April 2022 Newsletter

Blazing Star Logo

The Blazing Star Light

Latest News & Updates From Blazing Star Lodge #694 F&AM

April Meetings & Events:

Saturday, April 9, 2022 – Fellowcraft Dinner for HRAKTP
Tuesday, April 12, 2022 – Committee Reports Presentations
Saturday, April 16, 2022 – Fellowcraft Meeting
Tuesday, April 26, 2022 – Nominations for Officers


By: Bro. Frank W. Reed
(From Masonic Monthly, Philadelphia, Pa., May 1917)

When back we look upon the darksome way
From which we traveled with uncertain mind,
The selfsame mystic monsters do we find
Still making dolts their arrogance obey.
Confusing craftiness seeking to dismay
Each forward thought; their mental eyes to blind,
Enthroned deceit yells courses from behind,
And preaches hell to crutch its dying sway.
But when at last the will asserts it’s force,
And gains release from shackles long endured,
The phantom doubt dissolves in dawning light;
And from on high, where freedom gets its source,
A soul, new-born, of future life assured,
Finds God is love in each Masonic Rite.

Tuesday, March 8, 2022 – “Minutes”


As most of us enjoyed a delicious spaghetti and meat sauce dinner prepared by W:. Andruczyk, W:. Breth spent time with one of our Entered Apprentices, Bro. Phillips. His proficiency was impressive, according to W:. Breth, and he could be ready this year for his Second Degree. This, however, is tentative since we are already approaching our last five communications of the 2021 – 2022 Masonic year.  It is amazing how quickly time flies.  

We continued the evening with some outstanding conversations on ways to make Blazing Star more social.  Several ideas were brought up before the Lodge for consideration.  Some of the best were purchasing darts, foosball, and other such entertainment to keep Brothers at the Lodge after we close our meetings.  Additionally, there was talk about starting a Brotherhood Fellowship evening on non-meeting nights. 

We are one of the luckiest Lodges in the Erie District to still own our own Lodge building.  Some say this is a burden but it gives us flexibility and the ability to meet as Brothers whenever we want.  It also is a tribute to the Blazing Star Brothers of the past.  I am sure many of them put hammer to nail to build the building that they entrusted to us.  Another great idea presented was to have all Brothers write and present a short paper about themselves.  Anything they want to let us and generations of Brothers to come to know about themselves.  These would then be placed into an archive for Brothers to read many years from now.

Have ideas?  Bring them to Lodge!

Tuesday, March 22, 2022 – “Minutes”

The evening started with another Entered Apprentice stopping in before dinner for some instruction and guidance with his proficiency. W:. Breth as usual provided him with the necessary tools he needed to continue his study. We hope to see more of our Entered Apprentices in the coming weeks and over the summer at our fundraising and Fellowship events. 

As usual, dinner began at 6:30 pm.  The Brothers present enjoyed a delicious chili prepared by Bro. Paterek but it seems that the bread was the big hit of the meal.  If interested it is the Vienna from Tops.  The secret is to let it breathe outside of the package for at least 30 minutes before cutting so it gets a nice crisp to the crust. As always our meals are not only about the food but the discussion and connections made between Brothers as we share in a time-honored tradition of breaking bread with each other.  

Our main presentation for the evening came from Brother Ken JP Stuczynski, High Priest of East Aurora Chapter No. 282 of Royal Arch.  Bro. Ken spoke about the Royal Arch Masonic tradition of the York Rite.  His intention was not to recruit but to inform Brothers about what lies beyond The Third Degree. Continuing one’s journey in Masonry is a personal decision. A Mason should consider many factors before joining another Masonic Body. Family, work, religious and personal obligations are foremost. 

If you are interested in exploring the York Rite Degrees please contact Brother Ken JP Stuczynski at ken@kentropolis.com. East Aurora Chapter meets at the Blazing Star Lodge in East Aurora, NY.  While no Mason would ever persuade any other Mason to join any other Masonic body it is something to think about as a Blazing Star Mason.  Many are already Companions of the East Aurora Chapter.  Ultimately it is your decision but this might present some opportunities in Masonry for you in friendships, education, and most importantly Light in Masonry.  

After closing Lodge, many Brothers stayed for Fellowship. Strawberry and cherry cakes were available but because of Lenten sacrifices and/or diets, they went untouched.  This is probably for the best since summer is around the corner and we all need to look our best at the pool, at the beach, or on our yachts.

It is always good to see Brothers talking and exchanging ideas and experiences. 

Brothers Of The Bread Update

Lots of bread

Brothers of the Bread is the main charitable outreach of Blazing Star Lodge.  Each month, we supply between 5000 and 9000 loaves of bread, treats, and/or rolls to food pantries in Erie and Cattaraugus Counties alone.  In the photo you see one trip to the local bakery, we have between three and four pickups per week.  You will find Brother Egressy (The Bread Man) at the Lodge every Tuesday passing out bread, jelly, treats, and more to local food pantries.  

Each trip to the bakery gives us between 30 – 36 trays of assorted bread and sometimes pastries or donuts. 

Freemasons of East Aurora

The Lodges and concordant bodies that meet at Blazing Star Lodge started a Facebook page. This page will promote the activities of each Lodge and Concordant body that meet in the East Aurora Lodge building. Please like and share as appropriate.


Robert R Livingston Masonic Library

Are you interested in learning more about Freemasonry?  Do you love reading? Then you need to join The Reading Course Program of The Robert R Livingston Masonic Library. As a Mason in good standing in the State of New York, you are privileged with the ability to check out books from the Library. Each Reading Course is a set of books on a Masonic study and interest. This opportunity is presented to New York Freemasons free of charge, Brothers are only responsible for the return postage which is under $5.00. Speaking from experience this is a great way to increase your knowledge in Masonic study.

The Masonic Minute

By: Steven L. Harrison, 33, PM, FMLR

One evening, in 1948, the President of the United States abided the press, his entourage, and some of the agents of the secret service to sneak off and attend a Master Mason Degree at Beech Grove Lodge #694.  Donald Earl Bauermeister and President Harry S. Truman.

The 2021 – 2022 Trestle Board

Meetings are on the second & fourth Tuesdays from September to June
(Unless otherwise specified)

April Meetings & Events:

April 9, 2022 – Fellowcraft Dinner for HRAKTP
April 12, 2022 – Committee Reports Presentations
April 16, 2022 – Fellowcraft Meeting
April 26, 2022 – Nominations for Officers

Upcoming Meetings & Events:

May 10, 2022 – Voting for Officers
May 25, 2022 – Installation of Officers
June 14, 2022 – Old Timers’ Night / Recognitions

Past Meetings & Events:

September 14, 2021 – Welcome Back!
September 28, 2021 – First Degree Prep 1
October 12, 2021 – First Degree Prep 2
October 23, 2021 – Ghost Hunt
October 26, 2021 – Stated Meeting
November 9, 2021 – Rememberance
November 23, 2021 – Thanksgiving Week
December 11, 2021 – Fellowcraft Dinner for HRAKTP
December 11, 2021 – First Degree Rehearsal
December 14, 2021 – The First Degree
December 18, 2021 – Fellowcraft Meeting
January 11, 2022 – Welcome back from Winter Break!
January 25, 2022 – Stated Meeting
February 8, 2022 – Stated Communication
February 19, 2022 – Fellowcraft Meeting
February 22, 2022 – Stated Communication
March 8, 2022 – A Night of Proficiency and Planning
March 19, 2022 – Fellowcraft Meeting
March 22, 2022 – Ken JP Stuczynski on Royal Arch

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My Brother

My Brother
By Bro. Todd M. Paterek

This past year I got to know an older Brother quite well.  It started with a request to take him to his doctor’s appointment and back to his assisted living home.  One hour, at most.  Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, I recently started working from home and thought that an hour or two out of my day for a Brother is the least I can do to help.

The “Fun” began when I picked him up.  I drive a pickup truck, like any other, is a bit higher off the ground so getting him in was a bit of an exercise, for both of us.  Right foot here, left cheek there (I cleaned up his words) and in he went.  At the Doctor’s office, it was a fumble of paperwork and insurance, I offered to help but he had everything under control.  His name was called, and I waited and waited.  I began to wonder if I would be able to get my work done or if I would have to work late to make up for the lost time.  I took some phone calls and answered a few emails and a “quick” hour later he was ready to go.  No, not home yet, he needed a couple of things at the durable equipment store.  Socks and a cane, I do not remember exactly but they did not have either of them anyway.  He was not quite done, time to go grocery shopping.  I followed him around the store as he chose the right peaches, looked for the hot cocoa he always bought and rummaged around here and there.  We held up numerous people as he struggled to maneuver his walker through the displays.  One man commented behind me under his breath “let’s move it old man”.  With a gentle voice, I turned and requested that he show some respect for the man I was starting to grow impatient with myself. This Mason, my Brother.  It was that second I realized that there was no other place in the world that I would rather be than helping my Brother with the simple tasks of life.  We finished his shopping trip, capped by confusion at the self-checkout.  We laughed together instead of me trying to hurry him along, an employee came over to help and we got her laughing too.  By this time, we were about three hours into the day, and it was lunchtime.  I suggested we get lunch he said okay but he insisted that he treated.  I told him he gets to pick the place then.  He chose Ted’s Hot Dogs (good choice).  Because of the pandemic, it was drive-through only and the line was long since they didn’t have an official drive-through.  I used the quiet time to ask him what our Lodge was like when he was my age.  He told me about parties with bands, dancing, and everyone brought their entire family.  He spoke of good times, and bad at Blazing Star.  He told me to keep pushing to get our Lodge back to the glory of those days when young men became Masons, Masons filled the seats, and all enjoyed Fellowship, Brotherhood, and the wonders of Masonry.  He encouraged me to keep trying because Masonry and our Brothers are worth the time and effort.

We finally got our foot-longs and fries, he realized he did not bring any money, Yadda, yadda, yadda, and we found an empty parking lot to eat, and relax.  We talked about this and that and mostly enjoyed the sun and each other’s company.  As we took our last bites, I asked him; “what else can we do?”.  He was hesitant but asked if we could go to his house because he had to pick up a few essential things.  Without hesitation, we were on our way.  When we got there, I could tell there was a change in his usual happy manner.  I assumed he was flooded with memories of his wife who recently passed.  He noted that his daughter moved the TV and couch.  “Things are not where they should be”, he remarked.  We talked about holidays spent there, his children, and other subjects not so important.  Then he stopped and just looked around.  With his back to me, he said, “I don’t think I’ll be coming back here anymore”.  I assured him that he will when he is stronger, and it will be sooner than he can imagine.  Reassured he gathered his important items (a tube of toothpaste, and a candy bar) and said he would like to go back to the assisted living home now.  We packed up and headed back.  The conversation was as quiet and slow as I drove.  I can only speak for myself, but I believe we both wanted to have something more to do, an excuse to not return to the “daily” of our individual lives.  Nevertheless, the day together was done.  We returned and we said our goodbyes.  I was honored that he called me another time to take him to the same doctor a month later.  It was not as much of an adventure, but we were able to share valuable time together again.  All cleared by the doctor he soon returned home with nursing care. 

I called him and talked on the phone for about 30 minutes he told me how much he wanted to get back to Lodge and to be sure to relay his “helloes” to everyone.  I told him I would pass his well-wishes, and when he is ready I will pick him up for Lodge and take him home. We said our goodbyes and agreed we would talk again soon.

A few weeks later I found out that he had passed.  I wanted to call him one more time, but I was always too busy.  I lost my opportunity, but I reminded myself that if it were not for that first “favor” I did I would not have even really known my Brother.  He touched something inside of me, something that makes me want to do better for each of you, for the men that are not yet Brothers, and hopefully for that Brother that will one day drive me around aimlessly.  The favor I did for him turned into the amazing life lesson he gave to me. Never wait, be there for your Brothers. Jump at the opportunity to help or a simple visit. I hardly knew him when I agreed that first day and now I can fully say he truly is my Brother.

My Brother receiving his 50 years of service award with his wife, the Grand Master of Masons in the State Of New York, The Deputy Grand Master, and the Master of our Lodge.

I want to know each of you in this way.  We are Brothers and that is one thing, but can you honestly say that you would shed a tear if I passed tomorrow.  Would I for you?  I am not sure. The goal is not the tears that fall after a Brother passes, the goal is the Brotherhood formed while we are together.  When the heart empties and the tears fall, we know a True Brother has left us.  It is fortunate for us left behind that we have each other.  Once again, I am reminded of our First Degree prayer Psalm 133.  We live together in Unity, we work together toward a common goal, the rewards are outstanding for everyone, and we, like those Brothers that have gone before us, will continue to live in the hearts of our Brothers forever. 

I wish we were all close Brothers.  That we would come together to work, relax, have fun, and learn.  We have this Lodge that was built by our Brothers before any of us were born.  Year after year our Brothers met here as we do each month.  However, they also came together in Fellowship and grew the bond of Brotherhood over time.  When one passed they mourned together and took comfort in each other.  When one was in need the others all helped without asking. When one celebrated, they all celebrated.  I believe we can have that here at Blazing Star again.  We have the sparks, we just need to let it burn. 

We Have A TV Winner!

Congratulations to John and Debbie P. winners of the 55″ TV. We want to thank EVERYONE who purchased a ticket or more. The funds raised will help us continue our charity work in the area. Specifically, we help The Fish of East Aurora food pantry, Rural Outreach Center, Bread of Life, and many more. I understand it would feel better watching a new TV but keep in mind your donation IS going to help those in need. Thank you for your kindness in helping our community.

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