What is Freemasonry?

Freemasonry – A Way of Life
As the oldest, largest, and best known fraternal organization in the world, Freemasonry opens its doors to all who endorse its teachings. A strong belief in family, community, pride in our country, and sound ethical and moral values are what distinguish the Masonic fraternity. Our strength lies in the unity of our conviction to these ideals.

Freemasonry is the oldest fraternal organization in the world. It is dedicated to promoting improvement in the character of its members. A Mason is taught to be a good citizen. To be of good character. To care for those less fortunate, and to give back to his community.

The Masonic fraternity contributes over $1 Billion each year to its philanthropic pursuits. Over $750 Million of that in the United States alone. The Crippled Children’s and Burns Hospitals sponsored by Shrine Masons are world famous for their ability to help those most in need.

Freemasonry traces its roots to the Middle Ages. It is from associations of stone masons, who built the magnificent cathedrals, castles, and monasteries of Europe that the fraternity started. These groups, eventually, began to accept members who were not actual working masons. At that time they adopted the term “Accepted” Masons, and Freemasonry was born.

Is Masonry A Religion?
No, it is not a religion. This is not to say that masons do not have religious beliefs. One of the tenets of the Masonic Fraternity is that its members are free to express their beliefs in the religion of their choice. However, it is also a condition of membership that each recognize that the wonders of the universe are not here as a result of our doing. But rather as a result of a Supreme Being, who brings order and purpose to our existence.

Is Masonry A Secret Society?
This is a widespread misconception, and is completely untrue. The so-called secrets of Freemasonry have actually been in print for well over a century. The fraternity does nothing to hide its existence, its purpose or its membership. The lessons taught in our meetings are meant for the improvement and education of our members. As such, there are portions of these lessons that are not discussed with those outside of the fraternity.

Grand Lodge – Local Lodges
A Grand Lodge is the governing body for a series of Local Lodges. The Local Lodge is where individual members belong. It is also where instruction is given and the actual work of the Fraternity is conducted. The first Grand Lodge was founded in London, England in 1717. It is from them that other countries petitioned for their own charters. They formed in groups, establishing their own Grand Lodges, which in turn gave charters to Local Lodges. Today, there are more than 150 Grand Lodges worldwide with a collective membership of more than 6,000,000.

What Are The Requirements For Membership?
Membership in the Masonic Fraternity is an act of free will. A man must ask for the opportunity. The potential member must be at least eighteen years of age, of sound moral character, and able to express his belief in a Supreme Being. One member of the Local Lodge being petitioned, as well as one other Mason, must be willing to sign his petition. His election is by unanimous consent.

Freemasonry – A Way of Life
As the oldest, largest, and best known fraternal organization in the world, Freemasonry opens its doors to all who endorse its teachings. A strong belief in family, community, pride in our country, and sound ethical and moral values are what distinguish the Masonic fraternity. Our strength lies in the unity of our conviction to these ideals.

Masonic Charity
The Masonic Fraternity believes that its members have an obligation to give back to their communities, and to benefit others. It is an important point to emphasize that Masons are taught to go about these tasks in a quiet, unassuming fashion. This is meant to impress upon our members that it is the work, and not the individual, that is of importance. It is also to preserve the dignity of those for whom the work is performed. The philanthropic work of our Grand Lodge jurisdiction and its appendant bodies are as follows:

Masonic Body Support Charity
Connecticut Grand Lodge The Masonic Charity Foundation, Connecticut Freemasons Foundation
Scottish Rite Schizophrenia Research, Masonic Museum and Library, Children’s Learning Centers, and Scholarships
Knights Templar Eye Foundation and Research
Tall Cedars of Lebanon Muscular Dystrophy
Shrines of North America Crippled and Burned Children’s Hospitals
Grotto Dental Care for Children with Special Needs Program and an annual grant to United Cerebral Research.
Eastern Star Cancer Research and Religious Scholarships
Amaranth Diabetes Research
Chapter, RAM RICRA
Council, Royal and Select Masters Arterial Sclerosis