Vol. LVI No. 2 — February 1978
This Short Talk Bulletin is the funeral sermon delivered by Rev. John G. Marvin, D.D., Chevy Chase Presbyterian Church, at the funeral of our beloved Most Worshipful Brother Conrad Hahn, P.G.M. (Connecticut), who served as Executive Secretary/Treasurer of the Masonic Service Association of the United States from 1964 to 1977.
The moving message of "Preaching . . . Teaching . . . Healing" is of special tribute to Most Worshipful Brother Hahn; however, it contains important insight into the application of Masonic Ideals.
Dr. Marvin graciously permitted the use of this sermon as a Short Talk Bulletin for which deep appreciation is expressed.
"God is our refuge and strength, a vary present help in trouble. I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth." (From Psalms 46 and 121).
"The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures;
He leadeth me beside the still waters.
He restoreth my soul; He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His name's sake.
Yea, though 1 walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil; for Thou art with me;
Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me.
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies;
Thou anointest my head with oil; My cup runneth over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life;
And I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever." (Psalm 23 )
Let us pray: Lord, we would lift up our eyes unto the hills, beyond the limits of our physical sight to the light of Thy presence. We confess that we are temporal; but we affirm that Thou art eternal. Lord, we are weak, but Thou art strong. In Thee do we put our trust.
Help us also to remember that Thou are our shepherd and dost lead us through green pastures; beside still waters; and in the paths of righteousness. And when Thou dost call us to go into the valley of the shadow we would say with the Psalmist, "Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for Thou art with me." And, Lord, point us to the greener pastures on the other side of the Valley.
And now as our Savior Christ has taught us let us pray together saying: "Our Father, who art in heaven; Hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever, Amen."
This service is to the Glory of God and in loving memory of Conrad Hahn who was so closely related to the three great professions, those of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ: preaching, teaching, and healing. We will express our gratitude for this life of dedicated service.
Let us give thanks for the life of Conrad Hahn as one who was closely related to the preaching ministry of the church. He began his life as a child of the Manse and a son of a minister. Throughout his whole life he was dedicated to the Church, and ecumenical in his loyalty. Having begun his life as a Presbyterian he became a Baptist while he served as Headmaster in a Baptist country Day School. Then he became a member of the Congregational Church, serving on the Board of Stewardship while in Bridgeport, Connecticut. And when he came to Washington, he became a loyal member of this congregation for 18 years and concluded his life as a Presbyterian once again. Even though he was a layman he served as a supply minister and was a fine public speaker.
The author of the book of Hebrews speaks of this characteristic and dedication in the familiar words: "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained good report. These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he hath prepared for them a city. (from Hebrews 11 )
One of Conrad Hahn's favorite hymns speaks of this faith which was the treasured possession of our fathers.
"Faith of our fathers! living still
In spite of dungeon, fire and sword.
O how our hearts beat high with joy
Whene'er we hear that glorious word!
Faith of our fathers! holy faith!
> We will be true to thee till death!
Faith of our fathers!
we will love Both friend and foe in all our strife,
And preach thee, too, as love knows how,
By kindly words and virtuous life:
Faith of our fathers! holy faith!
We will be true to thee till death!
Frederick W. Faber
Let us give thanks for the life of Conrad Hahn as one who was closely related to the teaching ministry. As Teacher and Headmaster in the Unquowa Country Day School, Fairfield, Connecticut, and the Suffield Academy in Suffield, Connecticut. As a teacher and scholar he never gave up his dedication to the search for knowledge and particularly in the spiritual things.
When Jesus Christ described His call to His family and friends in the synagogue at Nazareth, He spoke of the preaching-teaching ministry in these words: "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised . " ( Luke 4 :18 )
No part of his teaching ministry was more important than the words He spoke to His disciples in the upper room on the night before He went to His cross and explained to them eternal things and an eternal home: "Let not your heart be troubled; ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also." (John 14: 1-3)
The poet speaks of the importance of the teacher's vocation in the words: " A builder builded a temple,
He wrought it with grace and skill; Pillars and groins and arches
All fashioned to work his will. Men said, as they saw its beauty,
'It shall never know decay.
Great is thy skill, O builder:
Thy fame shall endure for aye.' A teacher builded a temple
with loving and infinite care, Planning each arch with patience,
Laying each stone with Fayer.
None praised her unceasing efforts
None knew of her wondrous plan;
For the temple the teacher builded
Was unseen by the eyes of man.
Gone is the builder's temple,
Crumbled into the dust;
Low lies each stately pillar,
Food for consuming rust.
But the temple the teacher builded
Will last while the ages roll,
For that beautiful unseen temple
Is a child's immortal soul."
Let us give thanks for the life of Connie Hahn as one who was closely related to the healing ministry. As Executive Secretary of the Masonic Service Association of the United States, he supervised not only research and education but also the outstanding Hospital Visitation Program. In addition he was author and editor of "Your Masonic Hospital Visitor." And now his family has designated the Masonic Home and Hospital of Wallingford, Connecticut, to receive Memorial Gifts. Certainly his faith was reflected in his love and concern for others.
The Apostle Paul speaks of this in his letter to the Church at Rome when he says: "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come; Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." (from Romans 8) The Quaker poet, John Greenleaf Whittier, has captured the thought of this loving service and its eternal dimension in the familiar poem:
"Immortal Love, forever full, Forever flowing free, Forever shared, forever whole, A never-ebbing sea! The healing of His seamless dress Is by our beds of pain; We touch Him in life's throng and press, And we are whole again O Lord and Master of us all,
Whate'er our name or sign, We own Thy sway, we hear Thy call, We test our lives by Thine."
Into the hands of our loving Heavenly Father we commit the life and work of Conrad Hahn.
Let us pray: Our Father, we thank Thee that Thou are the Giver of all good gifts and we know that all that we are and all we hope to be, all that we have and hope to possess are gifts from Thy loving hand. But especially we give Thee thanks for the Supreme Gift of Thy Son our Savior Jesus Christ. At this glorious season of the year, we are especially grateful for Bethlehem and the voice of the angel who said, "Fear not, for behold I bring you good tidings of great joy which shall be to all people, for unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior who is Christ the Lord." We thank Thee for His birth in Bethlehem, His life and teaching, His death and resurrection and the assurance that His presence is with us.
We would claim His promise that where two or three are gathered together in His name, that He is there in the midst, and again, "Lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world."
And now we pause to thank Thee once again for the life that has lived among us. The Psalmist has told us that the days of our years are three score years and ten, and we give Thee thanks for one who knew the full span of life.
The Psalmist has also told us that, "God is our refuge and strength. A very present help in trouble." And we are grateful for a man of faith who could say with Thy servant Martin Luther, "A mighty fortress is our God, a bulwark never failing."
Once again in the Scripture Thou hast told us, "Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with all thy might." We thank Thee for one who was totally given over to his work, taking time from himself and other interests to be of service to those in need. And now that sickness and death is passed we are grateful that Thou has called him so quickly from this life to the life eternal, and that he may be reunited with many whom he has loved long since and lost awhile.
Thine especial blessing rest upon those who are conscious of the severing of ties of blood and of friendship, especially his immediate family, his wife, daughters and grandchildren, those who are bound to him by fraternal ties, and others who are gathered here due to their ties of affection.
And may the "peace of God which passeth all understanding keep your minds and hearts in the knowledge and love of God, and of His Son our Savior Jesus Christ, and may the blessing of God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit be and abide with you all both now and forever." Amen. TRIBUTE
In 1967, The Grand Lodge l~f Connecticut presented Most Worshipful Brother Hahn with The Pierpont Edwards Medal in Silver, for Eminent Masonic Service. The accompanying citation embodies the spirit of Conrad Hahn. We take pride in extracting generous portions of that citation.
Twenty-seven years have passed since Brother Conrad Hahn applied for membership in Apollo Lodge No. 59 at Suffield, Connecticut. In that relatively short span of time his feet have trod a path which led from the northeast corner of his Mother Lodge to a position of national prominence.
The mantle of service fits comfortably on his broad shoulders for he inherits from his forbears a dedication to the premise of "others above self." He is the grandson of Dr. Ferdinand Hahn, a medical missionary who established the first mission for lepers in India. A generation closer, his father, Dr. Theodore F. Hahn, was serving as a medical missionary and teacher when Conrad Hahn and his twin brother were born on December 13, 1906 at Fuerte, Sinaloa, Mexico.
The pursuit of education carried him to the public school systems of Louisiana, New York, and Pennsylvania; to the University campuses of Yale and Columbia; and to the classrooms and administrative offices of Connecticut preparatory schools. At Yale, he was awarded a Bachelor of Arts Degree with Honors, and membership in Phi Beta Kappa. In 1933, after teaching for five years, he received a Master of Arts Degree from Columbia University, with highest honors in English. In his search for knowledge, his athletic prowess was not neglected for he starred in swimming and track during high school, and won varsity letters in lacrosse at Yale.
For twenty-four years, beginning in 1928, he served the students of Suffield Academy. In his first years there he taught English and German, and in 1961 he was elected Headmaster, having filled the position of Assistant Headmaster since 1937. After eleven years in this post, he moved to Fairfield, Connecticut, to accept the position of Headmaster of Unquowa School. Here he served with distinction until 1958 when he was called to Washington, D. C. to fill the vacancy created by the death of Most Worshipful Carl H. Claudy. Since joining the Masonic Service Association he has travelled throughout the United States and his services as a speaker are in great demand.
Conrad Hahn was elected Worshipful Master of Apollo Lodge in 1944, only five years after he was raised. He served as District Deputy, and on April 3, 1957, after filling the subordinate offices of the Grand Lodge, he was elected Most Worshipful Grand Master of Masons in Connecticut. In September, 1962, at Philadelphia, he was coronetted a Sovereign Grand Inspector General, 33rd Degree, and an Honorary Member of the Supreme Council for the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction.
Throughout his career he has had the aid and encouragement of the girl from Scranton, Pennsylvania, who became his wife on March 21, 1930. Margaret Ritz Hahn has been his most ardent supporter in days of success and his unfailing strength in times of trouble. She is the mother of their two married daughters, Marlene Ann and Emily Elizabeth, and is her husband's willing assistant in spoiling their two grandchildren.
It is impossible to delineate the reasons for honoring this man. For how can words describe the unseen facets of a great heart dedicated to the love of mankind? And what picture can show the working of a keen mind whose intellect is directed toward benevolent service in the cause of humanity?
This man whose accomplishments we recognize, embodies a philosophy which is a remarkable blend of the simple and the complex; simple as a child in his attitude toward morality and truth; complex as the wisdom of the ages in his knowledge and application of every commendable virtue.
Tall and erect; combining dignity, humor, and compassion in his every act; he meets the problems of life with a firm but gentle hand. He is dedicated to home, to family, and to his fellowmen. A man of letters — he is also a man of God. His words have served to inspire Masons and non-Masons alike throughout our vast country.
Conrad Hahn is a living example of a moral and upright being; a willing servant where service is needed — a brilliant leader when called upon to lead. He exemplifies the principles of Freemasonry by precept and example. It was not for us to teach him the tenets of the Fraternity at our Altars, for the high ideals which Masonry teaches are inherent in his nature.
The contributions of this man cannot be weighed or counted but his good deeds, like his friends, are as the sands of the sea.
Man cannot create for him any distinction save public recognition, for his mantle of greatness was patterned by God, fitted by loving parents, hemmed by his Masonic vows, and woven of the moral fiber which is the very core of his being.