Traditional Observance Lodge in Houston, TX

Discussion in 'General Freemasonry Discussion' started by Erickson Ybarra, Aug 6, 2015.

  1. Erickson Ybarra

    Erickson Ybarra Registered User

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    Sorry if the title got your hopes up...but there isn't one...that I know of.

    I'm very interested in this concept and see that they have been popping up across the US for some time now. I heard that there is one in Dallas but couldn't find one in Houston. I'm wondering why not yet...with 2 of, what I'm told, the more active lodges in Texas being here in Houston, I figure the Masonic community in Houston must be more active in general than many other places. So is there just no interest from enough people? Has then been discussed already? Does GL disapprove?

    Any insight would be greatly appreciated!
     
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  2. JJones

    JJones Moderator Staff Member

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    Check out St. Albans lodge in College Station. I thoroughly enjoyed my visit with them in June and they aren't far from Houston.
     
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  3. dfreybur

    dfreybur Premium Member

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    Pretty much. It leads newcomers to Texas to think the grand line is out of touch with the rest of the world. It's an issue that falls more in the quaint category than the horrible category.
     
  4. Erickson Ybarra

    Erickson Ybarra Registered User

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    It appears that some TOLs have succeeded in Texas. So there is no edict banning TOLs, it's just frowned upon?
     
  5. MRichard

    MRichard Mark A. Ri'chard Premium Member

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    I have heard that Doric Lodge is close but I am not that familiar with what they are.
     
  6. JJones

    JJones Moderator Staff Member

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    The lodge I mentioned previously is about 20 years old. I don't know if they've been operating exclusively as a TOL lodge for the entirety of it's existence but I know they've been doing so for several years now.

    I'd think it'd be hard to slap a ban on TOLs because they stress a lot of importance on following the laws of their jurisdiction. "TO" is treated like a label: either a lodge is TO or it isn't, but there's a wide range of practices and traditions which separate a TO lodge from any other and these practices can be adopted, modified, or dropped entirely based on their jurisdiction and individual needs. One example is the Chamber of Reflection, some TO lodges have one, others probably don't, and I know I've read of other lodges that bypass GL rulings by simply using a CoR that isn't on lodge property.

    It probably seems that way sometimes and I agree, to an extent, but the few existing TO lodges here in Texas are indicative to me that such lodges or practices could be created and adopted if enough brothers desired such a thing at a local level.
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2015
  7. Roy Vance

    Roy Vance Certified Premium Member

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    The TO Lodge in Dallas is the Jewel P. Lightfoot Lodge.
     
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  8. Erickson Ybarra

    Erickson Ybarra Registered User

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    I was pretty disappointed when I learned that the CoF was banned. I feel it is important for the initiate to be in the right state of mind for the journey he is about to take and the CoF would be great for that. I guess even TO lodges can't maintain that old way of operating given the Grand Lodge's edict.
     
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  9. Bro. Stewart P.M.

    Bro. Stewart P.M. Lead Moderator Emeritus Staff Member

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    I SO enjoy my plural membership with Louisiana.... You can get both the Traditional Observance & Red Lodge experience!
     
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  10. chrmc

    chrmc Registered User

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    As previously users have said St. Albans in College Station is most likely the best option for a TO experience close to Houston. Doric lodge is a more formal lodge who has a lot of focus on short meetings, festive boards, education and decorum, but they do not claim the TO label.

    I know there is a grouping in Houston that would like to see an actual TO lodge chartered and started, but with the GL laws it's not easy to do.
     
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  11. Erickson Ybarra

    Erickson Ybarra Registered User

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    I'll have to check it out sometime.
     
  12. cemab4y

    cemab4y Premium Member

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    I have been fascinated with the TO lodge concept for some time. (I have never attended such a lodge). I would be very interested to learn more about these lodges, and how to start one! Please keep us up-to-date, on your progress.
     
  13. Ripcord22A

    Ripcord22A Site Benefactor

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    Red lodge?
     
  14. Bro. Stewart P.M.

    Bro. Stewart P.M. Lead Moderator Emeritus Staff Member

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    That is correct. Louisiana is one of the very few jurisdictions where the Scottish Rite version of the first 3 degrees is still practiced. They have one primary degree team that travels the state to preform the degrees. Although the lessons taught are quite similar, they are inherently different. When you get the chance to see one of these, you will be pleasantly surprised that they open up the Master's Lodge in 3 languages (English, French, & German).

    As you may not already know, the initial degrees we received are based upon the York Rite (Blue) ritual. Scottish Rite (Red) ritual once widely practiced was moved away from in the U.S. when it was mutually decided between both Masonic bodies that YR would take the primary degrees, SR taking over beyond the 3rd degree.
     
  15. Ripcord22A

    Ripcord22A Site Benefactor

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    I've never heard that before.....maybe after my kids are grown and im retired ill have to travel to Louisiana
     
  16. HumbleTXMason

    HumbleTXMason Premium Member

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    I never heard of TOLs before... I had to Google it and found the Masonic Restoration Foundation's website and have visited St. Albans and Jewel P. Lightfoot websites.

    Seems like a really interesting concept... hard to believe that with Houston been the 4th largest city in the US and the number of brothers, lodges and venues here there isn't one. If there's a group of brothers trying to form one I would be interested.

    I'll have to check out St. Albans in College Station... it's almost 2 hours from my home, but I like opportunities to wear my tux!
     
  17. HumbleTXMason

    HumbleTXMason Premium Member

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    @JJones

    Brother, thank you for mentioning St. Alban's. I've corresponded with their Secretary and I'm now planning to attend their next Lodge of Instruction next October. He shared a lot of good info on what goes on during the evening, what to wear as a visitor, and the origin of the term TO, which was coined two years after St. Alban's was formed and chartered.
     
  18. JJones

    JJones Moderator Staff Member

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    I strive to be helpful. :)

    Everyone I spoke with was very friendly and easy to talk with and the ritual was very spot on as well. I hope you enjoy it.
     
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  19. Ripcord22A

    Ripcord22A Site Benefactor

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    Voting on wednesday to approve the addendum to our bylaws to make out lodge(cerrilos #19 GLoNM) the first TO in New mexicos history
     
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  20. RyanC

    RyanC Registered User

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    Cemab4y, Im in the GLofNY our Grand Master likes the concept of TO Lodges and would like to see more in our State. Right now a group of about 15 of my Brothers for all over our District are working on starting a TO Lodge. We need every Lodge in our District to approve of the a new Lodge forming, right there is a lot of support from young Masons and a lot of push back from the older ones.
     

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