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"The Order of the White Shrine of Jerusalem was founded for social and benevolent purposes based on Christianity and the life of the Nazarene and His divinity as the savior of mankind," explains Shirley A. Naulty, Worthy High Priestess. Organized by Charles D. Magee in Chicago on Oct. 23, 1894, the Order has a three-fold purpose: Fraternal and social, spiritual, and charitable.

The charitable aspect of the White Shrine is known as its "Material Objective." Through a supreme elected board of five members who receive submissions from subordinate shrines, the Order of the White Shrine of Jerusalem helps the less fortunate, regardless of race, creed, color, age, or affiliation. It ministers to human needs, whatever and wherever they may be found, and its activities are not confined to its own membership.

As in Freemasonry, the White Shrine requires that its members, who are Master Masons and ladies with familial relationships to Master Masons, believe in a Supreme Being; however, this Order also requires a belief in and the defense of Christianity. Its ritual is founded upon the birth, life, and death, and resurrection of its Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Its obligation is based upon the honor of those who attain it and, once it is voluntarily assumed, it is perpetual. One degree, called a "Ceremonial," exemplifies the scenes and colorful garb of Biblical days in a beautiful pageant that endeavors to uphold the simplistic religion of Christ and to further His gospel of peace on earth, good will to men.

There are 335 shrines with 32,625 members, referred to as sojourners, in 40 states and Canada operating under the jurisdiction of the Supreme Shrine of the Order of the White Shrine of Jerusalem. Pennsylvania has the second largest membership with 3,346 sojourners in 24 shrines. Anyone who is eligible is welcomed to join because fraternalism and sociability are important and in the Order of the White Shrine of Jerusalem that is achieved through work, fun, and good fellowship.

The prerequisites for membership are: Being Master Masons in good standing; the wives, daughters, mothers, grandmothers, sisters, granddaughters, aunts, nieces, grandnieces, stepdaughters, stepmothers, step-granddaughters, legally adopted daughters, half-sisters, daughters-in-law and mothers-in-law of Master Masons in good standing (or who were in good standing at the time of their death).

The annual installation of the officers, which may be open so that non-members can learn more about the Order, is in March. The Supreme Convention is each May at selected locations. In 2001, it was in Spokane, WA.

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