As a fraternity, Freemasonry provides an opportunity for men to meet and enjoy friendly companionship. In the spirit of helpfulness and brotherly love and guided by strict moral principles it encourages goodwill towards all mankind. Freemasonry promotes self-improvement and teaches the basic principles of brotherly love, relief and truth which Masons are encouraged to practice in heir daily lives. Masons serve society charitably- not just with money but also through actions and deeds.
In the Middle Ages each lodge of Operative Masons maintained a charity chest to help widows and orphans or members in distress. In addition, they assisted a fellow Mason by giving him a day’s work or the means of travelling to the project of a neighbouring lodge.
In the same manner, Masonic Lodge’s of today provide funds to quietly assist members in need, send remembrances to widows or special greetings to brethren confined by age or illness.
Freemasonry participates in community fund raising projects such as disaster relief, specialized hospital equipment, vehicles for the handicapped or additions to hospitals.
The Masonic Foundation of Ontario provides non-repayable bursaries to Ontario University and College students who need help. The Foundation also supports Voice, a Provincial organization that assists hearing impaired children, Autistic Homes of Ontario, the Ontario Deafness Research Foundation, Parents Against Drugs and the Council on Drug Abuse.
There are three key beliefs shared by all Masons:
The belief in the existence of a Supreme Being
Please notice that there is no mention of a specific Supreme Being. Each member’s beliefs are a personal matter for him alone. No Mason is required to adhere to a specific belief system, nor is he questioned as to his faith. What is required is an honest belief in that faith, as this is the glue that binds us one to all.
The belief that the Supreme Being has revealed his will to mankind
All Masons accept an obligation in the name of their faith, personified in the form of a book of faith. This obligation is taken on the individual’s book of faith and seeks to give moral weight to the commitment he has made.
The belief that the Supreme Being rewards virtue and punishes vice
This article of belief is reflected in the Masonic goal of making the world a better place and is the key feature in our obligation. A Mason always strives to make himself a better man and the world a better place.
For many years Masons have followed three principles:
Every true Mason will show tolerance and respect for the opinions of others and behave with kindness and understanding to his fellow man.
Freemasons are taught to practice charity and to offer help not only for their own but also for the community as a whole both by charitable giving and by voluntary efforts.
Freemasons strive for truth requiring high moral standards and aiming to achieve them in their own lives.
Freemasons believe that these principles represent a way of achieving higher standards in life.