Volume LVIOctober 2009Number 3

Miracles Happen Every Day

Bro. Michael Papinchak, Doric Lodge No. 630, Sewickley, is a firm believer in forces beyond himself. Through his faith and his commitment to the Masonic fraternity, he knows powers larger than a single person can accomplish great things. He senses it, and he has witnessed it.

One miracle involved his only child, Patricia, or "Patty." Patty was an accomplished senior at the School of Pharmacy of Purdue University and was an internship away from graduating when doctors discovered she had cancer. She passed away soon after and was awarded a degree posthumously.

One of Bro. Papinchak's fondest memories with his daughter and wife, Olga, who passed away a few years ago, is fishing in Canada. The family would take their boat out on a lake and frequently end up in a spot where only Patty could catch fish.

"They were pike fish, which are territorial and only allow you to catch one or two before they all scatter. After catching one, I would tell her we had to keep moving," he said. "She would say there were more and, sure enough, she caught more. Olga and I tried for an hour - nothing."

Near the end of Patty's life, she promised after she passed away, she would let her parents know she was okay. After her passing, the Papinchaks returned to the lake to "Patty's spot." They watched as the sky turned black with clouds. Then, Olga saw a rainbow.

"How it was there is impossible," he said, because the conditions weren't conducive. "The rainbow grew brighter and bigger. I never saw anything like it. It lasted several minutes. I said to Olga, 'You know who's making that rainbow? It's Patty letting us know she's in paradise.' Then, it was like someone turned the intensity down. The sky darkened, and we pulled out our rods and arrived at camp just before it began pouring."

Bro. Papinchak's beliefs stem from his parents who immigrated to the United States from Ukraine. He grew up in a house with just four rooms and nine children. Despite the family's struggles, his parents had faith that by working together, they would survive. They were also committed to helping others regardless of their own situation.

While working in management at a General Motors plant, Bro. Papinchak was approached by a co-worker who asked if he was a Mason. When he answered no, the man explained the organization.

"He basically told me it was an organization that does good for mankind," said Bro. Papinchak, who joined the fraternity soon after their conversation and also became a member of the Scottish Rite. Wanting to contribute more to the fraternity, he has named the Masonic Charities in his will. Bro. Papinchak also became a member of the Franklin Legacy Society, which is open to anyone who has included a gift provision in any amount for one or more of the Masonic Charities in their estate plans. Members of the Franklin Legacy Society enjoy many benefits, such as invitations to special events, recognition on a special donor wall and in the annual report, and a lapel pin and book clock depicting Bro. Franklin at work at his printing press.

"As a group, [Masons] do good things for those who need it," he said. "If everyone, as a group, did something similar, the world would be a better place. We help one another, especially children. After losing Patty, it was a relief to have someone to rely on when I needed it. Even after I'm gone, I want to contribute."

For information on joining the Franklin Legacy Society, bequests or a charitable gift annuity, please complete and mail the form below, or call the Gift Planning Office nearest you.

Central Pennsylvania
(717) 367-1121, ext. 33437
or (800) 599-6454
Eastern Pennsylvania
(610) 825-6100, ext. 1348
Western Pennsylvania
(412) 741-1400, ext. 3011
or (866) 872-0664
(717) 367-1121, ext. 33312
or (800) 599-6454
Financial information about Masonic Charities can be obtained by contacting us at 1-800-599-6454. In addition, Masonic Charities is required to file financial information with several states. Colorado: Colorado residents may obtain copies of registration and financial documents from the office of the Secretary of State, (303) 894-2680, http://www.sos.state.co.us/. Florida: SC No. 00774, A COPY OF THE OFFICIAL REGISTRATION AND FINANCIAL INFORMATION MAY BE OBTAINED FROM THE DIVISION OF CONSUMER SERVICES BY CALLING TOLL-FREE, WITHIN THE STATE, 1-800-HELP-FLA. Georgia: full and fair description of the programs and activities of Masonic Charities and its financial statement are available upon request at the address indicated above. Illinois: Contracts and reports regarding Masonic Charities are on file with the Illinois Attorney General. Maryland: For the cost of postage and copying, documents and information filed under the Maryland charitable organizations laws can be obtained from the Secretary of State, Charitable Division, State House, Annapolis, MD 21401, (800) 825-4510. Michigan: MICS No. 11796 Mississippi: The official registration and financial information of Masonic Charities may be obtained from the Mississippi Secretary of State's office by calling 1-888-236-6167. New Jersey: INFORMATION FILED WITH THE ATTORNEY GENERAL CONCERNING THIS CHARITABLE SOLICITATION AND THE PERCENTAGE OF CONTRIBUTIONS RECEIVED BY THE CHARITY DURING THE LAST REPORTING PERIOD THAT WERE DEDICATED TO THE CHARITABLE PURPOSE MAY BE OBTAINED FROM THE ATTORNEY GENERAL BY CALLING (973) 504-6215 AND IS AVAILABLE ON THE INTERNET AT www.njconsumeraffairs.gov/ocp.htm#charity. REGISTRATION WITH THE ATTORNEY GENERAL DOES NOT IMPLY ENDORSEMENT. New York: A copy of the latest annual report can be obtained from the organization or from the Office of the Attorney General by writing the Charities Bureau, 120 Broadway, New York, NY 10271. North Carolina: Financial information about this organization and a copy of its license are available from the State Solicitation Licensing Branch at 1-888-830-4989. Pennsylvania: The official registration and financial information of Masonic Charities may be obtained from the Pennsylvania Department of State by calling toll-free, within Pennsylvania, 1-800-732-0999. Virginia: Financial statements are available from the State Office of Consumer Affairs, P.O. Box 1163, Richmond, VA 23218. Washington: The notice of solicitation required by the Charitable Solicitation Act is on file with the Washington Secretary of State, and information relating to financial affairs of Masonic Charities is available from the Secretary of State, and the toll-free number for Washington residents: 1-800-332-4483. West Virginia: West Virginia residents may obtain a summary of the registration and financial documents from the Secretary of State, State Capitol, Charleston, WV 25305. REGISTRATION IN THE ABOVE STATES DOES NOT IMPLY ENDORSEMENT, APPROVAL OR RECOMMENDATION OF MASONIC CHARITIES BY THE STATE.

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