Brother LaPlaceNew Executive Secretary Selected By MSA Board Of Commissioners

Simon R. LaPlace has been selected as the new Executive Secretary of the Masonic Service Association of North America.

Brother LaPlace is a Past Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Connecticut.

He succeeds George O. Braatz, who is retiring after five years of service in the position.  The selection of Brother LaPlace was made by the MSA Board of Commissioners at its Mid-Year Meeting earlier this month.

The MSA, formed in 1919 and now headquartered in Burtonsville, MD, provides educational material, statistical reports, disaster relief, and administers a Hospital Visitation Program across North America.

Brother LaPlace, who is completing his term as a member of the board of directors of the George Washington Masonic Memorial in Alexandria, VA, has been active for many years in Masonic activities at local, state and national levels.

The Executive Commissioners of MSA began the search for a new Executive Secretary in the spring of 2016 after Brother Braatz announced his upcoming retirement.

After reviewing submitted resumes and utilizing an interview process, the Executive Commissioners selected Brother LaPlace.  He will begin working at MSA on October 1.

Thomas H. Galyen, Chairman of the MSA Commissioners, said MSA is excited by this change in leadership and looks forward to the continuing service of MSA to all member jurisdictions and Masonry in general.

Brother Braatz, a Past Grand Master and Past Grand Secretary of the Grand Lodge of Ohio, will conclude his service at MSA at the end of the year.


Cornerstone offer. . . Freemasons originally laid them in traditional ceremonies –

     and are still doing so today

Perhaps the best description of the Masonic tradition of Cornerstone Laying is found in the book, Cornerstones of Freedom, written by S. Brent Morris, and originally published by the Southern Jurisdiction of Scottish Rite.  It contains 195 pages of enjoyable reading and great pictures.

Also, a brochure, Cornerstones – a Masonic Tradition of Dedication . . . That Makes Sense Today, examines more recent Grand Lodge ceremonies and their significance.  The brochure, written by James Tresner for the Grand Lodge of Oklahoma, was subsequently published by MSA's Masonic Information Center.

You may purchase both the book and brochure for $12.00, including shipping and handling. (Out-of-U.S. purchasers should contact MSA for shipping costs.)

In addition, Author Brent Morris will autograph all copies of Cornerstones of Freedom purchased as part of this offer.

You may purchase the package at MSA's Online Store by clicking here, and using a credit card.

Or, send your check, marked "Cornerstones," to:

Masonic Service Association of North America
3905 National Drive, Suite 280
Burtonsville, MD  20866

Hurry. Quantities are limited.


Don't Miss the Prepublication Date of September 1 for Volume IV

STB VolumesThe fourth of a projected five-volume set of “The Complete Collection of Short Talk Bulletins” can now be ordered at special, reduced pre-publication prices.

Volume IV, with more than 700 pages, will cover all Short Talk Bulletins for the years 1968 through 1982.   When the series is completed, all 90-plus years of Short Talk Bulletins will be published in this attractive, re-edited, re-typeset, and indexed version.

Orders will be taken at the reduced, pre-publication price until September 1, 2016.  The Volume IV book will be shipped to all buyers in the Fall, 2016.

The Short Talk Bulletin is an invaluable treasure of Masonic education and inspiration, and a great source of topical material for Lodge meetings.

The editor of the volumes is S. Brent Morris, P.M., Managing Editor of the Scottish Rite Journal and Past Master of Quatuor Coronati Lodge in London.

Limited supplies of Volume II and III of the Collection are still available for sale.  Volume I is now out of print.

Read a detail flyer about Vol. IV, including all pricing information, as well as directions for ordering.

Order a volume, using a credit card in MSA's Online Store.


VA officers meets MA RepsTop VA Officer Meets MSA Reps in Massachusetts

Robert A. McDonald, right, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, was in Massachusetts in mid-July to attend a meeting at the West Roxbury VA Medical Center.  As he entered the facility, he found MSA's Hospital Representative and Deputy Representative Harvey A. Simons and Lil Simons, at the information desk.  Also pictured, at left, is volunteer Norman Hartstone.  Secretary McDonald is "a very gracious person." Lil commented.


Regius & Friends – Oldest Masonic Document, Plus Companion Manuscripts, Now Available

Regius packageThe Regius Poem, believed to be the oldest surviving Masonic document, is considered to be one of the "Old Charges" – that is, a description of the requirements to be a Freemason.

 There are other ancient manuscripts and documents, which also fall into the category of "Old Charges."

The archives of the Masonic Service Association contain descriptions, insights and commentary about at least four of these historic documents.  They are:

  • The Regius Poem (Halliwell Manuscript), circa 1390
  • The William T. Boyden Manuscript, circa 1700
  • The Shadwell-Cameron Manuscript, circa 1700
  • The Thomas Carmick Manuscript, circa 1727

For those who want to learn more about some of the earliest historical documents about Freemasonry, MSA has assembled of packet from its archived material.

The Packet includes 2 Digests, 2 historical Short Talk Bulletins, and 2 copies of other saved documents from MSA's archives, all of which try to explain and translate what our Masonic forefathers considered important.

These items, if obtained individually from MSA, would cost $21.  Together in the special offer, they are available for $15, including shipping and handling.

Those interested can send a $15 check for each packet to the MSA Office, using the order code #SPRP.  Or, they can be obtained at MSA's website – -- using a credit card.

Supplies are limited.


Active Appeals

Disaster Relief for Louisiana - 8/19/2016

The Green Envelope Appeal raises funds for the Hospital Visitation Program.

Online Store

Current Newsletters:   Emessay Notes and Focus 

Disaster Appeal For Louisiana

The Masonic Service Association has established a Disaster Relief Fund for Louisiana, following drenching rainstorms and massive flooding.  Thousands of homes and buildings have been damaged or destroyed, with 70,000 persons reportedly displaced.

The magnitude of the storm was described by the America Red Cross as the "worst natural disaster in the United States" since Hurricane Sandy in 2012.  Recovery is expected to take months, and the lack of communication in flooded areas continues to cause issues in finding information and victims.

The Grand Lodge of Louisiana reported that two Lodge buildings have been heavily flooded, and the building of the Scottish Rite Valley of Baton Rouge, which houses three additional Lodges, incurred significant amounts of flooding and damage.  Many Masons and Masonic families are among the 70,000 displaced.

Please forward to the MSA such donations, which you feel are appropriate to help our devastated Brothers, their families and others in this stricken jurisdiction.  Please make checks payable to MSA Disaster Relief Fund and send them to: Masonic Service Association, 3905 National Drive, Suite 280, Burtonsville, MD 20866.  When remitting funds to MSA, please mark checks, "Louisiana Appeal."

 Also, donations may be made on MSA's webpage -- with the use of a credit card.  This allows funds to reach their destination faster.

MSA is a 501 (c) (3) charitable organization.


Masonic Mentoring BrochureNEW!  Masonic Mentoring Guidelines In Clear, Helpful Language

A great, new brochure has been published by the Masonic Service Association that, in simple, understandable words, establishes a sound mentoring program for any Lodge.

Masonic Mentoring explains:

  • Who should be a mentor,
  • What a mentor does,
  • What new members expect, and
  • Tips for being successful.

It is perfect to assist any Lodge candidate-counseling program, or any new member orientation effort.  It is good for members of a candidate committee, or for any individual who may be working with a new member.

Thanks to Bert Bouma, of Montana, author, and to the Grand Lodge of Montana, for permission to republish this material.

You may order Masonic Mentoring now at our Online Store.


Audio Online LibraryAudio Online Library Goes to Maine District Education Officers

Congratulations to the Grand Lodge of Maine, which has obtained subscriptions to the Masonic Service Association's "Short Talk Bulletin Online Audio Library" for its District Education Officers, to share this resource with members in their districts. MSA has been working with Brother Michael Smith, of Maine, and Anaba Publishing to provide subscribers with the monthly Short Talk Bulletin as a spoken audio file, in addition to access to a growing collection of historical Short Talks in audio version. 

For details, go directly to  (The letter in the middle is the lower case letter l ("L".)

Audio Subscription for Short Talk Bulletin Now Available

A new style of subscription for the Short Talk Bulletin, is now available for those who may be visually impaired or just prefer an audio version.

By subscribing to the Short Talk Bulletin Online Audio Library, every month you will receive the current Short Talk Bulletin as a spoken audio file.

The Masonic Service Association is working with Brother Michael Smith, of Freeport, ME, and Anaba Publishing, who recently published an audio book of MSA Short Talks from many years ago.

The subscription fee for the special audio Short Talk is $20 per year.  For more information, go to the Online Audio Library for information on how to subscribe.

The subscription also provides notification of the growing collection of historical Short Talks, as audio versions are produced.


2016 Revised MSA Publications Catalog Now Online

The newly updated MSA Publications Catalog is now ready for viewing on this site.  The Catalog is available only on our webpage. Click here to download the Catalog in PDF format. Please print a copy for yourself to keep on hand. NOTE: This replaces all previous editions of the Catalog, and orders placed should be at the current pricing.

The redesigned Catalog shows updated prices on publications, which is required due to the increasing costs of printed materials. We have adjusted our shipping charges and now any order totaling $5.00 or less will ship for free.

Everything that MSA offers in its Catalog is not at the Online Store, but the most popular publications and those which we periodically offer at a special discounted price can be found there. MSA's Online Store may be used for ordering those items using a credit card. All other items in the Catalog can be ordered using the order form and including a check with the order.

The list of Short Talk Bulletins--from 1923 to the present--which in the past was printed in the Catalog, is now available as a separate document by clicking here.


Masonic Funeral Services Brochure Again Reprinted – Reflecting Its Popularity

Officially titled, "An Open Letter Concerning . . . Masonic Funeral Services," this brochure is one of the most sought-after items on the shelves of the Masonic Service Association.

A new version of the brochure, which promotes a better understanding of Masonic funeral practices, was newly designed and reedited in 2014 to become a more contemporary communications tool.  Demand for the venerable brochure has caused this new reprinting.

The pocket sized pamphlet is aimed at clergy of all faiths, and is also great for education of Masons, whether new members or those seeking more information regarding the Masonic funeral procedures.

  • Single copy, $1, includes shipping, and must be ordered by mail from MSA.
  • Package of 50 brochures - $14, plus shipping (from MSA or online)
  • Package of 100  brochures - $27, plus shipping (from MSA or online)


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