(by Christopher Rooney, Massachusetts Freemasons, March 11, 2020)
From the desk of the Grand Master.
I firmly believe in the autonomy of our institutions and the importance of letting our leaders lead. To that end, effective immediately, Masonic activities within the jurisdiction may resume, provided the presiding officer determines it is the prudent and responsible thing to do.
Yesterday, I made the difficult decision to cancel the Grand Lodge Quarterly and to suspend all Masonic activity in the jurisdiction due to the COVID-19 outbreak. I made this decision out of an abundance of caution for our members who would have gathered here in Boston for today’s activities, and in response to the recommendations made by Governor Charlie Baker to help slow the spread of the novel coronavirus by declaring a state of emergency.
Once I made the decision to cancel the Quarterly, it was imperative that we quickly, clearly, and decisively communicate that message to the Craft. With the benefit of time and further consultation with leaders from inside and outside the fraternity, we are afforded the opportunity to refine the decision and the implications it has on our members, lodges, and appendant bodies.
This announcement is subject to further revisions as the situation dictates. Grand Lodge will monitor developments daily.
To each individual in position to make such a decision, I strongly urge you to monitor the spread of the coronavirus, particularly in your community and surrounding area, and to put the health and wellbeing of your members above all else. To that end, I have cancelled tours of the Boston Masonic Building until further notice.
As always, take due notice and govern yourself accordingly.