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Candidate / Applicant.  New to the English Language..
Posted: 12 June 2017 07:24 PM   [ Ignore ]  
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Dear Sir’s. Need some clarification.. First off my Lodge is in California and also I am a officer in the Lodge..
My Lodge is considering accepting the application of a young man whom has newly arrived in the U.S.  And he has a very limited grasp of the English language.
FYI. ( His App. has not been read yet.. )
My W.M. has suggested that we can Initiate him , but I’am not so sure. How will he understand what is being said and done..  I would like some opinion’s on understanding how this make’s sense.    Thank you for your consideration.  S & F

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Posted: 12 June 2017 08:23 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]  
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Wow, that’s a tough one. You certainly have a point in that if he doesn’t understand English he certainly will not understand everything in the degrees. On the other hand, I didn’t get it all when I went through the degrees. I’ve been Master of my lodge for two years and I’m still learning. I’m sure you are, too. I tend to give good men a pass on some of their shortcomings and if I met this man and found him to be someone I would be proud to sit with in lodge then I would read his petition. Remember the lesson of the rough and perfect ashlars and I think you may see what I mean.

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John Ruggiero, 32°
Master, Ancient York Lodge, Lowell, MA.

God never sends us anything we can’t handle. Sometimes I wish He didn’t trust me so much. - Mother Teresa

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Posted: 12 June 2017 09:28 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]  
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I agree with the concern. I don’t think I would approve it (if was my authority to do so) unless there was someone in the lodge who could translate. But the difficulties are just beginning because in ours he would have to learn his EA Lesson (Q&A) before moving to the next degree and we teach mouth to ear only. And then he would have to give back his exam in English. Same for the FC lesson and MM lesson. So I just don’t see it happening here until he can demonstrate he has learned English.

Also, you said that his petition has not been read yet. If you have reservations about that petition then it is your duty to say so and vote your heart. There may be others who feel the way you do.

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Bro. David Howard
Jr Grand Deacon - GL of Alabama F & AM
Sr. Warden - Howard E. Palmes Lodge #917, Mobile, Alabama

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Posted: 12 June 2017 10:05 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]  
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Dear Brother’s. 
Thank you for the replies..  I do want to make clear that my concern is that the young man get the Full Experience of Masonry..
How can you do a Degree without being able to speak his Native Language ?
Just to give some more background to this situation. This candidate / visitor has been visiting the Lodge for about 6 weeks. FYI. The idea of his petition was brought to our attention last week in a officers meeting by our W.M. So I was not aware of the intent for him to apply for the Degree’s. In closing as a Brother Mason I would want the candidate to have a Meaningful Experience and not have any Negative feeling’s.
My Ten Cents..  Is that we should wait until he has a proficient understanding of the English Language.

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Posted: 13 June 2017 06:40 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]  
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I suggest that someone from the Lodge should spend more time with him to assist him in learning english which would also strengthen his desire and tie to the lodge even before ever joining.
He learns, you learn, and his friends learn as well.

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Posted: 13 June 2017 07:06 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]  
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Question… You mention that he is newly arrived in the US.

What is the residency requirement for California?  Does he meet it?

I mean no disrespect in the following comment..

If you truly have a concern about his ability to understand (as limited as anyone’s understanding when we first started) what he is agreeing to, then as mentioned before, it is your obligation to at least voice your concern.

Have you taken the time to hold any “at length” discussions with him about anything?  What is your take on those discussions?

While it is your obligation to voice any concerns, taking 15 minutes to investigate this concern is a small price for your own peace of mind and more importantly the harmony of the lodge.

If it was easy, everyone would be doing it.

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Brother Ken

St. John’s 1P, RI
EA 10/19/16
FC 1/18/17
MM 3/15/17
Signed By-Laws 5/17/17

Far and away the best prize that life has to offer is the chance to work hard at work worth doing ~ Theodore Roosevelt

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Posted: 13 June 2017 08:07 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]  
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My lodge has a number of immigrants, some with thick accents, but they can all communicate well.

My jurisdiction, in addition to the usual requirements, requires a candidate to be physically capable of doing the degree work and mentally capable of understanding it. A man who is senile, for instance, would fail the second requirement and could thus not be initiated.

By extension, all other things being equal, I would say that a man who cannot understand the details of the ceremony because of a low level of language skills should not be initiated until his skills have improved.

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Bro. Bob
Zetland Lodge No. 83
Calgary, AB

Initiated 1 March 1979
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Raised 18 October 1979

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Posted: 13 June 2017 08:11 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]  
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For me the main sticking point is that if he is “newly arrived” in the US who can possibly vouch for his character and the fact that he will not disturb the harmony of the Lodge by being accepted.

I also find myself wondering why he has not availed himself of Lodge membership in his homeland and of course if he comes from a country where such “western” organisations are banned does he even comprehend what it is that he is actually signing up to.

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Mike Martin
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Posted: 13 June 2017 08:51 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]  
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Brother’s..  Again thank you for your responses.
The young man is only 18 yrs old.. He has plenty of time to join our Wonderful Craft. Also I want to clarify that I voiced my concerns at the meeting we had when this was brought up. In addition I will be making a appointment with the candidate to have a conversation with him as said in a previous reply here.
My suggestion at the meeting was that we either make arrangements to have him initiated in a Spanish speaking Lodge or have a Spanish speaking Degree Team come to our Lodge.
Or simply have Him wait until it was deemed that he had a learned the English.. This would also give us give all the Brother’s Time to assess his commitment to Masonry..   
These thoughts I share with you and I Hope you do not misunderstand my point..
The Candidate Experience and Harmony of the Lodge being most Important. Thank You S & F

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Posted: 13 June 2017 04:56 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]  
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As I understand it then, he is Spanish speaking. I like the idea of getting a spanish speaking team, if one is available. I think this would do a couple things:
First, it would demonstrate to the potential Brother that we, as masons, can make things work despite minor road blocks such as language barriers.
Second, it ensures that the candidate actually understands the ritual. There is a lot going on in them, and a language barrier is a big issue to overcome when teaching. I dont know what the requirements are in CA, but here we are given study guides in cipher. Which are in English. If you cannot read English, you certainly will not understand the cipher books.

And, I think seeing rituals in another language would actually be pretty neat. An experience worth remembering!

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Petitioned September 2015
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Initiated January 11, 2016
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Raised May 9, 2016

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Posted: 14 June 2017 08:46 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]  
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I think we ( my Lodge ) should wait a Time with Patience !!

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Posted: 15 June 2017 07:01 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]  
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I don’t think it’s a good idea for this candidate to go through the degrees (and all the proficiency work) before he has a grasp of the language first. Also, there can’t be a spanish speaking team at the lodge all the time for stated meetings and other functions. I assume there is at least one of the brothers of your lodge that is bilingual? Because if there isn’t, the candidate will have difficulty integrating into the lodge. How would he even know what he’s committing to in his obligation without understanding the words? I hope the WM decides to hold off on initiating someone so new to the country and language. I, too, wonder how this candidate can be properly vouched for….

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P. Cassidy

Initiated: 11/5/16
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St George Lodge #33

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Posted: 16 June 2017 01:39 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]  
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Bro DHoward - 12 June 2017 09:28 PM

I agree with the concern. I don’t think I would approve it (if was my authority to do so) unless there was someone in the lodge who could translate. But the difficulties are just beginning because in ours he would have to learn his EA Lesson (Q&A) before moving to the next degree and we teach mouth to ear only. And then he would have to give back his exam in English. Same for the FC lesson and MM lesson. So I just don’t see it happening here until he can demonstrate he has learned English.

Also, you said that his petition has not been read yet. If you have reservations about that petition then it is your duty to say so and vote your heart. There may be others who feel the way you do.

Agreed!

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St. Matthews Lodge 906, Louisville,Kentucky.
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Posted: 30 June 2017 09:33 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]  
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Again thank you Brother’s..  This last week my W.M.informed me that he was going to put the App. on hold and wait on the candidate to get more comfortable in his New Country.  So I,am pleased that it turned out that way.. As I was a bit perplexed for the Lodge and the candidate..  S & F

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