Page 5 - Education Programs
P. 5


In his oration during the 1987 Grand Annual Communication, Grand Orator Reese L. Harrison, Jr.
offered the following thoughts.

         “Freemasonry was never intended to be anything other than a profound quest by
         mankind for participation in the nature and purpose of God and the Universe. It is
         one of the elements of Masonic genius that this quest, common to many world
         religions and philosophies, was uniquely framed within a practical, institutional
         brotherhood which has served its members and the human family at least since its
         formal organization in 1717 with the Grand Lodge of England. Freemasonry is
         unique. It is not just another club, lodge, or society, but, on the contrary, it is rather
         a startling creative institution which has carried certain basic and fundamental
         insights down to the present day. To be a Freemason is to be both a member of an
         institutional fraternity, and an heir to a vast legacy of man’s perception and
         inspiration about both the Fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man. But do
         we know how to teach it? Few members of Freemasonry develop a vision of what
         the Craft could be and become because there is no emphasis on the richness of the
         fabric of Freemasonry.

         “Freemasons have largely stopped cherishing their legacy; not because they do not
         love it, but rather because they do not understand it. They do not let it speak
         sufficiently to them; but they incessantly do speak to and for it. The capacity to
         allow the mind and the spirit to roam in and through the Masonic ethic is almost
         extinct. Lodges that once reflected the most vital and dynamic elements of life are
         now symbols of stagnation, and they attract the loyalty and spirit of but few
         energetic men.”

The genius of Freemasonry is the daily practice of those things Freemasonry teaches. But how can
we as Freemasons practice what we do not learn and are not taught? How can Freemasonry prosper
if Freemasonry does not teach the meaning and mission of the symbolism, allegories, philosophy,
morality, history, and traditions of Freemasonry?

As Masonic leaders, we must develop a vision for the Fraternity, educate ourselves and our fellow
members, and instill a rich appreciation of our past and an optimistic view of our future. We can
accomplish this by embarking upon our own Masonic quest and enlisting our fellow Freemasons.
It begins with one Freemason and then another, one lodge and then another. We must join together
on our journey in the discovery of the nature and purpose of God!

We must build our own Masonic edifice within ourselves. We have to help our fellow Freemasons
by providing a high quality, intellectually stimulating Masonic education program so that we
understand our fraternity, appreciate its legacy, and create its future. Only with that understanding
can we band together as friends and brothers in the genius of Freemasonry.

As the Master has the obligation to provide the Craft with good and wholesome instruction, it is
imperative that Masonic leaders prepare themselves for that role. To assist them in this

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