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Masonic Week 2024: John Bizzack Named 112th Blue Friar

by Christopher Hodapp

WB John W. Bizzack, Past Master of Kentucky's historic Lexington Lodge No. 1 and one of the driving forces behind the Rubicon Masonic Society, was named as the 112th member of the Society of Blue Friars at Masonic Week in Arlington, Virginia last Friday.

The Blue Friars were founded in 1932 for the express purpose of recognizing outstanding Masonic authors throughout the world. It is arguably the smallest of Masonic organizations, and possibly the oddest, since it has no ritual and few rules. Traditionally, the Society convenes a Consistory each year during Masonic Week in the Washington, D.C. vicinity to induct a new Friar, and its gatherings are open to all Master Masons. Each year's Consistory is a highlight of Masonic Week, and a new friar may be announced at the discretion of the Grand Abbott.

Friar Bizzack is the author of numerous books, including
Island Freemasonry, an examination of the influential role that Masonic lodges played in civilizing the frontier during America's early westward expansion, and how modern observant-styled lodges can play much the same part today by holding members to higher standards and educating new generations in civility, self-improvement, self-governance and tolerance. A thread that winds throughout all of John's works is that in fewness there is strength. A smaller fraternity will ultimately be a better one, and the huge membership numbers of the past ultimately damaged Masonry's core mission in North America.

Some of Friar Bizzack's other works include
Taking Issue, Sins of Our Masonic Fathers, and Bending Granite.

Normally, the new friar is expected to present an original research paper at the Consistory. Unfortunately, John was unable to attend due to upcoming surgery, but his paper on the subject of measuring the success of Freemasonry was read by Friar Shawn Eyer.

Grand Abbott Arturo DeHoyos has named Philalethes Magazine editor Shawn Eyer as the new Deputy Grand Abbott for the Blue Friars, since former Deputy Abbott Mark Tabbert moved away from the Washington D.C. area last year and took up residence in Iowa. Mark has returned to his midwestern roots, and living a more leisurely life out here in the states that begin with 'I', where the greatest dilemmas we face are over what to wear to the weekly Corn God sacrifices...

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