Freemasonry is not for everyone but if you have an honest desire to improve yourself, associate with men of similar interests, and contribute to the welfare of your community, then we may have what you are looking for.
WHY WAS I NOT ASKED TO JOIN THE MASONIC FRATERNITY?
You may be surprised to know that the friend who asked you to read this literature will not ask you to petition the Masonic Fraternity for membership. Contrary to popular belief, membership in Freemasonry is not by invitation. Instead, if you seek membership, you must do so on your own initiative by making your wishes known to a member of the fraternity.
WHAT ARE THE QUALIFICATIONS FOR MEMBERSHIP IN THE MASONIC FRATERNITY?
Freemasonry is proud of its philosophy and practice of “making good men better”. Only individuals believed to be of the finest character are favorably considered for membership. They must profess a belief in God.
HOW DOES AN INDIVIDUAL PETITION TO BECOME A MEMBER OF A MASONIC LODGE?
A petitioner must be recommended by two members of the Masonic lodge to which he seeks membership. At a subsequent monthly meeting of the lodge the petition is voted upon by secret ballot.
ARE QUALIFIED INDIVIDUALS EVER REJECTED?
In an organization as old and as large as the Masonic fraternity, surely some individuals may have, on occasion, been unfairly rejected. Because voting by secret ballot, there is no way of knowing who votes for or against the individual. On the other hand, surely no fraternity in the world cares more or teaches more about fairness, justice, and brotherly love as does Freemasonry. One of the reasons for Freemasonry’s success is the careful manner in which it considers petitions for membership.
ARE UNQUALIFIED INDIVIDUALS EVER ACCEPTED?
Because of the size of the Masonic fraternity, occasionally an individual may be accepted for membership who does not practice the honorable precepts of Freemasonry. When this is discovered, and the fraternity’s established rules of conduct have been violated, suspension may result. Because of the careful manner in which petitioners are considered for membership, however, this problem has proven to be almost rare.
WHAT TYPES OF INDIVIDUALS ARE MEMBERS OF FREEMASONRY?
Freemasons come from virtually every occupation and profession. Within the fraternity, however, they all meet on an equal basis. They come from diverse political ideologies, but, within the fraternity, they meet as friends. They come from virtually every religious belief, but they all believe in God. Freemasons are patriotic citizens who obey the governments under which they live.
One of the most fascinating aspects of Freemasonry has always been how so many men, from so many different walks of life, can meet together, begin and end their meetings with a prayer, always conduct their affairs in peace, harmony, and friendship, and call each other “Brother”.
WHAT DO FREEMASONS BELIEVE IN?
Members of the Masonic fraternity practice a sincere belief in the Fatherhood of God and the Brotherhood of man.
ARE THERE MORE THAN ONE MASONIC ORGANIZATION?
After a member receives his Third (or Master Mason’s Degree) he may, if he so desires, become a member of any of a number of Masonic organizations with the Masonic “family” which are well known for their charitable work. They include:
|The Scottish Rite||Mental Retardation and Alzeimers Research|
|The York Rite||Eye Foundation|
|The Shrine||Crippled and burn children|
Some of these Masonic organizations (such as the Shrine) are much more visible in our communities than others. The Shrine Masons have built 18 crippled children’s hosptials and 3 burn institutions throughout North America. These hospitals were built, staffed and are maintained wtihout any government money. Even for incredible, no child has ever been charged for any treatment at a Shriner’s Hospital. That’s be-cause the Shrine Masons and their friends pay for it all with endowments, wills, gifts, and fundraising activities such as the Shrine Circus.
At the Shriner’s Hospitals, more than 250,000 crippled children have been restored to a normal or near-normal life. Because of their great work for crippled and burned children, the Shrine Masons have earned the proud title of “The World’s Greatest Philanthrophy.” Several of the organizations within the Masonic family are much more socially oriented than is the Blue Lodge. It is, however, the strength of the principles taught in Blue Lodge masonry that establishes the foundation and creates the real bond among masons everywhere. No matter how many Masonic-related organizations to which an individual belongs, he always holds to that bond of being first, last, and always, “A MASON!”
The individual Blue Lodges dispense charity in many ways within their own communities while, as its primary charity, the Grand Lodge of New Brunswick provides scholarships to worthy men and women with ties to the Masonic fraternity, as well as supporting Camp Goodtime, a weeklong camp for children with cancer.
WHAT DO MASONS DO?
The Masonic lodge (called the Blue Lodge) meets one evening per month to conduct its regular business and vote upon petitions for membership. It usually includes a speaker, traditionally followed by refreshments. It is here where the bond of fellowship is strengthened.The candidate with receive three degrees concluding with the Third (or Master Mason’s Degree), the highest degree in Blue Masonry.
The degree is solemn, enlightening and an enjoyable experience with no uncomfortable or embarassing moments. It is here where the principles of Freemasonry are taught. These principles teach respect for God, for each other, and for ourselves. They also teach that one’s family and his own necessary vocations are to be considered above Freemasonry.
IS MASONRY JUST A MAN’S ORGANIZATION?
While membership in Freemasonry and its related organizations is limited to men, many family activities occur year-round with a considerable number of special events of all types for members, their ladies and children. There are other organizations that exist alongside Freemasonry to which family members may belong.
By taking a few moments to read this literature you will be better informed about Freemasonry. You will also understand that those who seek membership must do so on their own accord. Unfortunately, with-out this understanding, many fine individuals have not enjoyed the special rewards in Freemasonry.