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This is a salute to Bro. Gus Katsafaros, a member of Hellenic Lodge #1084 and a dual member of Constellation Lodge #974. Bro. Gus is the owner of Marmalade, a very popular breakfast and lunch restaurant, Marmalade at 1969 W. Montrose Ave. (the corner of Montrose and Damen). The restaurant is normally closed on Tuesdays, but on June 28th, a day that marks the establishment's 5th year anniversary, Gus and his staff are opening the doors and welcoming patrons with open arms. They'll be open for breakfast and lunch (7:30 AM - 2:30 PM) All that day’s proceeds will be earmarked to help the families of the Orlando shooting victims who were injured or killed in the massacre that occurred on June 12th. In Gus' words, "This senseless act has scarred our nations image beyond comprehension, and I think it my duty as a human being, as an American and as a Freemason to do whatever is within my means to bring some relief, even if only monetary, to the families and loved ones of the victims and survivors of this horrific and mindless act."
If you are reasonable driving distance to Marmalade, you’re invited to enjoy great food and be part of this initiative that so truly exemplifies the charitable and empathetic Masonic mindset.
The quality of a man’s character has always been the measure of a good man and prospective Mason; it is the internal and not the external qualities that makes him square, level and plumb. Couple that with a pronounced belief in God, stated in our Masonic language as the “Grand Architect of the Universe,” and he possesses the fundamental characteristics that we can use in the evaluation of his candidacy for our ancient and honorable fraternity.
Recently, two Grand Lodges in the United States, Georgia and Tennessee have taken actions to exclude men from being Masons based upon their sexual orientation. This discriminatory innovation is not consistent with Masonic principles. It contradicts the open and inclusive culture that is the foundation of Masonry which unites men of various geographic, religious, ethnic, socio-economic, etc. backgrounds. We purposely bring good men together to collectively improve ourselves, serve our Masonic family and support our communities.
We can proudly point to the wisdom of our Brothers many centuries ago to exclude the interference and involvement of religion and politics from our Gentle Craft. That decision has served us well and removes large barriers to having productive conversations and harmonious working relationships. The influence of individual religious beliefs on the actions of these two Grand Lodges is not appropriate for Masonry and has no place in the governance of its members. It is through the religious tolerance and acceptance taught in Masonry that enables Brothers from various faiths to see past differences to look for what matters most, a Brother’s good heart and upright actions. Although I disagree with the actions of these Grand Lodges, I acknowledge the Masonic sovereignty of both jurisdictions to govern themselves and their members.
As your Grand Master, I want to be clear that the actions of these two jurisdictions presents a message that is absolutely contrary to Masonry here in Illinois. We are a welcoming fraternity of Brothers and Friends. We value the talents, skills and capabilities of all of our Brothers. Within our Illinois Masonic Family, we acknowledge all of the loving and caring relationships that our Brothers hold dear. We are a stronger family for taking that approach and will continue to stay true to our Masonic values.
Fraternally and sincerely,
Message from the Grand Master
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Featured Writer: Bro. John Loayza
As a progressive lodge officer, have you ever asked yourself two thought provoking questions as to “What does it mean to listen to the voices of our lodge members, and Why does it matter?”...
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