Are you interested in becoming a Freemason?
Becoming a Freemason means you’ll be joining an ancient fraternal organisation that counts more than 6000 members throughout Netherlands, as well as Districts overseas. General John J. Pershing Lodge #307 is one of the few English speaking Lodges in the Netherlands and among the most international in the country.
Membership is open to any man over the age of 21 irrespective of their race or religion.
What is Freemasonry?
A brief history
Modern speculative Freemasonry can trace its origins to the operative crafts and Guilds, which, records indicate, were introduced across Europe as early as 674 A.D. Modern Freemasonry is directly descended from those associations of operative stonemasons, and the European cathedral builders of the Middle Ages. These master craftsmen, because of their special knowledge and skills, were privileged to travel from country to country employing the skills of their craft. They developed means of recognition and identification of their work (the Secrets of Masonry).
In the 17th and early 18th centuries, membership in the fraternity was confined to men who were engaged in the actual design, supervision and construction of buildings and, in the most part, were members of operative stone Mason Guilds or Lodges. From the early 1700’s non-operative masons were admitted and it was from this situation that theoretical and symbolic masonry, called speculative masonry, developed. Gradually the Lodges came to be composed almost entirely of these accepted or speculative masons. From these groups, the modern Freemasonry of today had its beginning.
Freemasonry is one of the oldest and largest fraternal organisations in the world and is active worldwide. Our fraternal organisation is limited to male membership only; although there are many other organisation and masonic fraternities that are open to women only, and or open to joint membership composing of male and female members. Our Fraternity does not solicit members; a man must seek membership of his own free will and accord. The desire to become a Mason must come from within. To be one, ask one.
Freemasonry is a fraternity of men of good principle and character. It regards all men as equals and we recognize no distinctions of rank or class.
As a fraternity, we conduct our formal ceremonies in the Lodge rooms, employing the tools of the operative stone Masons as symbols, as lessons upon how better to improve ourselves for the benefit of all mankind. These tools we use as symbols to teach the basic moral truths, thereby impressing upon the members the cardinal virtues; brotherly love, relief of the distressed, and truth, which should be applied to their everyday activities. Actively encouraging debate and discussion upon the moral lessons learnt (except on matters of creed or race, religion, politics, or other topics likely to excite personal animosities or disharmony among the members; which is strictly forbidden).
Freemasonry is not organized for profit (financially nor upon a personal level), although annually it raises multi millions worldwide for deserving charities. In the USA alone, it finances and fully funds 50+ children’s hospitals.
Modern Freemasonry seeks to make good men better men, by a belief in fraternal brotherhood of all mankind, and mortality.
Freemasonry and religion
Freemasonry is neither a religion nor a substitute for one. Neither is it an off-spring of any church, synagogue, mosque or religious group – ancient or modern. There is no separate Masonic God; a Freemason’s God remains the God of the religion he professes.
While Freemasonry does require its members to have a belief in a Supreme Being, each member may practise his own beliefs (You will be asked if you have a belief in a God, but you will never be asked in which God you believe.). Our philosophy is compatible with the teachings of all religious institutions.
The names use of the name “Supreme Being” enables men of different faiths to join together without causing dissention among them. The Religious books of all religions, are referred to by our members as the “Volume of the Sacred Law”, and are always open at every Masonic meeting. Numerous versions of Volumes of the Sacred Law are open alongside each other at our meetings, teaching us that moral lesson that all men are equal no matter their creed or religion.
Freemasonry in society
Freemasonry is NOT a Secret society. We do not conceal our existence or activities. True, it has Secrets of its own, such as its method of recognition of brother Masons, and symbolic instruction in its principles. So, Freemasonry is not a Secret Society, but actually a Society of Secrets- The only real Secret in Freemasonry, is we make good men, better men.
Freemasonry is not connected in any way, with any political organisation. A Freemason’s political views are his own and must remain his own. For that reason, it is forbidden for discussion of political matters in a lodge. Freemasonry does not endorse candidates or any political organisation. A member is required to be true and loyal to the Head of State and Government of his country, and to be a law-abiding citizen.
Freemasonry is a charitable and benevolent society. It is charitable in that it is devoted to the promotion of the welfare and happiness of mankind and not to the profit of any individual or individuals. It is benevolent in that it teaches ethical principles acceptable to all men. Principles such as kindness and faithfulness in the home, honesty and fairness in business and occupation, courtesy in social contacts, help for the weak and unfortunate, forgiveness of the penitent, respect for one another and, above all.It teaches morality, and encourages development of self-discipline in thought and actions and confidence in communicating and dealing with all people. It encourages research into its origins, and contemplation and discussion of the moral concepts espoused.
Every member is reminded, that his membership does not in any way exempt him from his duty to meet his responsibilities to his family and the society in which he lives. The Charge to the new initiate calls upon him to be exemplary in the discharge of his civil duties; this duty extends throughout his private, public, business and professional life; but most of all, to be faithful to his family, his vocation and social obligations before that of the fraternity.
What Freemasonry expects of you
As Freemasons we commit ourselves to the principles of brotherly love, relief, and truth, non-sectarian principles which are universally recognized as the moral virtues. These three great principles may be explained thus
- Brotherly Love, every true Freemason will show tolerance and respect for the opinions of others and behave with kindness and understanding to his fellow creatures.
- Relief, Freemasons are taught to practice charity, and to care, not only for their own, but also for the community as a whole, both by charitable giving, and by voluntary efforts and works as individuals.
- Truth, 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 moral standards in life. Freemasons are to be found in all walks of life – business, labour, government, professional, and entertainment to name a few. They are admonished to obey all laws under whose protection they live; to serve their fellowman, and maintain high standards of conduct.
A Mason is expected to treat every person equally, to practice charity, temperance and justice. His mode of life should be such as to earn the respect and trust of those with whom he comes in contact. He must recognize that humility, patience, charity, and gentleness should be among the characteristics of a Freemason.
Are you interested in becoming a Freemason?
If you don’t know anyone who is already a member and that can guide you through the application process, get in contact with our secretary.
where you can find us
Heggenstraat 16A Maastricht, Netherlands