Masonry is the world’s first and largest fraternal organization. It is guided by the enduring belief that each man has a responsibility to make the world a better place. For 300 years, Freemasonry has enhanced and strengthened the character of individual men by providing opportunities for fellowship, charity, and the search for truth – within ourselves and the larger world.
Masonry is based on the belief that everyone has a responsibility to help make the world a better place. Through our culture of philanthropy, we make a profound difference for our brothers, our families, our communities, and our future. Masons find satisfaction in being part of a centuries-old fraternity whose traditions and core values are important for our society today, and will endure for centuries to come.
Masons are driven by a commitment to take care of one another and their communities. This commitment has improved lives in California since before the state was formed: During the gold rush and the severe hardship that followed, Masons in the area provided food and relief to struggling families. When cholera swept through Sacramento in 1850, they helped build a hospital at Sutter’s Fort.
In 1898, the Masonic Homes of California was built with the creation of our first residential community in Union City. Today, the Masonic Homes provides residential senior living, statewide outreach and case management services, and referrals to care resources. It also provides therapeutic services for struggling youth through the Masonic Center for Youth and Families.
California Masonic Foundation was formed in 1969 with the purpose of furthering the education of young people from kindergarten through college. Today, we provide philanthropic services to all of California’s Masonic charities – from the Masonic Homes to literacy initiatives and other impactful community programs.
You can read about all of these programs and their impact on our communities in our Annual Report, on our award-winning California Freemason magazine website.
The mission of the Masons of California is to make true friendships, foster personal growth and improve the lives of others. Our mission is guided by the enduring and relevant principles of our fraternity:
We value respect, freedom, kindness, tolerance, and our differences - religious, ethnic, cultural, social, generational, and educational - and strive for harmony in our individual lives, in our lodges, and in the global community.
We take responsibility for the well-being of our brothers, our families, and the community as a whole. We provide relief through philanthropy, community involvement, and delivery of excellent care.
We stay true to our personal code of conduct and ethics - honor, integrity, personal responsibility, and the continuous pursuit of knowledge.
With more than 50,000 members statewide, our fraternity represents the spectrum of Californians. Admission to our lodges is open to men of good character and faith, regardless of their race, color, religious beliefs, political views, sexual orientation, physical ability, citizenship or national origin. Our lodges currently work in English, Spanish, French, and Armenian.
Through this universal brotherhood, Masons learn to be better husbands, better fathers, better brothers, and better citizens. By appreciating our differences, we learn to focus on what unites mankind. Thus, the discussion of religion, politics, and business is not permitted in our lodges. In this way we live up to the centuries-old aim of our fraternity – to unite men of every country, sect, and opinion and cause true friendship among those who otherwise would have remained at a distance.
Membership in California Masonry is growing and getting younger. The fastest growing segment of our membership is 18-30 year olds. About 2,000 men are initiated each year; their average age is 39.
Review our latest Annual Report to Members and the interactive digital version of our award-winning magazine California Freemason to learn more about Masonry in California and around the world. Visit the California Grand Lodge Facebook, YouTube and follow us on Twitter and Instagram.