My Dear Brethren,
Perhaps you have wondered whether it is proper for Masons to recruit new members. My answer is “very judiciously,” but opinions vary. As a past Grand Master of this state put it, “Prospective petitioners should do their own research and knock on our door themselves. We should not chase them. To do otherwise hurts the value and prestige of being a Freemason.” This brings to mind a favorite movie quote: “Something given has no value.” In this regard,I think all of us would agree it’s hard to expect someone to truly appreciate Masonry if he hasn’t made the personal investment.
With that in mind, a thriving organization occasionally requires new blood – Freemasonry is no exception. To my way of thinking, it makes sense to discreetly display one’s affiliation with the Fraternity while evincing that correct moral walk and deportment which attracts men of good character to want to approach us and ask thoughtful questions.
So, what happens when a prospective member articulates an interest in the Fraternity? Most of us have a concise blurb or “elevator speech” at the ready. You know, that personalized 20-second sound bite conveying the quintessence of Freemasonry. For instance, “Freemasonry is the world’s oldest and largest fraternity. It applies the tools and symbols of ancient stone masons in a way that encourages self improvement. We all believe in a Supreme Being.” As I say, we’re all going to personalize the message,but consider also proffering an invitation to have a meal at our Lodge, after which a guest can be introduced to our fellow brothers. That’s the easy part. Not so easy is remembering that we are never relieved of our sacred duty to safeguard the West Gate.
Blessed wishes for a Merry Christmas!
Sincerely and Fraternally Yours,
Vito J. Petitti