountain Masonic Conference and the Rocky Mountain SRICF Conference. The purpose of the conference is the free exchange of ideas and Masonic matters, and provide Masonic education for our lodges. The Rocky Mountain Masonic Conference is composed of the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Montana, Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Utah, Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Colorado, Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Wyoming, Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Idaho, Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Nevada, Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of New Mexico, Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Arizona, and Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Nebraska. 

In addition to myself, the Most Worshipful Grand Master, Right Worshipful Deputy Grand Master, Right Worshipful Senior Grand Warden, and Right Worshipful Junior Grand Warden represented Idaho. 

Friday morning opened up with introductions before going into a series of presentations along with Q&A:

  • Education and Entertainment Outside the Masonic Lodge
  • Non Profit for Dummies
  • 300-year-old Rhetoric and the Modern Mind
  • It is the Grand Lodges Fault
  • Social Media Etiquette for Masons
  • Progressive lines vs. Campaigning for Office
  • Integration of Masonic Youth Groups
Saturday morning started with a presentation by Oscar Alleyne, Right Worshipful Junior Grand Warden of New York. After the keynote address, presentations were done concerning "Virtual Lodges" and preserving the history of Lodges.

In the afternoon, the Rocky Mountain SRICF Conference convened. Just like the Masonic Conference, the Rocky Mountain SRICF Conference is composed of Montana College, Utah College, Colorado College, Wyoming College, Idaho College, and New Mexico College. I had the honor of representing Idaho College.


This conference started off with an introduction of the Most Worthy Supreme Magus, William Howard Koon, II, IX°, KGC. Three presentations were then given:
  • Frater Mike Moore, VIII°, Past Celebrant of Colorado College, gave a presentation titled "Pythagorean Music Theory and the Modern Rosicrucianism."
  • Frater Kevin Townley, VIII°, Suffragan of Colorado College, gave a presentation titled "Cruciform, on the several crosses used in Rosicrucian initiation."
  • Frater Ben Williams, VIII°, Celebrant of Colorado College, gave a presentation titled "Cornerstones of Tradition: Electing Times for Action."
Fratres below IX° were asked to leave while the Grade of Magus was conferred upon Ben Williams. After the conferral, the Chief Adept of Colorado then a discussion on future conferences. The Fratres then adjourned across the hall to start the Conference Banquet. After a great meal, a few of us had the obligatory glasses of scotch and fellowship.

Now the Chief Adept of Montana and I are heading to Denver International Airport for our respective flights home.

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Visiting St. Mary Magdalene Parish

While getting ready to come to Denver for the weekend for the Rocky Mountain Masonic Conference and Rocky Mountain SRICF Conference, I found out the St. Mary Magdalene Parish, a local parish of the Apostolic Johannite Church, was having a liturgical service tonight and I was able to visit. This service was a very unique liturgy of anointing! It honors the Sacred Feminine as described in the Old and New Testaments, as well as Gnostic texts.

An Acolyte in the St. Mary Magdalene Parish led the service which is for "expanding on the Feminine tradition in the Christian church." This Parish is one of only two that performs this service within the AJC, currently. The service was wonderfully done and insightful. It was a pleasure to meet the Priest and Rector of St. Mary Magdalene Parish, Very Reverend Father Weaver, as well as the Prior of the Oblates of the Temple and St. John, Rev. Brother Mark Donato. After the service ended, we talked and went to dinner at a local restaurant.

While I am newer to the Apostolic Johannite Church and am not from Colorado, they made me feel at home. I only wish that I could attend Mass on Sunday, but I will be going back to Idaho that morning.

Thursday, July 4, 2019

Happy Independence Day

I hope everyone has a Happy Independence Day! God bless these United States and God bless our Founding Fathers!







Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Templar Biography: Phillipe de Milly

The seventh Grand Master of the Knights Templar was Phillipe de Milly, also known as Philip of Nablus, and who mysteriously resigned around 1171. He is said to have been a gifted linguist, knowing French, Latin, Arabic and Armenian.

Phillipe was born around 1120 AD in the Holy Land to Guy de Milly, a Baron in the Kingdom of Jerusalem. Phillipe inherited his father's estates around Nablus (30-miles north of Jerusalem) and married a woman named Isabella le Bouteiller. They would go on to have a son (who died young) and two daughters named Helena and Stephanie. Helena would go onto marry Walter III of Brisebarre, the Lord of Beirut. Stephanie is said to have married Reynald de Ch√Ętillon after his release from the dungeons of Nur ed-Din and go on to be the Lord of Kerak.

He was in attendance at a council in Acre in 1148 where he spoke against attacking Damascus. He along with other native Barons were overruled and resulted in the failed attack on Damascus.

He took part in the Siege of Ascalon in 1153. In that same year, he granted land to the Order of Saint Lazarus, also known as the Leper Brothers of Jerusalem, whose primary job was the care of those afflicted by leprosy, but also, being a military order, took part in battles such as the Battle of La Forbie in 1244.

In the Summer of 1161, exchanged his lordship over Nablus for Oultrejordain. Over the next few years, he would strengthen some of the more strategic fortresses such as Kerak. At some point he also made a pilgrimage to the Monastery of Saint Catherine of Alexandria in the Sinai.

In January of 1166, Phillipe joined the Templar order and gave to them some of his castles and land. Some speculate that the death of his wife caused him to give up his lands and titles, and join the Templars. His lands would have passed to his eldest daughter, Helena.

After the death of the Templar Grand Master, Bertrand de BlanchefortPhillipe was elected as Grand Master in August of 1169. Many believe that King Amalric had campaigned in support of Phillipe so he could gain Templar support for his Egyptian campaign. The relationship between the Templars and the King of the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem had been damaged during Blanchefort's time.

For unknown reasons Phillipe resigned as Grand Master early in 1171, and was succeeded by Odo de St Amand. He died on April 3, 1171, on his way to Constantinople.

References

1. Cobbold, D. (n.d.). Philippe de Milly or Naplouse (1128??-1178). Retrieved from Project Beauceant: http://www.templiers.org/philippe-milly-eng.php

2. Philip of Milly. (n.d.). Retrieved from Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philip_of_Milly

3. Philippe de Milly, 7th Templar Grand Master. (2017, November 5). Retrieved from Geni: https://www.geni.com/people/Philippe-de-Milly-7th-Templar-Grand-Master/6000000001868498051

4. Napier, G. (2014). Pocket A-Z of the Knights Templar: A Guide to Their History and Legacy. The History Press.

5. Grand Masters. (n.d.). Retrieved from Ordre Souverain et Militaire du Temple de J√©rusalem: https://www.theknightstemplar.org/1942-2/