“There are two kinds of masonry; operative and speculative masonry.”
Although “we work ask speculative masons only”, the brothers of Fidelity-St. John’s No. 3 put the working tools of masonry to task in the tradition of our ancient brethren. A project, which began in May 2015 by Worshipful Brother James Wade D’Acosta, became an annual project for the brothers of the lodge and this year, celebrating its 5th Annual Habitat for Humanity Work.
“Organizing a Build Day led by Fidelity-St. John’s No. 3 was my special project when I served as Worshipful Master.” W.B. James D’Acosta said. “I chose Habitat for Humanity because of the organization’s exceptional reputation, its focus on helping people in our community, and because of the opportunity the work itself gives us to put our symbolic tools to work. Using square, plum, and level, we raise buildings and connect with our ancient brethren who labored as operative masons, and we do so in a day which brings us together through teamwork.”
Just like the previous years, the brothers were blessed by the Grand Architect with a wonderful weather to put the working tools to good use. Not only did the brothers and friends volunteered their day to help the ones in need, but the day also provided an avenue for the brothers to work together and form a stronger bond of friendship.
Amongst the volunteers are two brothers, Bro. Barry McDonald and Bro. Walter Matis who, at the time, were Fellowcrafts. They experienced firsthand the lessons they have learned when they were passed through the second degree of masonry. When asked for a takeaway, Bro. Barry McDonald said, “Habitat for Humanity promotes teamwork and a bonding experience that follows in the footsteps of one the many principles of Freemasonry. It’s a gratifying experience that warms your heart knowing you can positively affect a person in need.”
Marking its 5th year, the brothers of Fidelity-St. John’s No. 3 sees this event as a great milestone. For five straight years, the brothers, through the leadership of W.B. James D’Acosta, has helped several family members to own a place they can call home. Just as what Bro. Walter Matis said, “it was a marvelous experience to work with a team of brothers and help build a house that will be appreciated by its residents. The day was made special by having not just brothers there, but also family members and friends.”
We now look back and reflect on what Bro. Benjamin Franklin said, “Masonic labor is purely a labor of love. He who seeks to draw Masonic wages in gold or silver will be disappointed. The wages of a Mason are earned and paid in their dealings with one another; sympathy begets sympathy, kindness begets kindness, helpfulness begets helpfulness, and these are the wages of a Mason.”
For any brothers with their own lodges would like to help, Habitat for Humanity are always in search for extra manpower to fulfill their goals and to help families in need. If any would like to volunteer or donate, please visit the Habitat for Humanity of Coastal Fairfield County website at http://www.habitatcfc.org.
The themes of education and achievement is heavily portrayed in the Fellowcraft Degree. The more a man learns through pursuit of knowledge, the more he achieves. This very theme is exactly what the new Fellowcrafts of Fidelity-St. John’s Lodge No. 3 received that night at the Burr Mansion.
The Burr Mansion is one of the historical sites in the town of Fairfield. Rebuilt around 1790 by Thaddeus and Eunice Burr following the Revolutionary War’s burning of Fairfield, the house was one of the town’s cultural and social centers. Before the years leading up to the American Revolution, the Burr Mansion hosted some of the well-known figures in the American History; such names include George Washington, John Adams, Samuel Adams, John Hancock, and Aaron Burr. Moreover, in 1775, years before it was rebuilt, John Hancock and Dorothy Quincy exchanged wedding vows at the mansion in a graceful ceremony.
This same place was where newly admitted Fellowcrafts took their obligation and passed through the degree. Though not as spacious or as magnificent as King Solomon’s Temple, the Burr Mansion was transformed that evening to a place representing the Middle Chamber of King Solomon’s Temple.
The degree displayed such elegance and grandeur as the new Fellowcrafts were first introduced and conducted to the Middle Chamber of King Solomon’s Temple. They discovered firsthand the beauty of various objects like the two great pillars and its globes. They felt the steps beneath them as they climb up the winding stairs of three, five, and seven steps, while observing the five columns growing in beauty in each step. Lastly, they recognized the importance of the knowledge they achieved that as they enter the middle chamber.