Who Are We?
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.
Many 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.
One 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."
What Is Freemasonry?
Freemasonry (or Masonry)
is dedicated to the Brotherhood of Man under the Fatherhood of
God. It 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. Freemasonry
is a fraternity which 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.
Did Freemasonry Begin?
No one knows just how old
Freemasonry is because the actual origins have been lost in time. Most
scholars believe Masonry arose 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.
Today, 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
The 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
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 orthopedically 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.
Many other Masonic organizations sponsor a variety of philanthropies,
including scholarship programs for children, and perform public
service activities in their communities. Masons also enjoy the
fellowship of each other and their families in social and recreational
Several 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
Each person has a responsibility to be a good citizen, obeying the
It is important to work to make the world a better place for all.
Honor and integrity are keys to a meaningful life.
What Is The Masonic
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 a "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.
Who Can Qualify To
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
So Who Are The Masons?
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 The Masons
Most 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.
COURTESY - THE GRAND LODGE OF VIRGINIA A.F.& A.M.