The Masonic Restoration Foundation (MRF) is a non-profit, tax-exempt 501(c)(3) educational organization. The MRF was established to provide news, research, and analysis related to the rich heritage and current trends of American Freemasonry. Since 2001 the MRF has been serving 1.7 million American Freemasons by identifying solutions and implementing programs aimed at reinforcing and expanding positive trends at local, state and national levels.
The MRF provides education and training to individuals, lodges and Grand Lodges on ways to establish quality programs, academic excellence and social relevance in their Masonic communities. As American Freemasonry faces some of the most important challenges in its history, the MRF stands to ensure a sense of purpose and identity for the Craft. Our Board Members and researchers have studied the history, social role and contemporary trends of Freemasonry in Canada, Denmark, England, France, Germany, Hungary, Israel, Mexico, Norway, Russia, Scotland, Sweden and the United States. In our research and travels to the above noted countries we have developed a strong understanding of the organizational systems and degree workings of the following rites:
Employing our unique knowledge and insight into successful lodge models around the world we have developed a set of tenets that we feel accurately describes the purpose of Freemasonry and the practices best suited to achieve it. In closely surveying the global Masonic landscape it became clear that the most successful Masonic systems and lodges all tended to agree on and seek to uphold certain timeless, traditional principles on which they felt Freemasonry was founded upon. They defined success as being able to consistently provide a clear definition of Freemasonry and its purpose and attract high quality men that would serve as an effective and relevant force for good in their societies.
In sharing this view of success the Masonic Restoration Foundation has developed the Traditional Observance Lodge (TM) model as a means of achieving the highest quality Masonic and initatic experience possible at the Blue Lodge level in the United States. The Traditional Observance (TO) model seeks to preserve and reinforce the sound traditional foundation of Blue Lodge Masonry in America, while enriching it with a regiment of philosophical discipline, decorum and traditional initiatic practices such as the Chamber of Reflection and Chain of Union that come from other Masonic branches.
Our short-term goals include the creation of Traditional Observance lodges, the development and dissemination of first-class educational materials and the unification of restorative forces on a national level. Existing TO lodges have revitalized Freemasonry and have proven themselves as positive examples in their larger Masonic communities. TO lodges offer their candidates, members and visitors an experience and sociability that cannot be found anywhere else in society and stand as shining examples of the dignity, efficacy and relevance of Freemasonry.
The spread of Traditional Observance lodges, dissemination of our educational materials and our leadership on pivotal Masonic issues will facilitate the realization of our long-term goals of developing a new culture of learning and growth within the American Craft and restoring it to its rightful place in society.
Conference of Grand Masters of North America
On March 19th, 2006, the Masonic Restoration Foundation was recognized at the Conference of Grand Masters of North America. The Chairman of the conference, M.W. Bro. Frederick L. Sorsabal made the following remarks:
For many years Grand Lodges have had programs of Masonic Education as well as programs for Candidate Education. California is no different. In the past two years, however, we have come to understand how much these two concepts are linked and intertwined. Masonic Education begins even before a man asks to become a Mason, it unfolds and expands as he progresses through the degrees of Ancient Craft Masonry, and it can – or should – become a lifelong commitment to applying what he learns in his daily life. In California we are using a new term for this understanding – “Masonic Formation.” We have challenged our brethren to step forward to support the concept of Masonic Formation, and they have responded – not only by making resources available to us through the per capita, but through their significant financial support as individuals and as lodges for this emerging program. At the national level a new organization is working to make “Masonic Formation” the basis of the revitalization of Freemasonry. The Masonic Restoration Foundation has been established to create the resources for individual lodges as well as Grand Lodges to take advantage of this new movement. As with many such things, we can do more together than we can do separately. Accordingly, the Grand Lodge of California, through the California Masonic Foundation, has made available a grant to the Masonic Restoration Foundation to assist them in developing programs which will benefit all of Freemasonry in this country – and not just California alone. I am therefore pleased to present this contribution to Wor. Bro. Dennis Chornenky, President of the Masonic Restoration Foundation, to support their work. In doing so our hope is that we will have a new generation of Masons for whom Masonry is a passion – for whom “Applied Masonry” is more than just a slogan. For us there is no better time than now to make this happen!