Freemasonry is the oldest, largest, and most widely known fraternal organization in the world. It dates back hundreds of years to when stonemasons and other craftsmen on building projects gathered in shelter houses or lodges. Through the years these gatherings changed in many ways until formal Masonic lodges emerged, with members bound together not by trade, but by their own wishes to be fraternal brothers.
Shriners are distinguished by an enjoyment of life in the interest of philanthropy. The approximately 600,000 member organization has a buoyant philosophy which has been expressed as “Pleasure without intemperance, hospitality without rudeness and jollity without coarseness.”
Shriners are men who enjoy life. They enjoy parades, trips, circuses, dances, dinners, sporting events and other social occasions together. Furthermore, Shriners support what has become known as the “World’s Greatest Philanthropy,” Shriners Hospitals for Children.
Through fellowship and philanthropy, Shrinedom strengthens the soul and adds inner meaning to daily life. It thus spreads a glow of joy through one’s entire family.
Men from all walks of life and all levels of income find fun, fellowship and relaxation in their local Shrine Temple and its activities. There are also regional Shrine Clubs in many communities. Family picnics, dances, parties and scheduled trips to near and far are just a few of the activities available.
For the Shriner desiring even more activity, there are various Units that he can join, such as drum & bugle corps, Oriental bands, motor corps, horse patrols, and clown units. Every effort is made to ensure that a Noble has a variety of activities from which he may choose.
There are 191 Shrine Temples, or chapters, located in the United States, Canada, Mexico and the Republic of Panama. Informal Shrine Clubs are located all around the world.
If you are a Master Mason in good standing, you qualify and are invited to join the Shrine. A man receives the three degrees known as the Entered Apprentice, Fellow Craft and Master Mason Degrees in the Masonic Lodge, often known as the Symbolic Lodge, Blue Lodge or Craft Lodge. In Freemasonry, there is no higher degree than that of Master Mason (the Third Degree).
In many parts of North America, Masonry does not solicit members. In these areas, no one is asked to join, and a man must seek admission of his own free will — he must ask. In some areas, Masons are permitted to solicit new members. In all cases, a man interested in becoming a Mason, if he has not been asked, should consult a friend whom he believes to be a Freemason to secure his good counsel and recommendation concerning this important undertaking. For more information on Freemasonry in Rhode Island, please contact the R.I. Grand Lodge of Masons.
For men who would like to receive additional instruction and explanation regarding the allegory and symbolism learned in the Masonic Lodge, the Scottish Rite or the York Rite bodies elaborate on the basic tenets of Freemasonry.
The Shrine of North America is a fraternity that grew out of Freemasonry over a century ago. Because of this, the Shrine is dedicated to Masonic principles. The Shrine Fraternity provides Masonic brothers a means to widen the fellowship first enjoyed in the Blue Lodge. It also offers men, their wives and their families an opportunity to meet new friends who have similar interests, tastes and feelings.
How to Apply
If you are a Master Mason , you can petition to become a Noble of the Mystic Shrine.