Master’s Statement: From Seann P. Maria, 158th WM of St. John’s No. 9 for the year 2018
Freemasonry is a magnetic force that has attracted intelligent and visionary people as the spotlights of it’s membership. They were attracted to the fraternity because it fostered and nurtured the spirit of curiosity to be better and created an environment that protected them for a few hours from the simple matters of a mundane world. This time allowed them to discuss complex matters of moral and philosophical importance. These sort of discussions specifically resulted in creating an entire historical period called “The Enlightenment” which itself sprouted forth Democracies and Scientific Methodology which has fundamentally changed the social fabric of our species.
This is what we are so dearly in need of.
We need light.
We need to take the physical, historical, and emotional inventory of this lodge. We need to consider what to carry with us into the future and what should be recognized for what it was while letting go. St. John’s had many roles in the lives of its members from a place where men gathered to seek higher learning to a place where you could count on seeing a trusted friend at dinner. Identifying and recognizing these roles remains closely tied with recognizing the needs of the men in the communities during the times they congregated within this lodge. For this reason I suggest we take consideration of what men, in this day, age, and place are looking for in their lives.
The more I travel to other lodges and ask their newer members what it is that brought them to Masonry they consistently mention the need for adding more value to their lives through learning and sharing with other people like them. So who are they?
The last great wave of Masonry came from servicemen who returned from military duty and found brotherhood in the walls of a lodge, however this is not a wave that we are likely to ever see again. Wars are not fought in waves, but in battles where no soldier awaits a final cease-fire. The men of this time and in this place interested in Masonry identify as intellectuals. They’ve embraced modern technology. They’ve researched into history and literature. They’re often less religious than generations before them, but generate an equal amount of energy towards the call of a great architect that binds the universe into a conscious, moral fabric they can recognize. These are thinkers, philosophers, and men willing to do great things when given the support of a community. This is our opportunity to consider how we are are going to attract and identify these men to Masonry. This is our opportunity to be grateful of the way things were, but how important it is to consider how things can be. This is our chance to inspire higher thoughts and greater deeds in the minds of tomorrow.