Grand High Priest

Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masonry, NL

Grand High Priest

Grand High Priest 2021-2022

M.Ex. Comp Robert (Bob) Mercer

Contact Information: Mobile 709-638-5937; E-Mail

Mother Chapter: Milley Chapter No. 2

Mother Lodge: Lodge Humber No. 1475 SC

Residence: Pasadena, NL

Royal Arch Masons in Covid-19 Times

While there are many and varied mottos that one could choose to guide him in his term of office as Grand High Priest there are times when circumstances dictate what his actions must be. We are now living in just such a time. Consequently, rather than stating a motto, my focus during my term in office will be to find ways and means to keep Royal Arch Masonry a focal point in the lives of all RAM members during this Covid-19 pandemic. Since our last Convocation in Gander in 2019 it is perhaps fair to say that with the advent of Covid in March of 2020 Royal Arch Masonry has been largely in a holding pattern awaiting for the "all clear" signal from our Provincial and Federal health leaders.

Throughout 2020 and into 2021 there were intermittent signs that things were about to return to "normal" but all hopes of returning to our Chapter rooms were dashed when in May 2021 the Convocation in Corner Brook was cancelled for the second year in a row. Will there be a Convocation in 2022? Only time will tell.

While hope ‘springs eternal’ we must also do our utmost to keep the ship of RAM afloat and on a steady course until this dreaded pandemic is vanquished or at least held in check. While there may be many ways to do this I am of the opinion that first and foremost we must maintain contact with one other. Something as simple as regular phone calls to Companions to let them know that they are in our thoughts and prayers can be very therapeutic. From such conversations you may become aware of a need that you may be able to readily fulfill or find yourself in Masonic conversations of mutual interest. Never underestimate the power of personal contact and the joys that it can bring to yourself and others.

While in-person Chapter meetings are presently restricted there is no reason why we can not take full advantage of today’s technologies to meet and have discussions of mutual interest. Some Chapters are already making full use of the Zoom technology and having virtual meetings. While this technology may not allow us to do things exactly as we would like to, it does have the benefit of expanding our personal contacts with individual Companions and benefitting from the dynamics of a larger group. It also allows Chapters to keep its members abreast of day-to-day Chapter business. A further benefit of is that it allows us to reach out to members not currently residing in our local areas.

In having virtual meetings we must keep in mind that there may be members who have not yet attained the Holy Royal Arch. In such cases I would encourage Chapters to open in lessor degrees and extend invitations to Brethren who are still in their journey to the Holy Royal Arch. For many of those Brethren their last contact with RAM was in 2019. We either bring them into our virtual meetings now or run the risk of losing them entirely. The same applies to in-person meetings when they resume.

Embracing new ideas and new ways of doing things is not something that most of us feel comfortable with but history has proven over and over again that unless we adapt to a changing world, we will as Sir Winston Churchill once said "be left in the dustbins of history".

While supporting and maintaining Royal Arch Masonry in these difficult times must be our prime objective, it is absolutely essential that we do so only in ways that are in full compliance with the latest public health advisories and with our own personal dictates.

"Holiness to the Lord"