Are The Masons?
(also known as Freemasons) belong to the oldest and largest
fraternal organization in the world. Today, there are more than two million
Freemasons in North America. Masons represent virtually every occupation and
profession, yet within the Fraternity; all meet as equals. Masons come from
diverse political ideologies, yet meet as friends. Masons come from varied
religious beliefs and creeds, yet all believe in one God.
of North America’s early patriots were Freemasons. Thirteen signers of the
Constitution and fourteen Presidents of the United States, including George
Washington, were Masons. In Canada, the Father of the Confederation, Sir John
A. MacDonald, was a Mason, as were other early Canadian and American leaders.
of the most fascinating aspects of Freemasonry is how so many men, from so
many different walks of life, can meet together in peace, always conducting
their affairs in harmony and friendship and calling each other “Brother.”
Freemasonry (or Masonry) is dedicated to the Brotherhood of Man under the
Fatherhood of God.
uses the tools and implements of ancient architectural craftsmen symbolically
in a system of instruction designed to build character and moral values in its
members. Its singular purpose is to make good men better. Its bonds of
friendship, compassion, and brotherly love have survived even the most
divisive political, military, and religious conflicts through the centuries.
a fraternity that encourages its members to practice the faith of their
personal acceptance. Masonry teaches that each person, through
self-improvement and helping others, has an obligation to make a difference
for good in the world.
|Where Did Freemasonry Begin?|
one knows just how old Freemasonry is because the actual origins have been
lost in time. Most scholars believe Masonry rose from the guilds of
stonemasons who built the majestic castles and cathedrals of the middle ages.
In 1717, Masonry created a formal organization when four Lodges in London
joined in forming England’s first Grand Lodge. By 1731, when Benjamin
Franklin joined the Fraternity; there were already several Lodges in the
Colonies, and in Canada the first Lodge was established in 1738.
Masonic Lodges are found in almost every community throughout North America,
and in large cities there are usually several Lodges.
A Mason can travel to almost any country in the world and find a
Masonic Lodge where he will be welcomed as a “Brother.”
|What Do Freemasons Do?|
Masonic experience encourages members to become better men, better husbands,
better fathers, and better citizens. The fraternal bonds formed in the Lodge
help build lifelong friendships among men with similar goals and values.
Beyond its focus on individual development and growth, Masonry is
deeply involved in helping people. The Freemasons of North America
contribute over two million dollars a day to charitable causes. This
philanthropy represents an unparalleled example of the humanitarian
commitment of this great and honorable Fraternity. Much of that assistance goes to
people who are not Masons. Some of these charities are vast projects. The
Shrine Masons (Shriners) operate the largest network of hospitals for burned
and orthopaedically impaired children in the country, and there is never a fee
for treatment. The Scottish Rite Masons maintain a nationwide network of
over 150 Childhood Language Disorder Clinics, Centers, and Programs. (Go here
to see a small sample of the work done by the newest Masonic charitable
Many other Masonic organizations sponsor a variety of
philanthropies, including scholarship programs for students, and perform
public service activities in their communities. Masons also enjoy the
fellowship of each other and their families in social and recreational
Masonic Principles Are:|
Faith must be the center of our lives.
All men and women are the children of God.
No one has the right to tell another person what he or she must think or believe.
Each person has a responsibility to be a good citizen, obeying the law.
It is important to work to make the world a better place for all.
Honor and integrity are keys to a meaningful life.
Is The Masonic Lodge?|
The word “Lodge” means both a group of Masons meeting together as well
as the room or building in which they meet. Masonic buildings are sometimes
called “temples” because the original meaning of the term was “place of
knowledge” and Masonry encourages the advancement of knowledge.
Masonic Lodges usually meet once or twice a month to
conduct regular business, vote upon petitions for membership, and bring new
Masons into the Fraternity through three ceremonies called degrees. In the
Lodge room Masons share in a variety of programs. Here the bonds of friendship
and fellowship are formed and strengthened.
Can Qualify To Join?|
Applicants must be men of good character who believe
in a Supreme Being. To become a Mason one must petition a particular Lodge.
The Master of the Lodge appoints a committee to visit the applicant prior to
the Lodge balloting upon his petition.
Masons are men of good character who strive to
improve themselves and make the world a better place. They belong to the
oldest and most honorable fraternity known to man. If you think you may be
interested in becoming a member, you can begin by contacting a Lodge in your
area or speaking to a Mason.
|Men of Character and Integrity Join
are men who go about their jobs and professions with no hint they are
Freemasons except for the way they lead their lives. Many are readily
recognizable by name, face, or accomplishment. George Washington and thirteen
other Presidents, eight Vice Presidents and forty-two Justices of the Supreme
Court have been Masons.
Norman V. Peale
Courtesy of the Masonic Information Center
8120 Fenton Street, Silver Spring MD 20910-4785