Five Learning Centers with an enrollment of more than 100 children presently are operated by 32nd Degree Masons in Pennsylvania. A total of 56 Learning Centers is projected, 13 of which are to be located in Pennsylvania.
Results of Children's Learning Centers have been uniformly favorable, with most students demonstrating a reading ability at or above grade level after one or two years of tutorial instruction. Among the many success stories is that of Daniel, a fifth grade student enrolled in a Pennsylvania Learning Center. Daniel received an award from the President of the United States for outstanding academic achievement. "Daniel was blessed with the gift of literacy, thanks to the Masonic organization," writes his mother.
Charity is not new to 32nd Degree Masons, nor is it limited to helping children overcome dyslexia. The Scottish Rite has an extensive history of helping others strive for excellence in their lives.
For nearly 70 years, 32nd Degree Masons have funded research to discover the cause of schizophrenia, the most widespread and serious form of mental illness.
Upon application to the Abbott Scholarship program, financial grants for higher education are available to qualified children and grandchildren of 32nd Degree Masons. In Pennsylvania, alone, more than $1 million in Abbott Scholarship grants have been awarded.
In observance of the Bicentennial of the American Revolution, 32nd Degree Masons established the National Heritage Museum at Lexington, MA. The museum, which is open to the general public, free of charge, features a broad range of exhibits illustrating American History and popular culture.
The Scottish Rite charitable programs have an annual budget of nearly $9 million. In addition, following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, 32nd Degree Masonry throughout the United States has pledged $2.3 million in disaster relief funds.
Scottish Rite Masonry originated in France, based upon ritual practiced in the Lodge Ecossaise, and appeared in North America as early as 1767. The Supreme Council is the governing body of a 32nd Degree Masonic jurisdiction. Pennsylvania and 14 other states are included in the Supreme Council of the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction, organized in 1813.
The core of 32nd Degree Freemasonry is a system of 29 degrees, numbered consecutively from the 4º to the 32º, which expand upon the first three symbolic degrees and are intended to inspire moral character and responsibility to God and society. The degrees are conferred progressively in dramatic form by four coordinate subordinate bodies: the Lodge of Perfection, 14º; the Council of Princes of Jerusalem, 16º; the Chapter of Rose Croix, 18º; and the Consistory, 32º. The 33º is conferred only by invitation once a year by the Supreme Council.
Membership in 32nd Degree Freemasonry is open, upon application, to all Master Masons in good standing in a regular symbolic lodge under the jurisdiction of a recognized Grand Lodge.