Freemasonry is not a religion but it requires a personal belief in a Supreme Being on the part of every candidate. Whether we be Christian, Jew, Muslim, Hindu or Buddhist we are taught respect for others, to practice charity and to live our lives by good moral standards. Whatever our walk or standing in life and the Community we can all be united in our striving towards these great ideals.
As we pass through the entrance to our beautiful Lodges, we become overwhelmed by a feeling of peace and tranquility. For a few hours the cares of employment and the busy world are forgotten as we concentrate on the task of the promulgation of our beautiful ritual in ceremonies which have evolved over the centuries.
There are many Masonic Organizations which we as Masons are quite familiar with that has various charities they contribute to. Some are Masonic Relief for destitute Masons, their Widows and Orphans, the Eye Foundation, Rite Care centers for speech and hearing disorders in Children, Muscular Dystrophy, and many other charitable endeavors. Some of these organizations are more visible than others. Probably the most visible in the community is the Shrine. The Shrine Masons have built eighteen cripple children’s hospitals and three burn institutes throughout North America. Those hospitals were built, staffed and are maintained by the Masonic Fraternity without any government assistance. We can proudly say no child has ever been charged for any treatment in a Shriner’s Hospital. That’s because the Shrine Masons and their friends pay for all with endowments, wills, gifts, and fund-raising activities. There have been several hundred thousand children restored to a normal or near-normal life. Because of this great Masonic undertaking the Shrine Masons have earned the title of “One of the Greatest Masonic Philanthropies”.
Several of the organizations within the Masonic family are much more socially oriented than the Blue Lodge. It is the strength of the principles taught in the Blue Lodge masonry comes the foundation that creates the real bond among Masons everywhere. We all begin in the Blue Lodge and that is where it ends regardless of how many other Appendant Masonic Bodies a Mason holds membership. Look well to the East.
William B. Rogers
William B. Rogers