The Scottish Rite fraternity is a part of the family of Freemasonry. It is a separate organization from the Grand Lodge system, but in order to belong to the Scottish Rite, a man must first become a Master Mason. When a man joins the Scottish Rite he is awarded the 32nd Degree Masonic designation. Both Freemasonry and the Scottish Rite are worldwide organizations. Of the 4 million Masons, about 1.3 million have been awarded the 32nd Degree.
The purpose of 32nd Degree Masonry is to extend the Masonic fraternity and its principles. Freemasons profess a belief in God, and strive to uphold high moral and ethical values through service to family, country and the community. All men of good character, regardless of race, color, or religious affiliation are welcome to join Freemasonry and the Scottish Rite. Although 32nd Degree Masonry has its roots indirectly from medieval Scotland, it is NOT an organization that promotes Scottish traditions or requires a member to have Scottish heritage.
While the Masonic organization is made up of Grand Lodges, the Scottish Rite is organized into Supreme Councils throughout the world. Massachusetts members are part of the Supreme Council of the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction of the United States of America (NMJ). There are roughly 250,000 members in the NMJ, which is composed of the states of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, and Wisconsin. Our headquarters, along with our renowned National Heritage Museum, is located in Lexington, Massachusetts. The remaining states and the District of Columbia comprise the Southern Jurisdiction which has its headquarters in Washington, D.C.
Each state within our Supreme Council has a governing body called the Council of Deliberation. While the Supreme Council has paid, full-time leadership, the Council is run by volunteer members at all levels. The Council is made up of Valleys throughout the state. There are 109 Valleys within the NMJ and nine within Massachusetts. Our Valleys are located in Pittsfield, Greenfield, Springfield, Worcester, Lowell, Haverhill, Salem, Boston and in Wareham.
The members and their families of 32° Masonry are committed to the service of mankind. The organization supports four major charities. The 32° Masonic Learning Centers for Children provides free treatment for children with dyslexia. At present there are 55 treatment centers within our 15 state area. The National Heritage Museum is a nationally recognized museum and Masonic library located in Lexington, Massachusetts. It has both permanent and traveling exhibits which focus on Americana and our patriotic traditions. It addition, it contains a large collection of Masonic and fraternal artifacts. The Abbott Scholarship Program provides educational financial aid to the children and grandchildren of Scottish Rite members. Schizophrenia research is supported by annual grants to researchers seeking a cure for this terrible and elusive affliction.
I personally invite all men who support the promotion of ethical and moral values in today's society, and who want to join together in a spirit of fun, family, fellowship and public service through our charitable outreach, to join the Grand Lodge of Masons in Massachusetts. By so doing, you will become a better person, enjoy the world-wide social network with your family, and feel the inner satisfaction that can only come from helping others through our public service programs. Once you are a member of the Masonic Fraternity, I will look forward to awarding you the 32nd Degree designation as you continue your Masonic journey.
For more information just call 1-800-882-1020.
Ill. Donald M. Moran, 33°