Who Are The Masons?
What Is FreeMasonry?
Where Did FreeMasonry Begin?
What Do FreeMasons Do?
What are Some Masonic Principals?
What Is The Masonic Lodge?
Who Can Qualify To Join?
Who Are The Masons?
Is Freemasonry a Religion?
Does Masonry Foster Dynamic Personal Development?
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 meed 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 like, 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. 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
None 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 build the majestic castles and cathedrals of the middle ages. In 1717, Masonry created a formal organization when four Lodge 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 Lodge 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”.
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 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 (US$2,000,000.00) 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 o of these charities are vast projects. The Shrine Masons (Shriners) operate the largest network of hospitals for burned and orthopaedically impaired children in the United States, 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 throughout the United States.
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 receational activities.
Several Masonic Principals 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.
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
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.
Religion has been described as a systematic effort to implement and preserve a code of moral values embracing such concepts as the existence of a Supreme Being, reverence, prayer, and immortality. Although this definition is not at all incompatible with the aims and purposes of the Order, Masonry does not profess to be a religion, even though it is religious in character. Neither does it pretend to take the place of religion, nor serve as a substitute for the religious beliefs of its members
Lodges exist and function in all parts of the world. In Christian Lodges, the Holy Bible reposes on the Altar; in non-Christian areas, however, the book held sacred to the faith representative of the membership would be so placed.
To summarize, the belief in a Supreme Being and immortality is common to most religions. Differences exist among them, however, with respect to dogma, interpretation, and ritual, often creating a breach which separates them regardless of their similar goals. Masonry embraces the common factors, uniting men by not advocating one particular theological approach above the others, thus permitting the individual to choose for himself that avenue which seems best to him for his approach to God, for the building of his moral code, and for his preparation for that which is to come.
A leader cannot be an indecisive or timid individual who is apprehensive of expressing his opinions, when substantiated by reason, in the presence of others. He must posess the ability the ability of self-expression without fear or hesitation. Freemasonry provides ample opportunities for the development of this important talent. Serving as an officer of a Lodge is a direct and positive step toward the cultivation of poise and self-assurance, since appearing before and addressing the membership is a frequent occurrence.
Dynamic personal development, then, is possible through Freemasonry, and it follows that the Craft thereby contributes to the security and continued progress of any country by placing at the disposal of its members some keys to intelligent and successful leadership. With the knowledge which the Order both directly and indirectly makes available to him, with the understanding and tolerance of the viewpoints and convictions of others which are stressed throughout its teachings, and with the fortitude to express those opinions and principles which he considers just and right, the individual is prepared to adopt its gentle philosophy for the strengthening of his character and for the betterment of mankind and our changing civilization. Thus fortified, a Freemason can face the future with confidence, walking uprightly in his various stations before God and man.
For more information on Masonry in Panama call 261-7509