Freemasonry is an initiatory society with secrets. Not a secret society! We are transparent with our presence in the community, our stated meetings are posted and our officers made public. In fact during our annual officers installation, our Lodge doors are open and the public. Friends and family, are invited to come in and observe.
Freemasonry uses the metaphors of operative stonemasons’ tools and implements, against the allegorical backdrop of the building of King Solomon’s Temple, to convey what has been described by both Masons and critics as “a system of morality veiled in allegory and illustrated by symbols.
Freemasonry is a fraternal organization that has its roots going back to ancient Greece and Egypt, although the present day version arose from obscure origins in the late 16th to early 17th century. Freemasonry now exists in various forms all over the world, with a membership estimated at around six million, including approximately 150,000 in Scotland and Ireland, over a quarter of a million under the jurisdiction of the United Grand Lodge of England and around two million in the United States.
About the fraternity
Masonry is the world’s first and largest fraternal organization, and is based on the belief that each man has a responsibility to help make the world a better place. Through our culture of philanthropy, we make a profound difference for our brothers, our families, our communities, and our future.
The mission of the Masons of California, to foster personal growth and improve the lives of others, is carried out through Masonic principles and tradition.
Our mission is guided by the enduring and relevant principles of our fraternity:
- Brotherly love. We value respect, freedom, kindness, tolerance, and our differences – religious, ethnic, cultural, social, generational, and educational – and strive for harmony in our individual lives, in our lodges, and in the global community.
- Relief. We take responsibility for the well-being of our brothers, our families, and the community as a whole. We provide relief through philanthropy, community involvement, and delivery of excellent care.
- Truth. We stay true to our personal code of conduct and ethics – honor, integrity, personal responsibility, and the continuous pursuit of knowledge.
About our members
With more than 60,000 members, Masonry in our state represents the entire spectrum of diversity. Masons believe in the importance of religion; men of all faiths are members of the organization.
Membership in California Masonry is growing and getting younger. The fastest growing segment of our membership is 18-30 year olds. About 2,000 men are initiated each year; their average age is 39.
Masonry is a brotherhood of like-minded men who genuinely care about each other. We develop lifelong friendships with fellow Masons and their families, and are welcomed at Masonic lodges throughout the United States and the world.
The satisfaction of being part of a centuries-old fraternity whose traditions and core values are relevant today, and will endure for centuries to come, is important to California Masons. Review our latest Annual Report to Membersand the interactive digital version of our award-winning magazine California Freemason to learn more about Masonry in California and around the world. Download a mobile app for the magazine at the iTunes App Store and Android Market. Also visit us on Facebook, YouTube and follow us on Twitter.
- What is Freemasonry?
- Where do the names Freemasonry, Masonry, and Free and Accepted Masons come from?
- What is a lodge?
- What is a grand lodge?
- Is Freemasonry an international organization?
- Is Masonry a secret organization?
- What happens at a lodge meeting?
- What are degrees?
- What is the significance of officers’ titles?
- Why does Masonry use symbols?
- Do Masons engage in politics?
- Is Masonry a religion?
- Why are some Masonic buildings called temples?
- What are the other Masonic organizations?
- Why can’t women join Masonry?
- Are there Masonic organizations for youth?
- Are there financial commitments for Masons?