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.
MSA is offering a special bundle of Volumes II, III, and IV (clothbound Master Mason Edition ONLY) of the Short Talk Bulletin Collection.
These are the re-edited, re-typeset, and indexed Short Talk Bulletins in bound volumes, each containing approximately 15 years of MSA's monthly publication, and well-over 700 pages of outstanding reading in each volume.
All three volumes are still available for sale for $98 each (including shipping). But you can save by buying two or three volumes together through this Holiday Special!
Buy any 3 Volumes for the special price of $250 – a savings of $44, or buy any 2 Volumes for $170 – a savings of $26.
Shipping costs are included for the U.S. only; non-U.S. orders must call our office for pricing. Please note: Due to high demand, Volume I is out of print.
The deadline for this offer is December 31, 2016, and it cannot be extended after that date.
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.
The 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:
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 – shopping.msana.com -- using a credit card.
Supplies are limited.
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.
Brother Thomas E. Moe, who spent five years in a brutal prisoner-of-war camp in Vietnam, is the featured writer of this year's Green Envelope Appeal, which helps fund the Masonic Service Association's Hospital Visitation Program.
This year's appeal has been mailed to many friends and associates of the MSA across the continent.
"Brother Moe returned from his torturous experiences in Vietnam to become a respected professor at the University of Notre Dame, researcher at the Kroc Peace Institute, and the Director of Veterans Services for the State of Ohio," said George O. Braatz, PGM, Executive Secretary of MSA.
In his letter, Brother Moe says that, as a combat-wounded veteran, he appreciates the care needed for our Veterans, and how important are the visits they receive in VA Hospitals from volunteers, such as those MSA hospital visitors.
The Masonic Service Association has established a Disaster Relief Fund for North Carolina, as massive flooding has hit the state in an aftermath of Hurricane Matthew.
The rampaging waters caused by the hurricane and its drenching rainfall have resulted in protective levies breaking or leaking. An Interstate highway has only recently been reopened and power outages persist in numerous areas of the state.
The Grand Lodge of North Carolina reported that three Lodge buildings were heavily damaged by the flooding conditions, and reports of damage or injury to Masonic families are expected.
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, "North Carolina 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.
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 – www.msana.com -- with the use of a credit card. This allows funds to reach their destination faster.
MSA is a 501 (c) (3) charitable organization.
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:
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.
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 https://gumroad.com/l/STBOAL# (The letter in the middle is the lower case letter l ("L".)
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.