We have different cultural expressions but our values are the same. Let’s celebrate the beautiful values that unites us all, from different parts of the Globe to our closest neighbor. Let’s celebrate the Universality of Freemasonry!
Illinois DeMolay is a Masonic youth group and part of the Illinois Freemasonry Family. Many of the Advisors to the DeMolay chapters are Freemasons. Some have the distinction of being both Senior DeMolay members (those who are older than 21 years old) and members of Masonic lodges throughout the state. These Brothers dedicate their time, energy and talents to help ensure that the experience of active DeMolay young men are rewarding. Also, we have active DeMolay young men continuing their fraternal journey to become Freemasons. In April, we celebrated with five active DeMolay members as they were raised to the Sublime Degree of Master Mason during their third degree ceremonies.
This act stands today as remarkable proof of the undeniable truths of brotherly love and affection which we espouse. This momentous act serves as an example of how our fraternity seeks to unite the hearts of its initiates and thereby cement a more civil society. I am supremely proud of the brothers who guided this change and offer my sincere gratitude for their devotion to true Masonic values.
Fundamentally, “good men and true, knowing each other to be such, do always love the more, as they be the more good.” As Masons, we look pass what others typically target to divide men and focus on what is most important, the value of a man’s character. Upon this foundation, we gather together men whom would otherwise not cross paths on life’s journey. We are a blending of men from various backgrounds (i.e. social, financial, ethnic, religious, geographic, etc.) who call each other Brother. An example of that sentiment is exemplified in the joint celebration of the 20th anniversary of mutual fraternal recognition with the Brethren of the Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Illinois.
In Illinois Freemasonry, Brotherly Love is demonstrated by many acts of caring. We want every Brother to know that we care about him, meaning that we value and embrace his unique abilities, strengths and talents. Also, it means that we care about his welfare including the progress being made with his work / career, finances and personal health. Not done yet, we extend that same sentiment to the welfare of his family (i.e. wife, partner, significant other, widow and children). For example, the Illinois Masonic Outreach Services (IMOS) charitable program is living proof of how we care for our members and their families in our grand jurisdiction.
As Masons, we enjoy unique fraternal experiences including the fellowship with good men of strong character, learning from one another, and banding together to “relieve the suffering of others”. Fundamentally, we are inspired by men like Brother Dave who are living Masonry each and every day; it is the reason that we honor him tonight. By following his example, along with many of you, we will be a beacon light in society today for a good man seeking to “become a better version of himself.”
Freemasons have historically fought against racism and inequality and traveled for "foreign countries" embracing every culture, every race and we still are the most diverse fraternity in the world with hundreds of thousands lodges spread all over. We are in every continent of the earth teaching our craft that we are all equals. Freemasons are well known for their tolerance, prudence and understanding.
This past weekend was among the busiest weekends in my recollection for Illinois Freemasonry. I joked to my cohort that "no Mason should be on his couch today for lack of activity." There were events help across the state aimed at developing the hearts and minds of our individual Brethren.
I had the pleasure of participating in the education-focused activities held near Champaign. We were able to host two Brothers from the Grand Lodge of North Carolina's Masonic Education Committee who shared their wealth of knowledge and experience with our young committee. In the coming years, I expect to look back on this meeting as a significant turning point in Masonic Education in Illinois.