bill1I have good news to share with you. Pennsylvania Freemasonry is alive!

Even though I've only been in office for five short months, the excitement and enthusiasm among us is more than I could have ever imagined. The dedication and energy of each and every Brother I've met has truly made our great fraternity what it is today. We should be proud!

Brag a little. Tell a friend -- tell everyone -- just how many candidates you're bringing in, what part you're playing in the Man to Mason One-Day Class, how much time you've dedicated to Freemasonry and how much money you've donated. YOU ARE making a difference!

Many challenges and opportunities lie ahead of us, and what we can achieve together depends on each of you. We have developed some groundbreaking, new, and exciting programs to strengthen and enhance Pennsylvania Freemasonry. If we work together as a team, we can build on our strong heritage and ensure a lasting legacy to be enjoyed by future generations.

Do you wear your pin and your Masonic tie? Is your bumper medallion on your car? Have you updated your address book? These are some of the modern tools that have been supplied to you this year to help Share the Light of Freemasonry. Does your neighbor, co-worker, and the person you sit next to at your place of worship know you're a Mason? Through our actions, our words and our example, we need to Share the Light with our neighbors, our friends, our associates and most importantly, our families. Inspire your brother, your father, your cousin, your nephew, your son or grandson to want to be better men ­ to be Pennsylvania Masons!

Invite candidates to use the toll-free petition hotline, 1-800-990-1935, or encourage them to e-mail their petitions to the secretary of their desired lodge. Join with them and thousands of your fellow Brethren to make October 2, 2004, the most powerful, exciting day Pennsylvania Freemasonry has ever experienced! With degrees being conferred in 13 cities around our Commonwealth, we are making membership more achievable for deserving men. On that day, qualifying men will be able to receive the first three degrees in Freemasonry, and if they choose, proceed to the 32nd and ending the day as a Shrine Mason. A 10 percent increase in membership is our goal, and I am convinced that together, we can do it! Who wouldn't want to be a part of such a powerful fraternity?

Plan to attend several of the upcoming social and charitable events intended to grow our Fraternal bonds and introduce non-members to our Fraternity, such as the Sturgis trip, the charity golf outings and the Masonic Village Charity Grand Prix during Autumn Day. Bring your family, your friends and anyone you consider to be a candidate.

The Masonic CHIP program is a great success, with more than 200,000 Pennsylvania youth scheduled to be identified by the end of this year. Through your hard work, we have already quadrupled our goal! I congratulate you and thank you on behalf of the families that this effort has touched. Launched by The Pennsylvania Masonic Foundation for Children, this comprehensive one-stop child identification program for Pennsylvania youth provides parents with pictures of the child, DNA samples and fingerprints that can be provided to police, media or search and rescue personnel. We are proud to be offering this safety program free of charge with the help of the Crime Prevention Association, police officers and community volunteers. If you haven't done so already, I encourage you to support this program and bring it into your Masonic District.

Yes, Pennsylvania Freemasonry is very much alive indeed! Our strong heritage was not developed by chance. It is the result of hard work and dedication of countless men, like you, who have believed and committed their time, their resources, their minds and their energy to Sharing the Light within our communities.

Brethren, it is YOUR strength, YOUR legacy, YOUR belief in Pennsylvania Freemasonry that will Share the Light for future generations. Shine brightly!

William Slater II
R. W. Grand Master


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